New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series
Edited by Bengt-Åke Lundvall, Patarapong Intarakumnerd and Jan Vang
Chapter 10: National Innovation Systems and India’s IT Capability: Are There Any Lessons for ASEAN Newcomers?
Nagesh Kumar and K.J. Joseph 1. INTRODUCTION The Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and the associated innovations are considered to be instrumental in bringing about wide-ranging socio-economic transformation of the developing world during the 21st century. No wonder today there is hardly any country in the developing world which has not initiated policy measures and institutional interventions to harness the powers of new technology for development. The focus of these initiatives has involved among other things developing a domestic ICT production base on the one hand and facilitating the diﬀusion of the new technology into diﬀerent sectors of the economy and society including governance. The new ASEAN countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, though lagging behind their counterparts in ASEAN, have not been left behind as manifested in the series of policy measures initiated by them during the last decade. One of the distinguishing characteristics of the new general purpose technology, unlike its predecessors, is that a developing country such as India is acclaimed for her competence. Hence an obvious issue before the new ASEAN countries aiming at harnessing the new technology for development arises; are there any lessons for these countries from India, which is known for its IT success? The present chapter seeks an answer to this question. India’s ICT capabilities and its presence in the world market for ICT software and services are well documented (D’Costa, 2003; Heeks, 1996; Arora et al., 2001; Arora and Athreya, 2002; Joseph, 2002; Joseph and Harilal, 2001;...
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