Ahmedabad: Building information
infrastructure to improve governance and delivery of services
poses a big challenge before the government, Prime Minister`s
advisor on infrastructure, innovation and information Sam
Pitroda said here.
"Earlier we had a billion unconnected people who are now
connected so how to design developmental strategies for these
connected people is a major challenge," Pitroda said yesterday
after launching the country`s first Video Phone Service (VPS)
provided by BSNL.
"In government we have multiple services like land
record, birth certificates, food distribution, license,
passport and other services," Pitroda said.
"All this are working parallel, we need information
infrastructure to put all of this in an organised way at the
federal level, state level and finally at panchayats," Pitroda
"Our next big challenge is building information
infrastructure to connect 2,50,000 panchayats in the country
through broadband to improve governance and delivery of
services," he said.
Pitroda also pointed out that though there are around 550
million telephone connections in India, the broadband
connections fall way behind at 10 million.
"We have to upgrade broadband infrastructure to take
advantage of the video phone services (launched by BSNL). We
hope this will happen simultaneously," Pitroda said.
Explaining the government`s initiatives in this
direction, he said, work is on to set up a National Knowledge
Network (NKN) with 10 GB bandwidth to connect 5,000 nodes in
the country with universities, research and development
laboratories and libraries.
"Recently, Union government approved over Rs 6000
crore to launch and build this network," he said.
The network would be like super highways where
everybody would be connected and information will reach to the
The real benefit of video conferencing was for
education and there were similar benefits for health,
vocational education and other activities, he said.
Pitroda was also appreciative of the Unique ID project
of the Union government headed by Nandan Nilekani.
"The UID project headed by Nandan Nilekani is very
important for India as there are already a billion connected
people and now we need documentation for them," Pitroda said.
"Once we document the people we will be able to
provide services in an effective way," he said.