Colombo


A systematic review of ICT integration in education in the developed world. Presented by Sujata Gamage at ICT4Education Research Dissemination Event “Strategies for optimizing benefits of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for education in Developing Asia” held on 2016 Nov 26, 2015, at the Committee Room E, BMICH, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Today was the first public airing of our big data for development research results. It was a small amount of time, so we focused on a limited set of issues. So we showed that anonymized data sets can easily substitute for costly traffic studies. Slides.
This has been the week of IT and ITES (or queries related to them). A local weekly asked me about the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living survey, where Colombo had come in the lowest 20, but above Indian cities and Dhaka. According to EIU, the survey is for ‘human resources line managers and expatriate executives to compare the cost of living in 140 cities in 93 countries and calculate fair compensation policies for relocating employees.’ Companies can then apply this index to an executive’s spendable income to reach a fair cost of living allowance. The purpose of a cost of living allowance is to reimburse employees for excess living costs resulting from a foreign assignment.
LIRNEasia‘s recently completed pilot project on the use of mobile phones for early detection of communicable diseases, led by Nuwan Waidyantha, was showcased at a press conference yesterday at Cinnamon Lakeside, Colombo. Below is an excerpt of an article appearing in Lanka Business Online. The ‘real-time bio-surveillance programme’ enables the rapid detection and notification of potential health outbreaks through mobile phones, software applications and a Web interface, said LIRNEasia, a regional information communications technology think tank. … The system was useful because of recent outbreaks of communicable diseases, with health authorities only aware of an outbreak when the media reported the death of several people. With the new system, data on patients and symptoms of illnesses are sent through mobile phones in real-time from hospital wards to the epidemiological centre.
A public lecture entitled, “From euphoria to pragmatism: The experience and the potentials of eHealth in Asia” is to be held at the Sri Lanka Medical Association, Colombo 7, on 14 September 2010 from 1500Hrs to 1730Hrs. The new paradigm, called eHealth, is being adapted widely, from primary to tertiary health care in many countries. However, looking at the current literature on the subject, the reviews have been mixed. For every successful and sustainable initiative that has been adopted several have fallen on the wayside. This lecture will look into the experiences of eHealth in Asia.
Rohan Samarajiva, LIRNEasia‘s CEO, will deliver one of two keynote addresses on “Imagining the Future and Making it Happen”, at the inaugural WSO2 Conference, WSO2Con 2010, in Colombo, on 14 and 15 September 2010. The conference is organized by WSO2, the open source technology company headed by CEO Sanjiva Weerawarana, in celebration of its fifth anniversary. Download presentation slides, here. The conference intends to become an annual international event of bringing together a technology community to exchange knowledge, vision, and share best practices and success stories. Under the title, “Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Cloud Computing: Blueprint for the Future Enterprise”, this year’s conference will focus on the implications and opportunities unleashed by the convergence of SOA and Cloud computing.
Priyantha Kariyapperuma, Director General of Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka, is in ‘banning’ mode these days. Having ‘banned’ twelve sex sites on the initiation of IGP, now he plans to ban the mobile phones at private schools. For government schools, Susil Premajayantha, Education Minister has taken a similar move. Minister Premajayantha said that he has taken this decision to avoid the harmful situations that had led to a ‘number of unfortunate incidents’ in schools recently. The incident that triggered this move was the suicide of a fourteen year old girl of a leading school in Colombo, whose mobile phone, with personal information, has been confiscated by the prefects.
We would have shown no interest if a Colombo school did this, but when Navodhya School, Pitakumbura, Bibile (300 km off from Colombo, in the border of a post conflict area) launches a mobile web portal we take note. (Kottu.org readers might remember some blogs from this far off place.) www.m.
Old habits die hard. When you have been a member of a tiny Trotskyite left political party for the longer period of your life and seen the World Bank as your arch enemy, you may forget that you are on the same side now. This seems to be what happens to Sri Lanka’s Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Tissa Vitharana, once in a while. His latest holler, as reported by ‘The Catalyst’ – the newsletter of the Information and Communication Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), the apex body of ICTs that spearhead the e-Sri Lanka program, funded by the World Bank, goes as follows: “At a time when the ‘world funding bodies’ proposed the setting of Internet cafes in cities of Sri Lanka in a manner that would only cater only to the rich elite, President Mahinda Rajapaksa decided that Nenasalas or wisdom outlets should be setup instead island-wide to cater to the poor rural folk.
In the third round, LIRNEasia has extended the testing to one more location. With that we have tested two packages in New Delhi (MTNL and AirTel), two in Chennai (BSNL and AirTel), five in Colombo (SLT ADSL, Dialog WiMax, Dialog 3G, Dialog 3G Unlimited and Mobitel Zoom 890) and two in Dhaka (SKYbd and Sirius). A strenuous task for five teams, no doubt, who took readings at different times staring from 8 am and went up to 11.00 pm (some had to spend nights at offices) but results are worth the effort. What did we learn?
Infosys Technologies chairman and chief mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy has declined to be the IT advisor to the Sri Lankan government, the IT bellwether said Wednesday. In a letter to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Murthy said he had decided to withdraw from being the advisor due to personal reasons. “I thank you for the courtesy shown to me during my recent visit to Sri Lanka.
Narayana Murthy, the ‘IT Guru’ is in Colombo. ‘Entrepreneurship and IT for National Integration: A Challenge for Sri Lanka’ was his topic addressing Sri Lankan software industry representatives, on Saturday. The well attended event was organized by the three month old Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM) that has ambitious plans to follow elder brother, NASSCOM. Murthy talked for 40 minutes, and delivered the gems, for anybody to pick. Develop infrastructure; Build HR or import if not enough; Encourage foreign investment; Avoid fat government; Give confidence to private sector; Nurture venture capitalists: Change labour laws; Provide equal opportunities for both genders; Ensure peace, political stability and correct fiscal environment because they are the key to the growth of IT and ITES industries and don’t be scared to innovate.
Mr Narayana Murthy of Infosys has always been a straight-talker and a clear thinker. The Sri Lanka President deserves congratulations on picking him as his advisor. He will give good advice. We hope the President will take the advice. Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday appointed N R Narayana Murthy, chairman of India’s Infosys Technologies, as his international advisor on information technology, the president’s office said.
A regional workshop on next generation networks will be held in Colombo, April 7-10, 2009.  We wish it success in advancing the rollout of next generation networks in the region.

Sri Lanka: Whither onshore BPOs @BOP?

Posted on December 29, 2008  /  8 Comments

Recessions are not bad for everybody. Proverbial silver line in the cloud, they bring hope to some. Success of the India BPO industry can partially be attributed to the post 9/11 recession. Tighter the economy, cheaper the solutions business looks for. How far onshore rural BPOs cater to the needs of their clients?
Electricity is said to be the only infrastructure the twentieth century communist rulers have truly cared for.  The practice may have had its origins in Lenin’s efforts for full electrification of the Soviet state, started in 1920 (aka GOELRO Plan). Nevertheless it makes perfect sense. Let the masses have electricity so that they can switch on television sets. They will not worry about anything else.