Need information infrastructure to improve governance: Pitroda
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Last Updated: Saturday, January 23, 2010, 18:39
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 said.

"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 remotest person.

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.


First Published: Saturday, January 23, 2010, 18:39

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