Challenge can be overcome by encouraging domestic IT manufacturing : Kapil Sibal
The Union Minister of Communications & IT and HRD, Shri Kapil Sibal today said that e-Governance not only brings the delivery of a large number of services to the people but also has an empowering effect on the common man. Inaugurating the 5th World IT Forum (WITFOR) 2012 in New Delhi, Shri Sibal said that e-Governance promotes transparency and openness which helps in keeping the people better informed resulting in a higher government accountability. The Minister said if we want to achieve the goal of sustainable development, we need to create an enabling eco-system and address the issue of content, connectivity and accessibility in a holistic and integrated manner. The Minister of State for Communications and IT , Shri Sachin Pilot said the Government faces the challenge of increasing IT and broadband penetrations and a key obstacle here is the high cost of IT hardware and connectivity. He said this challenge can be overcome by encouraging domestic IT manufacturing. Shri Pilot said that Parliament is considering a bill that will mandate provisioning of all public services compulsorily through electronic means to ensure transparency, efficiency, accessibility and reliability in delivery of such services. In his address Mr. Janis Karklins, Assistant Director General, Communication and Information Sector, UNESCO said that technology is offering tremendous opportunities towards sharing knowledge and information. He said education brings sustainability to development, and technology can be a powerful education multiplier. The two-day WITFOR 2012 is deliberating the role of ICT in agriculture, education, health and e-Governance, within the overall theme of ICT for sustainable human development. Representatives from over 30 countries are attending WITFOR 2012 to share their knowledge, views and best practices in the use of IT for governance and delivery of key public services brought together on a common platform, allowing them to showcase successful working models of the use of ICT for development. Some of the themes which were discussed on the 1st day include open government, IT revolution in agriculture, vocational training and skill upgradation, e-governance issues, institutionalising ICT for better health care, State Data Banks and issues of privacy etc. The forum will discuss tomorrow various issues like: administrative reform and cyber-security, NextGen Farming, Future of technology in Agriculture, Learning and Distance Education, and Mobile Technologies with a focus on ‘financial inclusion’ etc.