7.4 Finding out ways & means to collect data for emerging areas

  • 7.4.1 That the Information Technology, Communication and Entertainment Sector (ICE Sector) has already emerged as a significant economic sector is known. Over a period of time, the ICE Sector will be a major driving force for the growth of the Services Sector in particular and the economy in general. But there are obvious problems and limitations for gathering reliable and timely data, on the ICE segment of the Services Sector. Therefore, it is pertinent that data gathering of the ICE Sector needs proper attention. Although such data will largely fall in the area of National Income System, the Commission makes certain recommendations in the subsequent paragraphs for improvement of the database of this sector.
  • 7.4.2 Within the Services Sector the share of newly-emerging areas, like software exports, e-commerce, etc. and the ICE areas in the GDP is increasing at a fast rate. As e-commerce transactions are unlikely to take place in “Physical space”, the Commission recognised the need to develop a suitable methodology for estimating this. In this context, it was also felt that the information available on the Internet as also that collected by various associations from their members for meeting their own requirements could be utilised for cross validating the existing data in the Services Sector and taking appropriate measures to improve the reliability of data.
  • 7.4.3 The sphere of entertainment is also one of emerging importance in the Indian context. This is no doubt aided by the boom in satellite TV, cable networks, music (both audio and video) and national and State-level cinema. It is also an area that provides employment to a large number of people. Even though film making has been given industry status recently, a large part of the entertainment industry is still in the unorganised sector and information is hard to come by. However, there is no doubt that the size of one component of the Entertainment Sector, i.e. the film industry is quite large. A recent Study on Copyright Piracy in India (1999), sponsored by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, stated in its third chapter: “The total turnover of the film industry during 1996 was about Rs.2500 crores.” As far as cable and satellite television network is concerned the same study estimated the turnover from the country’s cable industry to be Rs. 1101.60 crores in the year 1997. Clearly, there is a need to look at the Entertainment Sector as an important emerging service area from an economic point of view.
  • 7.4.4 There are a large number of Non-Profit Institutions Serving Households (NPISHs) including Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in India. These should also be part of services. Given that NPISHs including NGOs offer employment to a large number of individuals and provide valuable service, it is necessary to obtain detailed information on these. Although there exits a system of filing returns by the NPISHs including NGOs, a mechanism to compile data relating to them needs to be evolved. In this context, the availability of information from the Charity Commissioner and Registrar of Cooperative Societies should be evaluated. Even though all NPISHs including NGOs may not be registered with the Charity Commissioner and/or Registrar of Cooperative Societies, this can be a starting point for such an evaluation. Further, the Directorates of Economics and Statistics in the States should be involved in this task.
  • 7.4.5 The existing data on scientific and technical manpower (‘knowledge workers’) not only have several limitations but such data are also not readily available. Although such data have a demographic and socio-economic connotation, these data should also be a sub-set of Services Sector data. This is particularly because the role of knowledge workers is significantly increasing within what Peter Drucker has described as a ‘knowledge society’. There is an urgent need to develop a mechanism so that data on knowledge workers are regularly collected. At present such data are usually compiled by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Science and Technology, etc. Certain data are also obtained through the Education Census. There has to be an integrated system so as to obtain data on knowledge workers.
  • 7.4.6 The Commission therefore recommends that:
    • A suitable methodology should be developed to estimate the contribution of emerging areas like software exports, e-commerce, Entertainment Sector, and related fields in employment, GVA, etc.
    • An appropriate mechanism to compile data related to the NPISHs including NGOs at the national and State level should be evolved.
    • An integrated system to improve the database on scientific and technical manpower (knowledge workers) should also be evolved.
    • The MoS&PI should be entrusted with the responsibility to operationalise these recommendations.
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