The Long Revolution

The Birth and Growth of India’s IT industry

by Dinesh C. Sharma

Dinesh C. Sharma

Fellow
New India Foundation

2005

Reviews

Dinesh Sharma begins by recording how the first computers were installed in India. Among them was the machine installed in the Indian Statistical Institute near Calcutta in 1956.

- Business Standard

The Department of Electronics (DoE) Secretary, Nagarajan Vittal, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, K. Roy Paul, and Economic Advisor, Pronab Sen, were the three individuals who changed the outlook of the DoE, writes Dinesh C. Sharma in The Long Revolution: The birth and growth of India’s IT industry

- The Hindu Business Line

The changing character of computer usage in Indiafrom mainframes and minis to microcomputersat the start of the 1980s threw up new demands for computer education. In the mainframe era, the role of a computer user was limited.

- The Financial Express

Synopsis

The grant of a New India Fellowship to Dinesh Sharma in 2006 resulted in his first book, The Long Revolution: the Birth and Growth of India’s IT industry (HarperCollins India, 2009). The book received critical acclaim in India and abroad. India’s IT revolution is often seen as a ‘miracle’ of the new millennium. There are myths and there is hype. There are claims and counter-claims on who fathered India’s transformation from a country known for exports of spices and gems to a front-runner in technology business. This book is an attempt to set the record straight. It is an account of computing and information technology industry spanning half a century. Sam Pitroda, in his foreword, described the book as “a pioneering work with no parallel”.
An international, updated edition of the book was published by the MIT Press (USA) in 2015 as The Outsourcer: The Story of India’s IT Revolution, under its celebrated ‘History of Computing’ series edited by William Aspray and Thomas J Misa. Science described the book as “[as a] magnificent study that addresses the dearth of scholarship on the history of computing outside the Euro-American context, Sharma’s monograph shows the entangled histories of computing in India and America.” Vinod Dham, known as father of the Pentium chip, called the book “a must-read for understanding how Indians became strong in IT and software despite all odds and the role they will play in the digital world of the twenty-first century.” In 2016, The Outsourcer won the prestigious Computer History Museum Book Prize instituted by the Society for the History of Technology.
A translated version of the book in Hindi is slated for publication in 2017.

Author Profile

Dinesh C. Sharma

Dinesh C Sharma is an award winning journalist and author with over 30 years’ experience of reporting on science, technology, innovation, medicine and environment related issues for national and international media outlets.
Currently, his columns appear in Mail Today, Indiatoday.in, DailyO.in, Firstpost.com, besides dispatches in medical journal, The Lancet and other international publications. He is also a contributing author for the Ecological Society of America. His past professional experience includes working for the Press Trust of India, Observer of Business and Politics, The Telegraph, Television Eighteen, India Today Group, CNET.com and Bangkok Post.

In June 2008, Dinesh Sharma had the privilege of becoming the first Asian journalist to go to the Arctic to report on an ongoing international scientific expedition relating to climate change. This resulted in a science travelogue, Witness to the Meltdown (Vigyan Prasar, 2015). Awards and fellowships won by him include the New India Fellowship (2006) instituted by the New India Foundation, Bangalore; National Award for Science Writing in Print Medium (2007) instituted by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India; ACE Reporter’s Award (2003) given for coverage of cancer by the European School of Oncology, Milan; and the National Media Award for Innovation Reporting (National Innovation Foundation, 2015). He is also a Fellow with New Delhi-based Centre for Media Studies (CMS).

Dinesh Sharma has a Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism from Osmania University, and is currently pursuing his Ph D from Banaras Hindu University.