March 2007

News

Views: 235

   Agriculture

Biofuel: Source to power base stations in rural India

Indian mobile operator Idea Cellular, Ericsson and the GSMA's Development Fund have joined together to develop biofuels as a source of power for wireless network in rural India.

These organisations will use biofuels to power mobile base stations and the pilot project will come in Pune, Maharashtra. In the first phase of the project will incorporate the testing the feasibility of non-edible plant based fuels like cotton and jatropha. The second of the project will involve setting up a supply chain using locally grown crops to produce biodiesel to power between 5-10 base stations across the state. Biofuels will help to further extend mobile coverage into these areas bringing major economic and social benefits to rural communities. The GSMA's Development Fund is set up to catalyse the role of mobile technology in social, economic and environmental development. According to Mats Granryd, managing director, Ericsson India, this initiative step will also involve local communities in the wireless revolution and taking the benefits of technology to the masses. 
                                                                       www.cxotoday.com

   Community radio

FM 'Awaaz Apki Prayas Hamara'

AID, West Bengal (WB) (India) based NGO has launched the Nagpuri community radio programme, Awaaz Apki Prayas Hamara' in All India Radio (AIR) FM channel.

The programme, 'Awaaz Apki Prayas Hamara' will deal with urban poverty and other issues faced by slum and street dwellers, tribals, rickshaw pullers and migrants. The programme would be broadcasted in Ho, Santhali, Bengali and Mundari languages. According to Shiv Sharan Choudhary, liaison officer of AID, the community radio reaches up to 80 percent of the rural and urban areas. These programmes are conceived, developed and managed by the poor and addresses their real issues and sufferings.

                                                                   www.telegraphindia.com

   eCommerce

Send money though mobile phones

Now millions of migrant workers can send their money through their mobile phones.  A global association of mobile operators has launched a programme, mobile money transfer (MMT) in association with MasterCard to allow workers to send money through mobile phones.

More than 19 mobile operators are involved in the global money transfer project with networks in over 100 countries. Mobile operators like Philippines' Smart and India's Bharti Airtel are making partnership with banks at local or regional level to provide this service. While the GSM Association is planning to set up the global money transfer project worldwide in association with Master Card, which will provide international authorisation, clearing and settlement. 

                                                                              news.bbc.co.uk

   eGovernance

eGovernance10 commandments of Indian e-Governance comes in CSI's eGov-2007

The two-day National conference of the Computer Society of India (CSI),'eGov-2007' on 'Redefining Governance through IT' has been concluded with 10 commandments on e-Governance in India.

CSI has hosted the conference and Government of India, Government of UP, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT-K), IBM, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Oracle and National Informatics Centre (NIC) are active partners of the conference. The CSI Lucknow chairman and principal consultant, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Jayant Krishna has given 10 commandments of e-Governance in India. The declaration states that e-Governance projects need a proper 'Management of Change' entailing an internal communication programme, securing stakeholders' mandate, re-tooling and training since most e-Governance projects fail due to people and few due to technology. The commitment of top management of the government organisation is an essential pre-requisite for e-Governance programmes to be successful. e-Governance stakeholders should explore implementation of packaged solutions like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) products, workflow systems etc rather than bespoke solutions since products have a long-term future roadmap and correspond to the optimised processes and global best practices. Procurement of e-Governance solutions and services from the vendor community should be based on quality and not on lowest cost.

                                                               www.hindustantimes.com

Defence Ministry launches online auction website in UK

The Ministry of Defence has launched an online auction website, which allows the public of UK to bid for surplus Government equipment including Green Goddess fire-trucks.

The Disposal Sales Agency has extended its existing website to include an on-line auction. Customers can bid and pay for ex-Government items online. Even they can bid through the website for items put up for sale by Government contractors. Additionally, the auction website will allow the public to buy equipment directly from contractors who supply the Government. To access the online auction site visit the Disposal Sales Agency main website on www.edisposals.com and click on the 'auctions' link. 

                                                              www.publictechnology.net

India's first radio on disaster management launches

India's first community radio on disaster management was launched on February 23, 2007 in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu. Group of NGOs like Caritas India, UN agencies and involvement of Government has turned the lives of citizens of coastal regions.

The station would be operated from Vizhundhamavadi, a village in the district. The radio station became active due to the financial aid from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to Dhan Foundation, based in Madurai and involvement of local people. UNDP has already trained local youngsters as radio volunteers. The radio station will work, as a warning system and it will give information to the local communities about disasters. A studio for the radio station has been set up at Vizhundhamavadi, where from initially the daily broadcast will be for about half-an-hour, and later it will go up to an hour.
                                                            
www.theindiancatholic.com

  Education

Educatione-Shiskha portal helps Indian students in making their concept easy

A Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has developed a collaborative e-Learning system and portal under its initiative Shiksha India, which will help Indian students to search difficult topics.

The portal, www.eshikshaindia.in can be accessed by anyone free of cost. It will equip schools with e-Learning facilities to help students understand difficult concepts better. The portal is basically designed for students aged between 12 years to 17 years on subjects like physics, biology, chemistry, English and geography. It will also contain other languages, including English, Hindi and Tamil. Shiksha has developed the ready content, which offers e-Tools and e-Resources as well as other software that teacher can use to create her own online course for students. The portal will work on the lines of operating system Linux, where students and teachers can contribute matter on topics. It functions like Wikipedia in the sense that teachers and students can collaborate with each other; add to the already existing data using the wikiengine called mediawiki. timesofindia.indiatimes.com


   General

Government of West Bengal (India) eager to generate awareness of RTI

The state of West Bengal has tied up with a private telecom provider in order to erase the state's poor RTI (Right to Information) record for setting up a call centre to respond to all RTI-related queries.

The state government of West Bengal has appointed and funded an NGO named PUBLIC to run the Administrative Training Institute (ATI) and set up the RTI helpline in collaboration with Bharati Telecommun-ications. Malda and West Midnapore have been selected as pilot districts to be covered by the UNDP project. The project-'Capacity building for access to information with reference to RTI Act, 2005'-covers 12 states in India in its first phase. cities.expressindia.com

UK's Glassgow city upgrades its IP telephony

Glasgow City Council of UK is upgrading its network to provide an IP telephony infrastructure and a multilingual contact centre. Government is providing high-bandwidth communications network, which will make easy for citizens to communicate with the council. The Access Glasgow will make easy for 600,000 citizens to communicate with the council. The network upgrade will deliver a citywide communications platform to integrate data, voice and video to support front-line applications including online consultation and planning, tax collection and benefit. Cisco Unified Communications System will deliver IP telephony services to council staff and a multi-lingual contact centre.
                                                                    www.computing.co.uk

   Health

Philippines Government launches e-Nutrition project

Philippines Government has established the Philippine Knowledge Centre on Food and Nutrition or e-Nutrition to improve the nutritional status of Filipino population by providing information on nutrition.

Government is hoping to combat malnutrition problems of citizens through e-Nutrition project. Nutrition workers will access information on food consumption, nutrition and health status and other essential indicators that will be useful for policy-making, monitoring, evaluation, planning and development of nutrition-related programmes. The e-Nutrition project includes assessments, which will assist local government units, non-governmental organisations, schools and communities to determine the prevalence of under-nutrition and over-nutrition as well as dietary management tools for individuals to develop a healthy weight management plan. The project is a product of the collaborative effort of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) and Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI). The Commission on Information and Communications Technology has funded for the project.   
                                                                             www.pia.gov.ph


Mobile phones for visually impaired

The International Institute of Information Technology-Bangalore (IIIT-B) and Chennai (India) based company, Lattice Bridge has developed mobile phone based technology to help the visually impaired and tourists find their way in a particular location. User has to call on a designated number and ask question and then user will receive an automated response about their queries. IIIT-B is developing the server application, and Lattice Bridge in designing the voice engine, which converts text messages to speech. Spinfo will provide the geographical content. Initially, the project would be tested in Bangalore and Chennai and later on it would be extended to other cities. If the user has a GPS-enabled phone with bluetooth capability, then the software can ascertain the caller's location more precisely.timesofindia.indiatimes.com


   Livelihood

BPOs are changing lives of rural India

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) are connecting rural citizens of India. BPO is not about call centre; there are business processes from areas like Aviation, Insurance, Banking, Health care and Information Technology.

A girl, named Sharmila is running India's first rural BPO facility in Kizhanur village, Thiruvallur district about 50 km from Chennai. Recently, Satyam Computers has set up a BPO in a village of Andhra Pradesh, India. BPOs are benefiting rural economy, which has not been possible with outdated agricultural technology. Indian Tobacco Company (ITC) is planning to leverage its infrastructure to offer a basket of new services in power, health, education BPO in rural India. ITC e-Choupal, which essentially began as a supply chain delivery mechanism for its agriculture-commodity business, is looking at an investment of INR 5,000 million over 5-7 years.
                                                                          www.merinews.com

Read Newspaper on your mobile phone

Now, Indians can enjoy Newspaper on their mobile phones, while on the move. Pressmart, a subsidiary of Bodhtree Consulting Limited, and IMImobile, has announced the availability of mPaper.

The mPaper technology will enable newsreaders to read and access their favorite newpaper content, while they are traveling also. The mPaper technology also allow user to use features like archives and options to search and save news reports and it would be available on monthly subscription. Pressmart, a subsidiary of Bodhtree Consulting Limited, is a new media delivery partner of leading newspapers and magazines published in over 15 languages across 21 countries. IMImobile is a next-generation end-to-end enabler of Mobile Value Added Services (VAS) for mobile operators, media companies and enterprises. Pressmart will provide mPaper facility in 9 major newspapers of India. Currently, Pressmart is providing content on its e-Publiching products.  According to Sanjiv Gupta, CEO of Pressmart, the company has partnered with IMImobile to deliver new services on mPaper in the future. 
                                                          
www.thepeninsulaqatar.com

   mServe

Hutch joins Jet Airways to offer m-Ticketing service  in India

Hutch, India's number one service provider has joined hands with Jet Airways to provide mobile ticketing service in India. Jet and Hutch has launched the 'm-Ticketing with JetWallet' solution, which will allow users to book, pay and generate e-Tickets through their mobile phones.

Initially, Jet will offer this service to Hutch subscribers with Java enabled mobile phones with GPRS capability. Chicago-based company, C-SAM has developed the technology, named JetWallet. JetWallet is a version of C-SAM's patented technology, OneWallet, which allows users all functionalities of wallat in their mobile phones. Users can download the JetWallet software directly on their mobile phones and then book their tickets through mobile phones. Then, such tickets would be emailed to customers, so that customers can take print of that and use it as regular tickets. e-Tickets would be automatically stored in mobile phones, so that user can access it in future.
                                                        economictimes.indiatimes.com

HSBC launches m-Payment solutions to US customers

HSBC bank has launched mobile contactless payments technology for its US card services division.

HSBC has launched this service for 200 staff members in New York, Chicago and several other US cities. The service is available on Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled mobile phones to make contactless credit card purchases. User can use the 'over-the-air' (OTA) personalisation process to load their credit card data from their mobile phones. ViVOtech has provided the wallet, smart poster, and payment-provisioning software for the mobile phones. HSBC introduced contactless debit cards to its bank customers in late 2005 and contactless credit cards in 2006
                                                                         www.finextra.com 

   Open source

Kerala in India aims for open source software destination

The State Government of Kerala is planning to develop the state into a free and open source software destination. The Government is intending to use open source software in its e-Governance programmes. The State's IT industry is free to work with whatever software it wants. The draft IT policy is aimed to bridge the digital divide and take the benefits of IT to all sections of society. TheGovernment is hoping to ensure that at least one person in each family in the State is e-Literate. 
                                                       www.thehindubusinessline.com

Asia Source II recommends for open source software in developing counties

More than 130 IT professionals of professionals of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from more than 27 countries have been gathered for the 9-day Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) training camp at Sukabumi, Indonesia.

The objective of 9-day FOSS training camp, named ASIA SOURCE II is promote the use of FOSS for social and economic development and to build a network of FOSS practitioners and trainers within Asia. Asia Source II is jointly organised by UNDP's International Open Source Network (UNDP-IOSN) through its ASEAN+3 Centre of Excellence, InWEnt – Capacity Building International (Germany), Tactical Technology Collective (Netherlands), Aspiration (USA), and ICTWatch (Indonesia). The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Hivos and UNDP's Asia-Pacific Development Programme (UNDP-APDIP) has supported the event. The main focus at Asia Source II is open publishing and broadcasting, alternative hardware and access, system migration and information management.
                                                                                     www.cio.in


WiMAX moving ahead in India

C-Dot Alcatel-Lucent Research Centre will launch Reve. C-Dot Alcatel-Lucent Research Centre (CARC), in Chennai (India), has successfully completed the country's first live WiMAX IEEE 802.16e-2005 (also known as Rev-e) field trial using Aircel's licensed spectrum (2.5GHz band). It is expected that WiMAX will provide broadband access that can foster economic growth, better education, health care and improved entertainment services. 
                                                                      
www.cxotoday.com

   SME/SMB

SAP eyes SME segment in India

SAP is planning to launch a new solution to specially address the lower and mid market in India.

SAP India, has announced its new initiatives to tap the huge potential in the SME ERP market in India and globally, as part of its vision 2010. SAP India is also planning to expand its customer base to 15,000 by 2010 as part of its Vision 2010. In 2007, SAP will enter the SME segment and promote its Enterprise SOA platform.  
                                                                      www.dqchannels.com

World Bank will be setting up US$ 5 billion fund for emerging markets

The World Bank's global bond fund for emerging local market currencies will be established with a corpus of US$ 5 billion.

The global bond fund will have contributions from forex reserves of
25 emerging economies and funds from private institutional investors, and it will have government and industry representatives in its advisory board. US-based PIMCO is being looked at as a prospective fund manager along with Oppenheimer, Alliance Bernstein, Deutsche, JP Morgan and Fidelity.                                             
                                                        economictimes.indiatimes.com
 

  Technology

Possibility of first practical quantum computer is positive

On February 13th, D-Wave Systems, a firm based in Burnaby, near Vancouver, announced the existence of the world's first practical quantum computer.

Quantum computers are perceived to reduce dramatically the time needed to solve a range of mathematical tasks known as NP-complete problems by encoding all possible permutations in the form of a small number 'qubits'. Qubits are created in the laboratory using photons, ions and certain sorts of atomic nuclei.  
                                                                      www.economist.com
 

  Telecentre

Telecentres bridges digital gap in Putrajaya Telecentres are bridging the digital gap with urban areas and rural areas of Putrajaya.

Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik, Putrajaya's Minister of Energy, Water and Communi-cations said that many rural citizens are using these telecentres to check their e-Mail browse the Internet and use some computer applications. The cost to built such a telecentre, is around RM200, 000 to RM300, 000. Government has constructed over 900 such centres, in rural areas. These telecentres help villagers to access e-Government services.
                                                                               thestar.com.my

   Telecommunication

Tata group wins TCIL's African e-Project

The Tata Group has won a multi-million bid of Telecommunications Consultants of India's (TCIL) project to set up a pan-Africa e-Network project, which aims to connect all 54 countries in the continent.

The Tata group has beaten Infinium and Bharti for this project. The company will supply, implement, test, commission of satellite earth station equipment, antenna sub system and VSAT sub systems, in addition to setting up remote terminals in all 54 African countries and a central hub in Senegal. This network will create a common platform for all African countries to provide telecommunication, tele-medicine, Internet, video conferencing, VoIP services and also support e-Governance, e-Commerce, infotainment, resource mapping and meteorological services.
                                              &nb

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