India's tryst with the digital is an extensive project and while much media attention is given to flagship projects, the story is also of marginalized peoples, in cities, appropriating digital leaks, using the digital and thereby contributing to the digital economy. It is this battle between enclosing the digital and extending access to it that makes the story of the digital in India an exciting one.
Digital India is a case study-based, critical introduction to the theory and practice of the digital in social change. The volume—with its chapters on telecommunications, software, mobile telephony, e-governance, ICT4D, software patenting, public sector software and cultural piracy—offers an entry point into an understanding of the contested nature of the digital in India via an analysis of theory and practice.
Chapter 2: The Software Industry in India
The Software Industry in India
The beginnings of India's software industry can be traced back to the 1960s, although the accentuated growth in this sector is of recent vintage that has occurred during the last three decades. It is said that the exit of IBM during the tenure of the Janata government in the late 1970s led to the ex-employees of IBM establishing their own firms, thus, creating the ‘prior experience’ that was necessary and that become the basis for software growth from the late 1980s onwards. In this regard, Upadhya (2004: 5141) has pointed out that:
The exit of IBM from India discouraged other multinationals from investing in the sector, but in the long run, it had positive outcomes in promoting ...