Even them. There recently was a news in

Even homes are getting fitted with computers and children take a delight learning to operate them. There recently was a news in the papers how a 3 year old child knows everything about computers — about its overall technology and at this tender age dreams of excelling Bill Gates — the owner of the Microsoft company in US; the richest man of the world.

Information technology, the specialised branch of the computer system, performs the task of storage and retrieval of vast amount of information. This technology handles the large collections of information called DATABASES. Government departments as well as private industries are making use of this at al levels.

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Go to purchase a railway ticket at New Delhi reservation counter and ask for the position of a reservation from Cuttack in Orissa to Chennai on a particular date by a particular train and the man or the lady at the counter would press a few buttons of the computer machine kept close by and the position would get known to you in no time.

Sitting at Delhi you can have tickets booked in any train from any station to any station in the country; from any airport to any airport all the world over. All this was never even dreamt often years ago and now it is a reality come true.

You go to any bank, tell your account number at the counter to know your balance and in the twinkling of an eye you have the desired information. You can store information, on a floppy disc of the dimension of a pocket diary; you can have the contents of a five hundred page book which you can retrieve any moment any time. Drums, discs and tapes can store coded information.

On the Internet all information can be made available. Sitting on your office seat you can know all about everything. The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh in India had got the technology developed in his State to such an extent that sitting in his office he could gather every detail of the information about each ‘taluqa’ of his State — area covered under agriculture, crop yields, roads, lanes, villages, per capita income and what not.

All his officers and officials had to remain on their toes and the administration saved time, energy and huge wastage of stationery.

The Chief Minister, Chandrababu Naidu got commendable relief work done during the Orissa cyclone getting the whole affected area connected by Internet and sending on relief teams all over.

Bill Clinton, the former US President during his visit to India went as a special invitee to Hyderabad and felt greatly impressed with the cybernation of Hyderabad. On his visit to a remote Rajasthan village he found the illiterate women running the ‘Panchayat’ having a computer operated by them.

Such is the revolution brought about by this new technology. Our computer scientists are doing commendable work and earning great reputation and recognition in foreign countries.

Information technology is an integrated technology. This integrates, computer, magnetic storage, television, telecommunication industries and all the software operating them.

Hardware and Software are the two components of this technology. Hardware means the tangible features of a computer system and software means the instructions or programmes that reside in a computer memory.

The output device is still another part of the computer which makes the information that is given out by the computer and any of the various methods of doing this, such as printer, video-screen, or speech synthesizer.

As against that the input device consists of the information that is entered into a computer and there are various methods of doing this, such as keyboard, mouse or graphics tablet. It is the ‘mouse’ which is a cable connected input device consisting of a palm-sized toy with a button on top.

The ‘mouse’ is moved across a table top, causing a moveable pointer on the screen to choose from the list of items or commands. Now there are personal computers which are based on a microprocessor, a small semiconductor chip that performs the operations of a control processing unit.

It was in the year 1990 that saw the advent of the Windows operating system. It is the achievement of the US based Bill Gates who has marketed it and now has become the richest man of the world with his Bill Gates Microsoft Company.

In India also, there is an urge and an earnest desire to forge ahead as a ‘Software Superpower’. With this end in view National Task Force on Information and Technology and Software Development was formed in May 1998.

This agency recognised India’s potential in the field of Information Technology and made certain recommendations. One of its recommendations was to turn every STD/ISD booth in the country into an information centre.

This would provide to every citizen to have access to information when provided with an Internet connection and E-mail facilities. It also recognised the role of cable TV operators through whom providing a cable connections across India, information can be transmitted to the viewers in their homes.

This would provide employment to at least ten lakhs of people. This Task Force also recommended to computerize all the Central and State government offices and make their staff computer-literate.

With the overall popularity and demand for computerization and Internet facilities, more and more businessmen are taking to Internet business and this is becoming the latest craze and the latest passion for the Indian youth. Now even business transactions have begun to be conducted through Internet. Business establishments are advertising their products over the Internet.

The day, thus, is not far when India would become a ‘Software Superpower’. The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh had said it and what he had said is based on his personal performance in his State — ‘Indians are capable. We can compete with anybody in the world, in knowledge, in performance, in vision. We have to create that portray. We have all the resources natural and human’.