Sibal holds consultation on draft national ICT policy 2011

New ICT policy to have five key missions

pratap

Pratap Vikram Singh | June 14, 2011



Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology held a round table conference with the stakeholders to deliberate upon the draft national information and communication technology (ICT) Policy 2011 on Tuesday in the Capital. Opening the deliberations, Kapil Sibal, Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology said that the Department of Information Technology (DIT) seeks to achieve the objectives of equity and empowerment by using ICT to touch and transform lives of citizens. “The endeavour is not only to promote the growth of IT Industry – but to use ICT for empowering citizens and ensuring transparency and accountability in governance through reliable and efficient delivery of public services,” he stated. The Minister informed about the five key missions of the proposed draft ICT Policy, which includes (i) fostering e-Government through providing e-infrastructure for delivery of e-services, (ii) promotion of e-Innovation which involves creation of R&D infrastructure in emerging areas of ICT and electronic, (iii) stimulating e-Learning through providing support for development of e-Skills and knowledge network, (iv) ensuring e-Security and lastly (v) prioritising e-Inclusion through the promotion of use of ICT for more inclusive growth. Giving his submission, Ajay Chowdhary, Chairman and CEO, HCL Infosystems said that the internet and PC penetration in India is very low. He proposed that people should be incetivised for using online goverment to citizen services like paying of the utility bills. He noted that the tendering process in the government takes lot of time, which could rather be done in a time bound fashion. Besides, he stated that the eGovernance projects and services, equally, need to have stringent time frame. He also opined that while creating a national information infrastructure, standardisation has to be taken very seriously. On the contrary, Kirna Karnik, Former NASSCOM President, said while the department of Information Technology should play role of a facilitator for creating an overall healthy ecosystem for the industry, it must refrain from laying down the specifications for the development of products, so as to foster innovation in the industry. He also said that like there is a public distribution system (PDS) for food grains, there could also be a system for information and knowledge and true electronic delivery of services. Meena Chaturvedi, CEO of Srei Sahaj e-Village said the vision statement of national ICT policy must have 'empowerment' of citizens as a key element. She said the government should focus on imparting eLiteracy in rural areas and proposed use of common services centre (CSC) in monitoring of government to citizen services at the village level. Access to broadband, technology and content were identified as most important challenges in deployment and adoption of ICT solutions at national scale, in the over all discussion. The views of the stakeholders towards formulation of the draft national ICT policy were solicited in terms of two broad objectives viz. a “connected and unified government” and “empowerment of citizens”.

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