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Chrm Message From: raghu Total Posts: 51 Join Date: 17/08/2006
Rank: Manager Post Date: 18/11/2006 02:27:31 Points: 255 Location: United States

Hi all,

Hope you all are doing fine. I found this write-up published few months back in a magazine called The Week. The writer argues the logic involved in outsourcing certain aspects of British life to India. Though sarcastic at some points, the reading overall interests. Kindly, go through the write-up and give your comments.

Full Marks to Outsourcing - By Jon Stock, Columnist, The Week
Another week, another slice of British life outsourced to India. First it was financial call centers, then it was our national rail inquiries service. Medical notes were quick to follow. Now it is exam papers. The decision by AQA, one of the three main examination boards in Britain, to scan 5,00,000 papers this summer and email them to India, has been accompanied by the usual huffing and puffing in the tabloid press. Readers of this column will know that I am a firm supporter of what is, in effect, the flipside of globalization. The west is more than happy to ride roughshod over coffee pickers in the third world, but when the process is reversed, and the money starts flowing the other way, we become all uppity.

Three cheers, I say, if someone in Bangalore is able to answer my inquiry about 7.58a.m from Bedwyn to London Paddington with more accuracy and politeness than some disinterested oikin Birmingham. There have been problems, of course, which are swiftly leapt upon by a gleeful press. Like the occasion when one English medical patient was advised of a “Euston Tube malfunction’ which sounds not only wrong but extremely painful. I dare say there will be other teething problems when AQA farms out all those papers to India. History, French, Maths and German will be the first subjects to be marked on the subcontinent. In the case of History, there could be the odd problem of how to put his correctly differing interpretations of past events.

Take the year 1857. What if an English pupil was to write about ‘The Indian Mutiny’? Would an Indian examiner (paid one-fifth of his British colleague) put a red line through this, dock a mark or two, and write ‘India’s First War of Independence” in the margin? It will certainly encourage British pupils to take fresh look at our past.

If English language were to join the subjects being marked in India, would there be similar problems with vernacular idiosyncrasies? ‘Two burglars were arrested’ might be marked down in favor of ‘Two dacoits nabbed’. Ditto ‘Four people died in a train crash’, which could be corrected to ‘Four people die in bogey mishap’. I doubt it, as I am sure Indian examiners will be far more thorough than our lot, some of whom were particularly abysmal during last summer’s A levels. Shrewsbury, one of our better public schools, objected to the marking of its pupils’ geography results. After mounting a campaign to have the papers remarked, the exam board eventually agreed, and a new senior examiner, acknowledging the poor markings of his predecessor, awarded better grades to 20 out of 34 pupils. I do wonder, though, where it will all end, as I can’t help feeling that, given the opportunity, there are so many other areas of British life that would benefit from being farmed out to India. Sorting out our marriages are the way forward. If there are any canny broker reading this, believe me, there’s big business to be had in Britain. Forget call centers. The future is dating agencies. Ours are a joke naff, expensive and embarrassing. If, however, the business of matching up people could be outsourced to India, they could only improve. I haven’t worked out the details yet, but your matchmakers could set up a database of emailed details and quickly get to work.

I’ve been wondering too, about our general election, the most boring political non-event of the past fifty years. Any chance of outsourcing this to you, too? We certainly could do with a bit of the drama and excitement of your own vast exercises in democracy.

Perhaps, the next time voters ring into a radiophone in wanting to ask Tony Blair a question, the call could be delivered to Lalu Prasad in Bihar. That should shake up things up a bit.

Caller: “ Mr. Blair, what are your thoughts on paying higher rates of income tax?”

Lalu: “Higher rates? I’ve never paid any rates.”

Let me know of any other aspects of our life in Britain which might be improved by outsourcing to you, but if any one dare suggest this column, I’ll put you through to a call center in Birmingham.

Regards

Raghu

Chrm Message From: david Total Posts: 26 Join Date: 17/08/2006  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 18/11/2006 02:37:57 Points: 130 Location: United States

Dear Raghu,

Thank you for sharing this illuminating article with all of us.

It just goes to highlight the way things are moving on the Outsourcing front, in particular the importance and prominence that we are getting in the international market place as a very good place to outsource all your critical areas of operations.

Moreover, it also highlights certain attitudes of the westerners, vis-a-vis, the world history, the brain drain, etc. I do hope that we get more of the reverse brain drain that is slowly picking up and we get back all those brilliant scientists, engineers, doctors, etc., whom we had lost to the western world.

Thank you for the sharing once again.

David

 

 
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