Personal Computing to play a Critical Role in India’s Transformation to a Knowledge Economy

The importance of Personal Computing was emphasized for India’s transformation into a knowledge economy at the launch of the Ek Kadam Unnati Ki Aur Impact Assessment Report. Prepared by Kantar Indian Market Research Bureau (Kantar IMRB), endorsed by the Indian School of Business (ISB), and commissioned by Intel Technology India, the Report further goes on to highlight of how personal computing would help in reducing the skill gap, achieving universal digital literacy in the country and facilitating upward socio-economic mobility.

The Report was unveiled in the presence of Sanjeev Kumar Mittal, Joint Secretary, Department of Electronics and IT; Navin Shenoy, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Client Computing Group, Intel Corporation and Debjani Ghosh, Vice President, Sales and Marketing Group & Managing Director, Intel South Asia.

The data taken to prepare the Report was collected from Common Services Centers in 11 states, where Intel India has set up around 100 Unnati Kendras for PC access and training. In the transformation journey to become a knowledge economy, the Report reinforces the fact that digital skills have to take centerstage and a core competency for higher education and white-collar service-sector jobs, and that the know-how of productive technologies, such as the PC, will enable citizens to participate in this ambition. PC does have a positive influence on soft skills such as leadership, communication, critical thinking, self-confidence and decision-making, thus expanding the horizons of academic and career opportunities for non-urban aspirants.

Navin Shenoy, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Client Computing Group, Intel Corporation, said expressed joy at the fact that India has come to that stage when the Internet and technology are becoming readily accessible to more and more people, including non-urban communities. The PC has been playing a crucial role in helping citizens across the country to use technology for the betterment of self and society, helping reduce the skill gap, and increase productivity. He further said that Intel will continue to invest in the transition of India to a digital, knowledge-based economy.

While speaking during the launch of the Report, Debjani Ghosh, Vice President, Sales and Marketing Group & Managing Director, Intel South Asia said that there is indeed an urgent need to create knowledge workers and build on the technology that can speed up this process. If not taken care of, the growing skills gap in India is estimated to create a deficit of more than 25 crore workers by 2022. An isolated smartphone-based strategy won’t work any wonders, which is why Intel is urging the government to look at the other technology choices available, and thus ensure that India moves from being a content consumption country to a content creation country. She calls this as the need of the hour if India wants to truly transform into a knowledge economy.

The Report finds that while the smartphone has been a gateway to on-board first-time technology users in India, the PC has emerged as the preferred interface for content creation, skill development, and accessing information related to government, education, healthcare and employment. The Report advocates a multi-device approach to digital upskilling, where features such as larger screens, physical keyboards and the ability to accommodate multi-tasks and heavy-duty tasks, create an interactive yet productive user interface within the technology ecosystem.

The Report further calls out that positive word of mouth about the PC is an incentive for consumers to invest time in learning more about the device. Personal engagements with a local Unnati Guru or technology evangelist at the centers had a significant impact on the overall experience, with first-time users preferring to discuss a PC’s features (46%) before interacting hands-on with the device. Direct PC exposure at work, school or cyber cafés, also builds familiarity and confidence with the device, with almost 15% of connected users (non-owners) showing higher propensity to purchase a PC for their households.

Under Intel India’s Ek Kadam Unnati Ki Aur initiative, based on which the Report has been collated; the company has collaborated with nearly 20 organizations, across the public and private sector to build the relevance of personal computing. 100 Unnati Kendras, serving as common access digital learning centers for local citizens, were inaugurated earlier this year, to deliver content and training across the three broad areas of education, entrepreneurship and innovation. Each center is equipped with Intel architecture powered devices, vernacular language content and relevant training programs for local citizens in the state, creating opportunities for skill development and digital empowerment.

– Samrita / Anjali

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