Depression in IT sector: causes and effects -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Depression in IT sector: causes and effects

Sheikh Saadi Shirazi said that Luqman being a wise man of great reputation in ancient Arabia was once asked about the source of his learning wisdom. He replied, ‘I learned wisdom from the blind who does not put his foot forward without feeling the ground.

There can never be a spoken or written word from which the wise cannot derive benefit. But even a hundred books of wisdom cannot make one wiser, if he is not ready to benefit from them.’

Probably we have not read or heard the above-mentioned aphorism, or watched a blind man that Luqman did, before taking a step forward in IT. Almost four years ago, IT landed from heaven as a saviour for job stakeholders, students, faculty and businessmen.

Everyone jumped into the field to grab one’s own share without realizing what IT is, and it became the coveted domain for experts, quacks, skilled and semiskilled all alike. So much so, that every corner of the street got embellished with IT institute.

It’s not only that but even those who did not have any proximity with the subject, started dreaming of acquiring IT expertise and finally going to USA. But all this euphoria fizzled out in a few years time leaving the whole excited community with a checkmate.

The IT companies started packing up and even some of the biggies rolled up their business. The institutes stopped getting the incessant influx of students.

Some blamed the 9/11 incident, some held the policy makers responsible, whereas the others laid the blame on business conditions. The students could not get the PEC recognised IT degree. But this did not happen in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore.

Whatever the people’s view may be, the fact is that all the new and great projects begin with the community’s desire to achieve certain goals and objectives, no matter how short or long term they may be, whereas the government operates as a regulatory body. A trivial example to qualify the statement may be quoted here. A new settlement was developed in the vicinity where I lived in USA. Soon the need for garbage collection was felt and the community started planning for it.

One of the community dweller, who was a dentist, came forward and proposed to provide the dumpsters along with donating his free time to supervising the service and proposed estimated cost for purchasing dumpsters and disposing the garbage off. The whole community contributed for buying those dumpsters and ultimately enjoyed the clean environment.

The service became so popular, that other new stablishments also started to inquire from the dentist. He started providing them the service and as a result it became a viable and sustained business. It’s not the government that provided the service instead the government provided the rules and implemented them for clean environment.

On the other hand, we look to the government for every thing whereas the government has meagre resources, paucity of funds, insufficient expertise, inadequate planning and community’s lack of sense to pay revenue. With this state of affairs whenever the government creates a new job avenue, people jump into it without long-term planning and prudent thinking.

And this is what happened with IT. In fact, the modern developed nations have shown intrinsic desire to achieve certain goals by setting performance plans and objectives whether they are for education, research and development, exploring natural resources, clean environment, tapping water sources, agricultural development, preservation of food, establish industry to cater to the community’s needs or may it be IT. The aspiration for all these things comes within communities’ own self and not induced from outside. The scholars and the experts in the learning centres, institutes and universities, create the vision.

Prototypes and models are prepared and demonstrated in technology incubators.What happened with IT is that a few years back a tumult was created about IT without a datum line to reckon planning from developing skill in the field, to the creation of job market at national and international levels.

As a result, we saw for few years a mushroom growth of all kinds of institutions whether they were skill developers, certificate, diploma or degree awarding institutes, medical transcription processors, tailored software developers or self proclaimed giants of the fields.

Then, suddenly we started to see them diminishing. Why did it happen? The answers to this question are many other questions. Did we survey our community’s need for IT? If the answer to this is yes, then on which fields the IT was required to be applied? Where will we get the manpower trained, and what levels of training are required? If there is no community’s desire and need for IT, then how will the need be generated? What level of business and job market is envisaged? What short and long-term time frame is contemplated to achieve the desired results? What funds will be generated both at public and private levels?
Can we establish indigenous electronic, telecommunication and computer industry, which the IT is a mixture of? Can we provide incentives and devise schemes for those who possess expertise but lack funds and resources but are desirous of providing the service? Did we establish rules and regulations to manage the entire IT project? If the answers to all these questions are ‘no’, then what is happening to IT was bound to happen, except isolated sporadic
development here and there but as a whole it did not turn up as viable business.

In order to up-bring IT, it is suggested to determine our needs in this field and explore its application on tapping clean water sources, agriculture development, preventing environmental hazards, health care, communication, facilitate the experts and help the community to identify viable projects both in terms of monetary, as well as service benefits.
Source: The News
Date:1/24/2004