Building the e-Way to Development

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The government has been quite active on the policy front lately, having released a triad of policy drafts for the ICTE sector – the National Telecom Policy, the National Policy on Electronics and the National Policy on ICT. Together, it is claimed, the policies aim at facilitating “the application of technology-enabled approaches to overcome developmental challenges” and to “harness the power and capability of India in ICT to meet global demand”. Another important development has been the release of the Draft National Framework on e-Authentication that would provide a common set of guidelines for ensuring secure access to government services over a variety of channels.

The combination of Information and Communications Technology and Electronics (ICTE) has the potential to script the journey of India’s future across the various sectors of the economy, besides transforming both the society and the government.

The Draft ICT Policy recognizes the role of ICT as a tool of empowerment. The overall objective of raising total revenues from the IT and ITES Industry to USD 300 billion by 2020 ties well with the targets for the electronics sector laid down in the National Skill Development Mission and the policy direction suggested in the Approach Paper to the Twelfth Plan. We would now need well-thought out plans to attract and promote investments in the sector, with the objectives of taking Indian IT higher up the value ladder, making the industry less export-dependent and encouraging its geographical spread to smaller urban centres.

Leveraging of IT and telecom applications for boosting the structural foundations of the economy would go a long way in realising the potential of 21st century India. The Draft National e-Authentication Framework that is employing internet and mobile communication tools to streamline public service delivery in a safe and transparent mode would go a long way in improving the penetration and acceptability of e-Governance initiatives.

2011 has been an eventful year, where long-established regimes have been brought down and democracy has become participatory as seldom before. The role that new age technologies have played in ushering in these exciting times can hardly be overemphasised. As this momentous year comes to a close, representatives from a cross section of governments, industry, civil society and academia converge at Gandhinagar to celebrate the 7th eIndia 2011. Besides providing an unparalled platform for knowledge sharing and networking, the conclave would offer recognition and awards to those who have devoted their life and achieved their fullest to put the use of ICT into every possible domain and making public life richer, easier and more transparent.

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