India on the Verge of an E-Governance Revolution
(Targeted News Service Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) NEW DELHI, Dec. 13 -- The Confederation of Indian Industry issued the following news release:
Delivering the inaugural address at the National Seminar on Office Automation and Imaging Industry: Digital Documentation 2.0 Revolutionising India Inc, held here on Friday, Mr N Ravi Shanker, Additional Secretary and Administrator USOF, Department of Telecommunications, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharat Broadband Network Ltd (BBNL), highlighted the impact of Information Technology and Digitisation in the Country by citing a few of the areas, including Voter's ID, electronic voting machines and Aadhar cards, which have been revolutionised in India in the last 15 years.
"All this has democratised information. And this huge database leads to better planning and better governance," said Mr Shanker. It helps the national e-governance initiative to reach out to rural areas for better planning and service delivery.
Mr Shanker said the challenge and the opportunity for the industry lay in the information being generated. "There is a lot of scope for the industry, such as in devising algorithms, in developing software to help cull out useful and relevant information from the information overload that is there," he said.
He said the country would in a few years see the roll out of a plan to link every village to the information highway. "The National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) project is like the cyber equivalent of the Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojana. It would take IT to block and village level," he said.
He identified six hurdles " 6 Cs" - that need to be surpassed to achieve this: connectivity, cost of devices, competitive tariff for bandwidth, computer literacy and community or citizen participation. Here, he said was huge opportunity for private sector.
Dr C Muralikrishna Kumar, Senior Advisor, Planning Commission observed that in the last 15 years the IT sector has emerged as a vehicle of growth that has impacted other sectors as well. "We see movement from a "capitalist society" to an "information society". Whereas capital diminishes by sharing, information grows with sharing," he said.
Talking about the National IT Policy 2012, he said, "One goal that would make the biggest change and help achieve all others was the goal of making one person in every household digitally literate."
Ms Renu Budhiraja, Senior Director and HoD State Data Centers, e-Governance Division, Ministry of Communications and IT, said with the initiative of moving to technology like 'Cloud', there would be a revolution in the way the government functions "in another two years".
She said state level data centres were being developed along with national data centre and the aim is to have connectivity and access to information right up to village level.
"We would like the industry to look at developing standards for digitisation to ensure quality, for storage and archiving. The industry can also come up with apps that can be reused across departments and services, new business models, PPPs, risk sharing models, etc," said Ms Budhiraja.
Mr Rajesh Gupta, Director DGS&D, noted the importance of digitisation for improving efficiency. He said DGS&D, as the central purchase organisation of the Government of India, has an important role in infrastructure and procurement needed for growth of the industry.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, Dr Alok Bhardwaj, Chairman - CII OA&I Division and Executive Vice President, Canon India Pvt Ltd, said that his industry represents technology and as such closely intertwines with all others.
He spoke of the "explosion of information" to say, "There is so much of information being created. The challenge is to channel it. Archival, retrieval and storage of information is the key challenge,"
Mr Anwar Shirpurwala, Executive Director, Manufacturers' Association of Information Technology (MAIT), in his closing remarks, identified three regulations which the industry has to comply with. The first came with Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) coming up with norms for appliances such as refrigerators and rating them. The second was compulsory registration order (CRO) in which the industry did not participate during formulation and this has resulted in problems for it. The third was e-waste rules which came in early 2012.
Mr Shirpurwala said the industry should not focus only on sales and overlook participation in public policy formulation which impacts the industry.
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(c) 2013 Targeted News Service
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