All through human history, innovations have transformed our lives.Discovery of agriculture led to settled life,industrial revolution changed our manufacturing system and finally,computers have made working much faster,cheaper and efficient.But does computerization makes human labour redundant or it merely changes the way humans work?
Before we answer this question, we should define what is computerization.It broadly means replacing the human labour with computers which can perform the same/similar task quickly and efficiently.For example, replacing calculations using a calculator with Excel sheets which not only stores data but also processes it through inbuilt mathematical functions.This means we don’t need a lot of clerks keeping records in thick registers and submitting data individually rather one computer data analyst who is proficient in data management.Apparently, it appears that computerization has led to job loss of many clerks but this may not be so when we look a little closer.
In fact, computerization has created more jobs.Let us look at various sectors of the economy for examples.Take the case agriculture sector.Due to demand for real-time information about various input costs,weather updates,extension knowledge,Government has launched Bharat Net programme which seeks to connect every Panchayat in the country through broadband connectivity.Any project of this scale will mobilise enormous resources like optical fibres,connectivity towers,computers etc.This means enhanced economic activity which will create and sustain a lot of jobs.
Similarly,we will need much more computers and smartphones with increasing computerization.Consequently, we will also need strong electronic manufacturing sector.There is a huge potential market in this sector which is untapped and likely to create many more jobs in coming years.But maybe even this potential is smaller when we look at services sector which offers us endless opportunities due to computerization.
Already, services sector while contributing around 50% of the GDP employs only 24% of the labour force.This is likely to increase with time.Computerization has affected diverse sectors like education,health,commerce etc.For example,in the education sector, we are witnessing a new era of free online courses with certification at zero or minimal cost from reputed universities.This will more skilled manpower with higher employability.The health sector is using e-health services to reach remote location,disseminate information,create data banks of patients.This allows to provide better service and reach new patients.Economies of scale will eventually reduce the cost as well.
But probably the sector which has witnessed most comprehensive and visible change due to computerization is retail sector due to e-commerce sites.This has strengthened courier services,connected retailers with customers around India and even abroad and provided easy services to consumers at cheaper cost.
So looking at so many examples we can say that computerization is likely to give much more jobs than it will take away because of higher economic activity and new kinds of needs that it is creating.