National News: May 2009

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Solar Venture of 250-MW Planned by BEL, BHEL

Public sector majors Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) have signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for setting up of a 250-MW joint manufacturing facility for solar photo voltaic cells, modules and silicon wafers. BEL and BHEL have an existing capacity of around 6 MW and 8 MW respectively. The two PSUs are on the look out for a suitable vendors or partners for technology and supply of raw materials. The joint venture would cater to domestic solar product requirements and exports.

10% Growth in Wireless User Base

India has become the world’s fastest growing wireless market, during this quarter, the subscriber base for wireless services has increased to 346.89 million from 315.31 million in the previous quarter, a growth of 10% over the previous quarter. The total subscriber base of the wireline and wireless services reached 384.79 million in the said period, a growth of 8.80% over the previous quarter. Whereas the rural subscriber base rose by 2.38% to 93.15 million. The number of PCOs has also decreased by 4.32% to 5.98 million.

Only 3 in 3 lakh SMSed Civic Tax Payments

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) much-talked about ‘payment of tax through SMS’ seems to have fallen flat. Despite 80 per cent of Mumbai citizens,  being mobile phones users, of the three lakh tax payers in the city, the service was availed by only three, making a total payment of Rs 7,700. Followed by the failure of the programme of payments through Internet, which also did not find much favour with citizens, this is the second such failure for the BMC.

12,000 Rural kiosks by 3i Infotech

3i Infotech is planning to expand its network of IT kiosks in rural areas from the current level of 4,000 to over 12,000 by the end of this year. Known as i-serve, these centres will be set up at an approximate cost of  INR 0.01 crore spread across nine states while being networked and automated. 3i Infotech is looking at providing e-governance and business to consumer services in rural market through IT kiosks.

Nokia’s Plans For Rural Market

Nokia is now reaching out to its rural customers through its ‘showrooms on wheels’ and ‘Rural care on the go, marketing and servicing vehicles, respectively. With the urban market for handsets fast getting saturated, Nokia plans to tap the growing rural market in collaboration with various micro finance institutions. India has about 249 million subscribers and 93 million rural subscribers.

Register Complaints to NDMC through SMS

The New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) is planning to very soon to launch a special software called “Interactive Voice Response Software-cum-Grievance Handling and Monitoring system,” which will enable local residents to send out their complaints through SMS. The services of the system would be available only after the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

BEST Buses to have GPS Facility Soon

Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport undertaking (BEST) buses will soon be equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS). This will enable the commuters to know about the timing of the bus, and the next destinations. The fares of the buses will stay the same. Such services are available on trains, and now it will available on buses as well. Moreover, it is said that the announcements will be made in the local languages, so that the common man can understand it.

Hyderabad Police Launches Website for Traffic Jam Alerts

The city police of Hyderabad has launched a new dedicated website on which traffic jam alerts will be updated regularly. The website called through which people can lodge complaints pertaining to traffic using the `Traffic Help Desk’ link and also check the status of the complaint. The website also offers services like checking the e-challan status and data pertaining to accidents.

Short-Term Course on ICT in DU Colleges

Under the Delhi University – National Thermal Power Corporation (DU-NTPC) resource centre several colleges under Delhi University (DU) will now teach short-term course in ICT. The DU-NTPC centre offers short-term certificate courses in sign language interpretation, communicative English, ICT and disability and human rights. The decision was taken at a meeting of the University’s Equal Opportunity Cell. Several colleges of the University will choose two non-teaching staff to undergo a 15-day course module to learn the ICT software.

Biometric PAN Cards are Here

Biometric permanent account number (PAN) cards that capture their fingerprints and facial features are going to become a regular feature for taxpayers soon. The development has elicited huge response from the country’s top information technology companies have shown great interest in the development. Along with the card, there are plans to spruce up the PAN issuance infrastructure. Bidders have been asked to ensure that they set up points of service for 10 hours a day, six days a week.


Rishi Jaitly
Senior Policy Analyst, Google Inc.

The website, available at in both English and Hindi, should be the primary destination for all those interested in learning about India’s democracy in the context of this year’s elections

What was the thought process behind the loksabha 2009   initiative?

Google’s global mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.  One of the most important lessons we at Google have learned in our short history is that information can be fundamentally empowering; there is perhaps no moment when information is more important than when a society comes together to undertake democratic elections.  With this in mind, we at Google India sought to understand what role we can play in India’s 15th general elections, which, in our view, would be India’s first “Internet Election.”  Given that Google is a neutral platform for information, we surveyed the landscape of NGOs and government organizations and decided that our role should be to shine a light on the most critical elections-related information available in India today.  Of course, we knew that our technologies would also give us the unique ability to highlight this information in a visible and compelling way.  Ultimately, though, this initiative has primarily been motivated by our view that the Internet can play a profoundly important role in elections, governance, and democracy in India.  In a country where elections are a central part of national culture, there is perhaps no other medium that ensures voters can directly interact with leaders and information.  Our goal was to usher in a new era of citizen empowerment in India as well as inaugurate the arrival of India’s “Digital Democracy” in India’s first “Internet Election.”In the end, together with a range of NGO and government partners, we launched a website that dynamically showcases the most important information available today pertaining to this year’s Lok Sabha Elections.  The website, available at in both English and Hindi, should be the primary destination for all those interested in learning about Indian democracy in the context of this year’s elections. 

How many hits per day are you getting on the website?

This initiative is unprecedented and groundbreaking not only in India but also in the global context.  As such, we have not set any numerical goals.  We have built this elections centre such that it appeals to Indian citizens of all ages and from all walks of life.  We are delighted at the response we have observed to date from users in India and around the world.

What are the new features that are going to be added to the website?

Over time, we hope for this site to be an even more dynamic centre for transparency, democracy, and governance in India.  We welcome feedback and ideas from individual users and organizations from across the country.


Dinesh Nandwana
Chairman, Vakrangee Softwares Ltd.

Our company has scalability and we have 14 years of experience in executing mission-mode and time bound project involving multi locations

India is reporting the fastest global growth in the e-Governance, catalyzed by the implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) Act and a holistic e-Governance action plan by Government of India. How does your company plan to leverage this business opportunity?

The Government of India has targeted 30 mission mode e-Governance project.Almost all the state governments are also taking up egovernance in various areas such as land records. We have already worked under the dynamic leadership of TCS-CMC combine on MCA-21 project of Ministry of Company Affairs. We have performed our part of managing documents (hard copies),scanning and digitizing them .

Looking to our capacity to execute time bound project TCS is in advance stage for associating us in Passport Seva Kendra project another ambitious e-Governance project of Ministry of External Affairs.

We have also done the e-Governance project of Land Record of Ghaziabad Development Authority.

We are also digitizing Board of Revenue Records of districts of Uttar Pradesh .This project is awarded to us by UPDESCO (a UP state Government undertaking ) We are also targeting the opportunities available outside India in e-Governanace field  and recently the Company has signed an agreement with one  of the Document Corporation, Philippines and IL&FS Technology Limited, Philippines  for Land Titling Computerization Project (LTCP) of Land Registration Authority, an agency of government of Philippines.

What are the services that you are providing to the BFSI segment?

We are providing document management solution and print solution to two major Telecom Operator and also providing document and print solution to leading insurance companies.

On the technological front how are you participating in the current general elections.?

We are providing data management & print solutions to Chief Election Commission, India  by our latest state of the Art technology machine i.e. Kodak Versamark 2000 to meet their short deadline

Your company is providing Services on document & printing management area by providing end to end solution. what is the USP of your company?

Ours Company has scalability and we have 14 years of experience in executing mission-mode and time bound project involving multi locations. Apart form this capabilities we also supplement the financial resources of our principal by deploying capital equipments and managerial resources.

Tell us something about rural health insurance project under the RSBY scheme.

We have been working with Financial Information’s and Network  organization for last 1 & half year as a preferred associate .We worked with them in Rajasthan, Haryana Punjab and we have recently completed 8 districts of Uttar Pradesh. WE provided  them end to end solution from invitation to the beneficiary till the preparation and delivery of card to the beneficiary.

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