Outsourcing elections

April 14, 2009

President Obama’s ambivalent posturing again outsourcing notwithstanding, reports are that he too engaged a team of Indian strategists to work on his presidential campaign, while a bunch of techie fans in India’s IT hub Bangalore got together to raise funds for him, and worked overtime to get their friends and contacts in the US to vote for him!

And now in the run up to the Indian general elections, Google India in collaboration with HT Media, the owner of one of the largest circulating English-language daily, Hindustan Times, has launched a dedicated election website wherein voters can not just study and analyze their candidates profiles, they can also browse news reports, confirm their voter registration status, discover their polling location, view their constituency on a map, catch up with relevant election-related news, blogs, videos, and quotations, follow development work in their constituency, and go through data relating to their current and potential representatives in parliament.

“The portal is a mash-up of many familiar Google tools, such as Maps and Google News, that were developed in the U.S., by workers employed in the US,” informs Paul McDougall in Information Week, indicating the indispensability of outsourcing as a model to get anything done in a global order. As McDougall there must be many talented web developers in India, but Hindustan Times chose a US-based conglomerate for this venture — is that not an example of reverse outsourcing?

Yet no one is cribbing. In fact, a few think tanks in India are so taken in by the idea, they have begun to suggest that given the tainted background of some of the candidates fielded by top political parties in India, it would not be a bad idea to outsource candidates to the US as well.

For a cute video link on the benefits of outsourcing, click here.


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