Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Indian youths -2

Obviously, many millions in this group remain locked in a struggle with poverty. But out of the teenage population, some 22 million belong to the urban middle class and are in a position to influence the economy dramatically as they grow older. Another 100 million or so live in rural India. Even here, many young people are having their first taste of rising prosperity and expectations.

One result is that computer literacy and education are eradicating caste barriers. While caste and social position still dominates Indian politics, sociologists predict the rigid lines of the system will continue to ease. Already, urban youth are more concerned with their professional ambition than their caste. ''We are only aware of caste while filling out government forms,'' says Trisha Singh, 23, a Pune law student. ''It's more 'What do you do?' that determines your status.''

In addition, massive computer literacy could do plenty for India's economy. National per capita income is currently $450 per year. But a 10% increase in computer literacy in a single year would push per capita income up to $650, according to Dewang Mehta of Nasscom, India's software industry association.