e-Revolution 2005 held in the picturesque city of Chandigarh on July 15 and 16 was a showcase of immensely untapped potential of the union territory of Chandigarh, along with states of Punjab and Haryana, to emerge as future IT hotspots of India. This two-day conference, which was first of its kind in this region, served as a platform for the participating states to review the present situation and discuss the potential future growth of IT industry and e-Governance.
The first day of the conference earmarked as NASSCOM Conference on IT-ITES: Emerging Opportunities & Challenges, started with an elaborate inaugural session graced by the presence of a host of mandarins from state IT departments, industry, academia and the media.
The opening speech by Mr S K Sandhu, Secretary IT, UT Chandigarh, highlighted the need to deliver the benefits of IT to common man through citizen services. Mr Kiran Karnik, President, NASSCOM hinted upon the necessity of developing data security standards for e-Governance and the initiatives of NASSCOM to meet that end. H R Binod, VP, Infosys commented about the potential of the region to come up as an IT destination and praised the efforts to further improve facilities. Mr Mahendra Nahata, Chairman, HFCL informed about HFCL’s investment of 20,000 million rupees in setting up telecom infrastructure for the region. Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister of Punjab, eloquently spoke about the fast-track development of this region towards delivering better quality of life. He also announced the investment of 2000 million rupees for infrastructure development in the city of Mohali. Governor of Punjab and Administrator UT Chandigarh, Gen. (Retd.) S. F. Rodrigues emphatically brought out the dire need of reducing the unequal access of IT between sections of the society.
Sessions that followed over the day focused on multiple facets of IT and ITES business. Discussions on ‘Emerging cities as preferred IT destinations’, ‘Latest BPO trends’, ‘Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO)’ and ‘Indian IT investment scenario’ proved to be highly informative and insightful. A number of power packed presentations went along, focusing on the current status and future opportunities of the IT sector.
The second day of the conference was dedicated for issues pertaining to the role of ICT for society. National and international trends in e-Governance, private-public partnerships, ethics of technology usage, knowledge management and capacity building were also discussed upon. Most speakers emphasized upon the need to make ICTs work for the common man. Almost all agreed to the fact that mere deployment of technology in Government departments does not serve the purpose of leveraging e-governance. Thus, the common vision that emerged over the sessions was to use technology in a manner that levitates accessibility, transparency and convenience of availing Government services by citizens.
Deliberations over the three days of the conference emphasised upon the aspirations of the industry, Government and citizens to revolutionise the society through technology. New ideas and concepts of innovative IT-entrepreneurship, higher industry growth and an overall e-enabled citizenry were addressed by various sections of speakers. Proposals were put forward for possible improvement of current efforts and commitments were made to build a prospective future for the region. As a whole, e-revolution, Chandigarh, set up a blueprint for leapfrogging the economic and social development of the region by investing in technology.