Key skills: Typewriter finds its place despite digital onslaught
Hindustan Times Delhi|November 29, 2021
t is Friday afternoon and inside a small, dimly lit room in east Delhi's Laxmi Nagar, a group of young men and women are hunched over old Remington typewriters, practicing touch typing-the skill of fast typing without looking at keys.
Manoj Sharma

NEW DELHI: IThe only sound one can hear inside is the clickety-clack, and the ding as the ribbon reaches its one end and starts on the other.

Their instructor, Ashok Ahuja, is teaching a new batch of students how to position their fingers correctly on the middle line of the keys and apply the right pressure. Ahuja, whose family has been running Ashoka Typing College for the past four decades, says while business dwindled over the years, he still has many students wanting to be trained only on the manual typewriters.

They believe that typewriting can be best learnt on typewriters, and not on computer keyboards. There is a finger for each key and you tend to forget that while typing on a flat computer keyboard, and consequently your speed and accuracy suffers, says Ahuja whose institute offers 45-days to 3months typewriting courses comprising what he calls well-structured lessons for 500 a month.

Delhi has many other typewriting institutes, where hundreds of aspirants for various government jobs requiring a typing speed test are trained on old Remingtons and Godrej typewriters, even as laptops and touch screens hold sway. Several southern states such as Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka, which still allow tests on manual typewriters for various government positions, have thousands of typing training institutes. Many of them get their machines from dealers in Delhi, which restore and sell old typewriters.

Ahuja says manual typewriters are perfect for learning the art and science of touch typewriting, and his students could not agree more.

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