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India: IT, Blogging and BarCamp

Information Technology and India are spoken in the same breath. Bangalore is often referred to as the Silicon Valley of India, and it was therefore not surprising that two IT events were held in the city that hogged quite a bit of bandwidth in the Indian blogging spacee.

BarCamp Bangalore was held this past weekend at the Yahoo! Bangalore office. BarCamp is this unconference geek event that was first started in Palo Alto, California last year, and since then the event has gained momentum and BarCamps have been held in various parts of the world. BarCamp Bangalore was an interesting event that included geeks and techies from various parts of India, and the world. There were topics on mobile computing, Pinko Marketing, Ajax, Cyborgs, Web 2-0 and podcasting.. Lots of bloggers were blogging live about the event. Aside: It was an eye-opener to go this particular IT campus in Bangalore, which looked like it was right out of Pleasanton/Dublin/San Ramon IT corridor in East Bay or Redwood Shores in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Bangalore was also the place where Google held a code-jam in India and about 15,000 people registered for the event.

The Telecom boom, especially the high volume sales of cellular or mobile phones in India has created quite a bit of buzz. The growth of number of handsets sold is estimated to be about 5 million per month, and many manufacturers and other players want to tap into this lucrative and fast-growing market. Mobile Pundit points out in his blog that Pantaloon, a clothing retailer, is getting into retailing mobile phones. Pantaloon is following in the footsteps of Bangalore-based MobileNXT.

While India is home to many Back Office Processing (BPO) companies, the number of companies that actually do Research and Development and product development is pretty low. Indian companies don't have a strong trackrecord of creating products. Can India innovate is a debate that has been going in the Indian blogsphere? Atul started of this debate on Indian innovation by wondering aloud if I is for India and I is for innovation. Gautam Ghosh responds with his view, and here is Mayank Krishna's thoughts on the subject.

Shifting gears and moving from urban to rural India, the debate is once again centered around how to use technology in these area? Rural India is a potentially new and untapped market for many companies. Recently Intel introduced a rugged PC for the Indian rural market, and other companies are working on introducing hi-tech gadgets and solutions tailored to meet the demand from rural India. In this context, Indra's Drishtikone writes about a tech-savvy rural India. There are many fundamental changes taking place in rural India that at times it is difficult to keep tabs on them. Indra talks about how ATM machines is being used in a village not far from Bangalore. He lists various initiatives that corporates and NGO's have introduced in the rural areas and wonders why the Government of India is not involved in this initiative?

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