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    his portfolio ICT for development is so dear to the President that it has continued and still continues to be under his direct guidance The President has always been concerned about making the benefits of ICT accrue to the people whether they are in Moneragala Jaffna or Colombo The President believes that two things are important for the betterment of the people of Sri Lanka They are English and ICT That is the reason why the President declared 2009 as the year of English and ICT This emphasis must continue he said Weeratunga continued The President is so keen on empowerment that comes to the people through these two tools that the Government is now much into the programme of improving the Spoken English of the people Eighty persons have been sent to Hyderabad to learn about training others on spoken English Speak the English That You Know is an apt slogan in this regard Making a comparison the Secretary to the President said Computer literacy in 2004 was 4 Now it is nearly 30 while the current computer awareness is 45 The President s idea is to take English and ICT to the village The 600 Nenasalas and the 5 200 Government secondary schools island wide play an important role in taking English and ICT to the village The President s goal is to soon increase the number of Nenasalas to 1 000 Currently 3 200 Government secondary schools have computer laboratories with each such school having about 15 to 20 computers The people in the village are now able to use the computer facilities in the Nenasalas which according to the advice of the President have been set up mainly in Buddhist Temple Hindu Kovil Christian Church and Muslim Mosque premises Explaining how lack of computer skills in a family could be solved Weeratunga continued It is heartening to note that children are now able to use the computer and fill in online the application for needs like the vehicle revenue licence and compensate for the lack of computer skills on the part of their parents At the same time there are instances of money in the range of Rs 7 500 being charged for computer courses by private agencies without any real computer knowledge acquired by the student They are issued beautiful certificates but these do not help them to get employment or be self employed To get over this problem the Government has introduced National Vocational Qualification programme which ensures that the person who has this NVC has the relevant skills Referring to the recent launch of eDS Weeratunga went on to say Recently we witnessed the launch of the eDivisional Service project which offers a centralised solution for the hassles which people in the past had to encounter when they had to get a job done Information formerly kept restricted to each Divisional Secretariat can now be commonly shared In the past the people had to travel about 30 or 40 kilometres to get a

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/sri-lanka-gets-erevenue-licence-facility/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    well managed centrally and complying to international standards enabling improved uptime citizen service delivery thus contributing to improved and better governance Egov What is the status of the State Data Centre implementation under National e Governance Plan When do you expect it to complete SPS SDC proposals from 31 States UTs have been approved so far with a total outlay of Rs 1 378 50 Crore Bid process has been completed in 6 States while it is under process in 9 States Further National Informatics Centre NIC has initiated an action to provide the technical resources for the Composite Team at the State and this shall be in place in several States by mid December 2009 Considering the progress so far it is expected that around 8 10 Data Centres shall be set up and be operational by June July 2010 Egov Public data is invaluable What is your roadmap to ensure maximum data security SPS The e Governance applications would be dealing with the citizen related services transactions and hence the confidentiality and security of the data is of paramount importance All necessary measures with tiered security architecture for Physical as well as IT infrastructure have been considered for the Data Centre design The policy guideline for SDC entails the physical as well as data security guidelines which would need to be followed by the State during implementation as well as operations and management of the SDC Egov How do you perceive virtualisation in Data Centres Also how you are planning to tackle with interoperability issues with the IT systems SPS Virtualisation is most talked about technology in the IT industry these days Though it provides benefits such as reduction in costs IT infrastructure optimisation better utilisation of resources consolidation etc it also poses challenges in its management disaster

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/comments/enabling-good-governance-in-india/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    have a separate identity of their own which will be a portable identity can be proved anywhere anytime What would be the road map that UIDAI will follow in enumerating 1 2 billion population without duplication UID has the assurance of uniqueness Every citizen will have just one number We will a check in the database through biometrics that the data about an individual has not been duplicated We will also develop infrastructure offering real time online authentication to the citizens under which a person having a biometric enabled cell phone can on the press of a button get the authentication reply For higher uniqueness and to avoid duplication of records the biometrics will be based on face eye and thumb print recognition We have a biometric committee headed by B K Gairola Director General National Informatics Centre that will confirm the exact biometrics to be used for identification purpose in its report So far biometrics have not been used by any other government department and body save Andhra Pradesh where the data is being refined presently with the help of biometrics for identity authentication and de duplication As the size of the population is unprecedented in India the UID project has huge risks and challenges On one side what will a UID number mean for a rural or urban poor living below the poverty line On the other what it will mean for the industry and the economy as a whole How do you see the role of Indian IT players in the project UID does not assure any rights and benefits It will enable setting up e Infrastructure and help in the Identity Management of the citizens The domestic migrants daily wage earners like construction workers do not have an identity With the help of UID they will be able to move to banks for micro credits and opening of no frills accounts The rural folks on the run to different places in search of work will be able to claim their identity as and when required For the industry the project throws opportunity particularly to device manufacturers and the banking sector has the opportunity for Financial Inclusion The people involved directly with the project will certainly be able to catch hold of the opportunity As of now we have proposed to have a single managed service provider overseeing the Central Identity Data Repository CIDR The database will be managed at the central level only as it is easy to manage the data at one point rather than at several points Data storage in all the states will only add up to the already existing complexities A pilot Data Centre has been set up for testing the initial operations and the services We have floated a Request for Proposal RFP for a consultant who will prepare the detailed project reports and help us in selecting a managed service provider There are concerns in certain sections about the integrity safety and secure usage of the public data similar to

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/comments/tapping-a-billion-plus-people/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    the fact that the draft rules are aimed at the interest of the public only points to the fact that animals and plants which stand to suffer from hazardous materials in e wastes have not been included Such a rule seems to have neglected the environmental problems at a larger scale On whether the Extended Producers Responsibility EPR concept stated in Chapter II responsibilities of producers point number 3 will be an effective tool to meet the objectives remains to be ascertained In reality this seems to be a move in keeping with the EPR rules in the EU or the US In India EPR could stand for Environment Protection Ruled out as the larger cause of environment is missing This seems an impractical move on behalf of the government If e wastes are known to have several recoverable material then why is it termed as waste Waste in context to electronic devices have seen the process of change in the form of commodity to product and product to commodity If this be the case then there seems to be no waste It seems to be a move with vested interests whereby what can be reused is also termed as waste The draft rules suggest registration of refurbishers dealers and other intermediaries Is it in reality for the Pollution Control Board or other nodal agencies to regulate so many entities In drafting this rule the main point of logistics has been ruled out If the chain begins at the manufacturer s level and moves on to the dealer and then to the consumer one main aspect of intermediaries such as the transporter who works for the dealer or the repairing company that the dealer has access to are also part of the process before recycling happens These support services have no direct link to the producer while the rules say that all such support services also need to be registered The intention of the government seems defocused here For effective implementation of rules it is imperative to register only the producers and recyclers As 90 of the recycling process gets over at the dismantling level then where is the need of having a separate set of dismantlers and recyclers As material flow is not so high not everybody needs to be involved in 100 recycling Rather 10 can be outsourced Question also arises if e waste is already part of the Hazardous Waste Rules of 2008 then where was the need to draft new set of rules While there s no significant difference in the two the present set of rules seem much more diluted in nature and is largely aimed at protecting the interests of brand manufacturers E waste being hazardous government should be focusing more on inventory movement rather than focus on commercial transactions The government should support the recycler to reach a level of self sustainability If rules need to be implemented what is needed is creating of awareness and building on the existing facilities Government role

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/epr-to-aid-ewaste-is-india-ready/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    in information point currently lies in pole position to become a familiar sight up and down beaches around the world At a glance it gives you a readout of UV radiation severity and recommends protective measures to take according to skin type Florianopolis inventors have also helped with another red hot issue in Brazil drink driving Engineers at the science centre have created the Bafometro an in car breathalyser that disables the engine unless the driver passes a breath test Image credits BBC The Bafometro breathalyser immediately sends results to the police It takes a photo of the driver and alerts authorities if they are over the limit What makes the new model of Bafometro unique is the capability to transmit images wirelessly With this it removes doubt as to whether the person tested was the one driving or not says Dhelyo Rodrigues president of CSP which manufactures the Bafometro That means companies can monitor their drivers from afar and police can have test results and photographic evidence immediately transmitted to stations Alongside the newer gadgets goes more venerable tech that has changed the old style politics of Brazil Designed to combat electoral fraud the electronic voting machine was launched nationally in 2000 And it was after the debacle of the Bush Gore US election that this particular gadget put Florianopolis on the international technology map The electronic voting machine guarantees the authenticity of the person who is voting by digital printing making the system more infallible against electoral corruption says Luiz Henrique da Silveira the governor of Santa Catarina It might not look like a very advanced piece of technology maybe more like something from the 1970s but that is one of its strengths The voting machines are very robust and have a 12 hour battery life This means

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/spotlight/brazil-on-the-way-to-become-a-tech-powerhouse/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    banking services peaking in poor nations With the increasing demand of mobile phones in developing countries the telecom industry is eyeing online banking services as a lucrative option to enter Related topics regions Development ICTs Investments Kenya s tech innovators face many roadblocks Young tech innovators in Kenya have developed new online services that can help address the key challenges faced by the country But lack of support from Related topics regions ICTs Africa Investments Innovations Ghana ICT services liberalisation detrimental to local companies Although liberalisation of trade in ICT services has led to increased investments in Ghana over the years it has nonetheless been detrimental to indigenous Related topics regions ICTs Africa Investments Digital New ICT index to reduce emissions International Development Corporation s newly launched ICT Sustainability Index will guide nations in effectively meeting internal and international emission Related topics regions Climate Change ICTs Emissions Investments Google s new mirrors to generate cheap solar power Google has announced its plan to create a new mirror technology that would help bring down the cost of producing solar energy The company is on the lookout of Related topics regions Climate Change Research Capacity building Investments Brazil On the way to

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/search?Subject%3Alist=Investments (2016-02-17)
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    implemented in the district administration office of Pondicherry LL2C now makes software for biometric identification and creates a database The idea is that the biometric card can be used for payments if banks integrate it with their technology This then integrates with the e administration software an electronic workflow which eliminates all physical file movements The software can take all 10 fingerprints of a person and store it in the card in a local device and a central database The database also stores a citizen s personal details The idea is that the biometric card can be used for payments if banks integrate it with their technology Gopalakrishnan s software is open source and works with the biometric recognition hardware built by many vendors His business model is to give the software to the government along with the source code for a one time payment that compensates for development effort or alternatively to give the software free and charge for implementation services Tranparency can eliminate all inefficiencies There should be no cash transactions You can create infrastructure where inexpensive handheld devices that can identify people and record payments or debit expenses are available all over the country These devices in turn can transmit data to a bank when hooked to a telephone line All public payments should be made to unique identities which are captured in a central database says Gopalakrishnan He also points out that payment is not the only leakage point Making NREGA effective NREGA is supposed to create assets for the village But the same bund is shown as five different projects If all the projects are collected from the gram sabha and identified in an open source GIS tool like Google Maps it will eliminate this fraud he says His vision is ambitious but very real His ideas are tested at the grassroots LL2C first started working on the biometric system when Gopalakrishnan was invited by a food for work programme organised by CEC Centre for Environment Concerns and REDS Rural Employment Development Society to do a field trial of the biometric system in Jakullatha Palli in Anantapur district in April 2006 They registered 100 citizens and created a database of the villagers It had the name family name age fingerprint and a photo When payment had to be made the fingerprint was read compared with the card and then the payment was made This was 80 successful says Gopalakrishnan Many of the workers had a smudged thumb because they had worked with chuna So they had to take a second fingerprint Gopalakrishnan and the two NGOs used an optical biometric device manufactured by iPower Solutions of Chennai and the details were stored as binary characters in mySQL an open source database They soon realised that power supply was a big problem But they discovered that the device could work with a battery They tried to locate the nearest car battery and powered the device A second trial was done in Mohammadabad village in Ahmedaguda mandal

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/spotlight/hitech-solutions-for-indias-job-guarantee-scheme/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    citizens for availing benefits of different welfare schemes including also banking transactions The government of Andhra Pradesh is introducing multipurpose Aadhar based smart cards to the beneficiaries citizens for availing benefits of different welfare schemes Fingerprint based POS point of sale terminals would be set up at all welfare departments service centers State Road Transport depots Department for Pensions Commercial Tax and other departments state Information and Communications Technology Minister

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/ap-govt-to-introduce-multipurpose-smart-cards/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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