Exclusivity of the Indian Software Workforce: Some Observations

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The paper tests the existing theoretical argument that the Indian software industry is a case of uneven and combined development by examining the workforce. The paper is based on a survey conducted in two software organizations located in Bangalore. Data was collected through combination of quantitative (114 questionnaires) and qualitative methods (62 semi-structured interviews). The paper observes that the workforce appears homogeneous and directly integrated with the global market. But the workforce is uneven in nature. A typical software worker in India is a young male; hails from an urban and a semi-urban locality; follows Hinduism, and belongs to upper socio-economic strata of the Indian society. He holds an undergraduate engineering degree, not necessarily in computer science from a second grade educational institution. He is trained by the employers as per the needs of Western market, and works for longer hours than required. He earns more than his counterparts in the other industries, and promoted periodically based on the work experience. The paper suggests that Indian future policy initiatives should recognize the need for inclusion of the disadvantaged in this growing sector. Also, conclusions drawn from the study are useful for the developing countries that imitate Indian software industry to develop inclusive development policies.


Keywords: Software Workforce, Uneven and Combined Development, India
Stream: Knowledge and Technology
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Vigneswara Ilavarasan

Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology
New Delhi, India

P. Vigneswara Ilavarasan is presently Assistant Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. He obtained his PhD (Sociology) from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur. He held a two-year Post-doctoral Fellowship at the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore, before joining IIT Delhi. He has also taught at the Central University, Pondicherry, for a year. His research interests are the Sociology of Work and Industry; and Science, Technology & Society, with a focus on the Indian Information Technology industry.

Ref: T08P0135