The present write-up on Telecentre Tales would cover the discussions and suggestions that came up during Indian Telecentre Forum of the eIndia 2007 Conference, which was held in Hotel Taj Palace (New Delhi, India), from 31 July 2007 to 2 August, 2007. Ms. Rumi Mallick from Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS), Noida (India) introduced the Indian Telecentre Forum, 2007. She informed that it was for the second time, Indian Telecentre Forum, a part of the eIndia Conference, would be taking stock of the telecentre movement in India and elsewhere. She said that the telecentre forum discussion would focus on Government of India’s CSCs (Common Service Centres) scheme, and the other telecentre initiatives in the country. The objectives of the Indian Telecentre Forum is to raise awareness about the growing telecentre movement in general, and India in particular; raise key issues and challenges of telecentres; take up the recommendations of the current deliberation to the policy-makers for appropriate policy changes and build a community of practices (CoP) for knowledge-sharing and capacity-building.
July 31, 2007
Reviewing the emerging telecentre ecosystem
The first session of the Telecentre Forum of e-India Conference was chaired by Dr Srinivasan Ramakrishnan, Director General C-DAC, Pune. He informed that a lot of projects pertaining to telecentres in the ground are running on pilot basis. An entire gamut of factors determine the success of telecentres which include: infrastructure, content of portals, language of the content provided etc. He said that revolution in Information Technology has captured the imagination of people. There are very successful case studies. Nowadays, non-government organisations (NGOs) too are working together with the private sector. The Indian Telecentre Forum is a space which helps one to listen to various case studies. Y.S. Kim, e-Government Advisor, NITC, Government of Nepal (Republic of Korea), was the first speaker at the first session on telecentre. He informed that he has worked for 3 years in Nepal in the area of ICTs learning from rural Korea. Korea has good broadband connectivity. In rural areas of Korea, there still exists digital divide. Budget related to Information Technology is important. Korea has made huge investment on IT. In every village, investment on IT has been made. The budget for IT comes from the central and the local government. Information content is important since it generates income for people.
Dr. Baseerhamad Shadrach (Shaddy), Senior Programme officer, International Development Research Centre, New Delhi, said that his organisation was the one which introduced the term ‘telecentre ecosystem’. Shaddy said that there are four key concepts to understand telecentres