April 2009

BJP on Information Highway

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BJP has laid out a grand vision for transforming India and empowering Bharat using the power of information technology (IT)

Highlights of  IT Vision document

  • Multipurpose National Identity Card (MNIC) with unique Citizen Identification Number (CIN) for every Indian citizen in 3 years; to replace all other identification systems.
  • 1.2 crore (12 million) new IT-enabled jobs in rural areas.
  • 1 crore (10 million) students to get laptop computers at INR 10,000. Interest-free loan for anyone unable to afford it.
  • Broadband Internet (2 Mbps) in every town and village.
  • All schools and colleges to have Internet-enabled education.
  • 100% financial inclusion through bank accounts.
  • Every BPL family to be given a free smart mobile phone.
  • Video conferencing to be made affordable and universally accessible.
  • Primary Health Centre in every village to be linked to the National Telemedicine Service Network.
  • National e-Governance Plan to cover every Government office from the Centre to the Panchayats.
  • Government spending to be made corruption-free. A former Prime Minister had once said, “If I put INR 100 in the pipeline in Delhi, only INR 15 reach the end beneficiary.” In contrast to Congress governments’ Leaky Pipeline, the BJP’s IT Pipeline will ensure 100% benefit to people. Those who misappropriate public funds will be punished.
  • All post offices to be converted into IT-enabled Multi-Service Outlets. All telephone booths to be upgraded to Internet kiosks.
  • e-Bhasha: National Mission for Promotion of IT in Indian Languages.
  • Government to standardise on ‘open standard’ and ‘open source’ software.
  • Domestic IT hardware industry to be aggressively promoted to minimise dependence on imports.
  • An independent body, Digital Security Agency (DSA), to be set up for cyber warfare, cyber counter-terrorism, and cyber security of national digital assets.

Recently Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came up with its 30 page  IT vision document. It announced  the creation of 12 million IT-enabled jobs for rural India; providing laptops to 10 million students at INR 10,000 a piece (the company which bags this order needs to have its production unit in India); immediate implementation of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP); protection of domestic hardware manufacturers against imports and promotion of usage of open source software. Heads of at least 10 top IT companies were consulted before finalising the document according to the sources.

BJP has laid out a grand vision for transforming India and empowering Bharat using the power of information technology (IT). Unveiling the BJP’s IT Vision document, the National Democratic Alliance’s prime ministerial candidate Shri LK Advani said, “A future NDA Government, if elected to office in the coming parliamentary elections, would give high priority to the realisation of this vision, which would help India overcome the current economic crisis; create productive employment opportunities on a large scale; accelerate human development through vastly improved and expanded education and healthcare services; check corruption; and make India’s national security more robust.”

The BJP also used the occasion to launch its revamped website, http://www.bjp.org/. It was launched by Party President Shri Rajnath Singh. Way back in 1997, BJP became the first political party in India to have its own website. The new website will be used creatively to support BJP’s campaign for the elections to the 15th Lok Sabha. An important tool on the site is the Google-powered internal search engine. Another important feature is Google’s Feedburner-based ‘Alert’ system whereby anyone who submits his/her email ID on the site would get an automatic email-alert anytime a new press release is uploaded.

Commenting on this development, Shri Shailesh Rao, Managing Director of Google India, said, “We are impressed with the innovative way in which the BJP has shown commitment to the Internet and realised its potential power in better connecting with their constituency”.

BJP has also embraced the path of information highway to have a edge during the period of general elections . BJP is implementing  Wi-Fi connectivity in all its headquarters plus nationwide IP video telephony and unified messaging networks. Video telephony and seamless integration of fax, voice mail, and email would also enable BJP leaders to send instructions to remote offices and take updates from remote offices at a press of a button.

Similarly, an extensive SMS-based communications network will be in place soon as a result mass messaging will help in sharing of information and updates to all part members at one go. The BJP is all geared up to explore and experiment innovative technology in telecommunication,” says Prodyut Bora, national convenor of BJP’s IT Cell. “Since most politicians are not IT savvy,” Bora says, “the idea is to have a system that is easy to operate”.  Now it is the time to wait and watch and see the future course of action. Time will only tell how helpful has ICT been in its election campaign. One also, needs to look out for how  many promises made in the IT vision are fulfilled. Of course!all that depends on the results of  general elections because implementation of the IT vision can only be implemented if BJP comes into power.

Sandeep Budki
sandeep@egovonline.net

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