May 2007

News

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Agriculture

Iffco, Airtel partner to provide farm info to farmers in UP, India

Bharti Airtel has entered into a strategic partnership with Indian Farmers Fertiliser Co-operative Ltd (Iffco) by giving them access to information related to agriculture.

Initially the company is aiming at  villages in UP. Airtel will provide a value-added service. The services at present will be available to bona fide Iffco members under the new scheme called 'Rs 99 Airtel-IFFCO SUK Pack'. This will allow the customer to talk at INR 30 paise from one Iffco Pack to another Iffco Pack and will provide free talktime for INR 10, with seven days' validity. The Iffco-Airtel rural pilot project has been launched in Danyalpur and Mubarakpur Societies in Barabanki, East UP on April 2, 2007. 
                                                          www.businessstandard.com
Community radio

A radio revolution in tribal Gujarat, India

A community radio in Dang district, 400 kms away from Ahmedabad, India is bringing a silent revolution in the region. The community radio is raising awareness among the tribal populace. Drishti has initiated the first type community radio in the region in partnership with Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan (KMVS), a women's organisation based in Bhuj in 1998. Now the radio station is successfully bringing awareness to the tribal community. According to Nimesh Khakharia, co-ordinatior, each programme talks about specific problems and the ways in which they can be dealt with. The aim of the radio is to educate them about various laws and rights, so that tribal people can make use of it while facing a corrupt official.
                                                                 www.timesofindia.com
Education

Sakhr Software, the biggest e-Gov education portal in Oman

Sakhr Software, an electronic education portal for the Omani Ministry of Education is the biggest e-Government project in Oman. In the first phase of the project, two educational zones will involve around 200 schools and 116,000 students.

The Sakhr Software offers several e-Government services for parents, student admission and registrations, student transfer, issue certificates and many more. It is also offers School Management System (SMS) for parents and students. It aims to provide two other major services, e-Learning and an Internet Portal System to establish communication between students, teachers,  parents, zone administrations and others involved in the educational process.
                                                                     www.albawaba.com

Computers, Internet access for most disadvantaged pupils of London

London Grid for Learning & RM will provide desktop computers and Internet access to disadvantaged secondary pupils of London.

The London Grid for Learning (LGfL) has awarded RM the contract for providing the Computers for Pupils programme for some of the most disadvantaged pupils across the capital. The programme will also enable access to Internet connectivity to  the National Education Network (NEN).

Department for Education and Skills (DfES) has taken this initiative to set up ICT into the homes of the country's most disadvantaged 11 to16 years old pupils. RM will provide the PC hardware, support services and Internet connectivity. This initiative will raise educational standards and support personalised learning for all.
                                                           www.publictechnology.net

Health

Turkish Health Ministry to initiate telemedicine project

The Turkish Ministry of Health will initiate 'Tele-Medicine Practice' which will enable digital transfer and examination of ultrasound, pathology and radiology data.

P&G launches education project for underprivileged children of India

Procter & Gamble (P&G) has launched the Siksha project for underprivileged children of India in collaboration with Child Rights and You (CRY) and Sony.

Project Shiksha, is a part of P&Gs global philanthropy programme P&G Live, Learn and Thrive, which focuses on the development of children. P&G has contributed INR 26.9 million to support the education of 33,052 children in 435 communities. The Shiksha projects are working with the State Education Departments to relook at existing education policies; are creating awareness to build more schools with better infrastructure, and more basic amenities like water, electricity, health; enrolling more children into formal schools and promotion of retention in schools; and building all round development of children.
www.indiantelevision.com

Under the project, there would be 12 sender and 2 receiver hospitals. The system will allow one to send MR of a patient in the eastern city of Erzurum to the receiver hospital in Ankara. The data will be sent back to Erzurum after being examined by experts. It will prevent any wrongful diagnosis. All information about the doctors' ID and education would be collected in the bank.
                                                                 www.turkishpress.com

General

WEF Study: Malta Govt., second most successful in promoting ICT

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has ranked the Malta Government as the second most successful government in the world in promoting the use of ICT in investments, industry and IT Ministry.
The study, 'the Global Information Technology Report 2006-2007' was published by the World Economic Forum. More investors seeking options on the global list of FDI destinations for their ICT projects will no doubt note this recognition by the World Economic Forum. Malta is providing online services and also became the world leader for high-speed monthly broadband subscriptions. The Malta Govt. has appointed its first e-Minister in 1998 and e-Malta Commission in 2000. Malta government is the second ranked government in the world for giving ICT the most importance in its vision for the future.
                                                                 www.independent.com

Azerbaijan keen to cooperate with India in ICT development

Azerbaijan has shown its keen interest in cooperation with Indian companies in development ICT sector.

Both countries are studying prospects of cooperation in pharmaceutical, agriculture, refining and other spheres, adding that several pharmaceutical companies of India operate in Azerbaijan. According to Heydar Babayev, Economic Development Minister of Azerbaijan, Government wants to work with Indian companies to promote ICT.
                                                                               www.today.az

Liveliood

World Bank approves US $ 20 million to support rural development in Peru

The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors has approved a US$ 20 million loan for Peru in order to support economic growth among the rural population in the Andean highlands, or Sierra region.

The Sierra Rural Development Project of the World Bank will ensure that rural inhabitants in the Sierra region have better economic opportunities by promoting 'strategic partnerships' and local economic development through producer-market ties, building food security through subsistence farming, creating off-farm employment opportunities, and streng-thening regional governments and local development organisations. The Sierra region of Peru has a population of 10.6 million, of which about 60 percent (6.3 million) live in rural areas. This project seeks to alleviate poverty in Peru's Sierra region through a concerted effort to create sustainable and equitable growth, increase human capacity and security, and strengthen local institutions.
                                                                       web.worldbank.org

mServe

Nokia unveils mobile phones for rural India

The world's biggest mobile phone maker, Nokia has launched seven mobile phones for the emerging markets in India. Nokia has launched these mobile phones to introduce low-cost mobile telephony service to India's rural masses.

Nokia has offered entry-level phones with call-tracking and multiple phonebook capability. Nokia also launched four other low-cost GSM phones, including the entry level Nokia 1650 and Nokia 2660, and the Nokia 2630 and 2760 with features like built-in camera, an eMail client, an FM radio and Bluetooth connectivity.

Most NGOs are seeing the local village entrepreneur as the best way to increase mobile penetration in rural markets.

According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), India had 166 million mobile subscribers at the end of the march.
                                                                   www.pcadvisor.co.uk

Iran ICT Ministry delivers rural GSM mobile phones

The ICT Ministry of Iran has begun delivering of rural GSM mobile phones, which would be capable of functioning both as stationary and as mobile phones. The ICT Ministry is delivering rural GSM phone network to those villagers, that are able to take dual advantage of their phone lines. The villages that have the GSM network can request to use their stationary phone lines as mobile phone lines also. The tariffs and deposits for such lines would be the same as regular village phone lines, if they are merely used as stationary lines.
                                                                    www.taliyanews.com

SME/SMB

HP launches server for small businesses in India

Hewelett-Packard (HP) has launched its new ProLiant ML 115 server powered by MD Opteron 1000 series processors for small and medium business customers in India. The cost of this server is around INR 35,000 at the retail level.

The server is designed for speed and to provide total architecture with top performance. The server is especially designed for the small and medium business market to provide data security and scalability. The HP Proliant ML115 server comes with a standard memory capacity of 512 MB, which is expandable to 8 GB. 
                                                                            www.hindu.com

Microsoft joins Alibaba to provide IT services for SMEs

Microsoft China has signed an agreement with Alibaba Software (Shanghai) to expand strategic cooperation in e-Commerce and IT services for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Under this agreement, both companies will cooperate on research and development of online services like e-Commerce, enterprise management, office automa-tion and enterprise communication. It will provide 20 million small and medium-sized enterprises with an online software service platform built by Alibaba Software.
                                                                       english.people.com

Technology

Software for service tax returns in India

Soon a new software for collecting tax returns would be available in Tamil Nadu, India. P.K. Jain, the Commissioner of Service Tax, said that there is a need for revised software and incorporating necessary changes in the ST-3 form.

FOSS infrastructure for open digital village

OneVillage Foundation (OVF) has partnered with the International Free and Open Source Software Foundation (iFOSSF) to develop 'Telecentre Portals and Applications' . OVF will develop its Open Digital Villages (OdiVs) in Winneba, Ghana (WODiV).

OVF members organised and participated in the AirJaldi Summit in Dharamsala, India, in which they displayed one of the largest networks in the world, The Dharamsala Wireless Mesh. The local Linux User Group (Winneba Linux User Group – WiLUG) is playing a key role in the development of the WODiV. oneVillage Ghana is collaborating with University of Education Winneba Ghana (UEW), Wireless Ghana and other institutions to develop a plan for a WiMax backbone and WiFi mesh local distribution system to serve a region with two other towns and a population of 105,000.
 
www.ifossf.org


While speaking at the seminar on Service Tax' organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and the Institute of Logistics, he said that service tax payment through Internet banking is also essential. The new software is designed to guide users as they fill up each column in the form. 90 percent of Chennai based companies are using e-Filing. The service tax collection from Chennai is about INR 2530 million.
                                                    www.thehindubusinessline.com

New software tracks document output

Ricoh Americas (www.ricoh-usa.com), New Jersey-based office-automation firm, has launched a low-cost application that tracks document output from copiers, printers, fax machines, and scanners. Smart Accounting, which is a PC-based application requires no central server, creates detailed reports to better manage the usage of up to 50 devices, helps small-business owners reduce administrative costs, boost productivity, and gain a competitive advantage (www.beheardsolutions.com/ products.html).

The new application, which can be integrated with both Microsoft Outlook and IBM Lotus Sametime Instant Messaging and Web Conferencing, delivers SIP-based audio conferencing for up to 300 participants on a single-serve architecture. Based on four years of customer data, Avaya estimates that businesses spending US$ 2,500 on outsourced conferencing fees stand to save more than US$ 1,000 by using an in-house application.
                                                                          www.reuters.com
Telecentre

US companies help Lebanese youth to go online

A consortium of U.S. Companies, named as the 'Partnership for Lebanon' is helping Lebanese communities to provide medical facilities through Internet communication and services.

Internet postman connects isolated villages

Now a postman will connect all rural areas of developing countries through wireless technology. A United States entrepreneur has introduced an 'Internet postman' to rural areas of India, Cambodia, Rwanda, Costa Rica and Paraguay.

The Massachusetts based company has developed a technology to connect isolated villages through wireless connection to the Internet. Villagers can use pre-paid cards to write e-Mails or record phone messages and save their words at computer kiosks installed in schools and community halls. The company will provide short range Wi-Fi antennas and a hard disk on board pass through villages. The service automatically picks up stored eMails and voice messages. Once the bus reaches Internet connection area, it relays eMails and messages to their destinations through the web for the convenience of the passengers. 
www.ergoweb.com

The Partnership for Lebanon is a collaborative effort by Intel Corporation, Cisco Systems, GHAFARI Inc., Microsoft & Occidental Petroleum. The Partnership for Lebanon is building 'connected communities' with full access to Internet based government and social services in Lebanese villages and towns. They are developing ICT infrastructure and also providing computer training to youths.

The Professional Computer Association (PCA) of Lebanon, the international aid organization Mercy Corps and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has founded the sixth community centre. Intel has, opened new Lebanese 'connected community centre in Bourj Al Barajneh.

The company has donated 15 locally purchased computers with Internet access to Bourj Al Barajneh.

Intel has also installed WiMAX wireless networks in two communities and schools in the town. Intel is also donating teleme-dicine devices to connect the American University of Beirut Medical Centre and the Nabatiyeh Government Hospital.
                                                                            usinfo.state.gov

Low cost computers to help rural Uganda

The Ugandan government has tied up with US based company, Inveneo to launch low energy consumption computers to help rural Uganda.

The computer will run for three days without recharging. User can use these computers for eight hours per day. The computer has 256MB of random access memory and a 40GB hard drive. The tiny computer is Internet-ready and includes wireless capabilities.

The computer has solar panel for recharging the battery. The Inveneo computer is extremely fast due to its simplicity and low power consumption. It has also two operating systems, Microsoft's Windows and Linux. The Uganda Government wants the computer to go the rural schools of Uganda where there is no electricity. The cost of one computer is expected to bearound US$300.
                                                                       www.tectonic.co.za
Telecommunications

Indian Government plans for free broadband connectivity for all by 2009

The Indian Government is planning to offer free, high-speed broadband connectivity to all Indians by 2009.

The Indian Government is planning to offer high-speed Internet connectivity through state owned telecom service providers, BSNL and MTNL.

The central government plans to achieve free broadband connectivity at a speed of 2 MB per second across the country.

In US most of cities have free municipal broadband, which provides free accessibility to residents.

Department of Technology (DOT) is taking few steps to make its plan for free broadband a reality. These include using the Universal Service Obligation Fund to set up an extensive optical cable network across the country and opening up the long-distance sectors to further competition. DoT is also considering allowing free and fair access to cable landing stations, permitting resale of bandwidth, setting up web-hosting facilities within the country and asking all Internet service providers to connect to the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI). 
                                                                           www.hindu.com 

Wireless

Singapore Wi-Fi Deployment offers best practices for Municipalities Worldwide

We have learned a lot about what works, and what doesn't, for municipal wireless deployments,” said Ken Chua, CEO of iCELL. “We want to share this with others who are planning wireless deployments so that they can adapt our lessons learned from this large-scale endeavour for their networks both big and small.”

As with many large U.S. cities, Singapore has a challenging wireless environment with hills, narrow streets, alleys and high rise office towers blocking line-of-sight. Due to the tropical climate, most end-users prefer to receive Wi-Fi indoors, adding the challenge of penetrating building walls. In addition to handling the geographical terrain, iCELL installed advanced technical features that included Firetide's mesh for triple-play applications, adding data traffic, voice, video and future mobile capabilities.

“Singapore provides an opportunity for municipalities worldwide to learn  from the experience of rolling out a network of this scale and complexity,” said Bo Larsson, CEO of Firetide. This rollout has reinforced the need for flexible, multi-service infrastructure that is capable of supporting not only Internet access, but video and voice-with or without mobility.
                                                                          www.govtech.net

London city goes Wi-Fi

London will soon become a Wi-Fi hot spot. The wireless network operator, Square Mile, will offer around 350,000 city workers uninterrupted wireless access to the web through laptops or mobile phones from anywhere in the city.

The wireless network operator, The Cloud will provide the system and will use mesh technology to provide continuous access via a series of base stations dotted throughout the area. The service will cost around

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