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  • DO Channel
    It allowed the government to track rations that were supplied to the fair price shops It also tackled the supply side problems hindering the PDS system However problems related to identification persisted in PDS with many of the rations being taken by corrupt dealers or their family members or other ghost beneficiaries The Unique Identification UID number of the UIDAI was able to address these issues to list and identify beneficiaries BC model of banking was effectively leveraged in Aurangabad for the delivery of pension payments to the poor The district administration involved the business correspondent BC staff at every step and combined their efforts with the banking partner to provide banking services to the poor The final delivery process required beneficiaries to use their Aadhaar card for authentication after which the BC agent makes these payments through a network of point of sale PoS devices that is interoperable and Aadhaar enabled This process not only increased the speed of payments to the poor but also contributed towards savings to the exchequer by removing large numbers of ghost beneficiaries Employing the BC model and scaling it up for implementation across various geographies and programmes is challenging due to the several policy and operational drawbacks The BC model when launched in 2006 was promised to be the vital tool for financial inclusion of the poor and to remedy the inadequate reach of the banking infrastructure in rural areas However the vast majority of BC network managers reported massive losses The BC agents too were unable to earn a decent livelihood and a large percentage of them have closed or gone dormant UIDAI is working towards creating an enabling environment with the Aadhaar platform to address these challenges The three fundamental pillars of its approach include an online system built on the assumption that reasonable quality wireless data connectivity would be available to most rural areas in India over the next few years Secondly Cloud based storage and computing will rapidly become universal and cheaper and hence storing and accessing biometric or account information from or processing transactions in cloud based environments using online access will increasingly become a reality And lastly following Moore s law the cost of front end device such as micro ATMs handheld devices mobile phones and computers would continue to come down while their computing power and performance would continue to improve UIDAI has rolled out and is developing applications that would enable easier faster and cheaper enrolment of beneficiaries by banks or other institutions involved with the delivery of government benefits transfer One such application is electronic KYC e KYC which re uses the KYC information previously captured during enrolment for Aadhaar and makes it available electronically to banks or enrolling institutions to speed up KYC increasing efficiency reducing errors and lowering costs UIDAI s online Aadhaar authentication system can be accessed by banks and other service providers to verify an individual s details anytime from anywhere This can be a replacement for smart cards leading

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/india-harnessing-the-potential-of-aadhar-via-digitisation/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    system in a country of over a billion people poses monumental challenges The approval by the EGOM lays the foundation for the implementation of a Unique Identity system for all residents in the country based on a proposal formulated by the Department of Information Technology at the request of the Planning Commission There has been a long felt need in the country for a system of unique identification of every individual for a variety of purposes such as better targeting of government s development schemes regulatory purposes including taxation and licensing security purposes banking and financial sector activities etc The Unique Identity Project seeks to assign a unique identity UID number to each individual in the country that would remain a permanent identifier right from birth to death of the individual From the point of view of any person in the country the UID offers many benefits First and foremost it would obviate the need for a person to produce multiple documentary proofs of his identity for availing of any government service or private services like opening of a bank account etc This would end needless harassment that people face for availing of basic government services like issuance of passports driving licences Electoral Identity Cards etc Backed by intensive use of technology it would greatly facilitate easy verification of a person s identity and enable a single communication to trigger address changes in all relevant agencies records It would also serve as the basis for many e governance services incorporating online verification of a person s identity UID would enable government to ensure that benefits under various welfare programmes reach the intended beneficiaries prevent cornering of benefits by a few people and minimize frauds It would enable financial institutions to exchange information regarding defaulters and encourage responsible borrower behaviour The

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/spotlight/single-universal-identification-for-all-indians-by-early-2010/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    s home The line is short the operator is helpful and no bribes are required Nagabhushana can always check the status of his application with a simple visit or phone call to the Nemmadi Once the certificate is issued the operator will be able to access it online and print a copy within minutes all for 15 rupees Multiply that by 700 million the size of India s rural population and you start to see Comat s dizzying opportunity For years development pundits pushed Internet connectivity as a cure all for poverty But numerous entrepreneurs have learned to their cost that what we think of as core Internet services e mail and the Web are of little use to illiterate farmers living below the poverty line Take Amir Alexander Hasson a Cambridge Mass based technology entrepreneur In 2003 his startup First Mile Solutions developed technology that allowed hardware attached to a bus to upload data wirelessly from village computers and then connect to the Internet when the bus got to the nearest town When the bus returned to the village it connected to the local computer again and dropped off the data like a virtual post office The problem Not enough demand Villagers don t care whether you have a computer with Wi Fi says Hasson They want to know if this thing can find them a job or help them get fertilizer Hasson soon discovered that he couldn t generate enough revenue to cover the cost of the equipment His new business United Villages provides e commerce services to Indian villagers via cell phones The native companies haven t fared much better At its peak Indian telecenter pioneer nLogue had 3 500 franchised centers that offered villagers everything from passport photos to health care services Today only a few hundred centers remain With telecenters a single service does not earn sufficient revenue but multiple services can become too complicated for a single kiosk operator to manage says Ashok Jhunjhunwala a technology professor and founder of nLogue When Raghavan co founded Comat in 1996 selling to the rural poor was far from his mind The company started out as an international software outsourcing firm specializing in network support In the 1990s Raghavan set up a branch of the company in Dallas that brought in 3 5 million a year at its peak He later sold the Indian outsourcing business to Atlanta based Software Paradigms International Then came a 1999 contract from the Karnataka state government in South India The project called Bhoomi land in Hindi was to computerize the state s land record system Previously records had been held by village accountants who often took bribes to make favorable adjustments to farm boundaries Bhoomi was designed to create a digital trail of any alterations making fraud easier to spot Comat employees spent four years digitizing more than 20 million paper land records in some 20 000 villages By 2004 the state s land records were online and accessible in 177

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/spotlight/an-internet-for-rural-india/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    Biometric passports that have already been implemented in over 70 countries will be made available to Indian citizens next year The security microcontroller Related topics regions E Governance ICT4Gov Improving governance through technology Isobel Coleman Senior Fellow and Director of the Civil Society Markets and Democracy Initiative explains about participatory budgeting and its importance Related topics regions E Governance Indian villages to recieve 26 new e Governance services Every village in north western state of Uttar Pradesh will now be able to receive 26 services through e governance This move will make all official services Related topics regions E Governance Thailand revamps intra governmental e transaction system The Comptroller General s Department CGD in Thailand has recently implemented a new government electronic transaction system to provide better and faster Related topics regions E Governance An e disaster management plan An administrative district in Maharashtra India has implemented an ICT based comprehensive and effective solution to respond to recurring disasters Related topics regions E Governance E governance will bring more transparency V Narayanasamy V Narayanasamy India s Minister of State for Personnel Public Grievances Pensions and Prime Minister s Office in an interview with OneWorld South Asia Related topics regions South

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/search?b_start:int=30&Subject:list=E-Governance (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    India is emerging as one of the major electronic waste generators in the world recording a 10 per cent annual growth a study has found The study by a research company with support of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research DSIR released Thursday has found that over 95 per cent of the e waste is segregated dismantled and recycled in the unorganised sector based in urban slum in metro cities reports IANS Image credits Getty Images e waste Electronic products which have reached end of life like television sets personal computers mobile phones and electronic appliances come in the category of e waste The study found that e waste is growing at a rate of 10 per cent annually in India and is likely to touch 4 34 lakh metric tonnes this year The study identified an apparent gap in both technological status and market viability of organised recycling industry We do not have rules and laws in place for e waste management and there is a need to address the issue said DSIR adviser Jyoti Bhatt Commenting on the study Electronics Industry Association ELCINA secretary general Rajoo Goel said The industry needs advanced e waste recycling facilities which

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/study-finds-e-waste-growing-at-10-annually-in-india/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    30 000 and lead times can be up to 2 years to provide grid electricity to a new site Even where grid electricity is available it may be unreliable and operators rely extensively on diesel generators to power base stations There are significant costs not just in the price of diesel but also in transport to sites and provision of security As the power required to operate a base station has reduced the feasibility of alternative energy solutions especially wind and solar has improved Wind is harder to predict for power planning purposes and site surveys are recommended though not always done before installation is undertaken Where feasible wind can provide sufficient energy for larger sites Solar power is economical for lower powered sites if used alone or as a complement to wind energy A significant advantage to solar is easier power planning through readily available databases of incident solar energy for various geographic locations Typical payback periods for alternative energy installations are 2 3 years The GSMA has announced a target of 118 000 green power sites by 2012 Achieving that target would save up to 2 5 billion litres of diesel per annum and cut annual carbon emissions by up to 6 3 million tonnes This is an ambitious target as it is estimated that at the end of 2008 there were only 1 500 green power base stations worldwide Universal charger initiative About 1 billion new mobile phones are sold each year Between 50 and 80 of these phones are replacements for an existing device resulting in approximately 51 000 tonnes of duplicate chargers In February 2009 the GSMA and 17 leading mobile operators and manufacturers announced a commitment to implement a cross industry standard for a universal charger for new mobile phones that will be widely available by 2012 This universal charger will make life much simpler for the consumer who will be able to use the same charger for future handsets as well as being able to charge their mobile phone anywhere from any available charger The chargers will also have to meet an energy efficiency rating that is up to three times more efficient than an unrated charger With potentially 50 less chargers being manufactured each year the industry can expect to reduce greenhouse gases in manufacturing and transporting replacement chargers by 13 6 to 21 8 million tonnes a year There may eventually come a time when the charger is no longer bundled with the handset and is provided to the customer only when needed Used and end of life mobile phones New phones are becoming more energy efficient for example power cells currently in use require fewer resources during manufacture and avoid the use of toxic metals such as lead and cadmium Nevertheless a phone should never be thrown away with unsorted household waste The mobile industry supports handset battery and accessory take back in more than 85 countries When the returned phones are in good condition or economic repair is possible

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/comments/wired-to-unwired/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    my conservation and technology background a theme that I ve managed to continue to this day Although I concluded that there was no clear link that was far from the end of it More recently in fact mobile phones have been blamed for the monumental decline in many bee populations Firstly birds and now bees What next Links between mobile phone use and human health have long been a point of study and contention as have the many theories surrounding the mysterious and sudden decline of some bird and bee populations Speculation about mobile phone masts affecting birds is nothing new but blaming them for the decline of bee populations is a little more recent and because of the importance of bee pollination in many ecosystems it s potentially more worrying unless you re a sparrow of course Both arguments hinge on the effect of electromagnetic fields on the ability of birds and bees to navigate and there is evidence to suggest there might just be some truth in it Image credits Telegraph co uk Honeybees have been known to be sensitive to electromagnetic fields A racing pigeon fancier reportedly lost two thirds of his birds when a mast was built next to his farm and entire bee colonies have been known to literally abandon their hives in an event known as CCD Colony Collapse Disorder In the U S between 50 percent and 90 percent of bee colonies have been affected by CCD in the last four years so much so that bee laden hives are now literally driven around California in an attempt to keep the economically vital fruit growing industry going Pollination is more than just economically and environmentally important however Estimates suggest that one third of the human diet can be traced directly or indirectly to bee pollination If our obsession with wireless technologies continues we could very soon find ourselves in trouble In an experiment carried out on eight bee colonies at Landau University in Germany three hives exposed to mobile phone radiation eventually broke down One hive saw no bees returning at all and only six returned to another Looking at these figures it might come as no surprise to hear that research going back decades has regularly highlighted the phenomenal sensitivity of honeybees to electromagnetic fields Could the same apply to some birds A number of scientists are trying to figure this out and there s a growing body of research looking into the effect of electromagnetic fields on bird reproduction A few years ago Denis Henshaw professor of physics at Bristol University carried out tests where the egg laying ability of chickens was effected by electromagnetic waves Of course this doesn t shed much light on why some native bird species are effected more than others and it doesn t explain the considerable decline in house sparrow populations before 1994 the year that witnessed the beginnings of today s mobile phone boom According to critics mobile phone masts have simply joined unleaded

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/comments/mobile-phones-and-the-birds-and-the-bees/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    e Environment Guidelines for developing countries with a focus on climate change Publisher International Telecommunication Union 2008 The impact of human activities on the environment and on climate change in particular are issues of growing concern confronting life on Earth At the same time information and communication technologies ICTs are being rapidly deployed around the world Although ICTs require energy resources they also offer a number of opportunities to advance global environmental research planning and action This includes monitoring and protecting the environment as well as mitigation of and adaptation to climate change Image credits ITU ITU and Climate Change This report ICTs for e Environment reviews key ICT trends and provides an overview of the impact that ICTs have on the environment and climate change as well as their role in helping mankind to mitigate and adapt to these changes Intended as guidelines for developing countries the report approaches the topic from a developmental perspective and is based on consultations with key actors and extensive online research It documents current activities and initiatives and makes a set of recommendations for strengthening the capacity of developing countries to make beneficial use of ICTs The report demonstrates that ICTs are essential to our understanding of the environment and to our ability to deal with environmental change Today a broadband Internet connection is probably the most important tool to support environmental research learning and decision making But not all countries have the capacity to take advantage of these technologies There is a need to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to benefit from the use of ICTs for managing the environment while helping them to achieve the Millennium Development Goals MDGs Finally the report proposes a methodology to undertake rapid national e Environment assessments as well as to develop and implement national

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/feature/icts-and-e-environment/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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