:: STRATEGY ::
as an enabler
licenses and controls for setting up IT infrastructure and services
The basic philosophy
of the recommendations of the Working Group to realize the dream
of taking the benefits of IT to the masses in the country is developed
around the concept of 'Enabling and Empowering' the people. Government
has to set in motion the processes, which will enable anyone anywhere
to set up IT-based services. The current practice built around the
concept of controlled supply of services and resources through licensing
and regulations should be completely done away with in this field.
This could be the only way to develop IT enabled services in all
sectors and facilitate establishment of IT infrastructure in a large
country like India in a reasonable time frame. As a business model
also, Working Group believes that more the government frees the
controls in Telecom and Internet sector, more revenues it will earn
to the government.
middle class home, business and shop to have access to Internet
Kiosks within cycling distance of 4-5 kms.
unemployed youth to be encouraged to set up IT Kiosks
development of Indian language content over Internet
|For a common
man to be able to access IT services, Working Group recommends two-pronged
strategy. We must aim that all middle class homes, businesses and
shops will have Internet connection by 2008. A target of at least
100 million Internet connections must be set for this. However, in
the interim, Working Group would like around one million Internet
enabled IT kiosks to be established covering entire length and breadth
of the country in a manner that anyone requiring access to Internet
will be able to have it in a cycling distance of 4-5 kms. IT kiosks
will enable even the illiterate people to benefit from the IT revolution
in the country. For enabling IT kiosks to be set up at such a scale
in the shortest possible time, we need to launch a scheme, in collaboration
with industry and financial institutions, to financially and technically
support large number of self-employed people, particularly the educated
unemployed youth in unorganized sector. The model of growth evolved
by cable operators for spread of Cable TV network in the country to
35 million homes in just about 6-7 years could be adopted for quick
growth in IT services sector. One of the significant characteristics
of the cable operators' model is the concept of neighborhood service
provider developing close relationship with the customers. On the
pattern of programming by cable channels, for IT services to be relevant
to common man, it will be essential that IT services must be provided
in the language of the people for whom these services are targeted.
Development of Indian language content should therefore be the integral
component of these services.
Having enabled people
to enter the field of providing IT services, it is essential that
government empowers its citizens to demand a high quality of service
not only from government but from all service providers in general.
Government has to play a significant role in this area and in fact
should focus on ensuring as to how people could be empowered more
and more to demand and get best of services in the market.
of government processes
require complete transparency in procedures to be followed by service
providers in government as well as in private sector. These service
providers should, by adequate laws, be asked to make information
about their rules and procedures available to public. As a first
step, and to set an example and create a role model, government
has to get into a massive exercise of re-engineering of its own
procedures by making extensive use of Electronic Governance.
mass campaign for IT awareness
Yatras across the country
in the country, in spite of massive potential of IT in his day-to-day
life, continues to be largely unaware of the benefits of this revolutionary
technology. Massive awareness campaign is therefore required to be
launched to educate people about what IT can mean for improving their
quality of life. Information regarding government rules, regulations,
programmes and services is an essential aspect of empowering the people.
IT must be used extensively for informing people regarding these.
Till such time, however, IT infrastructure reaches the masses through
IT Kiosks and other means, Working Group recommends launch of IT Yatras
(journeys) and other forms of awareness campaign across the country
to be launched in collaboration with NGOs, educational institutions
and corporate sector.
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