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An Essay on Computer

Computers are sophisticated electronic devices, which can perform many of the functions of the human brain. Therefore they have been called, “Mechanical Brains“. Computers are of different degrees of complexity. The U.S.A. is the country that has got a super-computer which is something wonderful and exciting to see .It is unique. It is hoped that the 21th century officers will be “electronic wonderlands “where tedious paper based routine work will be replaced by result oriented advanced information technology. Computers equipped to process words as well as figures will totally replace typewriters. The present day word-processor will slowly give way to personal computers.

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There are four quantitative advantages of computers which may be summarized as: increasing computing speed; reducing energy consumption; reducing cost. To understand the magnitude of these trends, one may consider that had such developments taken place in the automobile industry from 1960 up to date, an ambassador car today would cost 35 Paisa, travel 3 million kilometers per liter of fuel, make 63 equatorial trips around the earth in one minute and fit under the little space of a well-pruned thumb-nail.

In addition to the quantitative advantages given above, there is one qualitative advantage also which is far more significant in terms of its likely impact on mankind. To understand it, we should look back at some of the marvelous inventions that man has made. Man has always tried to overcome some basic limitations in his own self. For instance, the automobile or the jet plane is an amplification of mobility (the legs); the television is the same for the eyes, telephone for the ears, bulldozers and cranes for the muscles and so on. While these amplifications of human capabilities have had remarkable impact on our civilization, it would pale in comparison with the amplification of human intelligence by the use of computers.

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Indeed, advantages of the use of computers are many. They make calculations much faster and more accurately than in all industrial countries of Europe and U.S.A., on a large scale. If data are correctly fed into a computer, then it can check and correctly examine answer books at much faster rate. That is why computers are in use in practically all the educational institutions of the developed countries of the world, and developing countries like India are making increasing use of them.

The uses of computers in banks increase efficiency, accuracy and rapidity. The accumulation of Cheques, which causes so much inconvenience to businessmen and the public in general, has been entirely done away with in such developed countries. Moreover unlike most types of production machines (Lathes, Looms, etc.) which have pre-defined, well specified functions that cannot change, the computers are capable of executing a variety of changing tasks.

However in India, the use of computers is in its infancy as yet. There are various reasons for it. Computers require very elaborate infrastructure. First, there must be factories which can manufacture such sophisticated devices. Through a beginning has been made in this respect, yet computers of a very simple type can alone be manufactured in the country. Establishment of industrial concerns for production of computers of greater and greater sophistication is a must for progress in this field. Secondly, well-trained experts in this branch of technology are lacking and India has to depend totally on foreign experts. Further, huge amounts of money are needed for computerization.

Moreover, serious efforts have not been made as yet to do away with the apprehensions of the trade unions. Workers and their organizations feel that computerization will increase unemployment and that it is a great health hazard. Studies and researches conducted in foreign countries, especially in the U.S.A. indicate the many hazards of computerization.

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It has been established that it causes muscular and psychological stress and strains. The glare of dazzling light necessary for the use of computers injures the eyes and the injury sometimes proves to be a serious one. Besides this, there are the side effects of working in cold room, for computers are installed in air-conditioned environment. Therefore it is essential that research in this field is intensified and the genuine fears of the workers are removed. This is essential for a successful computerization programmer.

Besides this, the use of computers needs a strong mathematical base. Students and research scholars well trained both in applied and higher mathematics can alone make the computerization programmed successful. Both pure and applied mathematics must be taught to those who intend to take up computer programming as their profession. It is for this reason that great emphasis has been laid on the teaching of mathematics in the new national policy on education.

We are happy to note that the government is quite alive to the advantages of the use of computers. Computerization is to taken up on a war-footing, for it is only in this way that India can enter the 21st century and occupy her rightful place among the nations of the world. Suitable persons are already being trained in this particular field and government is ready to bear most of the financial burden of this programmed.

It is hoped that India will be fully computerized by the year 2020 A.D. and that it will be with the most advanced nations of the world in this respect. However, government alone cannot do everything. Co-operation of the people is also necessary or success in this field as in other fields. It must be realized that the computer is a natural evolution in man’s eternal quest to create artifacts that remove constraints that he is born with. Should he attempt to slow down this evolution? This new technology is coming straight at us. We can either take it head on or bring it under our control to exploit it to our advantage, or we can step aside and let it pass by. Would we be in a position to handle the dislocations that “by-passing” will cause. It will be impossible.

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Whichever way one looks at it, the reasons for introducing computerization are compelling ones. Some benefits are short term and some are long term ones. In fact, it could easily be concluded that in the long term it would be imperative to computerize on a large scale, since it would essentially be a matter of survival in times to come.

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