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Information Communication Technology and Economic Development

Information Communication Technology and Economic Development

Learning from the Indian Experience

Edited by Tojo Thatchenkery and Roger R. Stough

Information Communication Technology and Economic Development reveals new insights regarding the complex process of globalization. It shows how the generation and circulation of intellectual capital in the US and India in ICT have led to greater productivity in the US while facilitating the economic development of India. Most industrialized nations now see the vast intellectual capital-based services that India provides at extremely competitive rates as key to their own national competitiveness in the global arena. The contributors’ findings suggest that India’s ICT-led growth will accelerate in the next ten years, launching India as a major global economic power next to the US and China.

Chapter 6: Diffusion Innovation: A Pattern of Information Communication Technology Innovation in the Indian Economy

Mary Mathew

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, innovation and technology, technology and ict


Mary Mathew INTRODUCTION Documented descriptions of the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) in India, predominantly focuses on software exports (Arora et al., 2001; D’Costa, 2003; Heeks, 1996; Schware, 1992). Undoubtedly, software exports are a successful result of Indian ICT and India’s software exports do show rapid growth (NASSCOM, 2003). An analysis of Indian ICT innovation per se is missing in earlier literature. Furthermore , innovation itself, irrespective of ICT, is defined in many ways in the literature. This chapter presents evidence of a larger view of innovation with less emphasis on the magnitude of software exports and more on the implications of the pattern of sectors in which exports occurs. This evidence is analyzed in the context of ICT adoption in a developing country. Admittedly, software is the trigger that magnifies innovations (Quinn et al., 1997). This chapter looks at Indian ICT with a positive approach, emphasizing the presence of innovation termed as diffusion innovation. The adoption of ICT in India has led to a rapid urban spread of the technology and consequently has enhanced social communication and enabled improvements in its domestic economic activity. The adoption of ICT in a developing country, such as India, refers to the transference of innovation from first-generation innovators (USA), where ICT is in itself the technical innovation and a set of inventions generated from the research and development (R&D) laboratories of the USA. Diffusion of this adopted innovation refers to the process by which knowledge of an innovation spreads...

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