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Published on March 27, 2008

Author: Margot

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E-Commerce and Bridging Digital Divide: Telecom, Infrastructure and Access :  E-Commerce and Bridging Digital Divide: Telecom, Infrastructure and Access UNCTAD Expert Meeting on E-Commerce Strategies Geneva, Palais des Nations 10 – 12 July 2002 Dr A.K. Chakravarti Adviser Department of Information Technology Ministry of Communications & Information Technology Government of India http://www.mit.gov.in E-Commerce and Bridging Digital Divide:  E-Commerce and Bridging Digital Divide Normal e-biz, B to B e-commerce strategies not covered Deployment of set of ICT applications which could give economic benefits to bridge the digital divide in developing countries Local needs specific Technologies & applications – with focus on telecom, infrastructure and access solutions Cardinal factors for E-Commerce and Bridging Digital Divide:  Cardinal factors for E-Commerce and Bridging Digital Divide Telecom reform with USO Enhancing e-readiness of the nation Technological solutions aimed at affordability v/s economic benefits low-cost ICT infrastructure Community approach Local language solutions Teach/Educate potential beneficiaries to use the ICT tools to advantage, for sustainability Lessons learnt from dotcom bust :  Lessons learnt from dotcom bust That companies/VCs know what the consumers want If provided through prevailing market forces practices, consumers are bound to accept Lessons for e-commerce and digital divide from telecom, infrastructure and access perspective Strategies for Promoting E-Commerce and Bridging Digital Divide:  Strategies for Promoting E-Commerce and Bridging Digital Divide The diversity within the nation – tremendous challenge Consensus – ICT having potential to accelerate development and bring the benefits of the knowledge-based economy to the rural sector Govt., development agencies, NGOs amongst others have taken a host of initiatives Strategies ……. (Contd…):  Strategies ……. (Contd…) Key is : replication, large-scale uses, operationalisation of “those” which are “sustainable”. Location-specific killer/anchor applications are difficult to “predict” and these emerge-out of multiple applications tried in the field. For “sustainable” e-commerce, legal and regulatory framework to be in place. Technologies and Applications for Rural e-Commerce in India : Some Illustrative examples:  Technologies and Applications for Rural e-Commerce in India : Some Illustrative examples Community Information Centres (CICs) Gyandoot Agmarket RuralBazar/IndiaShop Technology Development in local languages (TDIL) CAD in Handloom CorDECT Simputer Media Lab Asia Rural e-Commerce Projects : More Examples:  Rural e-Commerce Projects : More Examples Warana Wired Village Project (warana.nic.in) AP Govt. initiatives (CARD, TWINS, VOICE etc.) (www.ap-it.com) Bhoomi – computerised land records across the Karnatka State (revdept.kar.nic.in) TARAhaat.com (www.tarahaat.com) HoneyBee Network (www.sristi.org) Samadhan Kendra e-chaupal e-post Sustainable Access to Rural India (SARI) Amul.com Rural knowledge centres for Information Empowerment (www.mssrf.org) Inabling Technologies (www.inablers.net) etc 1. Community Information Centres (CICs):  1. Community Information Centres (CICs) A project for socio-economic development of North East region. States covered: Arunachal Pradesh Assam Manipur Meghalaya Mizoram Nagaland Sikkim Tripura Community Information Centres (CICs):  Community Information Centres (CICs) Will facilitate Internet connectivity through NICNET enabling, inter-alia web-browsing and e-mail facilities, Citizens interface with government, Distance learning programmes, Computer culture, specially amongst school children, IT enabled services including e-commerce, Accelerated employment opportunities, and Dissemination of information on plan initiatives, national programmes, disaster management system, public health awareness etc. Community Information Centres (CICs):  Community Information Centres (CICs) At Block Headquarters in Seven North East States and Sikkim Number of Blocks 487 Pilot Project 30 Blocks Main Project 457 Blocks Experience from CICs set up under pilot project:  Experience from CICs set up under pilot project Utilization of CICs in some states such as Sikkim and Meghalaya is quite good Gangtok CIC is earning revenue and has even paid salary of staff out of the revenue earned Some of the CICs have started Computer Training Programmes Popular services at CICs Internet & Email Word processing Computer Training Gyandoot (http://www.gyandoot.net) :  Gyandoot (http://www.gyandoot.net) Gyandoot – a community owned, self-sustainable and low cost rural Intranet in Dhar District of Madhya Pradesh State connecting 21 multimedia kiosks or rural cyber café (Soochnalayas) catering to the everyday needs of the masses. Soochnalayas located at Gram Panchayats, bazzars, local shops, Bus depots and on the roadside of central villages where people frequently travel. Each Soochnalaya provides public services to between 20 to 30 villages and between 20,000 and 30,000 people. Gyandoot Intranet linked to the Internet, and a orresponding Gyandoot Website, provides global access. Gyandoot:  Gyandoot Some of the services provided by Gyandoot Intranet: Agricultural Produce Auction Centres Rates, Online Registration of application, Public Grievance Redressal Hindi e-mail Gyandoot won the “CSI National IT Award” as well as “Stockholm Challenge Award” Replicating Gyandoot model Drishtee (http://www.drishtee.com) 3. Agricultural Marketing Information Network (AGMARKNET):  3. Agricultural Marketing Information Network (AGMARKNET) Agricultural marketing – area for second generation Green Revolution problems A key step towards globalisation of Agriculture Improve farmers’ decision making capability to dispose of their agricultural produce at better prices in the market by: Prompt and reliable market information Knowledge of prevailing prices in other markets Knowledge of arrivals in markets Awareness on quality competitiveness (http://agmarket.nic.in) AGMARKNET aims at :  AGMARKNET aims at To establish a nation-wide information network for speedy collection and dissemination of market information for its efficient utilisation To computerise data on market covering aspects like total arrivals, arrivals by agencies, prices (variety wise/quality wise), storage, despatches with destination, mode of transportation, costs, sold and unsold stocks, sources of supply with destination, grading facilities, infrastructure facilities. AGMARKNET aims at (Contd…):  AGMARKNET aims at (Contd…) To ensure flow of regular and reliable data to producers, traders and consumers to derive maximum benefit of their sales and purchases To increase the efficiency in marketing by effecting improvement in the existing market information system AGMARKNET Scope covers :  AGMARKNET Scope covers Transmit price and market arrivals to State Agricultural Marketing Board/Directorate for analysis and local dissemination and to DMI Hqrs Faridabad for further dissemination through Web. To start with, 27 commodities categorized into 7 commodity Groups viz. cereals, pulses, spices, fruits, vegetables, fibres and Oilseeds are to be monitored. AGMARKNET Scope covers (Contd…):  AGMARKNET Scope covers (Contd…) Implementation of the project at 670 Regulated market and 40 State Agricultural Marketing Board/ Directorates and DMI Hqrs during Phase-I. At present, 170 Agricultural produce markets and 40 State agricultural Marketing Boards and Directorates are being connected. AGMARKNET will be extended to 2000 additional markets during tenth plan. AGMARKNET Project Components:  AGMARKNET Project Components Item H/W S/W Connectivity DMI Hqrs Server System, Client System Windows NT, SQL Server, Lotus Smart Suite Millenium, MS Office 2000 Vsat Based Marketing Board / Directorate / Markets Client System Windows98, Lotus Smart Suite Through Dial-up Modem Computing Facilities and Networking AGMARKNET Project Components :  AGMARKNET Project Components Agmarket Application Software facilitates: Market level : Data entry in English or local language, report Generation and transmission of data to respective Marketing Boards and DMI Faridabad Marketing Board level : Collation of data received from markets, Report generation and reports/data transmission DMI headquarters : Collation of data received from Markets, updation on AGMARKNET portal and report generation. AGMARKNET Project Components:  AGMARKNET Project Components Agmarket Information Transmission Market Committees: Provide daily information to the respective Marketing Board/Directorate and DMI The Board/Directorate: Collate the daily information received from the markets and Generate all markets report in the region and transmit the same to the concerned markets on same day. The DMI headquarters: Collate data received from various Marketing Boards/Directorates and put on the portal hosted at NIC Web Server. The Market Information: Available to the users by accessing the portal (http://agmarknet.nic.in) through internet. 4. RuralBazar / IndiaShop:  4. RuralBazar / IndiaShop Computerised Rural Information System Project (CRISP) (http://crisp.nic.in/ruralbazar RuralBazar a website for rural products (Handicrafts, Handloom, Carvings etc.) Local language support to the rural producer Both on-line as well as off-line support available Automatic generation of e-mails for personalised services to customer Supports Secure Transaction Scalable IndiaShop promoted by CAPART / FOOD (www.xlweb.com/indiashop) 5. Technology Development in Local Languages (TDIL):  5. Technology Development in Local Languages (TDIL) An Initiative of Department of Information Technology C-DAC – GIST – Working on Indian-language fonts and software (www.cdacindia.com) Research centres in different Indian Languages spread across the country 21 Indian Language Technology providers MAIT Language Technology Consortium working closely with DIT Technology Development in Local Languages (TDIL) (Contd…):  Technology Development in Local Languages (TDIL) (Contd…) TDIL website – Downloadables Indian language keyboard drivers and fonts ileap from C-DAC Desika from C-DAC Akshar for Windows Surbhi professional Pocket translation from C-DAC TDIL newsletter VishwaBharat @ tdil Visit http://tdil.mit.gov.in for more details 6. C-DAC in Handloom:  6. C-DAC in Handloom Computer Aided Textile Design Centres (CATD) being set-up in major handloom sector hubs in the country – widening the scope of creativity and selection of design Panipat, Bangalore, Chennai, Bhubneshwar, Kolkata etc. Assistance from ATIRA Now CAD in handloom moving over to other smaller places examples : Handloom weavers in Shantipur in Nadia district of West Bengal with assistance from National Institute of Fashion Technology, The Centre aims at Eliminate the time-consuming manual design process and introduce weavers to the efficiency and economy of CAD Introduce ease of innovative in designing and multi-colour combinations through CAD Preserve old designs through retrievable digital storage 7. CorDECT (www.tenet.res.in):  7. CorDECT (www.tenet.res.in) Wireless in Local Loop Technology (Will) Joint development of TeNet group of Chennai, Midas Comm., Analog Devices Provides Voice, FAX/DATA, Internet connectivity at 35/70 kbps Simultaneous Voice and internet connectivity 25 Km range of connectivity Cheapest among WiLL technologies CorDECT - Status:  CorDECT - Status Operated by MTNL in Mumbai and New Delhi Installed by BSNL – Bhopal, Panipat, Bangalore Installed in Patiala, Mohali, Jaipur Installed in Madagascar, Fiji, Argentina, Kenya, Brazil, Iran, Tunisia, Nigeria Slide30:  CorDECT WiLL Rural Projects Kuppam Mandal in Andhra Pradesh Dhar District in MP along with Gyandoot Nellikuppam in Tamil Nadu Sikar in Rajasthan Rural Madurai Replication N-Logue Communications (www.tenet.res.in/nlogue.htm) 8. Simputer (www.simputer.org):  8. Simputer (www.simputer.org) Simple Computer or Simple Inexpensive Multilingual Computer A low cost portable alternative to PC Multilingual People’s computer The Simputer Trust – IISc and Encore Has potential to bridge digital divide Simputer Specs:  Simputer Specs 32 bit CPU running at 200MHz 32 MB RAM 24 MB Flash LCD display panel Touch – panel overlay on LCD display Smartcard Connector Telephone jack USB connector Simputer Software:  Simputer Software O/S – GNU/Linux Soft-Modem Alogrithms IML Browser Internet Access Text-to-speech software 9. Media Lab Asia (http://www.medialabasia.org) :  9. Media Lab Asia (http://www.medialabasia.org) Overview of Media Lab Asia Programme:  Overview of Media Lab Asia Programme Vision: To trigger the chain process of making use of IT in the lives of common people in a sustainable way and to influence profoundly the quality of their lives Concept: A network of national and overseas Projects Thrust areas: Learning: Involving every child in the learning process Health: Providing state-of-the-art public health tools and medical information to everyone Financial Sustainability: Creating the culture of micro-enterprise Goals: Adopt villages, develop technology and bring partners Key Players: Academia, MIT Media Lab, NGOs & Cooperatives, Government and Industry Deliverables:  Deliverables Rural, young manpower trained with entrepreneurial capability Digital connectivity to villages E-services in large number of villages New generation of enterprises and products Academic programmes with enhanced innovative research content Media Lab Asia – Initial Research Hubs:  Media Lab Asia – Initial Research Hubs Media Lab Asia Research Programme Tamilnadu Hub Maharastra Hub Delhi Hub Kanpur-Lucknow Hub Initial Projects/Areas for Research Hubs:  Initial Projects/Areas for Research Hubs Kanpur-Lucknow Hub: Chikan CAD Info-Thela SUCHIK: Do-it-Yourself Comic books Wireless networks (IEEE 802.11) Maharashtra Hub: A research facility for the design and evaluation of devices and interfaces Multilingual Information Retrieval in the Agricultural Domain Sensors for water quality and blood parameter assessment Novel techniques for cancer screening and detection in economically backward regions Initial Projects/Areas for Research Hubs- (Contd…):  Initial Projects/Areas for Research Hubs- (Contd…) Delhi Research Hub: Rural Software Lab and Demonstration Centre- Health: Rural water quality and Management System based on GIS Microfranchise Development: Precision farming testing, telecom. Services, community services directory etc. Computer Clubhouses Concept of Digital Village demonstration Wireless networks - WANS Low cost computing Outreach Programme Media Awareness Campaign Web –Portal development Initial Projects/Areas for Research Hubs- Contd..:  Initial Projects/Areas for Research Hubs- Contd.. Tamilnadu Hub: Bits for all Bring digitally enabled services to common man Developing low-cost wireless local loop services Indian version of Linux Rethinking of software from operating system to interface to reflect the needs of rural services IIT Kharagpur - Research Lab : Language and interface technologies for physically handicapped. Conclusions:  Conclusions Some of the examples pertaining to e-commerce and bridging digital divide are presented. Telecom, Infrastructure and access requirements are innovative. India is committed to bring the fruits of ICT for the benefit of Masses. Let thousands flowers (pilot projects) bloom. A large number of “these” would eventually be “sustainable”. Rural e-commerce in India is on the “Move” THANK YOU:  THANK YOU

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