Reports

RECOMMENDATIONS

 

:: RECOMMENDATIONS ::

Working Group has classified issues related to spread of IT to masses into the following categories:
  • Infrastructure and Services
  • Electronic Governance
  • Education
  • Mass Campaign for I T Awareness

Recommendations of the Working Group in these areas are as follows:

Infrastructure and Services

As a follow up to the recommendations made by Prime Minister's Task Force on Information Technology and Software Development, government has already taken number of major policy decisions to speed up the pace of growth in IT industry and services. However, the present level of IT infrastructure in the country is no where close to a common man being able to take advantage of Internet and IT services. At present, we have only 8 million homes having telephones out of a total of 24 million phones in the country, 35 million cable connections out of an estimated 70 million TV households and just around 1 million Internet connections. For benefit of IT to reach a common man, there is an urgent need to take steps to facilitate reach of Internet and IT services at mass scale in the country. Some of these steps are given below:

100 million Internet connections by 2008
  1. A target of 100 million Internet connections by 2008 must be set
1 million IT Kiosks by 2005
  1. For a common man to be able to have access to Internet, it is necessary to establish public Internet access points all over the country in the form of Internet enabled IT Kiosks. For this purpose, all public utility out-lets in the country such as PCOs, Post Offices, Railway/ Bus Stations, Bank branches, Offices of Cooperative Societies, Schools, Colleges, Hospitals/ Dispensaries, Panchayat Offices, etc. should be made available to entrepreneurs/ self-employed people to establish IT Kiosks with an overall target of one million IT kiosks by 2005.
 

Revenue share to franchise operator to be at least 50%

  1. Telecom network and revenues from voice telephony have been used and are continuing to be used worldwide to enable expansion of Internet. The access part of the telecom network (including the last mile) costs 65 to 70% of the total per line network cost. The network used to provide both telephone and Internet should not be duplicated in a resource-starved country like India. A local franchise operator must be allowed to set up the access network providing telephone and Internet connectivity on revenue sharing basis. Since the cost of the access network amounts to 65 to 70% of the total per line cost of setting up the network, the revenue share to this franchise operator for providing the voice connectivity must be at least 50%.
No licensing to set up Telephony/ Internet in low telecom density regions
  1. Setting up of Basic Services Operation providing telephone and Internet connectivity must be made totally license free where telephone connectivity is less than 1% of the population. Multiple small operators should be able to set up the telecom and Internet network, connect to the national or state telecom or internet network by paying the connectivity charges just like any other basic services operator does. In order to encourage setting up of infrastructure in such area, the revenue share to the government must be zero.
  2. Telecom and Internet connections can be set up using the infrastructure available at several thousand railway stations in the country. Setting up of such connections to provide wireless connectivity in the neighborhood of a station should be allowed in and around all stations (other than that in large cities). Such network should be allowed to be connected to the telecom and Internet network by paying the interconnection charges as levied to the basic services or cellular operators. No license fee should be charged.
  3. Telecom network infrastructure, such as leased/ dial-up lines, co-location of DSL equipment at exchanges, etc. should be made available to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) on priority by Department of Telecom Services within 90 days of application
CUG status to private networks
  1. Information Infrastructure projects in private sector should be given status of Closed User Group (CUG) networks on priority, including those setting up VSAT networks. These CUGs should be allowed to interconnect without any interconnectivity charges. These networks should also be allowed to connect to Internet gateways and offer E-com services. In case of VSAT networks, there should be no restriction on up-link and down-link data speeds.
  2. As a follow up to the decision announced by Prime Minister during State IT Ministers' Conference on July 15, 2000 to remove VSNL monopoly with effect from August 15, 2000 on under-sea cable for Internet bandwidth, all requests for such connectivity should be processed within a maximum period of three months from all points of view including security aspects.

Encourage new communication technologies
  1. The selection and use of communication and networking technologies for establishment of Internet connectivity should be left completely at the discretion of the service providers. Government on its part must facilitate allocation of frequencies for establishment of wireless connectivity in different parts of the country in a definite time frame of not more than 30 days


Promote indigenous technology development for low cost Internet access devices

  1. Special scheme should be launched for technology development of low cost PCs, Set-top boxes for TVs, cable modems and other futuristic Internet access devices, in collaboration with IT industry, ISPs, cable operators and financial institutions to provide a technology leadership to the country in this area and also technologically help to bring down the cost of Internet access devices to affordable level by common man

Right of way to cable operators
  1. Right of way should be extended to cable operators for laying Optical Fibre Cables. The permission should be granted within 15 days by respective municipal agencies.
Franchise operations of CICs on revenue sharing basis
  1. Prime Minister had recently announced setting up of Community Information Centres (CICs) at block level in North-Eastern States including Sikkim. This scheme is being extended to other under-developed regions in the country. The running of these centres should be franchised by government to educated unemployed youth in the region on revenue sharing basis.
  2. The spread of IT on a mass scale in the country will require a support infrastructure for maintenance of hardware and software. Polytechnics and ITI's must introduce training on these aspects in their courses. Also, simple tools and methodologies for self-repair/ maintenance of IT infrastructure must be packaged for use by non-professionals and made widely available to users
Evolve Standards for development of Indian languages based content on Internet
  1. For promoting the development of Indian content over Internet, the technology, software tools and devices need to be made easy for use by the common man and standardized for content development and exchange. A Standing Committee must be set up to develop and constantly review standards for Code, Keyboard and fonts for development of Indian languages based IT services

Electronic Governance

    The Working Group recommends the following steps to be taken by the government at different levels for speeding up the use of Electronic Governance in the country

Five Year IT Plans
  1. Central and state governments should prepare Five Year IT Plans (2000-2005) to re-engineer their services in a manner that by 2005, a common man in the country will not be required to visit government offices for normal day-to-day work and will be able to have all such interactions through Internet from homes as well as from IT Kiosks and CICs across the country.
  2. All government departments/ ministries must set up a Task Force to prepare short term as well as long term IT Induction Plan for their internal working as well as developing citizen services based on IT. The Task Force must be empowered to get the plans implemented.
IT Sensitization of decision makers
  1. Special training programmes/ seminars should be organized with a time bound action plan to sensitize Ministers, MPs/ MLAs and senior government officials on the benefits and applications of IT in governance.
5% of the budget for IT induction in government
  1. Every department of the government should earmark up to 5% of its budget (Plan as well as Non-Plan) to implement citizen-oriented IT services with requisite back-office computerization. This will enable government departments to implement their IT induction plans for a citizen friendly and transparent governance as well as effectively monitor the utilization of the remaining 95% of their budget.
IT infrastructure up to working level staff in government by 2003
  1. For IT services to be developed and sustained in the government, it is necessary that access to IT infrastructure is made available to working level staff. This requires government to establish IT infrastructure up to this level. While considerable progress has been made over the years towards this, all departments of central and state governments must prepare a time bound plan to establish government intranets with connectivity to each other and to Internet. These plans must be implemented by 2003.
Compulsory IT literacy for government recruitment by 2002
  1. IT literacy, as per a well defined foundation course module, should be made compulsory for recruitment to government service at all levels by 2002. In case a person has to be recruited without IT literacy, he/ she should compulsorily acquire it within one year. All the existing staff of the government must be asked to attain IT literacy in next 2 years. A panel of recognized training institutions, in private as well as public sector may be prepared and updated from time to time at central/ state governments level for this purpose.

At least one citizen oriented service by every government department by January 2001

 

  1. Every government ministry/ department must implement at least one Citizen-oriented service to be completely made IT enabled by January 26, 2001. All such IT enabled services must be made web-centric so that public can access them through Internet

Annual
E-Governance Reports by government departments

  1. Each ministry / department of Central / State governments must submit an Annual E-Governance Report to the Parliament/ State legislatures every year as a part of Annual Report being currently submitted

Sharing of experiences and best practices amongst States

 

  1. A Standing forum of State IT Secretaries must be set up for sharing of experiences and best practices amongst various states and facilitate horizontal transfer of IT applications and services amongst states. This will also facilitate standardization of services across the states.
Internet portal for one- point government information and services
  1. An Internet portal for government information and services must be set up with links to central and state government departments and services to provide single window access to government from anywhere in the country. For a common man to be able to use government services over Internet, content and services should be available in local languages on this portal.
State portals to help rural artisans
  1. State government portals should help rural artisans and entrepreneurs in publicizing and market development for products of rural artisans and handicrafts
Set up Administrative Re-engineering Commission at national level
  1. Most of the efforts of inducting IT in the government are made to map existing procedures followed in the government on to IT based systems. With the availability of IT based solutions, most of the procedures of the government need a thorough revision. This requires a massive re-engineering of processes being followed in the government at all levels. Both Central and State Governments must set up an Administrative Re-engineering Commission/ Committee to review all procedures in the government in view of facilities available through IT.
Standardize formats/ procedures for common services across the country
  1. Large number of services offered by government on the nationwide basis use different formats and procedures for similar functions in different states and regions. There is an urgent need to standardize these formats and procedures across the country. The concerned ministries of Central Government dealing with various sectors must establish Task Force to standardize the forms and procedures in such services across the country as well as facilitate early induction of IT in respective areas.

Data capture at the point of origination

  1. The current practice of first using conventional manual method and then doing data entry to bring that information on network should be completely discontinued in the government. All IT based services must capture data at the point of origination itself


Prime Minister's Annual Award for best E-governance

  1. Introduce Prime Minister's Annual Award to the best E-governed state government, central government department and services

 

  1. Some of the applications/ projects which should be taken up on priority by the government are as follows:
All government information on Internet by April 2001
    1. All Government regulations, schemes and forms should be put on Internet by every Ministry / Department of Central as well as State Governments latest by April, 2001.
All Tenders on Internet by August 2001
    1. All Tenders of the government should be put on Internet by August 15, 2001and submission of tenders should also be introduced through Internet
On-line bookings by January 2002
    1. All bookings related to services provided by government must be made on-line by January 2002

All government payments on internet by 2003

 

    1. All forms of payments to government such as payment of bills/ dues, taxes etc. should be made available through Internet by December 2003. Concerned agencies must prepare a time bound action plan for establishing infrastructure and services for electronic payments.
Results of public examinations on Internet by June 2001
    1. Results of all Public Examinations and information related to admissions to engineering, medical and other professional Colleges should be put on Internet by June 2001
Internet enabled Employment Exchanges
    1. Employment Exchanges across the country must provide information and registration related to various job opportunities and status of applications filed by the candidates through Internet
Land Records computerization by 2005
    1. Computerization of land records all over the country with computerized land / property documents should be made available to the public at all levels including in villages by 2005

Extensive use of IT in Judiciary
    1. Computerization of information related to court cases particularly the ones related to land / property disputes and extensive use of computers in courts at all levels in the country for office automation and judicial applications.
File Tracking system at District Collectorates by 2002
    1. District Collectorates must implement File Tracking System to provide Internet based information on applications submitted to them by public for various purposes by December 2002
IT Kiosks for single point delivery of government information/ services
    1. Single point delivery of government information and services including all forms of payments should be developed. IT kiosks should be allowed to offer such services on chargeable basis to public with revenue sharing formula with respective government agencies
 

 

 

Computer education at block level by 2003

 

 

All schools with computer education facilities to have access to Internet

 



Education

    The Working Group recommends the following steps towards this:

    1. Computer education facilities should be set up in rural areas by identifying at least 10 secondary schools in each of the 6000 development blocks in the country by 2003. Each school should maintain a PC to student ratio of at least 1:20 with minimum of 10 PCs in a school. All school level computers and software should have local language capabilities.
    2. All schools with computer education facilities should have Internet connectivity so that vast educational resources already available and to be developed by schools themselves could be shared amongst them. This will also create a sense of competitiveness amongst the schools for development of learning material.
    3. Computer education at school level should be promoted jointly with the participation of Central Government, State Governments, Donors, Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Industry including non-formal sector of computer education and training, Local Area Development Funds of MPs & MLAs and private individuals. This is an area where large investment is required on a continuing basis and can not be handled and sustained at satisfactory level by government sector alone. Hence, the participation by these agencies needs to be encouraged for the success of this programme.
    4. Entrepreneurs / self-employed people should be encouraged to establish IT education and training centres at schools by sharing the school infrastructure already available there. These agencies will have the responsibility of providing computer education to the students while offering IT education and training programmes for public from these premises. The fee structure at the level of schools should be made in such a way that these programmes become self-sustaining in the long run. The fee should be decided with the consent of Parent-Teacher Associations at the school level for this purpose with adequate provisions for cross-subsidization of poor children..
    5.  

    6. Government will continue to have a major role in encouraging and supporting computer education at school level. Government's contribution could be either in terms of direct financial support to schools or by organizing and supporting teachers' training programmes in computers and making course material and other educational material on CDs available to schools.
Pilot project for schools in 100% literate blocks

 

 

  1. As a pilot project for establishing computer education facilities at block level, one block in a district having achieved 100% literacy in each state should be identified. Computer education should be introduced in 10 schools in each of such blocks by June 2001.

  2. At least two teachers at every school should be trained to acquire skills to be able to sustain computer education programmes at schools.

  3. Companies should be allowed to write-off 150% of the depreciated cost of the PCs and other Internet access devices if donated to schools/ academic institutions
Special scheme for college students from under-privileged sections
  1. A special scheme should be launched by the government for the benefit of college students belonging to SC/ ST and Below-Poverty-Line category to learn IT through basic foundation courses. The candidates selected for government services should be given priority under this scheme.
Career guidance/ counseling
  1. Special arrangements should be made by government and industry for career guidance and counseling to large number of students who are undertaking IT training programmes at enormous cost through private sector in the country so that investments made by their parents for providing such training could be fruitfully utilized.
 

 

 

IT Yatras
( Journeys)

Mass Campaign for I T Awareness

The Working Group recommends the following steps in this direction:

  1. IT Yatras should be launched under the leadership of prominent citizens / celebrities in different parts of the country. These Yatras should have facilities for demonstrating the use of IT in various sectors based on the local needs of the people on the route of these Yatras. The Yatra should be conducted through Mobile Vans, which would have computers with mobile connectivity to Internet.

    Under a special scheme of IT Yatra, four Yatras could be organized from four prominent cities in the four regions of the country. The programme of these Yatras could be divided into three phases: Pre-Yatra Phase, the Yatra and the Post-Yatra Phase. In the pre-Yatra Phase, competitions, workshops, training programmes, popular lectures, advertising over the mass media etc could be undertaken to create a mass sensitization about the benefits of IT in the country. In the Yatra Phase, the four Yatras will travel through their respective regions demonstrating the use and benefits of IT to the common man over a period of about 2 months. These regional Yatras will finally culminate into a National IT Rally at Delhi on a day which could be declared by the government as an IT Day. Prime Minister may be requested to address this rally. On this day, a national seminar on IT and its benefits to the common man could be organized in which besides lectures and presentations, prizes/ awards announced during the major competitions in the Pre-Yatra Phase could be given. The Post-Yatra phase should be used to consolidate the gains of the awareness created amongst the people regarding IT in the country.

    An outline of this scheme is given in Annexure III.

Competitions

  1. Schools and colleges across the country must be encouraged to start competitions with respect to application of IT in various areas. Special prizes / awards must be instituted by schools / colleges. Corporate and industry houses in the country should come forward to sponsor these prizes / awards

National IT Talent Search

  1. A special scheme for National IT Talent Search should be launched at senior secondary level to identify and groom the students for their career development in IT sector.

Use of Radio, TV & Internet

  1. Intensive use must be made of mass media such as Radio, TV including Cable TV, and Internet to spread the message of benefits of IT to the common man. Short films / advertisements must be made under the category of Social Advertising towards this.

Use posters, banners, displays, etc for IT awareness

  1. Advertising campaign for IT awareness should also make extensive use of posters, banners, displays, mailers, etc. to take the message to common man.
IT Melas
(Fetes)
  1. IT ‘Melas' should be organized in different parts of the country particularly in small towns to demonstrate the benefits of IT to the people across the country. Special arrangements should be made to establish IT facilities at these melas for people to have first hand experience with regard to the benefits and utility of IT to the common man.

 

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