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Old January 5th, 2016, 01:29 AM
werewolf2 werewolf2 is offline
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Question Which year India started to implement solution to Y2K bug?

Which year India started to implement solution to Y2K bug? While doing research on this question I came across some WebPages which show old dates of publishing. Are these pages really that old? If yes, do they have antiquity value?

News Archive SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY May 15, 1997

Millennium millions

India is in danger of picking only crumbs from a multibillion-dollar software repast.

Samar Halarnkar
May 15, 1997 | UPDATED 17:45 IST

What could $15 billion in foreign exchange do for India? Well, for a start, it could wipe out the trade deficit three times over.
Put another way, it could send exports skyrocketing by 50 per cent. Only sorcery, you think, could conjure up such economic manna. There is such a magic wand. It's called the millennium bug or the year 2000 problem, popularly known simply as Y2K.
A seemingly minor flaw in the way a computer reads dates heralds an economic cataclysm for businesses all over the world - and an unforeseen windfall for software programmers, the people who write the instructions that control computers.

In the US and Europe, where large computer installations called mainframes control more than 70 per cent of all business operations, the market to find a solution for the Y2K problem could be anywhere from $100 billion to $600 billion.

"Whatever the actual figures, the market is huge," says Saurabh Srivastava, vice-president of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM). "It represents the single biggest opportunity for Indian software companies."

With a booming software industry (exports: $1.1billion), India is particularly well placed to fix the millennium bug. But it's a race against time. The Y2K problem must be fixed before 2000. The date function in most computers, except those made in the past couple of years, cannot recognise the new century. Computers believe the year 2000 is actually 1900. If the millennium bug isn't fixed, the economic consequences will be catastrophic.

Interest rate and premium calculations will go haywire: for instance, a computer calculating interest on a bond issued in 1997 and falling due in 2000 will read the due date as 1900, and the period as 93 years or -93 years, both equally damaging. Credit cards valid up to 2000 are already getting into trouble as computers read them as having expiry dates of 1900.

So, how much of this market can India corner? If things go well, say official estimates, a billing of $5 billion (Rs 17,500 crore) is ours. But considering this a one-shot business opportunity, this target is chicken feed, argue experts. If the Indian software industries and the Government put in an extraordinary effort, a figure of $15 billion (Rs 52,500 crore) isn't unachievable. The message: go for broke.

"We could be a significant global player in the Y2K market but we're picking up crumbs," says Ashutosh Gupta, president of Information Management Resources, a software house in Bangalore that exclusively handles the millennium bug problem.

Among the 30 companies for whom he's worked out solutions are auto maker Ford, American Airlines and tobacco major Philip Morris. In Mumbai, software engineer Vijay Kumar has quit his job and with three friends is setting out to find the pot of gold at the end of the millennium rainbow. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make it big," gushes Kumar. "I don't know what my bank account will read three years from now, but it's either now or never."

There's no shortage of work. The question is: how much can India handle? Reaching a target of $15 billion will require thousands more software programmers; bandwidth, or space on telecom lines, on which data can be propelled from Indian software factories directly to a client's computer in the West; tax breaks and monetary incentives from the Government; and above all, an attitude of derring-do.

The software industry is gearing up for the Y2K market, though late as all over the world. More than 300 software companies nationwide are devoting a quarter of their manpower to special groups to find solutions to the Y2K problem.

Computer training institutes like NIIT and Aptech run special courses to train the thousands of extra programmers who will be needed. In Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore, a crop of companies is sprouting with only one objective in mind: fix the millennium bug.

But the industry needs to think even bigger: invest more, plan better, take more risks. For example, software companies have traditionally ignored Japan, simply because Japanese is tough to learn. The Government's Department of Electronics (DoE) had to wind up Japanese language classes it once began for the industry because the response was abysmal.

There must be at least five times as many programmers as there are today to reach a $15 billion target. Indian programmers are at a particular advantage because institutes in India begin classes with Common Business Oriented Language (COBOL), a computer language that faded into antiquity more than a decade ago in the West.

But COBOL still runs more than half the large mainframe computers that face the date problem. "When the COBOL programmes were first written in the '50s, many of them didn't realise that the mainframes would last till 2000," says V. Rajaraman, IBM professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore. Companies are now scouring technical libraries for old technical manuals.

Poorly maintained telecom lines are a problem that need to be urgently solved. More and more telecom lines, or bandwidth, will be needed as software companies hook up over satellite and terrestrial links with the computer systems that need fixing in the West.

"Bandwidth is not a technical problem but a man-made one," admits Shymal Ghosh, secretary, DoE, who promises to increase and improve telecom lines. The Government has finally woken up to the millennium windfall. The Commerce Ministry is discussing monetary aid for software units, duty-free imports of critical equipment and tax benefits for institutes training programmers for the Y2K market.

There's one pitfall: the massive number of people and infrastructure left over when 2000 finally comes. "If you eat too much, you could get indigestion," says Ghosh with a chuckle. Possibly, but first let's start tucking in.

- with Stephen David and Smruti Koppikar

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Old January 5th, 2016, 01:34 AM
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Re: Which year India started to implement solution to Y2K bug?

India leading Y2K charge

March 17, 1999: 8:01 p.m. ET

Cheap labor is leading many corporations to this hotbed of programming activity

NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Software firm Infosys Technologies has made its debut on the Nasdaq, making it the first Indian company to go public in the United States.

The company generates a significant portion of its revenue fixing the Y2K problem for overseas clients.

Infosys is not alone. While some countries may shrink from the Y2K bug, India welcomes it. For India, the Millennium bomb has been a boon.

IIS Infotech is another one of more than one hundred Indian software firms that are making money fixing the Y2K bug for multinational corporations.

IIS tackles the grunt work: rewriting code to make software Y2K compliant. IIS Infotech boasts a blue chip list of clients: Citibank, American Express, G.E. and Prudential. And there's good reason many others, like Microsoft and IBM, are outsourcing the task to India.

Phiroz Vandrewala, chief executive officer of Tata Consultancy Services, said, "We produce 100,000 engineering graduates every year. That kind of pool is just not available anywhere else in the world. And the reputation for India to establish and deliver quality software is well understood."

Also well understood: cheap labor. Programmers in India make roughly $9,000 per year, less than 1/6th the salary earned by their American counterparts.

Programmers in India make only a fraction of what their American counterparts earn.

Software exports, including services, have become India's fastest growing industry, expanding 50 to 60 percent each year.

Those exports and services earned nearly $2 billion in revenue last year. Nearly 40 percent of that total came from Y2K contracts.

Revenues from Y2K related programming topped $680 million in 1998

India is positioning itself to become a global force in software in the post Y2K era. A world bank survey says India has become the top overseas spot for multinational companies looking to outsource their software needs.
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Old January 5th, 2016, 09:55 AM
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Re: Which year India started to implement solution to Y2K bug?

93 - Thats when Satyam came into being and made its fortune with y2K.
It is also shows that private enterprise leads to sucess. No sarkari yojana or for that matter infrastructure. Just the arbitrage of a devalued currency and cheap cyber coolies and a hyped up problem.
Pribably, our guys should snatch something from the climate change $$s too.
This is quite a game, politics. There are no permanent enemies, and no permanent friends,only permanent interests. - Some Firang
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Old January 5th, 2016, 10:01 AM
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Question Re: Which year India started to implement solution to Y2K bug?

Originally Posted by sgars View Post
You mean to say they started as early as 1993? I thought that process started in late nineties only.

And can you post any source?
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Old January 5th, 2016, 10:04 AM
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Re: Which year India started to implement solution to Y2K bug?

Originally Posted by werewolf2 View Post
You mean to say they started as early as 1993? I thought that process started in late nineties only.

And can you post any source?
Nope, it was 93 or earlier... what you call early-warnings. But it became a craze near about 97 when the world was predicted to be doomed if no change was done.

"Hinduism brought a multitude of religions under one roof and survived for eons. Christianity and other religions will need to do the same or perish." - saneless
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Old January 6th, 2016, 06:17 AM
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Re: Which year India started to implement solution to Y2K bug?

Originally Posted by sgars View Post
93 - Thats when Satyam came into being and made its fortune with y2K.
It is also shows that private enterprise leads to sucess. No sarkari yojana or for that matter infrastructure. Just the arbitrage of a devalued currency and cheap cyber coolies and a hyped up problem.
Pribably, our guys should snatch something from the climate change $$s too.
By Googling it seems Wipro didn't do much in this. Others like Infosys did but not Wipro. Am I right?
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Old January 16th, 2016, 07:08 AM
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Arrow Re: Which year India started to implement solution to Y2K bug?

Y2K fears prompt bank withdrawals

Aug 15, 1999, 11:00pm CDT Updated Aug 15, 1999, 11:00pm CDT

Financial institutions are used to closing accounts because a customer is moving or wants the services available at a competitor, but recently, fears about the Y2K bug is being blamed as the culprit.

The state Department of Financial Institutions has declared that all banks in the state are prepared technologically for the change to 2000, but some customers are still closing their accounts.

Worried that a computer glitch could foul up bank records or even make cash inaccessible for weeks, some consumers are opting for having the money at home instead of in an interest-bearing account.

No statistics are kept on how much money is being withdrawn from bank accounts on fears about computer problems, but bankers said a few dozen people have probably already pulled their money out.

One Waukesha County man, who asked not to be identified because he doesn't want neighbors to know he has several thousand dollars tucked away at his home, said he decided to withdraw the cash simply as a precaution. He has purchased a generator and is beginning to store food in case of power outages, and holding cash is just another part of his plan.

Another Waukesha County resident said he is worried about the computer glitch holding his money hostage or losing account records altogether.

These concerns have surfaced despite numerous announcements from banks and regulators that their computers are ready to handle the changeover when the calendar changes to Jan. 1, 2000.

"We have had several communications with our customers, and we haven't heard zip from anyone about closing an account because of Y2K," said Martin Frank, president of Waukesha State Bank. "We have a standard policy of asking every customer why they are closing the account."

The two people who said they had closed their accounts to hold cash didn't tell their bank the real reason for withdrawing the money. Neither was a customer of Waukesha State Bank. Both had accounts with larger banks.

Financial institutions are likely to see more withdrawals between October and December, said Evan Bane, communications director for the Wisconsin Credit Union League in Pewaukee.

Some credit unions, which generally keep a small amount of cash on hand, are planning to increase the amount of cash kept in-house to handle withdrawals.

"Call it neurotic, or whatever, there are some people who just have general distrust of authority. And if they are customers, you have to give them the service they want," Bane said.

He expects most consumers will approach the millennium bug the same way they approach an approaching storm: Have extra food around the house and additional cash, just in case you can't get to a bank for a day or two.

"I would still want most of my money someplace safe," Bane said. "If I keep it at home, I have the new risk of fire, or that my neighbor will see me bury it in the back yard and then dig it up when I'm not looking."

Gaining confidence

Regulators are confident that accounts won't be lost because of the Y2K computer problem, which could cause computers to think the year is 1900 instead of 2000 when the date changes at the end of 1999.

"In January, we started out kind of nervous," said Lisa Roys, a spokeswoman for the Department of Financial Institutions, which is responsible for making sure banks and credit unions are ready for the new year.

The department has been watching polls that show consumers gaining confidence in the safety of their money in light of the potential computer snafu.

Financial institutions acknowledge there will be a run on some assets, but probably not enough to create cash flow problems. Still, there will be issues to address next January when the money comes back into the system.

"Chicken Little will come back when he realizes the sky isn't falling, and there will probably be some competition for those deposits," Bane said. "Any bank or credit union that has trouble isn't likely to see the money again, so this is a good opportunity to improve customer confidence."

The main concern will be having enough staff on hand to take in the deposits that were withdrawn during the fourth quarter, he said.

"They will sheepishly ask for a certificate of deposit and we will be happy to help," Bane said.
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Old January 16th, 2016, 07:14 AM
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Post Re: Which year India started to implement solution to Y2K bug?

Y2K reaction: You'll avoid airplanes, stash some cash, invest in unbugged companies

By Patrick Houston | October 7, 1998 -- 00:00 GMT (05:30 IST) | Topic: Banking

Although there's not panic, there's worry. Which gets us to the biggest question raised by the ZDNN/Harris Y2K survey: Given their abiding concern, what are our survey participants likely to do in reaction to the millennium bug?

Clearly, they plan to do something. An overwhelming majority, 78.8 percent, told us they plan to prepare themselves and their families in some way. By contrast, only 21.2 percent said they wouldn't do anything at all.

That's vague. Not to worry. We also asked our respondents to be more specific. And their replies aren't exactly great news for airlines and banks.
Here's a rundown of some of the more concrete steps they said they'd consider:

62.4 percent would avoid air travel.

61.5 percent would withdraw money from a bank for financial institution.

58.6 percent said they'd purchase extra supplies, such as batteries and candles.

55.8 percent plan to buy extra food.

45.8 percent plan to purchase extra fuel.

Although Y2K-caused computer glitches could screw up traffic and freeway metering lights, the threat isn't going to keep many of our respondents off the roads. Only 17.2 percent said they'd consider avoiding auto travel.

Heading for the hills

And, apparently, there are not many survivalists in our survey group. Only 17.6 percent said they'd gather their families to a central location -- presumably home. Only 7.8 percent said they'd head for hills, by relocating to a "remote location" -- as computer consultant Ed Yourdon did by selling his apartment in the Big Apple and moving his family to the mountain town of Taos, N.M.

The most troubling insight here has to do with the banks. When we asked our respondents how much money they'd withdraw from the banks, 20 percent said they'd take out all their dough. And as we point out in an accompanying piece on the banking issue, as few as 5 percent of a bank's depositors have to withdraw their money to cause a collapse.

Finally, it appears Y2K may be a factor in the investment plans of our respondents. Of those who invest in stocks, 62.5 percent said they're "more likely" to buy securities in a company that's proven itself to be 100 percent Y2K compliant. A mere 1.1 percent said compliance made no difference to their investment plans.

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Old January 16th, 2016, 07:21 AM
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Post Re: Which year India started to implement solution to Y2K bug?

Volume 16 - Issue 20, Sep. 25 - Oct. 08, 1999
India's National Magazine
from the publishers of THE HINDU

To beat the Y2K bug

Governments, corporates and small businesses the world over are scrambling to beat a millennial deadline and overcome the Year 2000 problem relating to computer systems. What is the state of preparedness of public sector undertakings in India?

in Bangalore

ITS timing is predictable right down to the microsecond, but the precise consequences of the 'millennium bug', the computer glitch that may cause non-compliant computers and networks worldwide to malfunction on January 1, 2000, are as yet hard to fathom. Paranoid prophesies about an apocalyptic end to the world and rather more real fears of financial meltdowns and a collapse of public utilities have forced governments and corporations the world over to scramble to fix the Year 2000 problem - or the Y2K bug, as it is known.

In India, the Department of Electronics is spearheading a "Good Morning 2000" campaign targeted at Indian corporates, public sector undertakings, small businesses and the self-employed and with the aim of making India "Y2K OK". The campaign warns that fa ilure to fix the bug could cause "serious business disruptions" and offers a "Y2K infopack" and help in getting businesses Y2K compliant.

But with only some three months to go for the crunch date, what is the state of Y2K preparedness of Indian corporates, public sector undertakings and other businesses?

A few international Y2K rating agencies have sounded a warning about India's lack of Y2K preparedness; some of them have categorised India, China and Russia as "risk-prone areas". However, Union Electronics Secretary Ravindra Gupta dismissed such fears a nd claimed that India's preparedness was "almost complete". Gupta said that the Gartner Group, an internationally recognised Y2K certifying authority that has drawn up a five-level scale to measure Y2K preparedness (see box), had acknowledged that India had reached the fourth level.

A study by Frontline of the state of preparedness of a few large public sector undertakings (PSUs) in Bangalore shows that while all the companies studied are aware of the problem and have taken on projects with the aim of beating the millennial deadline and having systems in place to avert the anticipated glitches, awareness about the magnitude of the Y2K problem has not quite sunk in.

At the Master Control Facility of the Indian Space Research Organisation, near Hassan. ISRO declared Y2K compliance of all its computer-related systems on August 15, 1999. Not all public sector undertakings in Bangalore, however, have met the targeted deadlines for total compliance.

Most of the companies plan to have their Y2K-compliant systems in place by end-September or, at the latest, by end-October. This does not give them much time to verify the systems, but in the race to meet the deadline and save themselves from a meltdown, optimism reigns. The companies do not foresee any major catastrophe, and officials who are in charge of Y2K projects say that all computer-based systems will definitely be up and running even after December 31. But as D-day approaches, many of those fin gers that have been tapping away lightly at keyboards in these undertakings are increasingly being kept crossed. Hope hopes to triumph over Y2K hype.

THE Y2K problem is expected to affect any computer or network which works with programs that have date-related functions. It arose because decades ago, when "digital real estate" was scarce and computer memory expensive, programmers who wished to save sp ace on the punch cards that served as data-storage systems used just six digits to denote the date: two for the day, two for the month and two for the year. Thus, 1969 was denoted as "69". Unless these programs are altered to provide for four-digit dates , the year 2000 will be denoted as "00"; to a machine reading the data, therefore, 2000 is indistinguishable from 1900. Today, a computer that calculates the age of someone born in 1950 would subtract 50 from '99 and arrive at 49. In 2000 it would subtra ct 50 from '00 and arrive at -50 - and assume that the person is not born yet!

Even a small problem in the system because of the date change could cause the whole computer system to crash or machines to malfunction. Apart from large networks, such as those used in the banking sector, which use dates for all transactions, date-relat ed chips can be found embedded anywhere - in elevators, modems, fax machines and home personal computers. However, not every microprocessor or embedded device will be bitten by the Y2K bug. For example, Motorola processors use four digits to denote the y ear, and will therefore be untouched by the problem; the same is the case with Macintosh-based operating systems.

In India, several PSUs rely on computerised networks for their daily activities, and date-related applications are used in almost every section - manufacturing, maintenance, inventory control, supplies, payroll and personnel records. Be it banking, aviat ion, heavy machinery or sophisticated electronics, the public sector plays an important role and touches the lives of tens of thousands of people every day. "PSUs are the nervous system of India: if they collapse we will be paralysed," says Dewang Mehta, president, National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), in a Y2K preparedness and status report published by the association recently. NASSCOM's report states that government departments and several public sector undertakings are st ill lacking in Y2K compliance preparations. However, Planning Commission member Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who heads a government-appointed, high-level Task Force that is reviewing the Y2K preparedness of several sectors, told newspersons recently that PSUs were better prepared than the private sector. The Task Force, which recently conducted a first round of in-depth reviews of 11 critical infrastructure sectors, reported that 90 per cent of the banking and financial sector was Y2K compliant.

At a national conference on "Preparing India to face Y2K", organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), it was announced that Y2K compliance would be attained by end-September in seven of the 11 infrastructure sectors identified by the govern ment - space, aviation, banking and finance, railways, atomic energy, petroleum and insurance. The remaining sectors, including power, defence, ports and telecom, will be ready by October.

Information technology professionals who are working to remedy the Y2K problem in the PSUs that Frontline surveyed say that verification of the debugging process requires several months of laborious testing of computer code. In some cases the code is so old that the companies which programmed it may no longer exist, so software engineers have first to understand the program before testing it.

The inability to predict exactly what might go wrong has added to the concern triggered by the unseen, unpredictable "enemy". The most critical areas within the companies, these professionals say, have been able to rid themselves of the millennium bug; e ven so, most people will not know - until the dawn of the new millennium or perhaps even months into the new year - whether the Year 2000 problem will affect them or not.

Clearly, however, the PSUs are not taking any chances. Armed with contingency and back-up plans, the companies say they are better prepared than they were, say, three months ago. Yet there is the lurking fear that they have perhaps left things a little t oo late or that they have failed to account for all contingencies.

NASSCOM believes that lack of enough information on and complacency about the millennium bug are the major reasons for slow progress on the Y2K front; others say that paucity of funds and a shortage of human resources have made the task of compliance con siderably more difficult.

Estimates for the cost of fixing the Y2K bug at the global level range from $50 billion to $600 billion. The National Informatics Centre (NIC), based in New Delhi, has projected that India will need a minimum of Rs.2,000 crores to combat the problem. NIC has asked government departments to direct PSUs to set apart at least 1-3 per cent of their budgets to find Y2K solutions and for contingency plans.

"It's not just the money we need; it's also the manpower," says Dr. S. Rangarajan, director of the INSAT Master Control Facility at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). "We have used almost 300 people for two months exclusively on our Year 2000 conversion projects."

ISRO, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), ITI and Canara Bank were among the entities in Bangalore that Frontline surveyed. According to them, they are well prepared to face any eventuality that the millennium pr oblem might bring. However, in the opinion of Prof. N. Balakrishna, director, SuperComputer Research Centre at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, such a view reflects complacency and a failure to grasp the enormity of the problem.

"I don't think we realise the magnitude of the problem," says Balakrishna. He, however, concedes that because a large number of industries and institutions in India are not completely reliant on computers, the millennium bug might not affect them much. A ll the same, Rangarajan notes, "if we do not solve the problem completely, several big computer networks in the country could shut down and we could be facing a huge crisis."

ISRO has developed India's completely viable and self-reliant space programme. Having designed, built and launched satellites, ISRO has established the INSAT system, one of the largest domestic satellite systems in the world today. The National Stock Exc hange, telecom networks, satellite television broadcasters, banks and corporate houses, meteorologists and disaster management systems are among those that depend on ISRO satellites on a daily basis.

Unlike many companies which woke up a trifle late to the problem and are struggling to meet the deadline, ISRO began its "campaign", as Rangarajan calls it, almost two years ago. "We took on the project on a war-footing," Rangarajan says. An apex body co mprising a senior-level committee and review teams set guidelines, cleared a budget and enlisted technical support.

ISRO's network has almost 5,000 personal computers, 800 workstations and 300 embedded devices working with satellites, ground controls and launch vehicles, all of which could be affected. The critical areas which needed immediate attention, Rangarajan ex plains, were satellites, ground controls and launch vehicles. "We need to be able to send a command at the right time on a particular date and the satellite must be able to recognise it." Telephones and banking are among the critical services which may b e affected if a satellite has a problem. ISRO went through the long and tedious process of checking operating systems, "walking through" lines and lines of source code and then taking an inventory of all machines that needed upgrading.

The machines used by the National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), systems at the Sriharikota launch-pad and all the networks across the country and in bases in Mauritius and Indonesia have been also extensively tested, Rangarajan says. Even now it may not be possible to predict what may happen, he adds, but each and every critical device and computer-based equipment has been tested, re-tested and certified Year 2000 compliant. By declaring compliancy on August 15, 1999, ISRO has met all its targeted deadl ines.

IF ITI does not accelerate the pace of its Y2K compliance, a variety of utilities and services - from complicated telephone networks to systems that prepare regular bimonthly phone bills - could go haywire, if the bug is as bad as is made out to be. Earl ier this year, an NIC report stated that the telecom industry was lagging behind on the Y2K front. ITI began bracing itself against the bug only early this year. It has as yet not completed the verification process, but officials say that the systems wil l be ready on time.

With a turnover of Rs.1,300 crores, ITI has contributed to the setting up of about 70 per cent of India's telecom infrastructure. Founded as a telecom manufacturing and research entity, ITI supplies digital switching systems, transmission equipment and m icrowave fibre optics, among other equipment, to the telecom industry. Out of India's total installed switching capacity of 2.60 crore lines, ITI has so far provided 1.91 crore lines. It also provides a variety of telecommunication services, including VS AT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) services, video conferencing and satellite communications.

According to ITI information systems executive director K.A. Seshu, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) gave clear directives to achieve a level of compliancy. "Although we do not expect a catastrophe, we cannot leave anything to chance," Seshu sa ys. "Several telecom networks across the country are dependent entirely on us for daily transmission. Besides, our own billing and accounting system is in jeopardy if we do not become compliant." He estimates that ITI has spent about Rs.1.5 crores in upg rading machines and carrying out internal and external audits.

ITI uses more than 1,000 personal computers, of which about 290 have been identified as being those involved in critical functions. Some IBM mainframe and data processing computers are among the equipment that are yet to be made compliant, says Seshu. As part of the upgradation efforts, the OCB 283 exchange and the Alcatel E10B exchange were revamped, and mock runs (which were successful) were conducted, says Seshu.

Even though ITI appears to be dragging its feet over completing the Y2K-compliance verification process, contingency plans are in place. Under one such plan, ITI, along with Alcatel Modi Networks Ltd, will monitor an exchange each in Delhi, Bangalore, Mu mbai and Calcutta for 72 hours beginning noon on December 31, 1999. Since Indian time is nearly four and a half hours ahead of French time, Alcatel of France will benefit from ITI's experiences of what happens when the date changes.

Such sharing of information is not uncommon. In fact, technology suppliers are expected to provide fixes for the products they have sold. They are legally bound to share with their customers solutions that they have found.

WITH the clock ticking away, officials at BEL are giving top priority to getting their systems Y2K ready. "It's very important that we become compliant because our machines are used in critical operations such as aviation," says H. Ramakrishna, chief sci entist, Central Research Laboratory, BEL.

With an annual turnover of approximately Rs.1,400 crores, BEL is India's only manufacturer of radars, sensors, sonars and antennae equipment for defence surveillance requirements. The company also makes communication, lasers and display devices, and opti cal and night-vision devices for defence. Approximately 90 per cent of the equipment required by Doordarshan and All India Radio is made by BEL.

To combat the Y2K problem, an impact analysis was conducted, inventories were taken and equipment were classified on the basis of the degree of compliance. An external audit will be completed in September. According to Ramakrishna, contingency plans have also been prepared to meet the Y2K problem.

ACCORDING to the NIC report, the aviation sector is in the lead in testing its machines, components and systems for Y2K compliance. HAL is also targeting completion in September.

A Rs.2,000-crore company, HAL is the country's premier defence aerospace manufacturer. The company designs, builds and maintains light combat, advance fighter and combat aircraft, helicopters, commercial aircraft, jet engines, aircraft systems, equipment and avionics; it also manufactures ground control equipment for defence and commercial use.

HAL has an extensive computer network; officials say that the critical machinery are compliant but that some of the application software in other equipment and computer networks are yet to be verified. The delay, they claim, is owing to the fact that som e equipment and machinery procured by the company has not been certified by the vendors. HAL has conducted an impact analysis, inventory collection and computer code walk-throughs.

STRICT directives from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and fears over the enormity of the situation have propelled the banking sector to make rapid progress in Y2K compliance. The NASSCOM report stated that as on July 31, about 92 per cent of the public sector banks in India were Y2K compliant; this number was expected to rise to 97 per cent by September 30.

Canara Bank, one of the larger public banks with a deposit base of Rs.42,000 crores and a total income of Rs.5,000 crores, claims that it is fully prepared for the millennial changeover. Deputy general manager, information systems, R. Muralikrishna, says that the state of readiness has improved dramatically in recent months. "We had sleepless nights four months ago, but with our systems now in place the tension has eased," he says. Software engineers had to work over weekends after banking hours. "We co uldn't shut down the bank to become compliant." As a large part of banking transactions are date-related, it took endless hours to go through computer codes. "We think we are safe, but we can never say what may happen," he cautions. In a worst-case scena rio, records of savings accounts may be wiped out, loans or mortgages to be paid may show negative figures. However, bank officials are confident that nothing so catastrophic will occur.

At a branch of a nationalised bank in Chennai. Computer systems in banks use numerous date-related functions, and fears of an enormous crisis if the Year 2000 problem is not addressed have propelled the banking sector to make rapid progress in Y2K com pliance.

Even so, contingency plans have been drawn up. Extra cash will be kept ready to deal with unusually large withdrawals on December 31. Print-outs will be taken and back-ups made of all transactions from December 28, 1999 to January 1, 2000. Procedures of manual operations are being brushed up, and Y2K workshops for employees are being held. Bank officials will work through the night of December 31, 1999, and security will be stepped up. Towards the end of the year, mock drills will be carried out routine ly.

Muralikrishna feels that if the RBI wants all systems to be fully ready at the earliest, it must declare January 1, 2000, a Saturday, a bank holiday in order to enable banks to correct systems if there are problems. However, the RBI has announced that Ja nuary 1 will be a full working day so that systems could be tested and all problems rectified by Monday, January 3.

(The draft of a Year 2000 Ordinance formulated by the Y2K Task Force headed by Montek Singh Ahluwalia, states that the offices of all user organisations, whether in the government, public or private sector, must remain open on January 1 and 2 (Saturday a nd Sunday) and that all Information Technology products should be tested for Y2K compliance.)

AT least a few of the PSUs have not exactly been fast off the block in responding to the situation. Nitin Wagh of Merant Solutions Private Limited, a Year 2000 verification and validation company says: "Many public sector companies are only now coming to us for quotations." Even those companies that had completed testing their critical machines and equipment, says Wagh, had not quite tested their accounting, payroll, supply and provident fund data bases. In his view, none of the companies can be said to be fully compliant. "In fact," he says, "there is no such thing as 100 per cent eradication. Anything can go wrong anywhere." Furthermore, only after securing outside vendor certification can a company claim to have become "fully compliant".

In addition to identifying, analysing and fixing the applications which need to become compliant, Merant provides a detailed record and audit trail of the compliance effort. "It is not difficult to become Y2K compliant," Wagh says. "Testing tools are now highly efficient and unless one opts for date expansion (that is, changing the date from '99 to 1999 in the entire operation program), not much manpower is required." To heighten awareness about the magnitude of the crisis, Merant has volunteered to con duct a verification of 25,000 lines of code for free.

THE countdown is on, but no one knows precisely what will happen at the appointed time. Countless cities are planning millennial bashes for the occasion, but not everyone is in the party mode: in some industrialised countries of the West, there are repor ts that entire communities and families are preparing for digital apocalypse - to dig caves and bunker themselves underground with stockpiles of foodstuffs. Clearly, some of those responses are alarmist, but if at least some of the panic has prompted gov ernments and corporations to get their systems in order in time, some good will have come of it.
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Old January 27th, 2016, 02:42 AM
werewolf2 werewolf2 is offline
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Re: Which year India started to implement solution to Y2K bug?


Published: 07/17/1998 at 1:00 AM


In June, House Speaker Newt Gingrich criticized the White House for
dropping the ball on the Y2K millennium bug issue, saying that the
administration is presiding over “a large wreck” set to take place 17
months from now in what is scheduled to be Clinton’s last year in

This week, Clinton attempted to set the record straight. He offered a
bold plan to address the potential crisis that threatens to cripple the
world’s computers and hundreds of millions of embedded chips that might
not recognize the year 00. What did the president do? He ordered the
U.S. government to be fully Y2K-compliant by March 1999.

Now, anyone who has even taken a cursory look at this issue will tell
you that it is impossible for the government to rewrite all the computer
code by March 1999. It’s not going to happen. And Clinton knows it.

Setting such a ludicrous goal — even if it is just that, a goal —
can mean one of only two things: Clinton figures he’ll only have one
more year on the job when the bug hits and it will be somebody else’s
headache; or, he is secretly counting on the crisis as an excuse to
declare martial law and remain in office — indefinitely.

Am I being paranoid? I don’t think so. Praising Clinton at his
dog-and-pony show this week was Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, who serves as
chairman of the Senate’s special committee overseeing Y2k issues. A
couple weeks ago, Bennett was grilling a top Pentagon official during
the course of a hearing on the millennium bug. He asked Deputy Defense
Secretary John Hamre the following question: “In the event of a
Y2K-induced breakdown of community services that might call for martial
law,” will the military be ready?

“We’ve got fundamental issues to deal with that go beyond just the
Year 2000 contingency planning,” said Hamre. “And I think you’re right
to bring that up.”

Understand that Bennett wasn’t suspiciously asking Hamre if the
military was secretly planning a hideous martial law scenario. He was
knowingly asking him and hoping that the military would be prepared to
carry out such a scenario. Bennett doesn’t appear to be hoping for a
calamity. But he does seem to believe that the end of American freedom
as we know it is preferable to chaos.

I, for one, want to go on record as favoring chaos. Nothing is more
precious to me than my freedom. And the Constitution of the United
States says no government authority has the right to take it away. I
have nothing but contempt for politicians who believe they have the
right and the power to turn this country into a police state for any

Is it not possible, however, with all we now know about the character
of Bill Clinton, that he would attempt to turn such a crisis into an
opportunity? And, with all we know about the character of the 105th
Congress, is it unthinkable to visualize its members abdicating their
authority and collaborating in such an insidious scheme?

Maybe I’m just cynical. But, as a journalist, trained to distrust
government, I am paid to be skeptical of plots to preserve order at any
cost. Indulge me in my nightmare. I think I’m having the same kinds of
bad dreams that our Founding Fathers had. The day Americans start
relying on the good intentions of a centralized bureaucracy for their
welfare is the day their welfare — and everything patriots have fought
and died to preserve for 200 years — is lost.

It’s not me who raised the ugly specter of martial law in the context
of the Y2K crisis. It was the United States government — in a public
meeting between representatives of the legislative and executive
branches. This is not a hallucination. It’s reality. Hearings are being
conducted. Plans are being made.

If you doubt me, just check out Presidential Decision Directive 63,
issued by Bill Clinton in May. It calls for the development of a plan to
ensure “essential national security missions” as well as general public
health and safety by, you guessed it, the year 2000.

The carefully worded directive emphasizes the preservation of order,
the delivery of minimum essential services and the maintenance of a
“national infrastructure protection system” involving the military,
intelligence agencies, law enforcement and the mandatory participation
of the “private sector.”

Under the directive, the “National Infrastructure Protection Center,”
which includes the FBI, the Secret Service, other federal law
enforcement agencies, the Department of Defense and the intelligence
agencies, calls the shots. To me, the cynic, all this sounds like code
for martial law.

I’m not ready to panic, mind you. In fact, that would only play into
the hands of those evil opportunists in government who might envision a
worst-case scenario as a vehicle to maintain — even consolidate —
power. But it’s time to start facing up to the possibility that this
crisis might just result in that “large wreck.” It would be
irresponsible to do anything else.

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Old January 27th, 2016, 03:47 AM
werewolf2 werewolf2 is offline
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Re: Which year India started to implement solution to Y2K bug?

Boom time in India as the millennium bug bites

Wednesday 30 December 1998 01.38 GMT

Last modified on Friday 1 January 2016 22.46 GMT

As the fear of global computer chaos at the dawn of the new century increases, there is at least one place where the millennium bug is not biting.
For the problem which is expected to afflict computer systems in the year 2000 - or Y2K as it is known in software parlance - has been very good news for Hyderabad.

'Y2K has been a godsend,' says Rusi Brij, a vice-president of Satyam Computer Services Ltd. The Indian firm has pioneered methods of debugging those computers which are programmed to use only two digits to signify the year. That practice, which began as a means of saving memory space, could lead to systems breaking down when January 1, 2000 dawns.

Hyderabad provides skilled programmers for the tedious task of trawling through millions of lines of computer code to correct the fault.

By conservative estimates, it will cost $600 billion to debug the world's computer systems before January 2000. Much of the work has found its way to the south Indian city.

But as the countdown begins, most large firms in the US and Britain have now dealt with the millennium bug and Y2K operations are expected to form just 27 per cent of Hyderabad's software exports in year ending March 1999.

The city has been transformed from a 'techno-coolie' operation into a software centre which can offer solutions to a range of computer problems, such as as the introduction of the euro and E-commerce.

Hyderabad is booming, and flights to Delhi and Bombay are booked solid. Much of the credit is due to Chandra Baba Naidu, the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, who has promoted the city as a local Silicon Valley. He has wooed giants like Microsoft to the hi-tech centre which opened on the fringes of Hyderabad in November.

The seeds of the city's success were sown early. In the last five years, dozens of computer training academies have appeared which purport to turn science or commerce graduates into computer experts in three months. They also claim to be able to find jobs in the US for their alumni.

'Anybody can enter into Y2K,' S. Venkateswar Reddy says. 'You don't need to be technically qualified.' He is a 'body shopper' - a hi-tech labour contractor who provides programmers to clients in Detroit at a price of 1,000-1,500 rupees (£14-21) for each recruit. Other body shoppers charge those seeking jobs up to 250,000 rupees, and their hunting grounds are the computer training schools.

The US had openings for about 200,000 computer professionals this year and in the past few years Hyderabad has produced more software engineers than anywhere in India.

At least 10,000 leave the state for work in the US every year. Locals claim that more than half the Indians working in the US computer industry are from Andhra Pradesh.

To the students at computer academies the lure is irresistible. Even the most modest salary sounds like a fortune when converted into rupees, and Washington almost doubled its quota of H1 professional work visas to 115,000 places in October.

So great is the brain drain from Hyderabad that companies like Satyam demand a 200,000 rupee bond from new recruits, forfeit should they leave within two years.

'The average life expectancy for a software engineer in India is three years. After that they head to the United States,' says S. V. L. Narayan, a spokesman for Satyam.

'And no software engineer ever comes back. Not until they are slightly older and have children.'
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