Pitroda for 100 mn broadband connections in 3 yrs
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Last Updated: Saturday, August 29, 2009, 23:40
Bangalore: Chairman of National Knowledge Commission Sam Pitroda on Saturday said the Commission has set a target of providing 100 million broadband connections in the next three years.

"We are targeting 100 million broadband connections in the next three years from the present six million at present", he said at a panel discussion on "Transforming India: Reaching the Bottom of the Pyramid", an initiative of C-DOT alumni as part of the silver jubilee celebrations here.

The Commission was optimistic about achieving the target as "the necessary infrastructure, fibre network is already in place apart from the political will," Pitroda said.

He highlighted the need for a "change in the mindset of the government to bring about transformation and to take ICT to those at the bottom of the pyramid ie the rural poor" and emphasised on an urgency to do away with the government system of filing and go in for electronic filing.

"We can play an important role in sensitising people about it. Though it is a slow process, we need to plant the seeds now", he said.

At the end of the day the challenge was how to improve public delivery systems like health, education, financial services and take them to the rural poor. ICT can play a pivotal role in this, he said.

Along with e-governance, re-engineering of processes and infrastructure development will be the key to societal transformation, Pitroda said, also underlining the need to "effectively use" ICT in education.

He also pointed to the need of "linking IT to cottage industries like handicrafts".

He also called for a special focus on female literacy.

Pankaj Chandra, Director Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore,drawing the attention to the migration of youth from rural to semi-urban and urban areas and said "the poor who are simply seen as consumers, should become suppliers. This transformation is possible through education and entrepreneurship".

ICT can play a an important role in imparting vocational education, he said.

While Madhu Yaskhi Goud, MP from Andhra Pradesh called for use of technology to plug leakages in revenue earned by the government and for programme implementation, Dr Vikram Akula, founder,SKS microfinance, stressed the need to make financial tools available to the rural poor through microfinance.

Former President A P J Abdul Kalam, launching India Think Tank by C-DOT alumni on the occasion, exhorted the C-DOT family "to come with up creative leaders for the success of their missions".

Pitroda also pointed to the need of "linking IT to cottage industries like handicrafts".

He said the Think Tank must focus on promoting ICT as an enabler "to provide prosperity to people at the bottom of the pyramid, first in India and then in the rest of the world".

"From ICT, I would like the Think Tank to move on to energy and then ocean which has more potential than may be space", he said.

Art of Living Founder Sri Sri Ravishankar also spoke.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, August 29, 2009, 23:40

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