May June 2003
•Local training and workshops can co-operate with ICIMOD etc. to identify local points of contact.•Many web mapping software packages were introduced and these prototypescan be looked as a test bed for Digital Asia in the future.•Digital Asia needs to study and definethe applications field in cooperation with international organizations (e.g. ADB, UNEP/ESCAP) to deploy usecase.Finally, DAN expressed appreciation forNASDA/RESTEC/ACRoRS/DigitalGMS support for holding the DAN spe-cial session meeting.Dr. Peter Haddawy, a faculty memberof AlT’s School of Advanced Technologies,chaired the Regional Conference on Dig-ital GMS.Other Sessions were on Remotesensing and GIS, Distributed learn-ing, IT for GMS Business, Wireless &Mobile. Workshops and tutorials wereorganized on Distributed Learning,Internet and IT for GMS Business.The Proceedings of the Regional Con-ference on Digital GMS contains 73papers and abstracts, representingcontributions from 23 countries andinternational organizations. This con-ference had more than 160 partici-pants and 75 presentations.This conference was a good initia-tive taken by AIT, Thailand to bringthe benefits of ICT in the GreaterMekong Subregion (GMS). The lat-est statistics of the International Tel-ecommunication Union (ITU)indicate that there is a large and wide-spread digital divide between theGMS countries and other least devel-oped, advanced developing and devel-oped countries of the region, whichthreatens to marginalize the former inthis age of ICT revolution. Inorder tobridge such a digital divide among thecountries of the region and within theGMS community, this conference hasbeen an ideal concerted effort to pro-vide the community with the meansto develop a level of ICT appropriateto their development so that they canreap the benefits of the opportunitiesbrought about by new and advancedtechnologies.Thirty-five worldwide leaders in academiaand business debated these questions, ac-companying issues and solutions for threedays, March 3-5, at the workshop, “Learn-ing from the Indian Development Expe-rience” in Bangalore. Co-sponsored by theSchool of Public Policy of George MasonUniversity of Fairfax, Virginia, USA, andthe Department of Management Studies,Indian Institute of Science, the workshopsought to determine how Indian ICT hasdeveloped, what the consequences – in-tended and unintended – are, and whatimplications for the future may be.
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Is Information and CommunicationTechnology the ticket to India’s development?Or an impediment to overall growth? Can theenormous growth and prosperity of ICTcontinue? Or will success vaporize - movingon to China or another country – leaving only hopes for transformation in its wake?
The prevailing question throughout the workshop was: “What must happen nextto keep India on a trajectory toward de-velopment?” Results of the research and workshop discussions will be far-reaching,affecting business strategy, evaluation of social programs, public policy and educa-tional planning.
Discussion Themes of theWorkshop
•India’s Development in ICT Sector.•Labor Market implications and Insti-tutionalist arguments.