eGov

India’s App Economy

A 10 percent increase in India’s internet traffic leads to, on average, a 3.3 percent increase in India’s GDP, and a 10 percent increase in India’s mobile internet traffic leads to a 1.3 percent increase in the GDP, says a study, ‘Estimating the value of new generation internet based applications in India’, by the Indian Council for Research on International Econom

Making the cloud industry-friendly

India may not take a heavy-handed approach in regulating cloud computing. The telecom regulatory authority of India (TRAI) is expected to submit its recommendations on cloud computing to the department of telecommunications (DoT) in the next couple of months, says an official aware of the matter. In its submission, the regulator is considering industry-friendly rules governing cloud technology

Online payments, now a phone call away

A project worth Rs 1,000 crore by the department of post will serve as a shot in the arm for financial inclusion in the country. The department, say officials aware of the matter, has zeroed in on the US-based Hewlett Packard (HP) to set up the technology infrastructure for its countrywide rollout of a payment bank – a stripped-down version of a bank that would allow a limited savings dep

The UID pioneer thinks Aadhaar controversies miss the point

We started in July 2009 with two overarching contexts. The first context was identification. Many people did not have any identification document. Of course, there are many ID documents in India, but there was no single universal document, and even after adding up the existing ones there was no universal coverage. For example, the voter ID card is meant only for those above 18 years o

New telecom policy to be application driven: Manoj Sinha

The ministry of communications is working on a new application-driven telecom policy as opposed to the National Telecom Policy (NTP), 2012 which was connectivity driven, said minister Manoj Sinha.    Speaking at a seminar titled ‘ICT: engendering new governance structure’, he said that the new policy should focus on end users and should look for o

Security in peril

A few years ago, a public sector undertaking (PSU) in the manufacturing sector took part in a power plant’s contract bidding. It lost the contract to a Chinese firm. Most Chinese companies are known for their aggressive bidding, as they quote the lowest. They have been giving nightmares to many Indian PSUs, and private sector companies, for over ten years, by outbidding them in various te

Aadhaar: On a sticky wicket

In April, the Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), Mumbai was making news. Its ranking in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) 2017 dropped from the second position to 25th. In the same month, the institute was again trending, for another reason. A mischief by a group of third and fourth year undergraduate students not only surprised the top management of the institute but als

Why humans should lose and AI should win

The emerging sentience of Artificial Intelligence (AI) scares many. Those who are afraid of it are saying all of us should be. Behind that dire prognosis is something so fundamentally primeval that its sheer rawness erodes the carefully applied layers of sophistry and civilisation by generations of humanity. AI is intelligent in the same way that we consider someone else intelligent. Ye

Online education market to be $1.96 bn by 2021: Google, KPMG

Capturing the growing influence of the internet on the education industry in India, Google and KPMG have released a joint report titled, ‘Online Education in India: 2021. The report reveals that the online education industry will grow at a healthy rate of eight times, to become a USD1.96 billion industry by 2021.    The report is based on a comprehensiv

Government sanctions new posts to hire cyber security professionals

The government has sanctioned 111 posts of cyber security professionals for the Indian computer emergency response team (ICERT) under the ministry of electronics and information technology (MEITY), according to a ministry official, who added that the posts were sanctioned earlier this year.  The recruitment for the ICERT has been pending for at least five years and it is expe

Online learning is the way forward

Sameer Srivastava, a school topper from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, wanted to study in an IIT like any other engineering aspirant. But getting into an institution where only less than one percent of the applicants are selected was a big hurdle. Not cutting the IIT mark, Sameer decided to settle for an engineering college, which with its traditional curriculum and teachers was just good eno

Don’t panic, your Aadhaar is safe, writes RS Sharma

Privacy and data protection concerns have become serious in a digital world due to ease of search and aggregation, with or without Aadhaar. Type any name in Google and it will throw up thousands of results, giving data/information publicly available. Hence, the responsibility falls on organisations which collect data from individuals to protect it. If a state government puts bank account detail

An uphill task

It’s a hot and dull afternoon. The streets of Mohali district in Punjab are almost empty. The dullness is also reflected inside the Mohali Sewa Kendra. Except for four women there is nobody inside the centre. Wearing uniformed pale blue salwar kameez and an orange dupatta, the women are quietly working behind their counters. The silence is disrupted every now and then with a sudden clatte

Zero spread banking

It’s common knowledge that banks thrive on interest spread, the difference between the rate they charge borrowers and the rate they pay depositors. Bank profits hinge on those vital two to five percentage points, besides small service charges for cheque books, ATM transactions and so on. Enter a paradox: banks which accept deposits but do not lend. So, are they viable? That

For a free and open access

Mozilla is working on two separate goals in net neutrality. One is to bring everyone online; ensure that everyone has access to the internet. The other is to ensure that the network should remain open and diverse. We want people to have access to the whole diversity of the internet and not just in some parts. The debate on neutrality has been playing in India for two years in a more dev

Digital India: Are we there yet?

As one enters the State Senior Secondary School, Kalyana, in Kangra district – some 15 km from Dharamsala – one sees children from different age groups scattered all across the playground. In the basketball court, boys and girls, wearing maroon sweaters, sitting in separate rows are taking an exam. A short distance from there a class is underway for standard 6 students. Some

Problem of call drops is more severe indoors: DoT

According to the department of telecommunications (DoT), the problem of call drops is more severe indoors. DoT`s observation is derived from the feedback it received from consumers through an IVRS facility that it launched in December 2016.     “Since the launch of the IVRS system on December 23 till February 28, 16,61,640 successful outbound ca

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



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