eGov

The shot just got smarter

A long queue of women, infants in their arms, extends outside the immunisation room at the community health centre (CHC) in Bhangel village, Noida, a pink double-storey building beside a bustling market. Unmindful of the chit-chatting and baby babble, Mariamma Samuel, an auxiliary nurse-cum-midwife, administers vaccines to infants and pregnant women. It’s 12:30 pm on an immunisa

Government takes cognizance of BharatNet project delay

The government has taken cognizance of the delay in BharatNet project and has taken corrective measures, the Lok Sabha was informed.   Union minister Manoj Sinha said that BharatNet project is being implemented with the objective to create network infrastructure for providing Broadband connectivity of 100 Mbps to all Gram Panchayats (GPs) (approx. 2,50,000) in the

Aadhaar as the foundation for cashless economy

On AadhaarPay Today more than 112 crore people have the Aadhaar card. Approximately 40 crore people have linked their Aadhaar numbers to their bank accounts. We already have a system of Aadhaar authentication in place.   To promote cashless economy, we have to consider all different segments of people. We have people who are well e

Mobilising industry to accelerate Digital India

  India has come a long way, from waiting for years to acquire a simple landline phone connection to a mobile phone in every hand. With the growth of mobile network, phone access has grown almost 100-fold in the last 20 years. This increase in the number of mobile phone users has also given a push to internet penetration, which further supports the Digital India initiative. &

Mission (Im)Possible

The Digital India programme aims to transform the country into a digitally empowered society. But can this programme be successful with only a few projects being implemented or piloted at a few places as early harvest programme? The initiative needs a holistic approach in implementation rather than banking on limited successes of a few projects. Though its initiatives like gov

“Wi-Fi coverage in rural areas necessary for Digital India success”

In an email interaction with Pratap Vikram Singh, the TRAI chief talks about the various regulatory aspects of providing reliable and ubiquitous internet to the masses.  How will the Digital India programme succeed in absence of ubiquitous, reliable and affordable internet?   One of the three areas on which t

Walking the last leg

For long, residents of Sultanpur village would travel 17 kms to the district office in Raj Nagar, Ghaziabad, if they needed to get birth, death or caste certificates or PAN or ration cards. If these documents were needed urgently, it was taken for granted that they’d have to approach a tout who would charge them anything between Rs 500 and Rs 2,000. A common services centre (CSC), establi

Internet, unto the last

Like millions of social media addicts, Shahnaz, who cooks in people’s homes for a living and lives in Gautampuri, Delhi, loves WhatsApp. Hopping from kitchen to kitchen, she likes to stay in touch with family and friends. Her two daughters and son, all school-going, make use of the internet connection on their mother’s phone. She also gets messages about homework and timetab

5 things you need to know about 5G

India seems to be in a tearing hurry to allow wireless internet access at a much, much higher speed. 4G could soon become passé as 5G seems to be just round the corner.   Telecom secretary JS Deepak has said in Barcelona that the government was working to ensure that it takes a leap on 5G and is issuing guidelines on use of high frequency spectrum bands.&nb

Aadhaar: To be mandatory, or not to be

Ever since the unique identity number, or Aadhaar, was introduced in India, it has carefully avoided spelling out its status – whether it is mandatory or not. The official stance, even after a change in government, remains that Aadhaar is ‘essential’ to avail specific services but it is voluntary on the citizen to apply for it or not. The long-awaited law, passed last year, ha

Was MHA website hacked?

Home ministry, which is supposed to maintain the internal security in the country, has reportedly fallen prey to cybercrime. On February 12, reports of ministry of home affairs (MHA) web portal getting hacked came to the fore. The website was immediately taken down for some time by national informatics centre in response to threat. Although, the ministry has denied any hacking ac

UIDAI acts against 50 illegal websites

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has ensured that 12 websites and 12 mobile applications available on the Google Playstore are shut down and has directed to close down 26 more such fraudulent and illegal websites/applications.   It came to the notice of UIDAI that these websites and mobile applications downloadable through Google Playstore were pro

Bharat Net gets Rs 10,000 crore in budget 2017-18

For budget 2017-18 the government has allocated Rs 10,000 crore to Bharat Net project, which aims to provide high-speed broadband connectivity to 2.5 lakh gram panchayats across the country.   Finance minister Arun Jaitley said that 1.5 lakh kilometre of optical fiber will be laid with Wi-Fi hotspots across the villages, making high-speed broadband connectivity av

Address current tensions for a robust digital economy: WEF white paper

Current tensions and anticipated future issues alike must be addressed to ensure the successful development of a robust digital economy for all stakeholders, said a World Economic Forum white paper.   The white paper on “Shaping the Future Implications of Digital Media for Society Valuing Personal Data and Rebuilding Trust” said that in this era of hyp

A bitter pill for e-pharmacies

Pawan Kumar’s doctor prescribed him some medicines for three months. The monthly bill of his medicines came around Rs 1,600, minus Rs 50 – the discount given by his local chemist. But when he bought the same medicines online he got a discount of 25 percent. Kumar now prefers ordering medicines online, as they are “obviously cheaper”. Online pharmacy is a

India needs 80 lakh Wi-Fi hotspots: Study

India needs over 80 lakh hotspots with a view to reach the global level of one Wi-Fi hotspot penetration for every 150 people, said a joint study carried out by ASSOCHAM and research firm Deloitte. There are currently over 31,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots installed in India. However, for India to match the current global average of one public Wi-Fi hotspot per 150 people, an addition

Cyber-attacks are most serious economic, national security threat: E&Y

Cyber security will cost the world $2 trillion in the next three years, and India, given the incidents of 2016, will continue to be the target, said Nitin Bhatt, national head and partner, risk advisory, Ernst & Young. Bhatt was speaking at the launch of the India report, part of the larger Global Information Security Survey 2016-17. Bhatt said that India would a victim of c

Paytm Payment Bank to be in operation from January 15

If you have a Paytm account and there is money in your wallet, then soon you can get interest on your money. The statement came from the Paytm’s blog post, in which the company announced that it will launch its payment bank on January 15.   Paytm wallet users will be given the option of opening a bank account with Paytm payment bank. On doing so, the user will ge

Does the net speak Dogri?

A 2016 report of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) is a bit of a misnomer: it’s called ‘Proliferation of Indian Languages on Internet’, but these languages account for hardly 0.1 percent of internet content. The internet, as the Chinese and speakers of other languages would agree, is dominated by English – as high as 56 percent of the content.

Demonetisation is a major driver that is forcing people towards digital payments: Nasscom president

From demonetisation’s impact on the digital economy to the growth of IT industry in the Trump era, NASSCOM president R Chandrashekhar shares his views with Taru Bhatia.  Do you think demonetisation is a right step towards a cashless economy? While recognising the inconvenience to a large section of society, NAS

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