Information Technology (IT) – An Overview
This present era is an era of information technology. This article is dealing with development of information technology in different facet of our life "
In today's world (IT) is all pervasive, everywhere, and in every facet of our day to day life. Prominently service sector involving railway, airlines, scientific and businesses establishments, banks, universities, schools, and most definitely in our homes. The phrase 'information technology' has many varying connotations in the same way as it has a wide spread presence. From the most mundane of things which a common person does to the most complex wizardry which only a techno savvy geek comprehends. Information technology can be seen and experienced in processes improving services to citizens and consumers (online transactions, bookings, university admissions, professional consultations, telecommunications, consumer products etc), increasing the productivity and efficiency of governments (computerization of government records, departments, e -cops), strengthening the legal and law enforcement systems (Judicial administration and Court Management) and in promoting the priority economic sectors (banking, agriculture, industry, marketing and the like), involving processes of manufacturing and production chain. Possibly the greatest impact Information technology has had is on blurring the time and geographical divide.
The penetration of the home computer or the personal computer phenomenon along with the Internet has increased the impact of information technology beyond our own imagination. Thus use of Internet has given the globe a shrinking effect. Every kind of information is only a few clicks away. In today's world of competition – "information" is the key word to success. Availability of right information at the right time can make all the difference. Today relevant information outweighs the price of gold. The graphical user interface has simplified one of the most complex issues in the world. Indeed, the world is undergoing a second Industrial Revolution.
Information technology today touches every aspect of life, irrespective of location on the globe. Everyone's daily activities are affected in form, content and time by the computer. Businesses, governments and individuals all receive the benefits of this Information Revolution. While providing tangible benefits in time and money, the computer has also had an impact on everyday life, as computerized routines replace mundane human tasks. More and more of our businesses, industries, economies, hospitals and governments are becoming dependent on computers. With the computer, the heretofore impossible has now become possible, The computer has allowed large volumes of data to be reduced to high-density, compact storage, nearly imperceptible to the human senses. It has allowed an exponential increase in speed, and even the most complex calculations can be completed in milliseconds. The miniaturization of processors has permitted worldwide connectivity and communication.
WHAT IS INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY?
The broad subject concerned with all aspects of managing and processing information, especially within a large organization or company. Because computers are central to information management, computer departments within companies and universities are often called IT departments. Some companies refer to this department as IS (Information Services) or MIS (Management Information Services). The penguin dictionary of computers defines it as "a portmanteau phrase to cover all aspects of the art or science of processing data to produce information". It includes computer software, hardware, programs, and databases, semiconductor chips that put together process and produce the output. Output can be expressed in human readable form (printouts) or in machine readable form (series of electronic pulses) which are further used to control a any other machine, tool or device. Information technology also includes networking of computers and databases exchanging and feeding information between one another.
Basic understanding of and about technology law warrants proper grasp and appreciation about technology itself. Inherently technology law, like any other emerging facts of law, is purely inter-disciplinary in nature. Hence, it is now proposed to explain and introduce some of essential and relevant aspects of information technology.
Importance of information technology
The importance of information technology cannot be ignored by banking and insurance sectors, except at the cost of elimination from the competition. This is so because the use of information technology produces certain advantages, which are not available when the traditional and conventional methods of doing business are used. The use of information technology generates the following advantages and benefits:
Ø easy handling of day to day affairs of an organization,
Ø speedy disposal of routine and daily works,
Ø assurance of authenticity, integrity and confidentiality in the functioning of the organization,
Ø cost economy,
Ø integration and interaction with the global institutions and organizations,
Ø better communication and presentation facilities,
Ø assurance of safety and sound security of the sensitive and valuable information, like trade secrets,
Ø instant transfer of data and information where the situation demands,
Ø it provides access to public documents which are digitalized by various department s of the Government,
Ø for making online payments of various bills and dues,
Ø to file statutory documents online, etc.
These benefits development of information technology can be claimed by all business ventures, including banking and insurance sectors, but apart from that its advantages are claimed by various other sectors which are discussed as follow:
1. Development to Banking business,
2. Development in Forensic Science and Police Wireless
3. Development in Railways
4. Development of IT in Agriculture
5. Role of Information Technology in Alternative Dispute Redressal & Judicial recognition
6. Development of IT in Health and Medicine
1) Development to Banking business
The benefits and advantages of information technology for the smooth and efficient functioning of the banking business cannot be disregarded and sidelined. This is more so when a bank proposes to deal in "Internet banking" which is an important offshoot of information technology. Its proper and methodical use can bring the following advantages.
(A) Sound Payment System:
The usage of electronic means of funds movement and settlement is still in its stages of formative years. The various forms of electronic based payment, such as credit cards, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Stored Value cards, Shared Payment Network Service (SPNS) etc, are emerging at an incredible speed. Many banks have made initiatives aimed at electronic modes of funds movement. While this is a positive development, it needs to be ensured that such funds transfers are made in a high level of security so that no unauthorized usage occurs in the newer modes being implemented by banks. It is this area, which has been the focus of attention by the Reserve Bank – and the efforts have now resulted in the form of the Structured Financial Messaging Solution (SFMS).
The SFMS incorporates adequate security measures, including that of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), with encryption software equivalent to some of the best security measure in the world. The use of the SFMS over the INFINET would automatically provide safe, secure and efficient funds transfers with the added benefit of the settlement of inter-bank funds transfers taking place in the books of account of banks, maintained with the Reserve Bank, thus providing for finality of the settlement. Further, the message formats used in SFMS are very similar to those used by SWIFT, resulting in ease of use by the banking community in the country. This secure messaging backbone can be used for a number of intra-bank applications also.
(B) Effective Currency Management
The impact of technology on the issuances of Bank Notes and Currency Management by Central bank is apparent. The technology offers us immense opportunities to significantly improve our performance of this core function. Given the high value and volume of currency in circulation, the vast geographic spread of currency operations, the largest distribution channel for the supply of currency, prevalent marked preference for cash and currency handling practices, currency management in India is a challenging and strenuous task. In 1999, the Reserve Bank of India announced a "Clean Note Policy" to bring about improvements of the quality of notes in circulation and technology has played an indispensable role in enabling the Bank to provide better quality notes to the general public. The information technology makes the task of currency management easy, effective, economical and speedier.
2) Development in Forensic Science and Police Wireless
The modernization and manpower development of Information Technology in the Central Forensic Science Laboratories and GEQDs, which were started in the Seventh Plan, has had an immense development. The research areas envisaged pertain DNA finger printing; cadaver entomology; immuno-assay techniques; classification of handwriting characteristics; instrumental techniques for examining writing materials; computerized image processing of firearms and ammunition; development of computerized system for superimposition; immuno diagnostic technique, hair identification, range and time of firing and explosive analysis, etc.
It is thus expected that rapidity and sophistication would be introduced by way of video-fit techniques, laser-tracing, holography, image processing, computer aided automatic finger print identification system and initiatives taken in new frontier areas like forensic psychology. Suitable structure and mechanism would be evolved for the formulation, implementation and monitoring of S&T schemes under the Forensic Science.
In the area of police wireless, the main thrust has been to achieve communication link from the national capital up to rural police station through State Headquarters, Range Headquarters, and District Headquarters. This is proposed to be achieved through the development of high speed message switch, micro processor based specifically designed computerized connectors, pocket radio system, micro earth station and secrecy devices and multi-access radio telephone.
3) Development in Railways
Indian Railways is one of the largest systems in the world. It is said that information technology (IT), which is being introduced into various fields, is a key to the development in the 21st century. Technology innovative provider of the In Rule (TM) business rules engine for automating application decision logic that involves rules, calculations and dynamic user interfaces, today announced the expansion of its partner network in response to the needs of its growing customer base. The development of information and technology shows that safety, efficiency and convenience have been improved in the areas of railway use, operations and maintenance.
This is followed by a section on a new train control system for high-density lines that uses methods for transmitting information to the train about the distance to the position at which the train must stop, which is necessary for train control. This system is realized through the advanced application of information technology. Until now, it has been impossible to realize efficient operations in high-density lines due to limitations of existing signal technology. Further information technology has been used for train operation, security and ticket booking / issuing systems, must more actively apply information technology to improve safety, comfort and convenience.
Therefore, we are purchase research and development to prevent accidents and dramatically improve passenger services by utilizing information technology to the maximum extent, to the Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI). As a means to introduce information technology into various fields of transport service, we are promoting researches to construct a "Comprehensive Transport Information Providing System." and will continue to implement the policies to utilize information technology.
4) Development of IT in Agriculture
Agriculture is the backbone of the Indian economy. It accounts for 27% of GDP, contributes 21% of total exports, and raw materials to several industries. About two third of Indian population depends on the agricultural sector for their means of livelihood. Therefore IT has a major role to play in all facets of Indian agriculture. In addition to facilitating farmers in improving the efficiency and productivity of agriculture and allied activities, the potential of IT lies in bringing about an overall qualitative improvement in life by providing timely and quality information inputs for decision making. The personnel who work for the welfare of Indian farmers, such as extension workers, do not have access to the latest information which hinders their ability to serve the farming community effectively. In the context nonagricultural, the potential of IT can be assessed broadly under two heads:
a) as a tool for direct contribution to agricultural productivity
b) as an indirect tool for empowering farmers to take informed and quality decisions which will have positive impact on the way agriculture and allied activities are conducted.
5) Role of Information Technology in Alternative Dispute Redersal and Judicial Recognition
Information technology provides opportunities to facilitate communication and so assist in prevention and management of disputes. ADR services can use information technology to provide information to parties in case of disputes arise between the parties and also to complement and substitute for, traditional information system. Information technology can also play a valuable role in supporting the quality of ADR practice through more effective supervision, assessment, training, information management, research and evaluation.