'India's IT revolution brainchild of Indira'


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Jun 29, 2009
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'India's IT revolution brainchild of Indira'

Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is often credited with ushering in IT revolution in the country, but the policy which provided a head start in software exports was actually brought in by his mother Indira Gandhi weeks before her assassination, a new book on Indian IT says.

The 1984 policy providing the provision for software exports through satellite links was approved by Indira Gandhi's Cabinet but was announced by the Government headed by Rajiv Gandhi on November 19,1984, the book titled 'The Long Revolution: The Birth and Growth of India's IT Industry' says.

It was the provision of exports via satellite which attracted American firms like Texas Instruments (TI) and opened up new gateway for software exports from India.

Two other companies were licensed along with TI to set up software units with satellite links but only TI took off, says the book written by science journalist and author Dinesh C Sharma.

In fact, a number of policy initiatives including liberalisation of policies for computer and electronics sector, rural digital telephone exchange, software technology parks and computerisation of railways, which are linked with Rajiv's era, were set in motion by Indira after she came to power in 1980, it said.

"Post-1980, Indira Gandhi was a changed person. It was almost as if she was repenting for the excessive socialist policies unleashed under her rule in 1970s," Sharma told PTI.

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