Abstract from a talk given by Rohan Samarajiva
For some, it’s something they are used to. But for others it’s a new experience. They carefully touch the icons on the smart phone with tentative fingers and say “Puthalata, duvalata nang meva pulavan” (Our sons and daughters can easily do this) The group of farmers who gathered last week in Dambulla came from different areas in the Matale and Anuradhapura districts. Some had travelled long distances. They were a diverse group – ranging in age from twenties to fifties.
Politicians and government officials like to sing the praises of MSMEs saying they create most of the jobs and so on. They create banks, databases, and various schemes to support them. We too believe that MSME are important. To the extent micro enterprises become small enterprises; small enterprises become medium and so on, we think it’s good for society. Our Research Fellow Vigneswara Ilavarasan (Associate Professor at IIT Delhi) has been working on MSMEs for a long time.
The US is where most ICTs were invented and put to use. But, it is proving difficult to clearly specify how the benefits flow. If it is difficult in the US, it cannot be easy in our countries. We also have access to far more sophisticated consumer goods, from the iPhone to cars packed with digital devices. And the cost of many basic staples, notably food, has fallen significantly.