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    are to benefit from a network of weather stations that will monitor climate variations and improve preparation for the impact of global warming Image credits SciDev Weather station network The India Meteorological Department IMD will first set up 50 stations across Bangladesh Bhutan and Nepal India s environment minister Jairam Ramesh announced last week 20 October at a meeting of environment ministers and officials from countries belonging to the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation SAARC A second phase will cover Afghanistan and Pakistan before a third extends the network to the Maldives and Sri Lanka The stations which will focus on storm surveillance will be part of the SAARC Meteorological Research Centre SMRC which covers the countries concerned Ramesh did not specify when the weather stations would be set up just that it will be very soon He said the ministers had also agreed to hold annual South Asian workshops on climate change to discuss each country s plans for climate change mitigation adaptation measurement and monitoring At the UN conference on climate change in Copenhagen in December SAARC countries plan to hold an event to highlight the region s concerns about the impact of global warming The decision to ramp up climate change activities is the second major initiative announced recently for the region On 18 October India announced it would set up a research centre and launch two of its own satellites to gather data on climate change Ramesh announced in Bangalore that the city would be home to the new National Institute on Climate and Environmental Sciences NICES which will help the country gather its own data on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change projections instead of relying on data from Western countries The institute will complement the Centre for Climate Change Research CCCR which was

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/weather-station-network-to-serve-south-asia/?searchterm= (2016-02-17)
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    people how technology can transform their lives Unless we can make the technology innovations useful and accessible to end users initiatives like e healthcare e education and e agriculture will not be of much consequence for the poor in rural areas Pilot said Innovations should be guided to benefit the 800 million people who still live in the rural areas of the country If an innovation is good unto itself as an idea and is not able to reach out to the target population then it makes all the efforts in that direction futile Pilot added Pilot was speaking at a conference on Digital Inclusion in Rural India Key to Socio Economic Changes in New Delhi M Moni Deputy Director General Agricultural Informatics National Informatics Centre NIC said it is high time agricultural polytechnics and Industrial Training Institutes ITIs are introduced in the rural areas Agricultural polytechnics and ITIs should be established across the country at block levels as there is a huge demand for skilled manpower in the agricultural sector Not just that ten per cent of the existing schools should be converted to agricultural schools with students working with farmers on the co operative pattern Moni said It is surprising that while we have invested so much in higher agricultural education we have nothing to offer in the field of agriculture at the grassroots level Look at our neighbour China which has established agricultural polytechnics and ITIs Moni added Dr Arokiaswamy Thangaprabhu Clinical Director GE healthcare said the use of information technology IT in the healthcare sector can bridge the huge gap which exists between rural and urban India The innovative use of IT in healthcare can be instrumental in bringing the limited skill expertise available in the metros to a larger section of population in the rural

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/comments/scale-up-it-initiatives-to-reach-rural-poor-indian-minister/?searchterm= (2016-02-17)
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    has not yet made much headway in government in India Government spending on IT accounts for only about 15 of India s 12 billion domestic IT market Out of 30 Mission Mode e governance projects totalling 6 billion in IT spends that were drawn up by the centre back in 2006 only three have been awarded so far Education and technology Education as a sector has remained relatively untouched by e governance This is most distressing considering that education is the cornerstone of our efforts to build up the future generation e governance system deployed will have to go beyond mere computerisation of records or processes Even in the Right to Education Act there is little mention of implementing e governance in our education system As it stands today our education system is chaotic to say the least It is characterised by a high dropout rate teacher truancy obsolete syllabi inadequate infrastructure unemployable graduates and the lot The tiny proportion of quality output that emerges from it is more a case of serendipity and the determination of the students belonging to this micro minority This is because the present system lacks means of continuous monitoring meaningful evaluation of the teacher and the taught constant feedback to the players concerned administrators faculty parents and students and appropriate timely control and correction mechanisms Improving education system If the quantity and quality of output from our education system have to be substantially improved then there is no alternative to introducing e governance in this sphere However to be really effective the e governance system deployed will have to go beyond mere computerisation of records or processes It has to be able to provide the management of the educational institution information about the Why of a happening or a trend besides the What When and Where so that adequate prophylactic action can be taken It should be able to provide answers to queries like Why is the performance of a class dropping in a particular subject Why is a particularly bright student lagging in performance in the last two terms Which teacher has produced the best consistent results for her class If the Education Expert System gets linked to other national e governance systems then the possibilities are endless Then again considering the paucity of funds in our state aided educational institutions an e governance system which is inexpensive to install simple to use easy to maintain and can be conveniently expanded will be much more acceptable Monitoring academic performance One such e governance system for educational institutions the M Star Education Expert System has been piloted in scores of schools in India This system currently runs in a variety of schools and colleges in the country M Star has been developed by MGRM NET after a deep study of educational systems It is highly flexible in that it can apply to any educational system and yet be customised to a very high degree to fit in with all the required parameters and diverse

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/comments/integrate-e-governance-in-education-sector/?searchterm= (2016-02-17)
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    stations will give a lot of inputs in the revised policy Sahu said Programme officer at the Ford Foundation Dr Ravina Aggarwal said The enthusiasm in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting regarding the community radio has given us a big boost Our work falls within the community radio framework of the Government of India We are trying to respond to the government s focus on universal access and civil society voices She added that though not everything is as yet defined in their area and the community radio policy is still evolving in the country The one day consultation saw interesting experiences from experts from Africa and the Philippines Sharing experiences from Kenya Grace Githaiga from the Kenya ICT Action Network said that she worked for almost 10 years pushing for community radio in the country Some of the challenges that Kenya faces in the CR movement include competition from commercial radio stations and the capture of CR stations by politicians Githaiga said Some politicians have captured the community radio stations by giving a cheque to support certain programmes Even the companies do it by sponsoring some programmes on CR She highlighted an interesting aspect of environmental pollution caused by the CR stations Everyone was putting up stations therefore issues related to the environmental effects of transmitters came up Now one has to demonstrate before the regulator as to how environmental issues will be dealt with Githaiga said The African experience with community radio is richer and longer than India s With 4 000 5 000 community radio stations in the continent radio in looked upon as the media for Africa as it transcends boundaries and communities The CR world is very diverse with stations based on gender faith rural and urban communities Alymana Bathily Coordinator AMARC Africa said

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/community-radio-has-given-a-voice-to-rural-india/?searchterm= (2016-02-17)
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    was announced in 2002 The Conference will bring together Community Radio Operators Policy makers Community Radio enthusiasts Government Ministries Departments the UN and International organisations like UNICEF UNESCO Ford Foundation etc The first CR Sammelan was organised in February 2011 and the second in February 2012 An exhibition is being organised on the sidelines of the Sammelan to showcase work being done by various organisations and new entrants in the community radio sector On this occasion the National Community Radio Awards would also be presented to the winners Several important issues like resources for community radio sustainability content sharing and programming for development etc would be discussed in the three day workshop On this occasion a community radio compendium will also be released which contains inspiring stories from all over the country The Sammelan is being organised by the Ministry in association with OneWorld Foundation India The community radio space has witnessed remarkable growth in the past few years due to several initiatives taken by the Ministry which has streamlined the approval process for setting up Community Radio Stations Applicants can now apply online and track the status of their pending application through a Comprehensive Community Radio Management Information System A facilitation centre has also been set up with a Toll Free number 1800 11 6422 for providing information The Ministry has also been organising intensive awareness workshops in various parts of the country to increase awareness about community radio Thirty seven workshops have already been organised so far This year alone nine workshops are being held at Dibrugarh Assam Agra Uttar Pradesh Mt Abu Rajasthan Nilgiris Tamil Nadu Goa Union Territory Dharamshala Himachal Pradesh Darjeeling West Bengal Orcha Madhya Pradesh and Vishakapatnam Andhra Pradesh At present the Ministry has issued 418 permissions A total of 144 community radio stations

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/conference-to-observe-a-decade-of-community-radio-in-india/?searchterm= (2016-02-17)
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    students to become a better workforce New Delhi Microsoft Corporation India announced that students from participating Ed vantage academic institutes in India can now avail career search guidance and support The new offering is powered by My Foot In The Door and will be delivered through professionally trained and experienced recruiters who will assist students in working towards their career milestones These career consultants will also deliver pre interview preparation while guiding students towards individual best fit occupations Launched a year ago Microsoft Ed vantage endeavors to create a platform for continuous learning and innovation among students academia and Microsoft partners The program represents an evolution in the way over 10 000 universities and colleges can adopt Microsoft student solutions to their individual needs thereby providing the opportunity to compete on the global employment stage on an equal footing So far over 80 Indian colleges and Universities have enrolled for Microsoft Ed vantage Microsoft s Ed vantage program is geared towards bringing India s education ecosystem together with the objective of helping students in India gain industry relevant employability skills Today we are excited to enhance the Ed vantage proposition with the addition of this personalized coaching platform delivered by My Foot In The Door said Joseph Landes General Manager Developer and Platform Evangelism Microsoft Corporation India Pvt Ltd My Foot In The Door believes our platform solution and career consultants provide a broad tool kit for students who are preparing to enter the job market for the first time said Bosko Lazic Executive VP of My Foot In The Door Our work with Microsoft s Ed Vantage program is a natural fit as we share a similar goal in providing value and resources to the brightest young adults in India in their pursuit of a best fit career Microsoft

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/microsoft-introduces-career-search-support-for-students-in-india/?searchterm= (2016-02-17)
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    talk about issues that matter Community radio is often seen as a way of fostering community development which is equal and inclusive A session at the third National Community Radio Sammelan dealt with the opportunities radio gives to bring about change and mobilization among communities The session was chaired by Stalin K president of the Community Radio Forum The presentations were made by various community radio stations Sangam Radio from Andhra Pradesh Henval Vaani from Uttarakhand and Radio Sankar from Odisha There was a special session with Lucio Tabing a renowned author and development communication expert from the Philippines The presenters put forward the way their radio stations are making small changes in the social fabric of their communities Radio Henval Vaani showed how with a team of 15 volunteers and 34 village reporters they are effectively campaigning against the practice of dowry On the other hand the Deccan Development Society is encouraging regular debates on livelihood markets and the polarities of development while Radio Sanskar from Odisha showed how they are calling issues of migration that affect their village a lot Tabing was very impressed with the growth of the community radio movement in India After his first visit

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/comments/with-cr-good-governance-is-upheld-lucio-tabing-cr-practitioner/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    the act to comply with regulations Drawing the importance of compliance with regulation Bhat said that regulations are there but the big question is that who will ensure the compliance to the same and he added that community radio stations will have to face a high burden because of the free to air nature of the medium Code of ethics is much more tailored to the individual community radio station and it has no direct relation to the laws or rules It has to do with your commitment to the set standards and your broader vision Bhat explained Jayalakshmi Chittoor a senior communications for development professional said that ethical practice is something which is very dynamic and this process should be documented so that others can learn how these ethics have evolved NA Shah Ansari from Radio Namaskar said that without proper regulation a community radio station cannot run Self regulation is the best system for promoting high standards in the field of community media he said Ansari added that self regulation is neither censorship nor self censorship It is about establishing a minimum level of principles on ethics and accuracy According to him by promoting standards self regulation helps to maintain the community radio s credibility with the public Laying stress on the need for transparency in community radio Ansari said the way freedom goes with responsibility freedom of expression goes with regulation Self regulation is about community audience and the country and we need to address this issue at the three levels including the district and the local levels he said Stalin K of Community Radio Forum CRF said that self regulation framework adhered to by the community radio stations should be ethical We need to address the purpose beyond self regulation Purpose will drive the basic code

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/self-regulation-lends-credibility-to-community-radio-expert/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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