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American Telugu Association prepares for grand celebration of 25 years completion

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Chicago(IL): The premier national organisation of Telugus in North American is all set to unveil its Grand ATA conference as it completes 25 years. The conference will be at s scale achieved never before, showing the rich enduring Telugu culture in the form of art, music, dance, literary, religious, social, economic, health forums from July 1 to 3rd in Chicago at Rosemont Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois.

To make it successful, ATA’s top tier team from all across the country, gathered at Westin Hotel in Princeton, New Jersey so that the needed step could be taken to host this epic silver jubilee convention. All the regional teams representing various US cities showed great commitment to organise the largest conference in Chicago in the celebration of silver jubilee.

This huge convention will be hosted by over 70 important committees served by 70 chairs and 100 co-chairs with over 200 members/ advisors and over 300 vendors. A large number of families are expected to arrive to arrive in Chicago this summer to join the convention. Telangana government announced that it will send a 15 member cultural troupe to augment the ATA festivities at the convention.

Chandrasekhar Reddy Palvai was elected as Conference Convener and KK Reddy was elected as Conference director. Krishna Mushyam and Jagan Bukaraju were elected as Co-Convenors for the Conference. The team also appointed a new Treasurer Vinod Koduru and five new trustees and Mahidhar Musukula was appointed as Office Coordinator.

ATA President Sudhakar Perkari thanked and congratulated the ATA team for commitment and hard work they have put. He also thanked Telangana government for their help in hosting of ATA Vedukalu in Hyderabad.

Conference Convenor, Chandrasekhar Reddy Palvai said that there is a new momentum, new energy within the Telugu families in the United States to be part of the historic convention. He promised that scale of the convention will be unmatched.

KK Reddy, Conference Director give the assurance of organising ATA convention in a manner that will go down in the history as one the grandest festival to showcase the 25 years journey.

He also has predicted that no efforts will be left to attract the 12,000 attendances from all across the US and even India. He outlined the steps taken to mobilize funds to defray the enormous cost needed for the hosting of this convention. He said it was challenging for the team to stay competitive in raising funds with the overview of the long-term humanitarian mission of ATA.

Kamala Chimata, Conference Coordinator highlighted the goal of the convention which is to promote literary, cultural, educational, religious, social, economic, health and community activities of the people of Telugu origin.(Source-AsianmediaUSA)

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How telecom has become driver of economic change in India

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The country's hyper-competitive telecom sector has led the revolution from the front.
The country's hyper-competitive telecom sector has led the revolution from the front. Wikimedia Commons
  • India has done well to stay ahead of the curve in the technological revolution
  • The sectoral change in productivity has been the highest in the telecommunications sector since the reforms of 1991
  • India has managed to provide the cheapest telephony services around the world

For the most part of human history, the change was glacial in pace. It was quite safe to assume that the world at the time of your death would look pretty much similar to the one at the time of your birth. That is no longer the case, and the pace of change seems to be growing exponentially. Futurist Ray Kurzweil put it succinctly when he wrote in 2001: “We won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century – it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate).” Since the time of his writing, a lot has changed, especially with the advent of the internet.

India has done well to stay ahead of the curve in the technological revolution. The country’s hyper-competitive telecom sector has led the revolution from the front. In fact, according to Reserve Bank of India data, the sectoral change in productivity has been the highest in the telecommunications sector since the reforms of 1991, growing by over 10 percent. On the other hand, no other sector has had a productivity growth of above five percent during the same period. It is no wonder that it has also been one of the fastest-growing sectors of the Indian economy, growing at over seven percent in the last decade itself.

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Such an unprecedented pace of growth has been brought about the precise levels of change that Kurzweil was so enthusiastic about. Today’s smartphones have the power of computers that took an entire room in the 1990s, and the telecom sector has had to keep up with a provision of commensurate internet speeds and services. Meanwhile, India has managed to provide the cheapest telephony services around the world, which has hit rock bottom after the entry of Reliance Jio. This has ensured access to those even at the bottom of the pyramid.

A rise in internet penetration has distinct positive effects on economic growth of a country.
A rise in internet penetration has distinct positive effects on economic growth of a country. Wikimedia Commons

Even though consumers have come to be accustomed to fast-paced changes within the telecom sector, the entry of Jio altered the face of the industry like never before by changing the very basis of competition. Data became the focal point of competition for an industry that derived over 75 percent of its revenue from voice. It was quite obvious that there would be immediate economic effects due to it. Now that we’re nearing a year of Jio’s paid operations, during which time it has even become profitable, we saw it fit to quantify its socio-economic impact on the country. Three broad takeaways need to be highlighted.

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First, the most evident effect has been the rise in affordability of calling and data services. Voice services have become practically costless while data prices have dropped from an average of Rs 152 per GB to lower than Rs 10 per GB. Such a drastic reduction in data prices has not only brought the internet within the reach of a larger proportion of the Indian population but has also allowed newer segments of society to use and experience it for the first time. Since the monthly saving of an average internet user came out to be Rs 142 per month (taking a conservative estimate that the consumer is still using 1 GB of data each month) and there are about 350 million mobile internet users in the country (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India data), the yearly financial savings for the entire country comes out to be Rs 60,000 crore.

To put things in perspective, this amount is more than four times the entire GDP of Bhutan. Therefore, mere savings by the consumer on data has been at astonishing proportions.

Today's smartphones have the power of computers that took an entire room in the 1990s, and the telecom sector has had to keep up with a provision of commensurate internet speeds and services. Wikimedia Commons
Today’s smartphones have the power of computers that took an entire room in the 1990s, and the telecom sector has had to keep up with a provision of commensurate internet speeds and services. Wikimedia Commons

Now, this data has been used for services that have brought to life a thriving app economy within the country. So, the second level of impact has been in the redressal of a variety of consumer needs — ranging from education, health and entertainment to banking. For instance, students in remote areas can now access online courseware and small businesses can access newer markets. Information asymmetry has been considerably reduced.

Third, a rise in internet penetration has distinct positive effects on economic growth of a country. These effects arise not merely from the creation of an internet economy, but also due to the synergy effects it generates. Information becomes more accessible and communication a lot easier. Businesses find it easier to operate and access consumers. Labour working in cities has to make less frequent trips home and becomes more productive as a result. Education and health services become available in inaccessible locations. Multiple avenues open up for knowledge and skill enhancement.

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An econometric analysis for the Indian economy showed that the 15 percent increase in internet penetration due to Jio and the spill-over effects it creates will raise the per capita levels of the country’s GDP by 5.85 percent, provided all else remains constant.

Thus, India’s telecom sector will continue to drive the economy forward, at least in the short run, and hopefully catapult India into 20,000 years of progress within this century, as Kurzweil postulated. The best approach for the state would be to ensure the environment of unfettered competition within the industry. Maybe other sectors of the economy ought to take a leaf out of the telecom growth story. The Indian banking sector comes to mind. However, that is a topic for another day. (IANS)

(Amit Kapoor is Chair, Institute for Competitiveness, India. He can be contacted at Amit. Kapoor@competitiveness.in and tweets @kautiliya. Chirag Yadav, a senior researcher at the institute, has contributed to the article.)