February 2012

INDIA News

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Citizen services
Online G2C Services to be Doubled

As many as 1,000 government services are likely to go online by the end of the current fiscal year. The Department of Information Technology (DIT), under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), is likely to deliver services such as registering births and deaths and accessing land records electronically. The plan will help the government achieve goals that were set as part of a $150 million long-term WorldBank loan approved to support the NeGP. The targeted   umber of services is double of what was provided up till now by the DIT. Services that are likely to be  offered online include farm updates, commercial taxes, registering on employment exchanges and municipal services, among others.

A fund of `50 crore is likely to be created to serve as a revolving fund for development of the new projects, as the amount spent in development of the project will gradually be recouped once the project gets approved for implementation. An additional `50 crore will be spent on building an authentication platform for users, cloud services and an application store.

National Knowledge Network
Government to spend `1 trillion to democratise information

India will spend `1 trillion over the next three years to “democratise information” through  projects such as the National Knowledge Network (NKN) and the Gram Panchayat (village councils) network, Sam Pitroda, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Public Information,  Infrastructure and Innovation, has said. Pitroda, also a member of the National Innovation Council (NInC), said though the budget for NKN is now `6,000 crore, it could increase by some 65 percent.

NKN aims to connect the top universities, science research institutes, central institutions like  the Indian Institutes of Technology, and research labs through fibre optics, to promote research in the country. It will be a multigigabit pan-India network providing a unified high speed network backbone for all knowledge-related institutes in the country.

Of the targeted 1,500 institutes, NKN has so far connected 693. NKN will later connect with Edusat (education satellite launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation) and foreign  research labs to allow people from diverse background to come together. S V Raghavan, Scientific Secretary to the Government, stated that NKN, once fully rolled out, will allow for  virtual classrooms, countrywide classrooms and sharing of faculty among institutions.

Aadhaar
UIDAI brings micro ATM for daily wagers with Aadhaar

MG-NREGA workers with Aadhaar will now be able to withdraw money through micro ATM  device launched by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). The beneficiary has  to put his finger and Aadhaar number into the micro ATM wireless device and get the money  within 8 to 9 seconds from a business correspondent after verification about the beneficiary  having that much amount deposited in the bank account shown through a receipt by the  device. The device functions through any SIM and wherever there is a mobile tower. The  device will be operated by a bankappointed business correspondent.

Public interface
PMO Debuts on Twitter

The Prime Minister’s Office recently made its debut on popular microblogging site Twitter. It is worth noting that the new media foray by the PMO comes in wake of TV journalist Pankaj Pachauri taking over as Communications Adviser to the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister’s work should be in the public domain so that people know that the  government is functioning for their benefit,” PMO sources said. The PMO Twitter account can be accessed http://twitter.com/pmoindia.

The PMO’s first tweets were on the national awards for bravery function held at Singh’s  official residence. The Twitter account of the PMO will have regular updates on the Prime Minister’s programmes in near real time.

Indian Railways start m-Ticketing

MG-NREGA workers with Aadhaar will now be able to withdraw money through micro AT M  device launched by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI ). The beneficiary has  to put his finger and Aadhaar number into the micro AT M wireless device and get the money  within 8 to 9 seconds from a business correspondent after verification about the beneficiary  having that much amount deposited in the bank account shown through a receipt by the  device. The device functions through any SIM and wherever there is a mobile tower. The  device will be operated by a bank-appointed business correspondent.

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