[Solved] “The growth of cities as I.T hubs has opened up new avenues of employment, but has also created new problems.” Substantiate this statement with examples ( UPSC GS-1 mains 2017)

[Solved] “The growth of cities as I.T hubs has opened up new avenues of employment, but has also created new problems.” Substantiate this statement with examples ( UPSC GS-1 mains 2017)

IT sector has been one of the most important sectors to help India achieve good growth and provide avenue for employment of rapidly growing engineering graduates every year.

Advantages of this sector:

• The industry continues to be a net employment generator making it a dominant player in the global outsourcing sector. NASSCOM has confirmed that the industry continues to be a net hirer and reports that 2.5-3 million new jobs will be created by 2025.

• Probably no sector is untouched by information technology. As a result, the I.T industry employs

professionals from all other fields which could also be non- technical in nature.

• The rapid development of technologies such as networking, multimedia and the Internet have

created totally new job categories where none existed a few years ago.

Problems created by this sector are:

• Urbanization issue:

– Due to concentration of IT companies only in few cities, urban population swelled leading to

endless traffic jams, over-crowded public transport, etc.

– The cities are booming with malls, shops and offices of multinational companies, but completely

lacks the infrastructure to support this growth.

– Led to the compact growth at central core areas of cities and sprawl at outskirts which are deprived of basic amenities.

 Psychological issues:

– Extended work timings, competition and, most importantly, insecurity at work are contributing to an increase in people’s stress levels. – People working as per client timing in foreign countries have disturbed life and sleeping patterns, and in many cases, have almost no family life.

• Neglect to all other traditional disciplines of education that stood as backbone of country’s development.

• The applications of computers in many other fields like natural resource development, utilization of such resources for overall regional balanced growth, and many such developments never occurred in India because of excessive growth of IT.

• It is not able to create jobs proportionate to the graduating youth every year.

Migration:

  • Similarly, this also lead to increase in migration with demand for domestic labour on rise. However, these problems have been faced not just by the IT sector, but by all the high growth sectors of late and they have occurred due to improper urban planning rather than the sector itself.
  • There needs to a be transformation in urban governance by making India’s municipal administrations politically strong also cities need to implement plans for service delivery, including routine maintenance to prevent the gradual degradation of assets./I.T/

Similarly, We need to create planned cities with proper infrastructure and promote the growth of such sectors there. For example, the recent development of GIFT city for financial sector in Gujarat is on correct lines. We need more such specialized cities./I.T/

Further reading…

According to the Economic Survey of India 2019-20, The IT-BPO sector of India contributed nearly 162 billion USD (2018-19) to the economy of India. The IT hubs located in the cities like Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Noida, Gurgaon, and Pune emerged India as an epicenter of IT industries and eventually opened up new avenues of employment.

Benefits:

  • Shifting duties of industries to meet the overseas clients increased the number of recruitment.
  • Several other small industries got benefited from the IT industries i.e. facility management, third party security provider, Maintenance, accommodation, construction industries, etc.
  • Skill providing institutions, automobile industry, and e-commerce industry received a boost indirectly.

Challenges & instances:

  • The effect of rapid urbanization caused a resource crisis, poor governance, and imbalances. Like some of the IT cities of India like Bengaluru and Surat are facing severe water shortage. Municipal corporations are facing a resource deficit and a shortage of staff./I.T/
  • The price of real estate is hiked and the cities are facing the laden of additional migrants. For example, the assistance of working professionals like a driver, cook, the maid is causing population outburst.
  • The use of personal vehicles and modern electronic luxury equipment like AC, refrigerator, cooler are causing air pollution.
  • More industrial activity causing more water pollution. Like the water quality of Noida degraded.
  • Rapid urbanization is creating a threat to biodiversity. Deforestation, communication tower radiation is severely causing harm to birds and other creatures./I.T/

Setting up an eco-friendly and well-planned model, considering all problems, India could achieve the objective of Sustainable Development Goal which aims at the cessation of poverty, reduction of unemployment, and the making of a well-balanced environment./I.T/

Challenges created by IT sector boom

  • Uncontrolled Urbanisation
    The biggest outcome of IT revolution is the rapid and uncontrolled urbanisation that has gripped certain cities. This uncontrolled growth has led to cities choking under the weight and size of population that it is not equipped to handle.
    Ex: Bengaluru’s water needs are not designed to handle 10 million people especially due to absence of river source. In addition demand for land has led to destruction of lakes.
  • Pollution
    The city planners were unable to plan the city that could effectively handle large population. This has led to failure of urban transport to cater to a exceedingly more population leading to increase in personal vehicles on the road. This caused the pollution level to increase rapidly.
    Ex: The road transport of Bengaluru is plagued with regular traffic jams that has increased the vehicle time on roads and also pollution levels.
  • Destruction of local traditions and culture
    This has been accused by the local population against the large migrant sections residing in the cities. This imbalance in population structure has created frequent clashes between the two groups. This gives rise to future regionalist tendencies in population.
    Ex: The clashes between migrants from northern Indian states with local political workers in Mumbai regarding language./I.T/

Way ahead
For any city to handle large crowds especially from IT, there needs to be properly developed infrastructure consisting of residential hubs, transport etc so that urbanisation can be better handled.

Thus, planning plays an important role when it comes to sustainable living in urban areas. There is a need to create better living areas that cater to the employed section such as IT that can translate into better work efficiency.

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