Hundreds of millions of lives were lost during last century alone to seek a better world through revolutions, wars and political struggle. Despite all these sacrifices, we still have poverty, inequality, corruption, and social exclusion everywhere. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is performing the role of universal equaliser, enabler and integrator. The most important and revolutionary aspect of ICT is its potential to shift the balance of power in the society, governance and economy towards the common people, the disadvantaged groups, the poor, the women and youth. Today, ICT can help achieve the dream of a more just, inclusive and equitable world in a very peaceful way. We can see many examples of ICT-enabled empowerment and social inclusion achieved in the developing world over last 10 years.
Despite India’s recent ascendancy as the hub of IT and IT-enabled services industry, powered by a vast pool of skilled manpower, it has somewhat lagged behind other countries in IT adoption in health, governance and education. But, nonetheless we are still progressing at a great pace and soon will be leaders in bridging the digital divide.
With this vision and mission, eGov magazine is organising the eWorld Forum 2011, a global conference on e-Governance. eWorld Forum 2011 would offer a platform that seeks to lay the foundation and provide the impetus for long-term growth of e-Governance at a global level. ICT being the powerful tool that can help achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), this forum would provide an essence to effectively integrate or mainstream ICTs at a global level into development strategies and programmes.
As stated by R Chandrasekhar, Secretary, Department of Information Technology, “People are really interested to know about the ICT scenario in the current era. This is the right time to learn from and share experiences with others. The need is that we spend a lot of time in knowledge sharing and looking towards changing scenario in ICT. That’s why, we have forums like eIndia, eAsia and eWorld. elets has initiated eWorld forum at the right time.”
eWorld 2011 Awards, an integral part of the eWorld Forum, have been instituted with the primary aim of felicitating and acknowledging unique and innovative initiatives in e-Governance. In this edition, eGov has captured the leading award nominations in the public and jury choice categories from all over the world.
The most interesting and distinct factor of these awards is their democratic nature. Yes, the public, ‘you’ have chosen your own winners! The projects that affected most of the lives and touched maximum people got maximum votes and won in the most fair process possible. What you chose is what you will read in the coming pages. We hope the issue is up to your expectations.