Presented by Rohan Samarajiva
“The government is spending a lot on e-governance by putting up kiosks in villages. These kiosks cost a lot and need electricity, which is not always available in rural areas. An internet kiosk costs the government about Rs 1.5 lakh, while this would cost Rs 22,000.” Financial Chronicle (New Delhi edition) quoted Subhash Bhatnagar, adjunct professor, IIM-A who did a Mobile 2.
The government hopes to provide internet facilities to 30 percent of the country’s population and community-based broadband to all villages by 2015, the chief adviser’s press secretary Syed Fahim Munaim said on Sunday. The press aide was briefing reporters after a cabinet meeting which passed the “National Broadband Policy 2008”. Munaim said the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, in consultation with stakeholders, had finalised the policy with 11 clauses and guidelines for broadband to flourish in the country. “The guidelines reveal that 30 percent of the country’s population will be brought under the internet by 2015. All universities, medical colleges, technical universities, research bodies, all ministries, autonomous and non-governmental organisations will have access to the net,” he said.
Indian telecom service provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is expanding its rural broadband access in partnership with Nokia Siemens Networks. Expanded service will begin commercial operation in July. Nokia Siemens will deploy BSNL broadband access in 20 circles (administrative country subdivisions) in India. This will give an additional 25,000 Indian villages access to digital-age services like high-speed Internet and virtual private networks (VPNs). The new network will also enable BSNL to provide connectivity to CSCs (Community Service Centres) and other e-governance locations.
The Regional Development Dialogue, published by the UN Centre for Regional Development, in its most recent issue (volume 27(2), Autumn 2006, published in August 2007?!) carries two articles by Shoban Rainford, then at ICTA, and Harsha Liyanage, Sarvodaya on e Sri Lanka and the telecenter component within e Sri Lanka. In an invited comment, LIRNEasia‘s Rohan Samarajiva and Helani Galpaya, identify the e Sri Lanka initiative’s 1919 Government Information Center as a good example of pro-poor e-governance, because the information is available through the telephone, a technology that is more easily accessible to the poor than the Internet and telecenters. The special issue is edited by Subash Bhatnagar, an acknowledged expert on e government who provides a good summary, marred unfortunately by the use of wrong data in Table 1 (p.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Development, December 03-04, 2005 This workshop at IIM Calcutta will equip managers with the perceived benefits of ICT in the development sector in India, along with the roles that the government, corporate sector, non-governmental organizations, and people themselves can play. Bringing together faculty members from various functional groups of IIM Calcutta including Management Information Systems, Regional Development, and Business Environment, the lectures and discussions will focus on the managerial reforms and institutional aspects to make ICTs an integral component of development. Topics to be covered will include the information infrastructure, the policy issues related to ICTs, with special attention to the legal and regulatory frameworks, ICT and effective public management, public-private partnership in service delivery, especially in e-governance, pro-poor market development through ICTs, ICT and healthcare, ICT and disaster management, and the way ICT could be used for better governance through coordination between various stakeholders. More details available here.