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Is 2012 the year for India's internet?
Rajini Vaidyanathan reports on the efforts in getting more of India's 1.2 billion people online It's estimated as many as 121 million Indians are logged onto the internet. It is a sizeable number, but still a relatively small proportion of the country's 1.2 billion population. Predictions suggest the ways Indians use the internet for business and pleasure will change even further in the next year. "Soon, there'll be more mobile phones than people in India," jokes Ankur Agarwal, the editor of the Indian gadget blog onlygizmo.com. In his cramped office in a Mumbai suburb, he is surrounded by boxes filled with the latest technology ready to be reviewed and tested. Many of the boxes contain the latest smartphones, waiting to be launched onto the Indian consumer. Mr Agarwal's assertions about the Indian phone population might seem outlandish when you think there are 1.2bn people living in the country, but with mobile phone use rocketing, it's a prediction that could come true in the not too distant future. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India estimates that there will be an additional 200 million new mobile subscribers in the coming year. According to research aggregated by wearesocial.net, there are more than 898 million mobile subscribers in India, 292 million of these living in rural areas. The same data showed that 346 million Indian mobile users had subscribed to data packages, with more than half of all internet users in the country accessing the web via their mobile phone. India's internet
2% - Number of rural Indians using the internet 25% - Growth in Indian internet users in India over the past 12 months. 59% - Number of Indians who only access the internet via mobile devices.
Source: wearesocial.sg "The mobile phone will drive internet use in India in 2012," says Mr Agarwal. "Computing begins with the mobile and its growth is fast in India."
He believes that the increase in smartphone and internet capable phones, selling below Rs5,000 (£61; $94)and built by Indian manufacturers, is making it easier and more affordable to own such devices.The increase in uptake of 3G and 2G services in India will also help get more people online. However, there are still issues getting this kind of connectivity into remote areas. Even when it is available, the cost is prohibitive to many.Almost half of India's internet users access the web through their mobiles $50 tablet Other portable devices could also make an impact when it comes to Indians accessing the internet. The government plans to roll out its low-cost tablet device, known as Aakash, into schools nationwide in 2012. Costing around $50, it has been hailed as a huge innovation for India and the way the web can be accessed in schools. Mr Agarwal says it will allow more children to watch videos, carry course information without the need to have a teacher around, and will put pupils at the forefront of new technology. But the devices are still very basic, compared with other tablets on the market, and rely on good wi-fi connections and electricity supply, prerequisites which are not always available in more remote parts of India.In fact, one of the biggest challenges in the year ahead is increasing internet penetration in these areas. Only 2% of rural India has access to the web, according to the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). That's a small percentage when you think that more than 70% of the population lives outside an urban conurbation.
Indian politician Kapil Sibal with the new $50 Aakash tablet
"Even if you give them the technology, what you also need to do is generate awareness about how to use it and create a sense of access for the people of the community," says P Niranjana from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai. Being able to use new technology requires certain skills like literacy and computer literacy, she says, and more work needs to be done in this area so villagers understand how computers are enriching their lives. The other issue, says Ms Niranjana, is ensuring the computers in the villages are placed in an area where all members of the community - including lower-caste Dalits - have the chance to use them. Currently, around 18% of India's rural internet users have to walk more than 10km (six miles) to access the web. Social networking Aside from access and reach, the other big change when it comes to India and the internet is how people are using the web. With better connections, mobile phones and computers, Indians are increasingly using the internet for more than just checking their email. In both rural and urban areas, social networking is a key driver of use. The most popular site in India is now Facebook, which in the past six months saw its user base grow by more than a third.
The professional networking site Linkedin is also seeing greater uptake in India. The country has the second largest number of users for the site, according to figures from socialbakers.com. Indian internet users have a wealth of choices when it comes to getting connected Online videos and music are another area which will see huge growth in the coming year says Tarun Abhichandani, group business director for IMRB, an Indian market research organisation. Mr Abhichandani says this is driven by the fact the lion's share of India's internet users are young males. More than half of the country's population is under the age of 25, a huge potential market for internet businesses. This net-savvy generation is also helping to build e-commerce in India. The number of transactions made online has been growing: in the past year, the value of online business in India was estimated to be worth about $10bn. Revenue generation Mr Abhichandai says we can expect to see mobile commerce, also known as m-commerce, take off in the next year. Some 13 billion adverts are already sent to mobile devices in India every month, a source of frustration to many users but a valuable source of revenue for marketers. In fact, two-thirds of all Indian e-commerce comes from mobile devices. What Indians do online
3 hours - Average time an Indian net user spends on social media. 13m - Number of Indians registered on matrimonial or dating sites. 70% of Indian internet users who watch online videos.
Source: wearesocial.sg The biggest change, when it comes to content, will be the provision of more non-English websites in a country where hundreds of languages are spoken. "We only have so many English speakers in the country, so we would want more local language translations of all the websites that are available to Indian users," Mr Abhichandani says. "People are mostly comfortable speaking in their own language especially in specific regions, so Indian users are waiting for that kind of content to come up." Websites such as Wikipedia are already trying to push regional language content.
Internet use in India overall is predicted to grow, but challenges of reach and technology will determine just who logs on and how.
Myanmar media use Twitter, Facebook to report vote
YANGON: Myanmar's journalists will take to Twitter and Facebook in their battle to beat press restrictions and deliver breaking news of Sunday's by-elections that for many will be the biggest story of their careers. The vote - the first contested by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and likely to propel her into parliament - is set to pose a host of challenges for news editors from the country's longcensored media. All private news publications are weekly, after the previous military rulers nationalised dailies half a century ago and "everybody wants to be a Monday paper this week", said Thiha Saw, editor of Open News, one of a number of papers to have applied for permission to print a day after the by-elections. Those newspapers not shifting their print runs will rely on their burgeoning social media pages to provide readers with up to date coverage. "Our paper will be (published) after the election, so we will post on Facebook and our Twitter account, so we will update all the news every hour after the polling stations open," said Nyein Nyein Naing, executive editor of 7Day News, one of the country's biggest weeklies with an estimated readership of 1.5 million. Until last year, prominent coverage of Suu Kyi - known here as "The Lady" - was almost unheard of and people who spoke to reporters were taking a real risk. Front page pictures of the Nobel prize-winning opposition leader are now commonplace, while coverage of some other previously taboo subjects is also allowed after a new regime loosened censorship as part of wide-ranging reforms that have taken observers by surprise. Weeklies are still subject to pre-publication scrutiny that is described by media rights organisations as among the world's most draconian, but Nyein Nyein Naing told AFP newspapers were increasingly deciding not to send sensitive stories to the censors. "We are just trying to push our boundaries a little bit. We do something one week and nothing happens, so we do more the next week," she said, indicating the latest edition of the paper, which carried a front page story about the controversial decision by authorities to postpone voting in three constituencies in Kachin state due to ongoing ethnic unrest in the northern region.
editor in chief of Eleven Media. said he had already written the Open News election supplement cover. "For the Facebook and Twitter.the Internet itself could pose a challenge in a country beset by outages during sensitive periods." said Nyein Nyein Naing.no mean feat in a country where only a fraction of the population has access to the Internet.She said when it comes to breaking news online. We have many difficulties. we just put everything that we have got. who will be busy compiling early results on Sunday night in the run up to his midnight print deadline. "We will use all possible ways to send out our information. Not only me but other journalists who are running their stories through the Internet. UK growth downgrade But while censors might not stop papers covering the election in real time . we don't think about censorship at all. "The world is watching. ip on China fears." But he said journalists' ability to report on the vote would be a test of the poll. had more than a hundred comments and 165 shares in just two hours -. 5 . editors publish what they want. an increasing problem during the summer months." She said 7Day News had become increasingly reliant on Facebook to reach its readership. said he was also concerned about the Internet connection but the organisation will also use its text service to send news to subscribers' mobile phones on election night." she said when asked if the authorities were behind the outage. Wai Phyo. Thiha Saw. "We all are worried about the Internet connection. "The main thing is the Internet connection on that day. I want the Internet to be good." he said. I think our press freedom to cover the by-election will decide whether it is free and fair. A story posted on the 7Day page of the social media website about electricity blackouts.and the title will be 'The Lady wins'!" he said with obvious relish. adding that her reporter could not send pictures during a recent Suu Kyi trip to the far north because the connection was down.we have got hundreds of them . "I don't think that would be coincidentally." he said. "There will be the picture of the Lady .
2012. The writer has posted comments on this article Srinath Vudali. Suryanarayana allegedly deleted thousands of files from his laptop and other computers in a bid to destroy evidence. However.31 Mar. the officials cannot always count on their forensic skills to be able to retrieve all deleted data. But after forensic experts had gone through the seized machines.000 files and it took us a lot of time to recover the deleted data. Suryanaryana had deleted more than 15. Officials at APFSL said that the number of cyber crime cases was steadily on the rise and that. the offenders take every precaution to erase data and tamper with evidence. who was caught in 2008 by ACB sleuths for allegedly possessing disproportionate assets worth crores of rupees. deleted data can be retrieved: Forensic Experts HYDERABAD: Several cyber criminals who were under the impression that pressing the 'Delete' key would erase every trace of their online fraud are waking up to the fact that forensic experts can retrieve any deleted data. of which more than 14.26AM IST.000 files. 11. One such felon is the fisheries department executive engineer 'Big Fish' Velugubanti Suryanarayana. told TOI. Fisheries department additional director Prakash Rao told TOI that Suryanarayana continued to be under suspension.000 cases that the APFSL has dealt with in the last one year. Tables and mobile phone extractions which will be operational in about a month.TNN Cyber criminals can't delete wrong doing. The quest for accuracy though is on and officials said that they have procured advanced software like Rainbow. This has been a common feature in recent financial frauds. Of the 21.000 files were recoverable. director of the AP Forensic Science Laboratory (APFSL)." O Narasimha Murthy. nearly 500 are cyber crimes and that number keeps increasing. Suryanarayana deleted nearly 15. it was found that in all. in most cases. "The data was recovered and given to court and it stands as important evidence . Officials said that many of the deleted files pertained to the awarding of contracts by Suryanarayana in his capacity as executive engineer in the fisheries department. in cyber harassment and forgery cases involving fake educational certificates. 6 .
He said the hacker group 'Anonymous' is protesting against Wall Street and irresponsible leaders. include Indian military research organisations and shipping companies. The Luckycat cyber campaign.Technical Services (India & SAARC) Trend Micro. China. 12. Websites of Indian government and Tibetan activists hacked NEW DELHI: Websites of Indian government and Tibetan activists in the country are under attack in a cyber attack campaign engineered by a Chinese hacker. "Operation Global Blackout 2012 looks to shut down the internet for a whole day tomorrow by disabling its core DNS servers." said Varma The owner of the attack alias. a former graduate student at Sichuan University. Head . in Chengdu. "The victims. according to Trend Micro. Chile and Spain as their private and public websites have been attacked by the group. is Gu Kaiyuan. 31 Mar. a report released by IT security firm Trend Micro said on Friday. 2012. said the report released by the Japanese network security firm." said Baburaj Varma. "Investigations have already been launched by Colombia." Noble said here." Noble said. "We were able to track elements of this campaign to hackers based in China.An amount of Rs 4. toxicology and cyber forensics at APFSL using funds from the police modernisation fund. officials added Hacker group 'Anonymous' might target internet services: Interpol chief NEW DELHI: Interpol Chief Ronald Noble on Friday warned that a group of hackers might try to shut down internet service tomorrow. The university receives government financing for its research in computer network defence. China's leading internet company. besides aerospace. The Interpol Chief was delivering 13th DP Kohli memorial lecture on 'Multi-jurisdictional Investigation: Operation Unmask'.00AM IST. 'Luckycat' has been able to compromise about 233 computers many of which are in India. according to online records. working with one of the world's largest e-tailers Tencent. 7 . making websites inaccessible. as well as against Tibetan activists.4 crore was spent behind the upgrade of DNA finger printing. has been linked to 90 attacks in recent past against targets in India and Japan. The event was organised by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) here. energy and engineering companies in Japan. The hacker is now an employee at Tencent.
active since around June 2011. a malicious document containing information on the programme was used to lure potential victims into opening it. the report said. In its 24 page report. Trend Micro said each malware attack involves a unique campaign code that can be used to track which victims were compromised by which malware attack. Trend Micro tracked elements of the cyber attack campaign to hackers based in China. dubbed 'Luckycat' targeted Indian military research institutions. with a former graduate student at a Chinese university emerging as a key figure responsible for the cyber breach.According to the report. the Luckycat campaign managed to compromise 233 computers in systematic attacks.' it said in its report. Tokyo-based Trend Micro said the hacking campaign. It cited the example of a hacking attack on India's ballistic missile defence programme. energy and engineering companies and at least 30 computer systems of Tibetan advocacy groups. In this. The Luckycat campaign attacked a diverse set of targets using a variety of malware. according to a report by a computer security firm. the hacker is believed to have recruited students to work on the university's research involving computer attacks. The campaign. 02. entities in Japan as well as the Tibetan community. Victims of the attack also include Indian shipping companies. Japan's aerospace. "This illustrates that the attackers are both very aggressive and continually target their intended victims. 31 Mar. some of which have been linked to other cyber-espionage campaigns. In all. The attackers behind this campaign maintain a diverse set of command-and-control infrastructure and leverages anonymity tools to obfuscate their operations. 8 . These are not smash-and-grab attacks but constitute a "campaign" comprising a series of ongoing attacks over time. has been linked to 90 attacks against targets in Japan and India as well as Tibetan activists. 2012.58PM IST. Chinese hackers attack Indian websites NEW YORK: Indian military research bodies and Tibetan activists have been targeted by hackers based in China.
have been well below the expectations of the banks. micro finance institutions. The Financial Inclusion Plan drawn up by RBI envisages bringing more than 3. but has huge potential.2 lakh villages.5 lakh villages into the formal banking network by March 2013.This document contained malicious code that exploited a vulnerability in computer software enabling the hackers to penetrate the compromised computer. NGOs. availability. vying for the FI pie. Data from progress reviews by the State Level Bankers' Committees indicate that most PSU banks are close to achievement of the outreach targets. From October 2009 till January 2012. The count achieved till now is approximately 1. The FI services market. The tenure of these FI projects varies from three to five years. RBI having permitted corporate entities to be enlisted as banking correspondents. The FI mission envisages the accomplishment of three essential dimensions — outreach. However. Assuming conservative pricing of the services. besides niche technology solution providers and system integrators. eligible TSPs can also undertake BC services. The TSPs are selected by banks through a competitive bidding process. on this yardstick. Further. The TSP community comprises of several IT majors. smart card manufacturers. The focus of all banks is currently on achieving the outreach targets by deploying BCs covering the villages allotted to them. 9 . banks have been permitted to outsource part of the technology and manpower requirements of their FI projects from competent technology services providers (TSP). There are more than 30 TSPs active in the domain. In view of the massive scale of rollout targeted. more than 70 requests for Proposals (RFPs) were floated by various banks. in its infancy now. and usage of basic banking services. feedback emanating from banks and the TSPs at the structured interactive forums and peer-level meetings indicate that the progress with regard to the availability and usage factors. as reflected by new accounts acquisition and transaction activity levels respectively. Back-end issues in financial inclusion The market for financial inclusion services is in its infancy. upon coverage of all unbanked villages. professional BC organisations. for collective consideration of the stakeholders. including a sizeable number of Regional Rural Banks. thus participating end-to-end in the FI delivery process. for March 2012. the FI domain could generate a gross revenue of Rs 40-50 billion annually for the TSPs. The major qualitative concerns surfacing in the present outsourcing model and systemic improvements desirable towards strengthening the approach are presented below. and contracts for the relative FI projects have been awarded to successful TSPs. holds huge potential.
mainly due to the complexities involved in integrating the dynamic customer transaction processes. viz. reports IANS." Pitroda said. financing and skills which in turn impact their growth and productivity. learn from it and then take this project to 50 clusters. Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). said the Cluster Innovation Centres (CICs) acting as networking hubs for innovation ecosystems are being created in 8 clusters. MSMEs and start-ups are viewed as major engines of growth and employment. In both developed and developing countries. Indian MSMEs represented 45 per cent of manufactured output and 40 per cent of exports. leading to complications at the bank's CBS end.India plans 50 innovation clusters to help MSMEs The National Innovation Council plans to cover the entire country by 2012 with these innovations clusters to facilitate creation of ecosystem Submitted on 03/28/2012 . brassware cluster in Moradabad (UP) and textile cluster at Tirupur (Tamil Nadu). services. research and development (R&D). giving an update on the Innovation Cluster initiative launched in November 2011. smart cards. a senior expert at NInC. But most MSME clusters in India suffer from lack of access to technology. In 2010-11. 10 . the end-to-end technology interface between the TSP's proprietary FI solution and the Bank's Core Banking Solution is yet to stabilise. India is estimated to have 5. where the TSP and the bank's CBS vendors are different entities. spurring job creation and inclusive growth. In a number of projects.11:47:06 AM New Delhi: The National Innovation Council (NInC) aims to have around 50 innovation clusters covering the entire country by the end of 2012 to help out the Micro. Samir Mitra. each offering their own proprietary interfacing solutions. processes and business models. There are instances of multiple TSPs having been engaged by the banks. The cluster initiative aims to facilitate creation of ecosystems that will enable generation of new products.000 regional MSME clusters that include the gems cluster in Surat (Gujarat). "We plan to finish pilot. Chairman Sam Pitroda said. Ideally. TECHNOLOGY CONSTRAINTS Most of the banks have opted for the smart card platform. The banks desire the FI solution to be interoperable across the three technology platforms. The Indian government has declared 2010-2020 as the "Decade of Innovation". I would like to see 40-50 clusters doing such innovations by the end of 2012. NInC aims to create models for transforming regional MSME clusters into innovation ecosystems with collaborative partnerships among stakeholders. would want 150 clusters in India to have innovation centre by the end of next year.
The present FI solutions are bank-specific. The variable pricing method is hence inappropriate.mobile phone and the micro ATMs. data could be ported from FI-CBS into the Bank's internal CBS. so that the entire FI solution architecture would be uniform across the banking system. UNIVERSAL FI SOLUTION A multiplicity of FI solutions being offered by TSPs is bound to render the technology environment fragmented. would necessitate the FI technology solutions to be inter-bank compatible. The Aadhar-Enabled Payment System (AEPS). The ideal response would be to put in place a Universal FI Solution (UFIS). All banks and TSPs may be advised to migrate to UFIS from the current solutions in due course. Reservations remain in banking quarters regarding commercial banks relying on proprietary FI solutions of the TSPs. The technological inadequacies need to be addressed and the scope of the solutions enlarged suitably to meet the intended convergence and scalability requirements. card management and BC Cash Management etc. The scalability of the current FI solutions for coping with the large volume of transaction flow expected from electronic benefit transfers. The role of the TSPs / BCs could only be supportive. The responsibility for achievement of targeted business levels should primarily rest with the banks. At the bank level. preferably. AMBIGUITY IN PRICING The TSP compensation is determined based on the number of customers enrolled and the number / quantum of transactions conducted. and vice versa. Adoption of officially-approved UFIS would address this concern conclusively. who have. It could also turn out to be counterproductive. (NICSI). The diagram appended depicts the present and proposed approach. MNREGA payments. the National Informatics Centre Services Inc. such as inter-operability through some other technology platforms and inter-bank connectivity through AEPS. needed for enrolment. 11 . standardising the interface with the CBS. while the solutions are at present mostly confined to smart cards. coupling it with a standard common FI-CBS. The support software components of the FIS suite. The proposed UFIS would address all the future requirements. the set of which can be prescribed for adoption by all banks and the TSPs uniformly. could also be similarly standardised and approved by NICSI. The task of developing the proposed UFIS and FI-CBS could be entrusted to a central technological agency. being developed by the National Payments Corporation of India. RSBY transactions and the State sector social welfare schemes remains to be established. on behalf of the respective Ministries. developed and standardised operating systems for egovernance applications and for the RSBY projects. impeding coordinated implementation of the FI programme.
would like the costs to be pegged with reasonable certainty. the banks may realistically work out the estimated project cost. with a view to hedging inflation. The banks shall pay the TSPs respective estimated costs at monthly intervals. Adopting a fixed pricing model.5 on a 10-point scale. the call is seen as a second freedom struggle – following the one that gained India its independence in 1947. having incurred capital and fixed costs.The TSPs. the banks. touching thousands of young Indians from all socioeconomic groups in significant numbers. For these new converts to activism. and revised by the banks annually. is seen widely as a tool to fight corruption that has India consistently ranking near the mid-way mark in Transparency International‘s Corruption Perceptions Index.) Fighting Corruption with IT Summary: Technology is making it difficult to fudge information even as corruption continues to deny benefits to the poor. this anti-corruption drive is striking in its reach and response. could be at a disadvantage if the targeted numbers/quantum aren't eventually achieved. India came in at 95 out of 183 countries in 2011. grouped into one-time and recurring costs. The profit margins shall be paid by the bank at quarterly rests. including BC costs. a social activist. the recurring costs may be indexed to the inflation rate. In addition. says Usha Ganesh Corruption. In respect of future projects. social media and mobile technology have silently contributed to creating awareness and to the mobilisation of public opinion. the Internet. would be beneficial for both banks and TSPs. with a rank of 3. and Hazare‘s core team is mulling the next steps. While some would argue that corruption continues unabated. as proposed below. The bidder quoting the lowest profit margin in both the segments and emerging as the L1 bidder may be awarded the contract. Given the long tenure of the projects. Led by Anna Hazare. has been making headlines in India consistently for the last few months. (The author is a former General Manager of SBI and a freelance Consultant on FI projects. basically drafted by people who could be termed ―neutral‖ or without any political affiliations. and satisfaction of the Service Level Agreements entered into. 12 . subject to the costs being actually incurred by the TSPs. and invite competitive bids from TSPs. and the fight against it. The Bill is yet to be passed. The TSPs would like to be assured of a reasonable return on their outgo in the projects. resulting in hesitancy on their part to commit further resources to the projects. The pause notwithstanding. the call for passing the Jan Lokpal (Public Ombudsman) Bill has transformed the political consciousness of tens of thousands of Indians who reluctantly accept corruption as part of their culture. to quote their profit margin over their estimated costs. The Bill. where zero means that the country is perceived as highly corrupt.
housing and water supply. According to a report. among others. records showed them as having worked for 33 days. Aadhaar. whereby citizens could access information controlled by public departments. and the poor remain food-insecure despite government budgets to ensure otherwise. achieved some scale. where to access this information and how they could leverage it to fight corruption. the Indian Government passed the Right to Information Act in a bid to promote transparency. On closer study. as well as digitise documentation and records. Food security.Impact of Corruption on the Poor Like mobile telephones. The urban poor. they were still unaware of what information they should seek. job cards. a mere 15 percent of public funds set aside for poverty alleviation actually reach the poor. were found to have fake entries and often in the possession of the local panchayat members. health. While citizens were now armed. lest they lose even the few days of work and wages that trickled down to them. spanning the socioeconomic spectrum and age/gender demographics. the government‘s efforts to computerise government departments. with the wages for the remaining 32 days being misappropriated.‖ regularly pay money for living in illegal housing and accessing water and electricity through illegal connections. conducted by the Centre for Media Studies (CMS) together with Transparency International India. The poor often need to pay bribes to acquire these ration cards that state that they are below the poverty line. existing in what can be termed an ―extra-legal space.‘ A more recent – and substantially ambitious – government initiative. As an offshoot of this growing digitisation. is expected to have an impact on corruption at the ―last mile. electricity. Workers were threatened not to complain about the fake entries. However.‖ It will be linked to the government‘s social sector schemes related to the provision of 13 . which the government attempts to deliver to below poverty line (BPL) households through its PDS. which all workers are issued under the program. education. Pilferage. the Unique Identification (UID) project.000 million (US$154m) in bribes to access 11 essential public services that include the public distribution system (PDS). Its impact on the poor is both active and passive. Far more insidious is the passive corruption the urban poor are subjected to when they are unaware of pertinent government subsidies and aid. While not all government departments and documents are digitised today. A government-sponsored study on the efficacy of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) found corruption in programme implementation where workers worked for one day and were paid wages for one day. is another area that needs attention. Simultaneously. theft and adulteration complete the picture. A study on corruption in India. A Silent Crusade: Technology-Driven Solutions In 2005. indicates that the poor pay over INR8. it has become more difficult for files to go ‗missing‘ – these misplaced files often carried a price tag of INR100 (US$2) or more for the file to be ‗found. corruption is ubiquitous in India. online access to forms and information is now increasingly available.
the person conducting the social audit has to access each register to arrive at the likely wage a worker has received. as well as to a redressal center or mechanism such as an NGO. Likewise. is examining ways in which mobile phones. Government departments need not be the only stakeholders to adopt technology in order to fight corruption. In the case of a program like the NREGA. Transparency International (TI) Bangladesh has seen similar success with being able to catalyse important institutional and policy reforms. etc. TI has adopted this model globally. are cumbersome and difficult to conduct on a large scale. We will start with programs such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in India and expand coverage over the next few years.‖ The team plans to implement the model in randomly selected villages for two years and test its impact on corruption. therefore. NGOs and other civil society groups can also leverage technology to carry out more effective social audits. pensions.). where the recipient of the SMS can reply to confirm or deny having received the benefit. Social audits. can help fight corruption and aid social audits. This empowers the poor with facts. there has been an impact on corruption in areas where social audits have been conducted. TI Bangladesh recognised the need to sustain engagement with people and to create a platform for such sustained engagement. who manages the program. and will make it difficult for these benefits to be re-routed to recipients other than the beneficiaries. as per public record. Having said that. The Bangladesh Experience Anna Hazare‘s anti-corruption drive proved that there is power in numbers and that technology can help mobilise these numbers very effectively. they can seek redressal through official channels with a complaint backed by evidence. so that if there is misappropriation of funds. By using social media. Says S. Vivek. A Stanford University initiative. 14 . It is also possible to provide contact details of responsible officials. the Program on Liberation Technology. One of the projects focuses on using basic short messaging service (SMS) technology to empower the poor by letting them know what. these groups actively engage with their peers and enable the dissemination of TI‘s anti-corruption message across the country. data resides in many different government files and registers. ―A team is starting to build the basic technology to store and disseminate public records. Vivek adds that there are ways to extend this service to include a feedback mechanism. a road in their locality.. food grains. as well as other technology.e.subsidised products and services.500 young volunteers to fight corruption across 60 centers in Bangladesh. Its Youth Engagement and Support (YES) program has mobilised over 5. they have supposedly received (i. The Stanford project is likely to move to the pilot stage in the Indian states of Bihar and Andhra Pradesh. They could also use this information to gain justice on moral grounds and – if they find others in a similar situation – even fight collectively by staging a protest. In a scenario without computerisation. He or she then has to go to each household to find out if they were really paid this amount.
On December 9. such as that of NREGA. Outsourcing to Indian IT companies is taking service sector jobs away from the US to the Indian cities. more efficient and cost-effective. he wrote in the December issue of Forum: ―It is the people who have to make their voice and demand stronger so that our political leaders deliver their commitments without fear or favor. e-governance programs. This. Robert Z. He cites an example in Tamil Nadu where the field officer has to send an SMS to the collector‘s office indicating the number of women and men who are at work every morning. For instance. thereby reducing opportunities for bribes or political influence in approval of bids or tenders. deeper impact on fighting corruption. Yet. Their solution: the US should stop practising free trade. Zaman believes that. Growing protectionism in the US March 30. finally. They think that increased demand in fast-growing emerging markets is responsible for higher oil prices. 2011. 15 .While social media helps mobilise the collective voice. comes from the Bangladesh government‘s efforts to move to technology-led governance. a recent study by international trade experts. The contribution of manufacturing to employment in the US has been declining by 0. new forms of corruption continue to emerge. has made it tough to fudge information. The study concludes that increase in labour productivity and shift in demand away from manufacturing to services have caused the decline in manufacturing jobs. technology is not the complete answer. success is more likely within reach. says TI‘s Executive Director Iftekhar Zaman. the will of the people will decide the success of the anti-corruption drive. as it is not serving its economic interest well. rather than cheap imports. long before the US started running trade deficits with China or India. makes spot checks easy and effective. he says. Lawrence and Lawrence Edwards. While remaining enthusiastic about the power of technology to add strength to the anticorruption movement. shows that there is a good correlation between import and employment growth in the US. 2012: Many in the US believe that emerging economies like India or China are dumping cheap goods into the US markets and eating away manufacturing jobs. Those in control are then able to leverage the funds to earn interest income during these two months. Mr. However. If technology can get more people to buy into the fight against corruption.‖ Conclusion Computerisation. Vivek from the Stanford project adds that due to increased monitoring. celebrated as Anti-Corruption Day. help reduce direct interaction between the service provider and the beneficiary. He also speaks of clever uses of technology to take small but effective steps to fight corruption. workers are paid their wages but only after a couple of months.4 per cent a year during the last 50 years. such as Access to Information (A2I) and an e-procurement program. but it can strengthen an existing anti-corruption process by making it easier. In the fight against corruption.
as has been the experience of India. Article 24 of GATT 1994 (and Article 5 of GATS) allows bilateral or regional trade agreements (BTAs/RTAs) if they cover substantial trade of the participating nations. at best. High growth in emerging economies and improved productivity result in the deteriorating terms of trade for such economies and welfare gains for importing countries.Further. The US. India. exports from China or India benefit the US. The US needs free trade more than their emerging economy counterparts. African countries are also contemplating a pan-African free trade area. Indian IT majors (considered to move jobs away from the US) have. then. INDIA'S EXPERIENCE Protectionism is a high-cost option in an interdependent environment. a reality that the US cannot ignore. This won't be the case with China (with less than 40 per cent share of domestic consumption expenditure in GDP as compared to 70 per cent in the US) which possesses enough maneuverability to increase domestic consumption. This logic can be applied to the services. India's exports have increased from US$ 18. As a result. Realising the importance of freer trade in achieving faster growth. India's GDP has also increased from US$ 300 billion to US$1. it leads to increase in exports. in fact.1 billion in 2010-11. TRADE POLICY DILEMMA Unsustainable debt situation will force future reduction in domestic consumption. partly explains the rising oil prices.8 trillion. In fact. Increased imports induce indigenous industries to be more competitive. Export of IT & ITES to the US helps American corporations improve their cost competitiveness. Now. China and Brazil are keen on signing bilateral and regional trade agreements to supplement domestic markets. Post liberalisation. in the last five years. With the slow progress of WTO Doha Round. ASEAN. will need export markets more than it does today to sustain its growth. India and the rest of the socialist countries have learnt it the hard way. all major countries. Wipro or Infosys in the US are non-Indians. 16 . But regional trade agreements can only be the second-best alternative to multilateral trade liberalisation under the framework of WTO. 5 per cent of the employees of Indian software companies like TCS. created direct and indirect employment opportunities for the American people. In this period. The increased demand for oil in emerging economies. According to a recent CII survey. and created 100. the major cause of rising oil prices is the relative decrease in the oil production in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. as compared to the rise in demand for it. and blocs such as EU.000 jobs. Ultimately.5 billion in 1990-91 to US$ 251. trade has become a key policy instrument for achieving economic growth in India. Indian companies in the US have invested US$ 26 billion.
It's time the US recognised its role in getting WTO Doha Round negotiations concluded. as compared to 8. it won't be easy to get India (or any developing country) to agree to the proposal. Waiting for the next US Presidential election will be too late. Hence. as manufacturing alone cannot provide job opportunities for everyone. In India's case.) 17 . pharmaceuticals. Sectoral proposal seeks to impose duty-free trade in 14 key industrial sectors. something the American manufacturing sector badly needs when competing with low-cost countries like China. it suits the US.8 per cent of India's merchandise exports were shipped to the US in 2010-11. sectoral proposal under NAMA (Non-Agricultural Market Access) and Mode 4 services. This will require greater flexibilities on the immigration policy than what the US would ideally want. fertilisers. Services account for more than 65 per cent of global GDP. all suffering from one economic crisis after another. Securing acceptability for sectoral proposal will require provisions for keeping a few items under each chapter in the sensitive list. plastics. it wouldn't be easy for the US to insist on its trade agenda when increase in intra-trade among developing nations has reduced their dependence on the US or EU. a speedier recovery of the US is the key to lessen the adverse impact of the Euro Zone crisis. the cost of further opening up and remaining a free economy is less for the US. electrical and electronic goods. too. trade in services should be the focus of any multilateral trade negotiation. India. As a result. To conclude the Doha Round. Only 9. the US will need to engage emerging economies by being flexible on issues having serious trade implications. (The author is a subject matter expert (International Trade) for a top corporate house. those on cotton. need open markets for their exports and sourcing of raw materials that they don't produce.3 per cent to Africa.Trade barriers are higher in emerging economies than in the US. Despite the growing sentiment against immigration in the US. including textiles & clothing. chemicals. or Russia (which is now a WTO member). either in India or in the US. so any real trade gain has to come from opening up trade in services. This fact can be leveraged to break the Doha Round logjam. they are agricultural subsidies. The US will also need to improve its offer on Mode 4 (movement of professionals) services. WTO DOHA ROUND Given the current economic clout of advanced emerging economies like China. This isn't possible in the absence of seamless movement of goods and services across regions. in particular. Considering the sensitivities attached to these sectors. Its successful conclusion is good for the US and rest of the globe. Emerging economies like China or India. Studies have shown that educated immigrants play a significant role in innovation. Therefore. rather than making its acceptance mandatory.
they have the necessary expertise and experience to deal with cyber security issues.Emerging Trends in Cyber Security March 28. Recent trends indicate that what should have been the exception is increasingly becoming the norm. even when backed by political and administrative fiat. The approaches of countries such as China and Russia have been analysed and commented upon in considerable detail. store. In the first instance. The vulnerabilities specific to software. Recent reports that the National Security Agency (NSA). Unless there is an international effort to work towards norms for cyberspace. The absence of agreed norms of conduct in cyberspace and the scope for conducting a myriad range of malafide activities with limited risk of retribution is leading to both vertical and horizontal proliferation of such activities. especially with regard to why such attacks have not 18 . hardware. is building massive complexes to capture. both within and outside national boundaries. and do not need recounting. to conduct a range of activities from cyber espionage to cyber harassment. the lawlessness that currently pervades will assume gargantuan proportions. Other issues being debated within the United States pertain to the NSA‘s attempts to arrogate more powers of investigation. or even an open society. almost out of necessity since the so-called ―cyberwars‖ that break out every now and then are a numbers game. which is responsible for cyber security in the United States. but the arguments against the granting of such powers are applicable universally. but framing a coherent response has proved to be a difficult task. de facto responsibility for cyber security is being vested with intelligence agencies for reasons of expediency. advantages that could be in terms of military and technological superiority. on the basis of a stated policy to neutralise the advantages of countries it perceives as hostile to it. makes the kind of cooperation required for cyber security very difficult. Russia has been criticised for a policy of tolerating the activities of cyber criminals and even utilising them for its purposes through its intelligence agencies. so long as their activities are not directed against the motherland. and analyse data flowing through the world‘s networks would mean that the same agency would become the leading source of information insecurity. will naturally create suspicions in other countries where these companies operate. applications and critical infrastructure are generic. In most countries. the mutual suspicion generated by such agencies across the entire spectrum of institutions. A comparison of the cyber wars in West Asia and South Asia would seem to bear this out. These moves have potential long-term detrimental and destabilising effects. China is seen as an outlier that is exploiting the vulnerabilities to the maximum. The unhealthy dependence on intelligence agencies to manage cyberspace will lead to unholy alliances between these agencies and the lawless elements. coupled with other news of private companies with global footprints such as Google entering into close collaboration with the NSA. 2012 Issues of cyber security might have come from the fringes to the centre of the threat calculus. This.
And finally. at a time when greater attention should be paid to other facets of cyber security such as securing critical infrastructure or auditing the cyber security preparedness of companies in critical sectors. or by a combination of the two. 13.301 security incidents were reported to it in 2011. and South Asia would be no exception. which normally follow a tit-for-tat pattern. the continued highlighting of website hackings leads to a great deal of time being spent on securing government websites. irrespective of their importance. there needs to be much more by way of standardisation and sharing of data between the government and the private critical information infrastructure companies such as the Internet Service Providers. be it the government. One of the biggest drawbacks to securing cyberspace in the Indian context is the lack of adequate data. according to the annual report of the National Crime Records Bureau. they do not lend themselves easily to further analysis in the absence of more detailed data.39 lakh or US $1. Much of the data lies with different organisations and is not available in the public domain. especially as more and more critical services go online and become potential targets. The invisible hand of the intelligence agencies has been seen to be present wherever in the world patriotic hacking has taken place. While these indices have been monitored over the past few years and provide a general idea of the upward trend in cyber-related incidents. have ended in truces being called by the hackers on various sides. according to the Computer Emergency Response Team-India (CERT-In). At the same time. and the end users of these services. The absence of more precise figures creates an information gap between the various stakeholders.crossed any red lines.322 in 2010. according to figures from the Reserve Bank of India as recently reported to Parliament.787. cyber-related crimes were a mere 1. or worse. and demonstrate how the short sighted approach towards these challenges is taking us further away from the oft-vaunted goals of an open. it would be useful to know whether these were perpetrated by exploiting technical vulnerabilities or through other means such as social engineering. the various service providers primarily in the private sector. That said. in the case of financial fraud. For instance. the total amount involved in cases of financial fraud over the Internet in 2011 was Rs. That there have not been any major incidents of hacking ascribed to hackers in the sub-continent despite the low levels of computer security would lead one to speculate that these agencies have had a restraining effect on such activities. To illustrate.6 million. despite threats to bring down the financial systems and so on. can be misleading. Whatever data is available does not adequately convey the full picture. Skewed data also results in skewed priorities. making up 0. These issues highlight the complex and inter-connected challenges in cyber security. 19 . The near equivalence of hackers in the countries of South Asia would point to a low level form of deterrence in existence. secure and stable cyberspace. With cyber infrastructure and data largely in the hands of the private sector.19 per cent of all crimes in the country. Nearly all upswings in defacements and hacking. the scope for losing control is quite high.
after six or so months. And. you went back to the old system. under-deployment of BC terminals. Given that the rest of the country is also moving towards e-payments of welfare programmes. why was there an under-deployment of the BC terminals? We had created 19. However.2 lakh bank accounts are still in active use. This is only 0. and began using banks and banking correspondents instead.15% of the total payments made. Against the 18. it began stopped disbursing its social sector pensions through sarpanches. The cost of the physical mode of distribution works out to Rs 2. a problem with biometrics identification. It was expected that the beneficiary would be able to transact from his bank account at the Customer Service Point established by the Business Correspondent of the Bank at the village level.2 lakh bank accounts in active use. Can you tell me about both? For instance. The welfare benefits would be leveraged to help establish banking infrastructure in the rural areas. However. Given that. what does Haryana's experience have to tell us about e-payments? Is the new channel better at rooting out corruption? Is it more cost-effective at delivery than the erstwhile model? ET emailed some of these questions to Ashok Khemka. can you give me an overview of the reasons why you wanted to move to e-payment of pensions? The distribution system is well established since long in the State of Haryana. even allowing a minimum of one withdrawal 20 . One. In my previous interview with you. The decision to move to the E-payments through bank accounts was taken by the Government to give an impetus to the Financial Inclusion Plan of the Ministry of Finance and the Planning Commission. of which 18. you cited two reasons. Read on. Haryana is an important case study for anyone trying to understand the issues involved in moving towards e-payment of welfare schemes.The new biometrics-enabled e-payment channel is not cheaper to the State Government: Ashok Khemka New Delhi: Haryana is one of the first states in India to move towards e-payments of welfare programmes. two.2 lakh bank accounts. the Director of the state's Department for Social Justice and Empowerment. A fixed remuneration for this work is paid to the Sarpanches on monthly basis. Early last year. the state government called off the project and went back to the old approach.50 crores per annum. The objective was to catalyze the Financial Inclusion of the weaker sections of society into the formal banking system by remitting pensions electronically into the bank accounts. after six months of the rollout. The Department of Social Justice & Empowerment was making payments of social security benefits through the Panchayati Raj Institutions.
the infrastructure of the BC ought to have catered to at least 18. that is. but the advantage of E-payment through bank accounts was the advantage of Financial Inclusion and the availability of banking and insurance products to the unbanked. The rejection rate was as high as 30% with the biometrics authentication of the customer at the time of the transaction.e. This clearly is not acceptable to any customer. The banks while signing the agreement with the Business Correspondent did not take adequate care to lay down the parameters to determine the service quality of the BC. All this led to harassment of the end customer at the ground level. This means that the BC could cater to just one withdrawal facility to the customer for every six months on an average.15%. the traditional channel is cheaper. Haryana suggests that this is not correct. including you and me. Cost-wise. Why? What is your sense of the cost of operations of this new model if you want to ensure prompt payment? The new biometrics-enabled e-payment channel is not cheaper to the State Government. at the rate of just one withdrawal per account per month. This was due to operational inefficiencies at the time of the biometrics capture and incorrect storage of the biometrics captured against the pensioner's account.. The BC is supposed to be a local person to be directly engaged by the Bank at the village level. adequate number of visits of the BC with predictability. The micro-ATM terminals deployed by the BC are Aadhaar-compliant. weaker sections of the society. But the BC could do no more than 3 lakh transactions in a month. 21 .06% of the amount transferred. The traditional channel of distribution in the State of Haryana is quite robust and costs the State only 0. One of the major BC operators has raised a demand for raising the commission from 2% to 4%. We are told that the new biometric-enabled e-payment channel is cheaper and more accurate. i. but unfortunately the BC was reduced to be a subsidiary Company of the Technical Service Provider.2 lakh withdrawals per month. The State was committed to pay @ 2. Aadhaar-compliance does not mean that the biometrics captured at the time of the transaction will be authenticated with the biometrics stored in Aadhaar database. It seems even this high rate of commission was not viable to the Banks. The problems are related to operations and are not technology-related. what was the problem with the biometrics? Is this a problem which will be resolved once you start using Aadhaar-compliant equipment and biometrics? A.per month. Aadhaar number helps identify the customer at the time of opening of the bank account. Following from the previous question. The authentication is done with the biometrics stored in the Bank's database. The cost cutting by the BC Company resulted to inadequate deployment of terminaldays.
It was. the justification of the BC model is for the unbanked areas.2 lakh bank accounts created using the biometrics captured. And how do you plan to curtail existing corruption and leakages in your pension programme? For instance. How do you address that problem right now? The problem of ghost. the e-payments through Bank accounts will be continued for the present in urban areas only. However. What are the Haryana government's plans now? In view of the grossly inadequate infrastructure deployed by the BC. However. Is that correct? This is not correct. Fresh funds would be routed through the bank accounts after the CSP centres established by the Banks are verified by the Department. who did not come forward to open bank account. therefore. The biometrics authentication could have catered to the problem of ghost and duplicate pensioners.We are also told that one reason Haryana cancelled the project is due to vested interests like sarpanches who were threatened by electronic delivery. However till date. These CSP locations would entertain requests for new enrolments. what are the reasons? The story in the urban areas is the same as in the rural areas. The remittance through Bank Accounts in rural areas would commence after the Banks have established adequate infrastructure in the rural areas. There were large number of demonstrations and road blockades across the State by the disabled. 22 . distribution & correction of smart cards and entertain customer grievances. But here the Government has to take a political call whether Aadhaar is to be made mandatory for a citizen receiving any welfare or subsidy benefits from the State. In Aadhaar-compliant bank accounts. duplicate and ineligible pensioners is well recognized. How is the new model working in urban areas? If it is working better. natural for them to raise voice against the erratic schedules of the Business Correspondent and biometrics authentication failures. 93% of the registered pensioners have bank accounts which are in active use. where the normal branched banking is not viable. destitutes and senior citizens who were denied the payment of pension for several months. For this to happen. You can hazard a guess how many of the balance 7% are ghost or duplicate. one advantage of biometrics is that they get rid of ghost pensioners. the problem of ghost and duplicate pensioners would be done away with. The Sarpanches are elected representatives and are responsible for timely delivery of pension. the Technical Service Provider employed by the Banks failed to identify even a single duplicate identity out of the 19. the Banks would have to notify the locations of the Customer Service Points ward-wise.
―NIC is adding professionalism and skill to the tasks that we have been carrying out.‖ Mr Pitroda said. We plan to organise them and provide linkages with partners like the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). industry.000 industrial clusters that have been doing their bit for the country and produce 45 per cent of goods. had been doing such work for years. and is providing them necessary linkages to innovate and commercialise their products. For instance. ―Interesting things are happening. the National Innovation Council (NIC) has stepped in. CSIR. such as innovations in waste recycling. it has identified eight clusters. infrastructure and information. Most of these are small and medium units that cannot hire consultants or technical and marketing expertise. it lacked ―marketing capability‖. auto components in Haryana. financial institutions and universities. Now. A pilot project is already on in eight clusters since November 2011 and will last for six-nine months. but remain largely unsung. bamboo etc. pharma. We can provide technology and marketing expertise to these clusters. told reporters here on Wednesday. It has announced a ‗cluster innovation centre' initiative to help these clusters improve their efficiency and competitiveness To begin with. mainly small and medium enterprises.‖ 23 . R&D labs. brassware in Uttar Pradesh and food processing in Tamil Nadu. ―There are about 200 large clusters. Adviser to the Prime Minister on innovation.‖ he said. marketing Mr Samir K Brahmachari . Mr Sam Pitroda. with a strong army of scientists. Director-General. Among these is a bamboo cluster in Agartala. When asked if there was some duplicity in work being done by NIC and CSIR. March 28: There are about 5. such as diamonds. food processing. admitted that while his organisation. furniture and Ayush in Kerala. butter is being made from mango kernels and wood is being created from rice husk.Innovation centre soon for industrial clusters New Delhi. Mr Brahmachari said.
they will move away from channels which they perceive as being too cluttered with advertising or graphics or anything else that spoils their viewing experience.has created enormous competitive pressure on margins of even established players. timing. In addition to boosting competition. but one of them is the structure of the TV distribution business. There are many reasons why that happens. full digitisation will yield revenues of up to Rs 5.000 crore every year for the government. 24 . Current rules say that free-to-air channels can run at most 12 minutes of advertising per hour and pay channels. That is why the industry regulates itself and that is the way things should remain. Trai's over-regulation of TV channels is no good Telecom watchdog Trai has circulated a consultation paper which seeks to tighten controls on broadcast television. Shorter advertising breaks will force bigger players to hike rates and drive smaller players into bankruptcy.entertainment. frequency. Trai should concentrate on implementing full digitisation and enforce it with the full force of law. who routinely under-report revenues collected from viewers. Already. regional and what have you . When it comes to media. of commercial breaks on TV channels. Most damagingly. There are limits on graphics and captions as well.29 Mar. Media consumers are fickle. news.53AM IST. limits on advertising breaks will drive down revenues and ultimately send the industry spinning into the red. which charge viewers to watch. sports. only six minutes per hour. It is estimated that pay channels receive less than a third of the actual revenues due to them from the cablewallah. The vast bulk of distribution is analog. 2012. Trai has pointed out that these rules are observed mostly in the breach. the profusion of channels across all genres . and even the volume. It seeks to limit the number of tickers on the screen to two and limits these to a maximum of 10% of screen area. driving down competition. Advertising rates today are lower than ever before. history shows that the best regulation is the least regulation. controlled by local cable operators. On the other hand. it seeks to regulate the duration. 04.
Of the remaining 25 units. with the Government disallowing 3G players to do intra-circle roaming agreements. the DoT has already sold 20 Mhz to telecom companies for 3G services in 2010. That's because the Department of Telecom has agreed to give a large chunk of the 3G frequency band to the Defence forces as part of deal done to streamline spectrum usage. an operator like Airtel could now be restricted to only the 13 circles it won spectrum. This leaves the DoT with only 5 Mhz in some circles. therefore. none of the bidders had won airwaves across the country. In the first round of auction conducted in 2010. operators hope to go pan-India will get dashed. Those who won got only 5 Mhz in each circle which is proving to be too little for high speed data services. For instance. The entire 700 Mhz band is being vacated by the Ministry of I&B which will then be put up for auction this year. March 27: Third generation (3G) mobile service providers may not get more spectrum in the near future. The decision was conveyed to a Group of Minister by the Wireless Planning & Coordination wing.Fresh 3G auctions may not be held anytime soon New Delhi. 25 . 3G players will have to wait till the Government finds more airwaves in other frequency bands including possible refarming of 900 Mhz. But 34 units in this band have now been given to the Defence as part of an exclusive band. hasten the move towards 4G services because fresh aiwarves in this segment are being vacated. Airwaves in the 1920-1980 band are considered to be ideal for 3G services. Also. This has huge implications for existing 3G players as they won't get any additional spectrum for some time. This could take time as refarming is a complex exercise. Defence wants to deploy 3G technology for its own internal communications. The scarcity in 3G airwaves could.
Argentina and Russia. Ipsos questioned people in Argentina. "It looks like a majority of the world is communicating this way. which have the highest percentage of users. had the lowest usage. where 46 percent of people said they communicate via email. audio conversations conducted via an internet connection. The fact that more than six in 10 people worldwide use social networks and forums. Russia and South Africa visit social media sites. research manager at Ipsos Global Public Affairs. and in Japan it fell to 35 percent. blogs and forums. Belgium. Ipsos questioned a total of 19. France." said Keren Gottfried.16PM IST NEW YORK: Most of the world is interconnected thanks to email and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.Facebook. In all the other countries eight or nine out of 10 people were email users. she added. Although Americans and Japanese are thought to be very tech savvy. the majority of Americans are using social media sites. Saudi Arabia. were founded in the United States the percentage of users was lower at six in 10. 10. where 94 percent of people communicated online. The numbers were similar in Sweden. 2012. "It is true interconnection and engagement with each other. Eighty five percent of people around the globe who are connected online send and receive emails and 62 percent communicate through social networking sites. voice-over IP ( VOIP). particularly in Indonesia. were not very popular in both countries with less than 10 per cent of people using the relatively new technology. Indonesia. followed by India at 68 percent and Japan at 75 percent. More than eight in 10 Indonesians and about 75 percent of people in Argentina. It is not just about a message back and forth but building messages across communities and only the meaningful messages stick. Brazil." she said. 26 . 32 per cent in Turkey and 25 per cent in India. Although Facebook and other popular social networking sites. Twitter interconnects large parts of the world Mar 27. Email usage was highest in Hungary." she explained.216 adults around the world in the online survey. Australia. suggests a transformation in how people communicate with each other. the new Ipsos/Reuters poll showed. China. Belgium. compared to 36 percent in Russia. "Even though the number in the United States was 61 percent. according to a new poll released on Tuesday. the lowest of the 24 countries in the global survey. Canada. adding the numbers were more than half in almost every country polled. Argentina and Poland.
South Africa. you will still be Facebook "friends" with that person. pricing. Hungary.Germany. Britain. by monitoring users' online interaction. Italy. Governments. have rightly limited its openness when it violates laws. hit the button to the left of "Post" in the lower right-hand corner of the update box. and democracy have thrived all over the world. Spain." depending on your default settings. Sweden. to use this feature. Turkey and the United States. and they will never find out that they've been downgraded. the report said. In this environment. the choose "Friends except Acquaintances. the site will automatically suggest a list of friends who have not been contacted in a while to be demoted to 'acquaintances. 2012. On hitting the 'add to acquaintances' button. Japan." Though the acquaintance list feature has existed since last fall. where information could flow freely. Facebook has just started recommending "friends" you might not want to hear from for a while. entrepreneurship. It is important to protect this principle because if ISPs and telecom operators use their connectivity to influence how and what users consume. According to the report. one has to navigate to the "Friends" page. including that of India. You will just see fewer of their posts in your feed. Indonesia. You can also keep acquaintances from getting all of your life updates in the future. When you are sharing something new on Facebook. The internet was built as an open network. innovation. in terms of speed. Russia. South Korea. free speech NEW DELHI: A growing issue in the West is coming to India: the threat to net neutrality. The social networking site introduced "Close Friends" and "Acquaintances" lists last year. NEW YORK: Social networking giant Facebook has introduced a new tool to help users decide who their real friends are. it should say "Public" or "Friends. it can result in either censorship by a private company or anti-competitive practices. India. Poland. The concept of net neutrality is based on the idea that companies which offer internet access should treat all internet content equally. Now.' The New York Daily News reports. select the "Acquaintances" list. Mexico. and then click on "See All Suggestions. and access." Is the Internet at risk? Increasing ISPs' power could pose threats to open competition. and who is just an acquaintance. such 27 . Saudi Arabia. Facebook's new tool to tell you your 'real friends' | Mar 26.
but such restrictions are imposed only in public interest.com and others serve as advocates of internet neutrality. Clear guidelines should be put in place to ensure network operators do not deprive citizens of free speech and choice. They want to charge content providers to provide speedy delivery of their data. whose job is to make profit. A number of web sites." said Tony Hill. The challenge to net neutrality is that the decisions of what content to censor or to give preference to. saying it's a bedrock principle of the net that all traffic be treated equally. which are predominantly corporate entities. The advocates of net neutrality have influential backers as well. Tim Berners Lee. such as savetheinternet. "Net neutrality is a must for the growth of internet in India as in the coming years people will be using internet more and for multiple purposes than at any other time in the past. at the expense of their competitors. and want to decide the speed of the websites and apps on their network. Experts say net neutrality is essential for freedom of speech. The recent Arab Spring and movements across Libya. The net neutrality debate first erupted in the United States. the gatekeepers of free speech and open competition are private companies. managing director. Consumer advocates and web giants like Google and Amazon cried foul. and give preference to their own services and content. IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6). Neutrality advocates say that global telecom companies and ISPs seek to be 'internet gatekeepers'. the creator of the web. lies in the hands of ISPs. ISPs should manage internet traffic for operational reasons but should not discriminate one type of content from another. National Law University. Vinton Cerf. considered as 'father of Internet'. that entity infringes on the freedom of speech and freedom of choice. As we become more dependant on the internet. when AT&T suggested it would like to charge some web companies more for preferential treatment of their traffic. and that giving any power to an ISP or telco to limit or favour certain content will violate this fundamental principle. the need for neutrality only goes up.as defamation or piracy. "The moment an ISP or any other entity controls users' access to internet. vice-chancellor. "Net neutrality is essential for continued economic development of any country. US President Barack Obama and others have spoken out in favour of net neutrality. Egypt and Syria show you cannot put curbs on freedom of people to access and use internet to drive change. These activists allege that phone and cable companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars in the US to lobby against net neutrality." said National Law 28 . In other words.'' said Ranbir Singh.
ISPs could control what you can and cannot surf. In defining policies to promote broadband. music. Duggal said.there are concerns that if the principles of net neutrality are not followed. so that consumers have access to the open internet without restriction and entrepreneurs do not have to risk stifled competition by corporate powers. whereas in India. unlimited bandwidth plans at high speeds are the norm. "India presents a fertile ground for potential abuse of net neutrality given the growth potential of m-commerce and e-commerce. However. advocate. Supreme Court of India and president. nearly all plans via wired or wireless have limits on consumption." added Duggal. Users should not be a hostage to service providers' interests.net.University's Singh. like buying railway tickets. The issue is of crucial importance to India. ''India is a unique market as most users will surf the internet on smart phones rather than on fixed broadband. In the US. freer flow of information. But as India's internet subscriber base grows . books. ISPs and telecom operators may use these restrictions as a reason why they don't support net neutrality and why certain content should get preferential access over other content. where bandwidth allowances for consumers are among the lowest in the world. mobilelaw. access information or share files . There are more than 900 million mobile subscribers and "mobile internet is a reality today.there are already more than 100 million users and more people use the net to complete their transactions. the government and the industry must strike the appropriate balance to enable end-users to freely access the internet and use the devices and services they 29 . The Indian arms of Microsoft and Yahoo! are in favour of net neutrality. "Microsoft believes widespread access to high-speed internet is a powerful force for economic and social progress and supports policies that expand access around the world." said Pavan Duggal. the solution should be to grow bandwidth connectivity and allow for a wider.
" said Jasjit Sawhney. It affected the IT services companies even harder. as he served himself another appam. so that we can prolong the conversation. "It is the duty of the ISP to provide fair access. The reason could be to check viruses or copy right violations (as in case of blocking pirated movies). We can see he is a frugal eater. the industry has done well in terms of how the companies are run and how they are managed." he said. ―One good thing regarding the Indian IT industry is that the competition is fair. Internet & Mobile Services Association of India president Subho Ray said as of now. and none turned out to be as big as Infosys. ―Many companies started in 1981. as long as it is legal. Infosys revenues had more than doubled to $6 billion. We have evolved together. who believes that the industry has remained healthy. along with six people. He agrees to have a cup of tea. By and large. When Mr Gopalakrishnan moved out of the office of chief executive and managing director to become the co-chairman in 2011. as most of them depended on the US and Europe for their very existence. Among them. few succeeded. there must be something which turned the tide in favour of Infosys." said Ray The other Info Scion COMPANY HISTORY Mr Gopalakrishnan.‖ Mr Gopalakrishnan became chief executive of the company in 2007. and most IT companies are run well. a year marked by the worst economic crisis to have hit the globe in several decades. We are coming to the end of the dinner already as Mr Gopalakrishnan waves away a request to eat a little more. started Infosys in Bangalore in 1981. The conversation 30 . while ensuring that the network operators continue to have sufficient economic incentive to continue investing in their networks. Local ISPs too say they back fair access to customers. but only some survived. header identification or filtering packets. Yahoo! India's vicepresident (service engineering) Suresh Hosakoppal said his company supported net neutrality and expressed concerns about ISPs having the potential to block genuine sites.‖ revealed Mr Gopalakrishnan.‖ says Mr Gopalakrishnan. "ISPs can use techniques including including Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). ISPs should facilitate all legitimate internet traffic rather block it for commercial or other interests. "But when the network is congested.choose. impacting neutrality. We did a lot of smart work and team work. A services provider cannot decide what a user surfs. an applications and network services provider. also launched around that time in Bangalore. but we insist that he should at least have some dessert. there are more 'pipes' than content in India. Net4U. ―Luck favours the prepared mind. in some sense." said a Microsoft spokesman. neutrality will be an issue. So. founder & CMD. but ISPs can block or slow down genuine sites as well. But there was a slew of similar companies.
To which Mr Gopalakrishnan points out that ―on some days. the ever-busy restaurant is taking time to fill up. that the fear of takeover started the minute Infosys became a public company. I think we can claim that it is a successful company. the investors would support us. We are living through a true revolution. Mr Gopalakrishnan sums up his life with Infosys: ―We spent some good times. will it continue to be as successful as it is now? ―We believe that we are still a very young company. If Infosys is a successful company 100 years from now. as it looks towards a new generation of executives to take it forward. as he savours the tea. it might look as if we are a foreign company. something none of the founders of Infosys have done so far? One can see. instead. He. Though not many are aware. making it a company owned by foreign shareholders. allowing us some quiet. We will cheer them and support them. but it sort of fizzled out in the end. If you don't perform. fortunately for us. probably because Infosys is a company that is written about quite a lot in India. I have been able to achieve much more than what I thought I could. is what led to the creation of the IT industry. we had a proposal for a million dollars. however.‖ But that should be the least of concerns for Infosys. concedes that with more than 97 per cent of revenues coming from outside the country. technically at least. But we remember our promise to the media team to refrain from asking such questions.‖ With dinner and dessert done. Hasn't he ever thought of writing his memoirs.‖ points out Mr Gopalakrishnan.‖ 31 . ―it is appropriate that a global set of investors would look at the company. Today. I am confident that things will be even better. One favourite question journalists ask every time they meet up with a top Infosys official is regarding its acquisition plans. FIIs' shareholding in Infosys is higher than those held by domestic investors. As we walk out of the restaurant. the possibility of a takeover is there. we realise we can no longer take the conversation further. considering that the promoters don't hold more than 15 per cent stake in the company? ―In 1989. It would have been (and is) a very expensive takeover. I want to write on the most influential papers in computer science — the papers that introduced a new idea. we turn the question on its head: Did Infosys at any point of time face the threat of being acquired. the valuations were very high. ―We knew as long as we were performing well.‖ discloses the co-founder. that the idea has never interested him at all. Therefore.‖ he replies. and now it is somebody else's job to run the company. But because we were performing well. though the company itself hasn't disclosed anything so far. So. richer much more than my wildest dreams. returning from a meal as satisfying as the conversation. What Mr Gopalakrishnan would like to write on.continues and. ―One thing that has always fascinated me is the key milestones in technology that have changed our lives.‖ BRIGHT FUTURE He adds. but FIIs only hold domestic shares. people don't think of that. though.
Those industries and professionals that are driven by excel formats will still need a laptop or a desktop but those who are lawyers and architects are using tablets for presentations and document design. iPhones and iPods available on the Apple roster.000. launched by the Indian government. Granted that tablets are definitely the next best thing in the world of computing. 2012 HCL founder Shiv Nadar's comment that entire schools will reside in tablets in five years is a tall and elevated statement. iPads contribute 20% of Apple's sales despite the fact that there are a variety of popular products like the mighty iMac.000 educational channels on TV. on top of this. While the iPad is a Rs30.500 as the volume increases. Infrastructural set-up for 50 Direct to Home (DTH) channels is currently underway. Although there is a clear advantage of using tablets over lugging all the books. The government. With the launch of the new iPad. there are several tablets that are priced at Rs7.500-10. is proposing a 50% subsidy on the tablet for educational institutions. many professionals have done away with the entire concept of laptops. Apple Technologies have always been concerned with education. There is also an ambitious plan that the tablet be offered to above 220 million students around the country. Several creative applications help pre-schoolers with multimedia learning and the iTunes University is a resource centre for higher education. The tablet Aakash. Granted that HRD Ministry plans to launch 1.000 hit to the pocket.276. Aakash is currently priced at 10% of it. The popularity of the iPad or the tablet may definitely be significant for the world of technology but its true impact in the field of education is yet to be ascertained. the fact that tablets are here to rule further gets reinforced. Most of the tablets developed in India are preloaded with digital textbooks that are prescribed by the state or the national curriculums such as the NCERT. pitched at approximately Rs2. Several companies producing tablets have been targeting the educational sphere in a much organised manner.Can an entire school reside in a tablet? March 11. there are still 32 . The cost is expected to reduce further to approximately Rs1. already 50 of them are almost ready for use and awaiting permission from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. broke all price barriers. In between.
or even comes close to the iPad experience. You could argue that there are more Android tablets in the market than the two mentioned above. That‘s about it. there are now several softwares that allow 'undo' in PDF format and highlight words as one reads the documents. it is unlikely to be significantly better than the iOS experience. other than just multimedia presentation of topics. one of the best Android tablets around. The second matches if not betters the quad-core performance of Asus Transformer Prime (although we will know for sure only once the iPad is released and tested). Compare this to Samsung Galazy Tab 750. The base version of the iPad 2 will now sell for $400 in the US. Some news reports have suggested that iPad 2‘s price will be slashed to Rs25. March 11. The latest version of the OS. Some surveys had indeed shown the positive impacts of tablet-learning such as increased high order thinking skills and inquiry based learning yet there are many gaps and the tablet will have to go through some more generations of customised innovations before an entire school can reside inside a tablet. But as Android users — phones and tablets — will tell you. Ice Cream Sandwich. And the less said about the Android experience on the tablet the better. Others are as good or worse than them. and suddenly the iPad 2 becomes a better value for money. It is certain that manufacturers like Samsung. which in 33 . there is no knowing when the update will roll out. images and videos with better clarity than before — toppling Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 from the top spot in the process. But these are the best of the lot. There were only three major changes: a Retina display. I wish things weren‘t this way. which doesn‘t make any sense for users in India since we have only 3G mobile networks here. Acer and Lenovo will cut their prices too. The first ensures that the iPad yet again has the best display in the market. Competition blown out of the water. is supposed to improve things. I wish I could recommend an Android tablet to you which matches. delivering text. There are other concerns of learning mathematics or science or languages which have a lot of written and practice work. Even when it does. Plus.000. But we haven‘t even got to Apple‘s killer punch yet. which is selling for roughly Rs30. a quad-core graphics processor that improves performance twofold.000. However. iPad versus iPad Sunday. however effective they may be. support for 4G LTE network. the number of apps available for iPad far surpasses that for Android tablets. 2012 The most significant thing about Apple‘s announcement this Wednesday was how little they had updated the iPad.questions about being able to underline or make notes along the texts. which makes its resolution better than a high definition TV‘s. But I can‘t.
Ramesh has been hauled over the coals for that remark. Fuming activists have accused him of being insensitive and for blaming women for poor sanitation in India. but if your budget is tight. Why India has more cell phones than toilets Patralekha Chatterjee | Monday. this is hypothetical at the moment. Polite society will sniffily walk away. Net result: report after report confirms that India is a world leader in ‗open defecation.‘ before an august gathering during the launch of the UN‘s 2011-12 Asia Pacific Regional report on Millennium Development Goals. Environment and Health pointed out that while India had roughly 366 million people with access to improved sanitation in 2008. This may well make quality tablets affordable to people who haven‘t yet considered buying a tablet. over 880 million. and watch jaws drop. had cell phones. Even today. 545 million.‘ We still don‘t say clearly or loud enough that we are in deep shit. The issue became a major talking point in 2010 when a report by the Ontario-based UN University‘s Institute for Water. Today. But the good thing is that the brouhaha has brought the toilet-cell phone debate back in the spotlight and we are discussing sanitation in the run-up to the budget. Which was why I was delighted when minister for rural development and drinking water and sanitation Jairam Ramesh tossed a teaser.turn means that their current low-price offerings will become even cheaper. much like sex. 2012 Talking about revolution is easy. I suspect that was exactly what the media-savvy minister intended. Perhaps Google will work out a deal with hardware manufacturers wherein Android users will wait for software updates just as Apple users do. ‗Why do women want mobile phones more than toilets. we speak about it mostly in whispers or in lingo that is so jargon-laden that it obfuscates more than it reveals. But try discussing sanitation in the same animated way. So if you are looking to purchase a top-end tablet in the near future. The latest figure for toilets is not available but all reports including those from the UN and other agencies indicate that India lags woefully behind in sanitation. a far greater number. nearly 74% of India‘s population. February 27. Unfortunately. and you are into casual gaming. and in turn boost numbers for Android. More Indians have access to a mobile phone than to a toilet. Submerging or emerging. Everyone knows that. then the iPad 2 should be enough for your needs. The latter will deliver better performance when it comes to watching HD movies and playing highend games on the tablet. Of course. you have to choose between the iPad 2 and the new iPad (expected to be launched in the next few months). India has traditionally treated sanitation like a taboo subject. a better display will improve the overall experience. own mobile phones. 34 .
hygiene and health? The Total Sanitation Campaign has been a bit like a token sanitation campaign. every Indian feels he or she ‗needs‘ a mobile phone. diarrhoea and medical bills as clearly as they can. Just because there is a toilet at home does not mean everyone at home gets to use it. Far too often.000. Why is it not seen as such? The major problem. The key factor is effective communication. For example. Nor do they draw the link between open defecation. and development actually is. having and using a toilet at home is also a tool for progress.Why do so many people feel the urgent need for a mobile phone but not a toilet? Why do so many of those who have toilets not use them? Why don‘t they wash their hands with soap before a meal and after defecation though the authorities have been asking everyone to do so. But they found this did not lead to a proportional increase in toilet use. something that cannot be said for toilets. of course. as Ramesh himself noted.‘ So like the mobile phone. That may be the only way to make people think they need a toilet as desperately as they need a mobile phone. sanitation. But a proper one costs at least Rs8. This leads to several problems. Studies show that there is a link between high income and ownership of toilets. But significantly. because of the ‗pittance‘ it received in government funds. health. The crucial reason is the perception of ‗need‘. Rising literacy and exposure have significantly helped change such attitudes. in Ramesh‘s words. Today. In the early days of the TSC. Sikkim does not have ‗open defecation. which should not be inside the house. official communication campaigns do not make these points strongly enough. and are pointing out the link between water. The government doles out Rs3.000 to poor people to build a toilet. is the tradition by which toilets are seen as unclean. But vast numbers of people in this country remain illiterate and the challenge of ‗selling‘ sanitation to them is harder. Maintenance of community toilets hinges on who is tasked to clean it. The author is a New Delhi-based writer 35 . ‗countries that offer better access to safe sanitation are likely to have lower levels of maternal mortality… and sanitation is also seen to be associated with a lower proportion of underweight children. ownership does not always mean usage or maintenance.‘ But there are millions who are still not aware of how strong the link between toilet use. There are pockets of progress in the country. taking the gender and caste dimensions into account. officials focused on increasing the number of homes with toilets. There is little support from banks to lend the rest. But it is not just the money. Associated with that is the social acceptability of open defecation. As the UN report points out.
"India is seeing one of the fastest rates of Internet adoption across the globe. Rajan Anandan.2 Trillion opportunity builds on three years of research conducted by BCG and is the most comprehensive report published on the impact of the Internet globally. e-commerce and cloud and are committed to growing the market by offering more locally relevant services.V. representing 4.2 trillion to the overall economy in 2010. Sivakumar. He further added." 36 . We see emerging opportunities for innovation in areas like mobile. ―In emerging countries like India. while consumption is only 20 per cent. India's Internet economy growth rate of 23. Consumption is the principal driver of Internet GDP in most countries. a Mumbai-based BCG Partner.users.2 Trillion Opportunity: The Internet Economy in the G-20' finds that if the Internet were a sector.1 per cent of GDP.3 per cent of GDP. The net exports make up 59 per cent of the Indian Internet economy. Russia (8. It is up to all of us. according to a report in The Boston Consulting Group‘s (BCG) Connected World series. Projected growth rates elsewhere are: Argentina (24.3 per cent) and Mexico (15.6 per cent).0 per cent places it as the second fastest across the G-20 and ahead of many other developing nations in the G-20. India in services – which propel their Internet-economy rankings toward the top of the chart. social media are fast becoming the internet medium and mobile the access medium of choice.2 trillion. Commenting on the report. it would be the eighth largest in India – larger than mining and utilities. and is projected to rise to Rs. The Indian Internet economy contributed Rs. 'The $4. Managing Director.10.8 per cent. This study is the first to examine the Internet's economic impact across so much of the world's economy – 90 per cent of global GDP – and highlights how this increases as mobile devices and social networks become more prevalent. It is driven especially by exports of IT services. said. A file photo: P.China in goods. It will remain the largest single driver through 2016. equivalent to 5. businesses and the government-to leverage the potential of the Internet to deliver value and wealth.3 per cent). It found that by 2016 the total size of the G-20 Internet economy will be $4.‖ said Arvind Subramanian. China and India stand out for their enormous Internet related exports. up from $2. In 2010 developed markets contributed 76 per cent of the G-20's Internet economy.1 per cent in 2010.3 trillion or 4. Google India. which are growing at an average of 17. by 2016 that will fall to 66 per cent.India’s Internet economy growth second fastest among G20 countries Special Correspondent The HinduMOVING TO DESTINATION: An opulent air bridge connection one IT facility with another at Cyberabad in Hyderabad. typically representing more than 50 per cent of the total in 2010. 3.‖ The $4.8 trillion by 2016.
‖ Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. Finance Ministry.5 per cent by 2016.8 per cent in Russia. were hacked or defaced. the share of total retail carried out online in India was only 0. the websites of Finance. 21.March 16.9 per cent but is projected to reach 4. Asked how much they would have to be paid to live without Internet access. When asked whether they would forgo showering for a year in order to keep Internet access. including that of the Planning Commission. and 70 per cent would give up alcohol. Indian respondents said an average of Rs. 2012 112 government websites hacked in the last 3 months Special ArrangementA screenschot of IMD-Kolkata's webpage. Human Resource Development ministries and Planning Commission were also defaced. compared to only 13 percent for those who made low or no use of the Internet NEW DELHI. which has been hacked. What's more.8 times what they pay for access and services. or 2. These numbers compare to 3.S. 63 per cent coffee.Online Commerce In 2010. 36 per cent of Indian online consumers said they would. the BCG report finds that ―High web‖ companies in India – ones that use the Internet for marketing.6 per cent in the U. ―During the period December 2011 to February 2012.8 per cent of total retail from connected consumers researching online and purchasing offline ('ROPO'). Various State government websites that came under attack 37 . and 5.436 per year.7 per cent and 4. Consumer Value Consumers are the big winners of the Internet economy and BCG's study highlights just how essential it has become to everyday life and the value which consumers attach to it. While the website of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd was hacked on December 4.0 per cent for ROPO in Brazil. In the last three months alone. Planning Commission among those targeted Government websites are turning out to be soft targets for hackers. the Finance Ministry and various State government agencies. Health. as many as 112 websites. 1. Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) – The Growth Engines of the Economy The report highlights the extent to which the Internet is driving growth in businesses across the G20.1 per cent for online sales and 4.0 per cent and 9. 64 per cent said they would forgo chocolate. the Internet influences only an additional 0. a total number of 112 government websites were hacked. Drawn from the most comprehensive survey of its kind of SMEs around the world. sales and interactions with customers and suppliers – grew their revenues 19 percent over the past three years. 2011 by the ‗H4tr!ck' hacker group.
What have you communicated to the Prime Minister in your letter? As soon as it came to my notice. Sikkim. I cannot say anything. However.‖ It took weeks before the website was restored. who identified themselves as the ―Pakistani Cyber Army. Odisha. If they have found anything anomalous. Manipur. Tamil Nadu. says it now wants to hear you and the others out. How do you view this? See. Rajasthan. the government had to face major embarrassment last year after the Central Bureau of Investigation website was hacked and defaced by programmers. over 14. Madhya Pradesh. Firewalls were being upgraded and new filters added to ensure that hackers could not target government websites. and has shot off a letter to the PM requesting him to review the order.000 government and corporate websites were hacked/defaced in 2011. In three days. three different views have been expressed. offering to hear them out. What is the hesitation on the part of the government to communicate directly to me? So. Notably. through minister V Narayanasamy. Pilot said the Department of Information Technology and the National Informatics Centre (NIC) that host the majority of government websites were upgrading their skills to tackle the ever-growing threat from hackers. it is the responsibility on the part of the government to communicate to us and ask for an explanation. Nair tells FE‘s Ajay Sukumaran that he thinks there‘s something not right about the way the issue has been handled. And the entire procedure adopted towards this is not as per any of the existing norms in the country. Kerala. The PMO. fax. Regarding the procedure followed for the agreement with Devas. Uttar Pradesh. Today. or if any one of us had done anything wrong. you have the telex. Maharashtra and Gujarat.were from Andhra Pradesh. So the Prime Minister may kindly review and annul the order.. this shows that there is something that is not really open and straightforward. Mr. I told him this is really an insult to the entire scientific community.. one thing is that I have not received even a copy of the first letter communicating that we are debarred from government service. it was after this episode that the NIC took various measures to prevent government websites from getting hacked. And if 38 . So unless I see it. the Prime Minister‘s Office has now done a U-turn. leave alone the suggestions and all these things. As per industry estimates. ‘Nothing wrong with Antrix-Devas deal’ Ajay Sukumaran : After blacklisting former Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) chairman G Madhavan Nair and three former space scientists from future government assignments for the way the controversial Antrix-Devas agreement was concluded during their tenures. mail etc. especially slamming these four people of international standing.
implicitly yes. All the senior scientists have come out with open statements condemning the action of the government. in 2011. It is not mentioned explicitly. we will allot it to somebody else. for the same transponders. They know that science and technology cannot be put in a straight jacket. Then why did Isro. To quote from knowledgeable sources. because that may change. say that the agreement was not mentioned explicitly? That itself answers it. Does this mean the scientists were seen as convenient fall guys? I don‘t know. etc. those nominees will take care of it. It is those nominees who have to take care of the interests of the government and. I think CNR Rao has rightly said that scientists have to be given their freedom to work and this kind of thing is not at all conducive to that atmosphere. They should have the freedom and if you say that you will tame them. they say there is no loss to the government. The first panel has not found anything wrong. It is the wrong message to the community. the note which went to the Cabinet clearly stipulated that about 90% capacity will be utilised by private operators simply keeping in mind that if Devas does not succeed. 39 . See. no spectrum deal has taken place and. So I have asked for the information under the RTI.the explanation is not satisfactory. And only after a formal enquiry can they take a decision on that. you do not need to give the name of the operator? Not at all. At what stage did the anomaly take place? What has been told to you? Nothing. Again I have not seen the report. And action is taken only on the four scientists. The so-called panel has given the names of four scientists and three administrators. suppose halfway through one company fails to operate. there are some minor anomalies that have to be set right for the future. it is never heard of. if at all. I should have the flexibility to give it to somebody else. Let us wait. We will simply say that this capacity is reserved for private usage. How would you react to the response from the scientific community? I think the scientific community has responded really positively. So that whole process is missing in this. I can only quote from what I hear in the media. So. So it is not a crime. Here again. So it is clearly a case of discrimination. You have said the same procedures were followed for the Antrix-Devas agreement and that the government was well aware of it all through? All the decision-making responsibility rests with the Antrix board and the board has nominees from the government. once something is discussed in the board and if that has to be communicated to the government. it should conduct a formal enquiry.
But in that time it will go through a shadow. I tell you.Why then would the organisation take that view if it was standard procedure? They could not find any other reason. After 2009. That‘s a different story altogether. it was not one company. And that doesn‘t enable them to have access to the ground resources. etc. That action Devas had not initiated yet. What’s the truth? There‘s absolutely nothing wrong with the Antrix-Devas agreement. That‘s the truth. Does Isro need to be more open in the way it functions? It‘s a bad hit as far as the Isro organisation is concerned. but the truth will come out ultimately. it was the case that space spectrum was available and one company had access to it? No. you must remember this particular frequency band is reserved for space based services. anybody who is coming afresh will also get access to that because the frequency can be reused by using different slots and different techniques of modulation and so on. So. they cannot do any operation in India without a DoT licence. And this was a wrong interpretation of the procedures and rules. But at the same time.we have built two satellites for this purpose. But the complaint is that it seemed like a back-door entry for the company? There is nothing like a back-door entry. they have to go for spectrum clearance and usage fee. So I will say this is misleading the government. to DoT. he asked the Suresh committee to look into the deal. Was this rethink purely because the business environment in India’s telecom sector had changed? There could have been some pressures from such lobbies to free this space segment and use it for terrestrial applications. when the new chairman took over. so this was highlighted. So. 40 . So. I can put two more satellites and we can get some more slots if we require. Though we are leasing out transponder capacity.
Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 710. enabling its smartphone users in Delhi and Mumbai to get real-time traffic updates in their cities. 41 . Location is at the core of our vision for the future. we will continue to introduce more location-aware services that represent the future of mobility for consumer in India. he added. Nokia 701. merchants and advertisers. Internet service providers. main and secondary roads and enable users to plan their travel and save time and fuel and frustration. "Going forward. Tandon said. Nokia 700.Nokia smartphone users in Delhi. The aim is to empower people via locationaware technology." Nokia Director Sales (Location and Commerce) Rajat Tandon told reporters here. Nokia will also develop platform services for application developers. Mumbai to get traffic updates NEW DELHI: Finnish handset maker Nokia today said it has added a new feature to its locationbased services. Nokia E6. It can be accessed through 'Nokia Drive' on a Symbian device and 'Nokia Maps' on Windows devices. "Powered by NAVTEQ Traffic Pro. The service would be available on select Nokia smartphones like Nokia N8. The service is available free of cost and the user will have to just pay for the data charges to use the service. he said." Tandon said. the 'traffic feature' will offer users detailed information on traffic speeds on motorways.
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