August 2010

India innovates, India elects

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India is world’s largest democracy and democracy entails that it is the people who have the governing power. However, it is not only democracy but also all socio-economic programmes and projects that require public participation.

Recently, there has been a lot of emphasis on public participation since a lack of it has been identified as one of the reasons for the failure of many development programmes across the globe. The last decade saw a promotion of people’s participation in development programmes.

Today, ICT is playing a major role in development. Numerous development programmes in the fields of governance, education and health, where ICTs have added value, have been initiated by the Government of India, the state governments, civil society and the corporate bodies. Such innovative initiatives are imperative for India’s growth.

There is also a political will to this effect, with both the President and the Prime Minister of India focusing on innovations. However, there is a need of growth based innovations that are sustainable, scalable and affordable. In a recent interaction, Sam Pitroda, the key architect of India’s telecommunication revolution, had rightly pointed out that innovations should affect people who are at the “bottom of the pyramid” in a way that it should be able to change
their lives.

To take this mission forward, the eGov and its publisher Elets Technomedia have taken the responsibility to showcase innovative ICT programmes and projects at the eINDIA 2010 conference and exhibition. Taking it a step further, we have also initiated the eINDIA Awards to acknowledge and felicitate unique and innovative initiatives in use of ICT in the development space.

The eINDIA Awards process too is innovative in the true sense —it has the right mix of public voting and jury evaluation. Th at it is you, the citizens, who have voted to elect the winners, speaks volumes about the growing awareness and pro-activeness of the people.

The fact that public voting this year has touched 121,577, up from 16,000 last year, shows astounding response to the evaluation process. It also testifi es the global popularity of eINDIA Awards as well as the eINDIA event, that will see the participation of thought leaders, policy makers, planners, implementers from government, private sector, academia and civil  society. No wonder then, we dedicate this issue to everyone who have made a diff erence in people’s live.

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