E-Commerce and Bridging Digital Divide Telecom, Infrastructure and by tls14265


									   E-Commerce and Bridging Digital Divide:
      Telecom, Infrastructure and Access

UNCTAD Expert Meeting on E-Commerce Strategies

             Geneva, Palais des Nations
                 10 – 12 July 2002

                 Dr A.K. Chakravarti
           Department of Information Technology
   Ministry of Communications & Information Technology
                   Government of India
                 http://www.mit.gov.in                   1
E-Commerce and Bridging Digital Divide

   Normal e-biz, B to B e-commerce strategies not covered

   Deployment of set of ICT applications which could give
    economic benefits to bridge the digital divide in developing

   Local needs specific

   Technologies & applications – with focus on telecom,
    infrastructure and access solutions
Cardinal factors for E-Commerce and
Bridging Digital Divide

   Telecom reform with USO
   Enhancing e-readiness of the nation
   Technological solutions aimed at
       affordability v/s economic benefits
       low-cost ICT infrastructure
   Community approach
   Local language solutions
   Teach/Educate potential beneficiaries to use the ICT tools
    to advantage, for sustainability
     Lessons learnt from dotcom bust

   That companies/VCs know what the consumers

   If provided through prevailing market forces
    practices, consumers are bound to accept

   Lessons for e-commerce and digital divide from
    telecom, infrastructure and access perspective
Strategies for Promoting E-Commerce and
Bridging Digital Divide

   The diversity within the nation – tremendous challenge

   Consensus – ICT having potential to accelerate
    development and bring the benefits of the knowledge-based
    economy to the rural sector

   Govt., development agencies, NGOs amongst            others
    have taken a host of initiatives

    Strategies …….                        (Contd…)

   Key is : replication, large-scale uses,
    operationalisation of “those” which are
    “sustainable”. Location-specific killer/anchor
    applications are difficult to “predict” and   these
    emerge-out of multiple applications tried in the
   For “sustainable” e-commerce, legal and
    regulatory framework to be in place.

    Technologies and Applications for Rural
e-Commerce in India : Some Illustrative examples

  1.   Community Information Centres (CICs)
  2.   Gyandoot
  3.   Agmarket
  4.   RuralBazar/IndiaShop
  5.   Technology Development in local languages (TDIL)
  6.   CAD in Handloom
  7.   CorDECT
  8.   Simputer
  9.   Media Lab Asia
Rural e-Commerce Projects :
More Examples
    Warana Wired Village Project (warana.nic.in)
    AP Govt. initiatives (CARD, TWINS, VOICE etc.) (www.ap-
    Bhoomi – computerised land records across the Karnatka
     State (revdept.kar.nic.in)
    TARAhaat.com (www.tarahaat.com)
    HoneyBee Network (www.sristi.org)
    Samadhan Kendra
    e-chaupal
    e-post
    Sustainable Access to Rural India (SARI)
    Amul.com
    Rural knowledge centres for Information Empowerment
    Inabling Technologies (www.inablers.net) etc
1. Community Information Centres
     A project for socio-economic development of
      North East region. States covered:
       Arunachal Pradesh
       Assam

       Manipur

       Meghalaya

       Mizoram

       Nagaland

       Sikkim

       Tripura

Community Information Centres
  Will facilitate
     Internet connectivity through NICNET enabling, inter-
      alia web-browsing and e-mail facilities,
     Citizens interface with government,
     Distance learning programmes,
     Computer culture, specially amongst school children,
     IT enabled services including e-commerce,
     Accelerated employment opportunities, and
     Dissemination of information on plan initiatives, national
      programmes, disaster management system, public
      health awareness etc.
Community Information Centres

   At Block Headquarters in Seven North East
    States and Sikkim

   Number of Blocks    487
       Pilot Project   30 Blocks
       Main Project    457 Blocks

Experience from CICs set up under
pilot project
    Utilization of CICs in some states such as Sikkim
     and Meghalaya is quite good
    Gangtok CIC is earning revenue and has even
     paid salary of staff out of the revenue earned
    Some of the CICs have started Computer
     Training Programmes
    Popular services at CICs
            Internet & Email
            Word processing
            Computer Training
       2. Gyandoot
   Gyandoot – a community owned, self-sustainable and low
    cost rural Intranet in Dhar District of Madhya Pradesh
    State connecting 21 multimedia kiosks or rural
    cyber café (Soochnalayas) catering to the everyday
    needs of the masses.
   Soochnalayas located at Gram Panchayats, bazzars, local
    shops, Bus depots and on the roadside of central villages
    where people frequently travel. Each Soochnalaya
    provides public services to between 20 to 30 villages
    and between 20,000 and 30,000 people.
   Gyandoot Intranet linked to the Internet, and a
    orresponding Gyandoot Website, provides global access.

   Some of the services provided by Gyandoot
   Agricultural Produce Auction Centres Rates,
   Online Registration of application,
   Public Grievance Redressal
   Hindi e-mail
   Gyandoot won the “CSI National IT Award” as
    well as “Stockholm Challenge Award”
   Replicating Gyandoot model
    Drishtee (http://www.drishtee.com)

3. Agricultural Marketing Information Network

 Agricultural marketing – area for second generation
               Green Revolution problems
 A key step towards globalisation of Agriculture
 Improve farmers’ decision making capability to
  dispose of their agricultural produce at better
  prices in the market by:
   Prompt and reliable market information
   Knowledge of prevailing prices in other markets

   Knowledge of arrivals in markets

   Awareness on quality competitiveness
     AGMARKNET aims at

   To establish a nation-wide information network
    for speedy collection and dissemination of
    market information for its efficient utilisation
   To computerise data on market covering
    aspects like total arrivals, arrivals by agencies,
    prices (variety wise/quality wise), storage,
    despatches with destination, mode of
    transportation, costs, sold and unsold stocks,
    sources of supply with destination, grading
    facilities, infrastructure facilities.
     AGMARKNET aims at (Contd…)

   To ensure flow of regular and reliable data to
    producers, traders and consumers to derive
    maximum benefit of their sales and purchases
   To increase the efficiency in marketing by
    effecting improvement in the existing market
    information system

     AGMARKNET Scope covers

   Transmit price and market arrivals to State
    Agricultural Marketing Board/Directorate for
    analysis and local dissemination and to DMI
    Hqrs Faridabad for further dissemination
    through Web.
   To start with, 27 commodities categorized
    into 7 commodity Groups viz. cereals,
    pulses, spices, fruits, vegetables, fibres and
    Oilseeds are to be monitored.
      AGMARKNET Scope covers (Contd…)
   Implementation of the project at 670
    Regulated market and 40 State Agricultural
    Marketing Board/ Directorates and DMI Hqrs
    during Phase-I. At present, 170 Agricultural
    produce markets and 40 State agricultural
    Marketing Boards and Directorates are
    being connected. AGMARKNET will be
    extended to 2000 additional markets during
    tenth plan.

    AGMARKNET Project Components
Computing Facilities and Networking
                DMI Hqrs              Marketing
                                      Board / Directorate /
                Server System,        Client System
                Client System

                Windows NT, SQL       Windows98, Lotus
 S/W            Server, Lotus Smart   Smart Suite
                Suite Millenium, MS
                Office 2000
                                      Through Dial-up
 Connectivity   Vsat Based            Modem
     AGMARKNET Project Components

Agmarket Application Software facilitates:
   Market level : Data entry in English or local
    language, report Generation and transmission of
    data to respective Marketing Boards and DMI
   Marketing Board level : Collation of data received from
    markets, Report generation and reports/data transmission
   DMI headquarters : Collation of data received from
    Markets, updation on AGMARKNET portal and report
       AGMARKNET Project Components
Agmarket Information Transmission
   Market Committees: Provide daily information to the respective
    Marketing Board/Directorate and DMI
   The Board/Directorate: Collate the daily information
    received from the markets and Generate all markets report
    in the region and transmit the same to the concerned
    markets on same day.
   The DMI headquarters: Collate data received from
    various Marketing Boards/Directorates and put on the portal
    hosted at NIC Web Server.
   The Market Information: Available to the users by
    accessing the portal (http://agmarknet.nic.in) through
    internet.                                                    23
4. RuralBazar / IndiaShop
    Computerised Rural Information System Project (CRISP)
        RuralBazar a website for rural products (Handicrafts,
         Handloom, Carvings etc.)
        Local language support to the rural producer
        Both on-line as well as off-line support available
        Automatic generation of e-mails for personalised services
         to customer
        Supports Secure Transaction
        Scalable
    IndiaShop promoted by CAPART / FOOD

5. Technology Development in Local
   Languages (TDIL)
    An Initiative of Department of Information Technology
    C-DAC – GIST – Working on Indian-language fonts and
     software (www.cdacindia.com)
    Research centres in different Indian Languages spread
     across the country
    21 Indian Language Technology providers
    MAIT Language Technology Consortium working closely
     with DIT

Technology Development in Local
Languages (TDIL) (Contd…)

    TDIL website – Downloadables
      Indian language keyboard drivers and fonts
      ileap from C-DAC

      Desika from C-DAC

      Akshar for Windows

      Surbhi professional

      Pocket translation from C-DAC

    TDIL newsletter VishwaBharat @ tdil
    Visit http://tdil.mit.gov.in for more details

6. C-DAC in Handloom
   Computer Aided Textile Design Centres (CATD) being set-
    up in major handloom sector hubs in the country – widening
    the scope of creativity and selection of design
       Panipat, Bangalore, Chennai, Bhubneshwar, Kolkata etc.
   Assistance from ATIRA
       Now CAD in handloom moving over to other smaller places
        examples :
            Handloom weavers in Shantipur in Nadia district of West Bengal
             with assistance from National Institute of Fashion Technology,
       The Centre aims at
            Eliminate the time-consuming manual design process and
             introduce weavers to the efficiency and economy of CAD
            Introduce ease of innovative in designing and multi-colour
             combinations through CAD
            Preserve old designs through retrievable digital storage     27
     7. CorDECT (www.tenet.res.in)

   Wireless in Local Loop Technology (Will)
   Joint development of TeNet group of Chennai,
    Midas Comm., Analog Devices
   Provides Voice, FAX/DATA, Internet connectivity
    at 35/70 kbps
   Simultaneous Voice and internet connectivity
   25 Km range of connectivity
   Cheapest among WiLL technologies

     CorDECT - Status
   Operated by MTNL in Mumbai and New Delhi
   Installed by BSNL – Bhopal, Panipat, Bangalore
   Installed in Patiala, Mohali, Jaipur
   Installed in Madagascar, Fiji, Argentina, Kenya,
    Brazil, Iran, Tunisia, Nigeria

   CorDECT WiLL Rural Projects
       Kuppam Mandal in Andhra Pradesh
       Dhar District in MP along with Gyandoot
       Nellikuppam in Tamil Nadu
       Sikar in Rajasthan
       Rural Madurai
   Replication
       N-Logue Communications

     8. Simputer (www.simputer.org)

   Simple Computer or Simple Inexpensive
    Multilingual Computer
   A low cost portable alternative to PC
   Multilingual People’s computer
   The Simputer Trust – IISc and Encore
   Has potential to bridge digital divide

     Simputer Specs
   32 bit CPU running at 200MHz
   32 MB RAM
   24 MB Flash
   LCD display panel
   Touch – panel overlay on LCD display
   Smartcard Connector
   Telephone jack
   USB connector

     Simputer Software
   O/S – GNU/Linux
   Soft-Modem Alogrithms
   IML Browser
   Internet Access
   Text-to-speech software

    9. Media Lab Asia

    Overview of Media Lab Asia
   Vision: To trigger the chain process of making use of IT in the lives of
    common people in a sustainable way and to influence profoundly the
    quality of their lives

   Concept: A network of national and overseas Projects
   Thrust areas:
     • Learning: Involving every child in the learning process
     • Health: Providing state-of-the-art public health tools and medical
       information to everyone
     • Financial Sustainability: Creating the culture of micro-enterprise

   Goals: Adopt villages, develop technology and bring partners
   Key Players: Academia, MIT Media Lab, NGOs & Cooperatives,
    Government and Industry
   Rural, young manpower trained with
    entrepreneurial capability

   Digital connectivity to villages

   E-services in large number of villages

   New generation of enterprises and products

   Academic programmes with enhanced innovative
    research content

   Media Lab Asia – Initial Research

                                    Delhi Hub
Kanpur-Lucknow Hub

                 Media Lab Asia
               Research Programme

  Maharastra Hub                Tamilnadu Hub
Initial Projects/Areas for Research
Kanpur-Lucknow Hub:
   Chikan CAD
   Info-Thela
   SUCHIK: Do-it-Yourself Comic books
   Wireless networks (IEEE 802.11)
Maharashtra Hub:
   A research facility for the design and evaluation of devices and
   Multilingual Information Retrieval in the Agricultural Domain
   Sensors for water quality and blood parameter assessment
   Novel techniques for cancer screening and detection in
    economically backward regions

 Initial Projects/Areas for Research
 Hubs- (Contd…)
Delhi Research Hub:
  Rural Software Lab and Demonstration Centre-
     Health: Rural water quality and Management System
      based on GIS
     Microfranchise Development: Precision farming
      testing, telecom. Services, community services
      directory etc.
     Computer Clubhouses
     Concept of Digital Village demonstration
     Wireless networks - WANS
     Low cost computing
  Outreach Programme
     Media Awareness Campaign
  Web –Portal development
Initial Projects/Areas for Research
Hubs- Contd..
 Tamilnadu Hub:
    Bits for all
         Bring digitally enabled services to common man
    Developing low-cost wireless local loop services
         Indian version of Linux
         Rethinking of software from operating system to
          interface to reflect the needs of rural services
 IIT Kharagpur - Research Lab :
    Language and interface technologies for physically
     handicapped.                                            40

Some of the examples pertaining to e-commerce and
bridging digital divide are presented. Telecom, Infrastructure
and access requirements are innovative.

India is committed to bring the fruits of ICT for the benefit of
Masses. Let thousands flowers (pilot projects) bloom. A
large number of “these” would eventually be “sustainable”.
Rural e-commerce in India is on the “Move”



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