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Digital India Week: Project may create $ 3-4 bn IT opportunity



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Digital India Week: Project may create $ 3-4 bn IT opportunity

The Digital India initiative, launched by PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday, could potentially translate into a business opportunity of $3-4 billion annually for the Indian IT industry, which already has the experience of implementing large scale and complex government projects in the country.


PP Thimmaya
The Digital India initiative, launched by PM Narendra Modion Wednesday, could potentially translate into a business opportunity of $3-4 billion annually for the Indian IT industry, which already has the experience of implementing large scale and complex government projects in the country.
The Digital India vision opens up countless opportunities for the $146 billion Indian IT industry which till now was predominantly focused on the overseas market. As a first step, a Centre of Excellence for internet of things has been launched in Bengaluru to be run on the public-private partnership model with seed funding from the government. The project will be managed by Nasscom, a statement from the IT body said on Wednesday.
Talking to FE, T V Mohandas Pai, former Infosys board member and chairman, Manipal Education Group, said Indian IT companies under this project will look to build applications for e-governance, delivering public services and most importantly generating content in local languages. He pegged the annual business opportunity for the IT industry at $3-4 billion. Wipro chairman Azim Premji, who spoke at inaugural function, said, “The vision of the Prime Minister is powerful as it aims to digitally empower every citizen through technology and breakdown the digital divide.” He felt that it is a very transformative idea for Indian talent that along with IT will lead to an India of tomorrow.
Digital India also found its resonance abroad with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, in his message stating, “We believe that technology can uniquely support the government’s initiatives in key areas including: rural internet connectivity, digital cloud services for all its citizens, and communications and productivity services for the government.” He reiterated the firm’s commitment to India by bringing in its cloud services technologies to India.

TRIBUNE, JUL 03, 2015


Digital dreams


Indians need connectivity, services and e-governance
India is justifiably proud of its prowess in information technology. We can boast of the largest mobile company in the world, but for too many people digital connectivity is a dream, especially if they are distant from urban centres. Yet there is no doubt that in the last 20 years or so, India has made impressive strides in connecting its people with the digital world. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Digital India initiative seeks to do much - connect 2,50,000 villages by 2019, encourage the manufacture of electronic goods, and attract an investment of over $70 billion. All this is needed because a reality check reveals that out of 1.3 billion Indians, there are just 100 million broadband subscribers, who are served by a network that is rated 115th globally in average Internet speed. The government has, over the years, made progress in e-governance, but it is by far short of what has been achieved, for instance, by Estonia. Cyber security is a pre-requisite for any shift into the digital world, as the PM pointed out. Cyber attacks and subsequent leakage of information from targeted government officials show a lack of robustness in the Indian response. The legal infrastructure too needs to be pushed into the digital age, with special emphasis on ensuring the privacy of citizens. While various initiatives towards e-governance have proved successful over the years, they have often missed original deadlines. What is lacking is a collective vision to build information infrastructure that is access neutral, ensures privacy and security, and is future-proof. The digitisation of government services goes a long way in bringing transparency in functioning and in curbing corruption and the poor have shown remarkable adaptability in availing such services, even in areas of bad connectivity. They, however, need information in their local languages. Here the services fall short, in spite of grand announcements. Digital empowerment will remain a dream as long as rural India is bereft of what urban India considers an essential service. 

LIBRARIES

TRIBUNE, JUL 03, 2015

Creaky public library victim of land issue


  • The library was constructed on the Municipal Council land in 1960




  • The roofs of most of the rooms are leaking and deep cracks are visible on the sidewalls of the building




  • The library that has a sanctioned strength of three employees has been without a librarian for past several years



  • It consists of three rooms, a reading room, a toilet and a mini-hall in which around 45,000 books are stored in an unorganised manner




  • The government has not approved a proposal of Rs 1 crore for building repair as the library land has not been transferred to the Education Department from the Municipal Council

The public library in Uttarkashi containing around 45,000 inspirational books is in a dilapidated condition. It is also running without a librarian. It is not getting funds for necessary repairs as the Municipal Council land on which it was built has not been transferred to the Education Department.


The once imposing building on the Municipal Council land was constructed in 1960 to cater to the needs of avid readers of the district. But it is now finding it difficult to function properly. The library consists of three rooms, a reading room, a toilet and a mini-hall in which around 45,000 books are stored in an unorganised manner.

The roofs of most of the rooms are leaking and deep cracks are visible on the sidewalls of the building. The condition of the reading room is also not good with water seeping in from all sides, damaging books kept outside the almirahs due to a space crunch.

Politicians and social activists from the district were regular visitors to the library. Eminent communist leaders, namely late Kamla Ram Nautiyal (who remained the Uttarkashi Municipal Council president twice) and late Chandan Singh Rana (former block pramukh of Uttarkashi), were among the regular visitors to the library where a refundable fee of Rs 200 is being charged from members at present.
The library that has a sanctioned strength of three employees has been without a librarian for the past several years. The efforts to renovate the library building have also not been successful. The government has not approved a proposal of Rs 1 crore for building repair as the library land has not been transferred to the Education Department from the Municipal Council.
Education Department officials say till the land is not transferred to the department, it cannot release funds. Senior district administration officials say they are authorised to provide funds only to those buildings that were damaged in natural disasters. The land transfer issue is a matter between the Municipal Council and the Education Department and the district administration can intervene only when both of them come together to resolve it.
Quotes
Pushkar Rawat, a member of the library been regular member of the Library since 2003, says
“The library is a storehouse of knowledge open to all to take advantage of it. However, its dilapidated building poses a great risk to the lives of members, especially during the monsoon.”

Quote
Akhilanand Bhatt, acting in charge of the library, says, "The library building needs repair. We had twice sent a proposal of Rs 1 crore for the repair of the building to the Education Department but funds were not be released as the property has not been transferred to the department from the Municipal Council”.
QUOTE

Jayendri Rana, president Municipal Council Uttarkashi says, “Former Uttarkashi District Magistrate Sri Sridhar Babu Adanki had assigned the Municipal Council the task of reconstructing the library building and had also permitted it to construct rooms on the first floor. However, the Municipal Council has not been able to start the work in the absence of funds.”


LOCAL GOVERNMENT
ECONOMIC TIMES, JUL 02, 2015


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