India’s net neutrality debate is unique and complex

The net neutrality debate has perplexed layman and policy experts alike. For a developing country like India, where a majority of the population doesn’t have access to internet, whether government should stick to the core principles or should it allow flexibility in network management practices to operators is still not clear yet. Whether India should go for an overarching, prophylactic r

Pan-city initiatives for a smart city

Under the ambitious smart city mission, cities are scrambling to put together their plans to transform themselves into smart cities. The smart cities programme is a key initiative of the government that aims to make Indian cities more efficient, livable and vibrant and to infuse economic activity in the country. The smart city plan (SCP) needs to have these two primary component

Unleashing future Indian cities

India’s urban citizens need many improvements to make their cities better and more livable. A complete list would include livelihood opportunities, law and order ensuring safety, good urban mobility and transport, health and education, robust IT connectivity, good affordable housing with 24X7 water and electricity, solid waste management, and good governance from the city government and o

Correct the fundamental flaw now!

With the list for 100 smart cities mostly in, the stage 1 of Smart Cities Mission is over and the cities are readying for the challenge round as part of stage 2. At this first milestone, it may do the project some good to check if we are on the right track and if any course correction could be useful. First thing first: is the state-wise distribution of cities on the list reading

Upscaling city life

If things go as planned, India will have a set of clean and livable urban localities in the coming five years. These localities will be small islands of excellence in cities. They will have assured water and power supply, smart waste management, walkway, security of women and children and electronic governance, among others. Thanks to ministry of urban development’s (MoUD) `48,000 crore s

Standards crucial for delivering services in a transparent manner

Sudhir Krishna is the chairman of the sectional committee appointed by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) on setting standards for smartcities. The committee is likely to submit its first draft by March. Krishna was previously secretary of the ministry of urban development (MoUD), the nodal ministry for smart cities mission. What are t

Delhi govt services to go online under e-District

 Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal launched e-District project on Monday, which will enable people to access various government services online. Delhi government has identified 27 services that will be brought under e-District project. The cabinet earlier approved a proposal to make 12 government services hassle-free by eliminating the need to produce affidavits, and i

4G rings loud for smartphone buyers in India

One out of three smartphones shipped to India in the third quarter of 2015 was a 4G phone and this speaks of smartphone buyers’ confidence about a quick rollout of high-speed fourth-generation (4G) telecom networks. According to technology research firm International Data Corp. (IDC) shipments of 4G phones to India rose 21.4% to 28.3 million in the third quarter of 2015 fro

Smart network, smart infrastructure

Building robust network infrastructure is the key to the success of  programmes like Digital India and smart cities. To deliberate on creating network infrastructure, Governance Now organised Smart Networks Conclave 2015 in October in New Delhi. Governance Now director Kailashnath Adhikari set the tone of the conference with his opening address. Referring to a World Bank report, he said th

“Open source software adds strategic value to Digital India”

In order to ensure transparency and efficiency, the government has mandated the use of open source software (OSS) in all e-governance systems implemented by various government organisations. In an interaction, Amarjeet Manchanda tells Shubhendu Parth how Red Hat India is propogating the adoption of OSS among various government agencies to deliver citizen-centric services. E

How prepared India is to provide timely alerts for earthquakes

You are sitting in your home or office and feel a sudden shaking beneath your feet. The abnormal movement of ground could be a warning sign of an earthquake. As soon as you realise this, a given response to it would be either running out from the building or hiding under a table. In case of a multi-storey building, running down through stairs could turn fatal as you may fall short of time. And,

Road to Digital India: TRAI seeks suggestions on BharatNet implementation

BharatNet will be backbone of India’s ambition to be digitally connected. It has faced various hiccups and changes over the years since its conception as an idea. Now, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a consultation paper on ‘Implementation model for BharatNet’. Digital India is main programme that brings strands of communication and i

"We want to play a prominent role in GST and tax net projects"

The US-based Citrix provides a critical technology component that speeds up the new, improved IRCTC website. It also enables majority of the PSU and private sector banks in India to deliver anywhere, anytime, any device banking. In an interaction, Nilesh Goradia tells Shubhendu Parth about the technologies that can help governments improve their citizen service delivery, even in the remotes

The curse of the experts

Remember the name Sir Joseph Paxton before diving in. The Crystal Palace in London is an iconic architectural memory. All that remains are a few black and white pictures and line drawings, but it still makes it to the top 10 of any list of contemporary architectural wonders. For the record, the Palace fell to a raging fire in 1936. It was built in 1851 to house the Great Exhibition, a massive s

Television goes mobile

Missed an interesting show or a debate on TV? Soon you will be able to carry your TV wherever you go and watch all free-to-air television channels on your android phone and tablet without internet connectivity. Prasar Bharati is experimenting to provide television content on mobile phones. The state-owned public broadcasting network has come out with a prototype device — a dongle with an

Making financial inclusion mobile

E-retailers are adopting and adapting to mobile money and wallets riding on the back of an explosion in the use of smartphones in India. Business consulting service firm RNCOS estimates the Indian m-wallet market is worth `350 crore currently, and will touch `1,210 crore by 2019.  Mobile wallet is largely used for making small payments online to avail micro-services like recharging mobile

IT minister to meet Microsoft chief today

Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will meet Microsoft chief Satya Nadella today in Mumbai. They are likely to discuss the company`s plan to provide broadband connectivity in villages. During prime minister Narendra Modi`s visit to the US in September, Nadella had said Microsoft plans to partner with the government to bring in low-cost broadband connectivity to 500,000 villages

Polycom set to bring govt offices closer

India going digital friendly is advantage for many companies and Polycom is one of them. The video conferencing solution provider is celebrating 25th year in business and mark this event the company recently launched a slew of collaboration solutions to adapt to the workplace of the future. A report by market research firm Frost & Sullivan indicates that Polycom was the leade

Cloud services spending growth over30% in India

Spending on cloud services in India market is expected to reach $ 1.9 billion by 2019. High rates of growth is attributed to public cloud services, which is to touch $ 731 million by the end of this year, a jump of more than 31 percent over last year, research firm Gartner has said. According to Gartner’s latest cloud adoption survey, 61 percent of respondents in India indicated

Online GST will curb tax evasion: Rashmi Verma, special secretary, revenue department

As a  special secretary with the department of revenue, Rashmi Verma oversees developments related to goods and services tax (GST). In an interaction with Pratap Vikram Singh, she explains how GST and IT can create a system to curb tax evasion.


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