Government as an enabler

No licenses and controls for setting up IT infrastructure and services

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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.

Every middle class home, business and shop to have access to Internet by 2008

IT Kiosks within cycling distance of 4-5 kms.

Educated unemployed youth to be encouraged to set up IT Kiosks

Promote 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.

Empowering the people


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.

Re-engineering of government processes

Empowerment will 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.

Launch mass campaign for IT awareness



IT Yatras across the country

Common man 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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