The 'Curtain Raiser Ceremony and First Meeting of the Program
Advisory Board' of the forth-coming triple conference – egov Asia 2006, digital LEARNING Asia 2006 and the Asian Telecentre Forum 2006 to be held from 26-28 April, 2006, in Bangkok, Thailand, was organised on 17th March under the aegis of the Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS), India, in association with Ministry of Information and Communi-cation Technology and Ministry of Education, Royal Thai Government.
The ceremony saw the participation of more than 40 delegates, comprising members of the Program Advisory Board, representatives from Supporting Partners and Institutional Partners, senior executives and leaders from the IT industry and mediapersons.
The meeting started with a entrancing 'Opening Address and Welcome Note' by the Chairman of the Program Advisory Board, Kraisorn Pornsutee, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Royal Thai Government.
In his speech, Mr. Pornsutee highlighted the fact that nowadays the governments and communities have realised the enormous potential of Infor-mation and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for accelarating their develop-mental process as also the undeniable need for mutual learning and knowledge flow. “There is an overriding importance for creating enabling opportunity for encouraging new learning paradigms and intellectual networks through platforms such as those being provided by the forthcoming triple conference – egov Asia 2006, digital LEARNING Asia 2006 and the Asian Telkecentre Forum 2006,” Mr. Pornsutee stressed.
A detailed presentation about the triple conference by Ravi Gupta, Director, CSDMS, and Convener, egov Asia 2006, digital LEARNING Asia 2006 & Asian Telecentre Forum 2006, followed the Chairman's opening address.
Speaking on the background of the triple conference, Mr. Gupta explained the relevance of these events in context of various initiatives of CSDMS (viz. egov, digital LEARNING & i4d magazines and portals) and its commitment towards promoting and advocating for ICT-led development of societies across the Asia-Pacific region. Mr. Gupta also gave a vivid portrayal of the 24 national and international organisations associated with these events in diverse roles and capacities. He also presented the details of conference programmes, covering each plenary and parallel session, the invited speakers, paper presenters and special workshops of the conference.
An open floor discussion followed thereafter, wherein the members and representatives of the Programme Advisory Board gave their remarks and suggestions. While all of them endorsed the draft plan, some valuable feedback came forth from some of the members, which were accepted with due respect and acknowledgement, and would be shortly incorporated into the overall programme.
Also, views and suggestions were invited from members of the IT industry. Although many of them refrained from putting forth any comment citing their role as observers, a few valuable inputs did come in that were laced with words of inspiration and intent of the industry to provide support for the conference.
The meeting concluded over some reassuring words from Mr. Pornsutee about the strong commitment of Thailand to carry forward the e-Government and ICT for Development vision of the country, irrespective of whatever political turmoil the country has to go through, and pledged to lend their helping hand in building capacities of Asian countries.
A Press Conference followed after the conclusion of the meeting. Mr. Pornsutee and Mr. Gupta briefed mediapersons about the triple conference.
A cocktail and dinner followed the ceremony, providing valuable networking time for the delegates and an opportunity to socialise.