ISRO Sets Up Space Data Center
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is in the process of setting
up the Indian Space Science Data Center (ISSDC) in Bangalore, to process,
archive, and disseminate the data from various scientific satellite missions.
According to the ministry of science and technology, this data center is planned
to be operational by the last quarter of 2008, and will be utilized by various
scientists for investigations. This was stated by the MoS in the Prime
Ministers Office and Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Prithviraj
Chavan, in a written communication to the Lok Sabha. Meanwhile, the minister
also said that a study had been initiated for preparing a feasibility report by
the faculty of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in consultation with
ISRO scientists for developing a small satelliteless than 100 kg.
He further added that the technologies developed during this process might
help in small satellite programs in the future.
PIB Issues e-Cards To Journalists
The Press Information Bureau (PIB) of India has begun issuing new electronic
press accreditation cards to journalists. It will replace the older PIB press
card. The news cards will have a validity of two years, till December 2009. The
new tamper-proof electronic card has security features like electronic signature
of PIB and home ministry officials. The card will be color coded in four
categoriesyellow for correspondents, pink for cameramen, white for technicians,
and blue for editors. The new service, which will go a long way in avoiding the
annual exercise of renewal for all nationally accredited journalists, will
benefit over 2,000 press persons in different categories, the ministry of
information and broadcasting stated.
Panel to Monitor Kisan Call Centers
In order to monitor the activities of the kisan call centers (KCC), a
state-level monitoring committee (SLMC) has been constituted to address the
issues related to training programs, publicity and connectivity raised by
farmers. Under the chairmanship of the agriculture secretary, the committee will
consist of agriculture and allied departments director, representatives of local
Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) office and the concerned nodal officer of the KCC.
In a written communication to the Lok Sabha, the minister of state for
agriculture, Kanti Lal Bhuria, informed that farmers can now dial a toll free
number (1551) to get answers to farming-related queries. He further said that
KCCs are functioning in fourteen locations of the country and the government has
decided to increase the number to twenty-eight. In order to enhance services and
provide adequate information through such centers, the government has taken
several steps, the minister said. At present, 144 call center agents are engaged
in fourteen KCCs who are answering farmers queries in twenty-one local
dialects. If call center agents at level-1 are not able to completely answer
farmers queries, calls are escalated to level-2 (128 in number, nationwide),
where experts from agricultural universities answer farmers queries directly,
the minister said. The Government of India has also designated twenty nodal
officers, who are keeping liaison with call center agents for providing
technical support for running the KCCs. Besides, the Department of Agriculture
and Cooperation has also taken an initiative to develop a data structure in the
form of Kisan Knowledge Management System (KKMS) and software is being developed
to provide data-bank on various packages of practices on crops, horticulture,
poultry, fishery, animal husbandry, and veterinary sciences.
e-Stamping in Maharashtra Soon
After successfully launching e-stamping in several parts of the country,
Stock Holding Corporation of India (SHCIL) is all set to launch e-stamping in
Maharashtra. This is going to help curb forgery as e-stamping is computer-based
stamping of documents where the database is maintained electronically rather
than physically stamping of documents, a process which attracted forgery. SHCIL
has been authorized by the government to act as a central record-keeping agency
for the e-stamping project. SHCILs job now also includes depository, broking,
derivatives, and retailing of third party financial services to institutional
clients and retail investors.
India Moves Toward m-Governance
After moving toward e-governance, India is now expanding m-governance across
the country. Around fifty-four gram panchayats in five remote blocks of the
state will soon have SMS alerts on disasters, funds inflow and outflow,
information about health camps, and pulse polio campaigns will be sent to and
from the state departments, district offices, gram panchayats, and block
development offices. In this regard, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
has sanctioned Rs 50 lakh for the pilot project. The project will begin in
fifty-four gram panchayats in five blocks including Bandwan and Bagmundi blocks
of Purulia and Sagar, Patharpratima and Gosaba blocks of South 24-Parganas. The
project would be completed within nine months. Once the project is implemented,
SMS alerts will be sent out to government officials and members of the gram
panchayats about impending disasters such as a bird flu outbreak, or allotment
of funds for a particular project, information about the date and venue of a
health camp to be held, pulse polio campaign and the filing of reports through
an SMS alert over the mobile. The state department for panchayat and rural
development is working toward setting up common service centers (CSC) at
villages at the gram panchayat, block and district levels. About 1,000 CSCs,
called Tathya Mitra, have already been rolled out in the districts.
Gujarat Celebrates With e-Connectivity Initiative
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has announced e-Connectivity to all 590
village councils in Amreli district of Saurashtra region while celebrating
Gujarats 49th Foundation Day. Modi stated that Gujarat is the only state in
Asia to have such a network. Around 207 village community centers have started
operations. E-connectivity is playing a revolutionary role in the agriculture
economy and rural life. He also released a Google Gujarati page by the common
service centers e-Gram Vishwagram Society. Google Gujarati search page will
establish the glory of Gujarati and mother tongue. E-connectivity will provide
copies of 7/12, 8-A (kinds of land documents) online apart from other services.
So far, 13,693 panchayats or village councils have computers and sarpanch and
village secretaries are trained to operate computers.
Indian Army Fighting the Digital Battle
The Indian Army has decided to boost the cyber security of its information
networks down to division levels. Other than creating cyber security
originations to guard against cyber warfare and data thefts, army top brass has
also underlined the urgent need for periodic cyber security audits by the Army
Cyber Security Establishment (ACSE).
The Indian armed forces are also planning to hone their information warfare
weapons as well as bolster their C4ISR (command, control, communications,
computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) capabilities. With
the most advanced armies in the world also facing 3000 to 4000 hacking attempts,
the anxiety of Indian armed forces, particularly to safeguard its sensitive
informations can only be termed as the need of the hour.
Online Recruitment for in Delhi Police
The Delhi police has come up with a process by which aspirants for the post
of constables can now apply online. The recruitment process has won ISO
certification and fine-tuned the recruitment process as well. Such a facility
would be of immense help for people residing in far-flung areas as they can now
apply as well as submit their forms online. In case the candidates do not
receive their admit cards they can download it from the Internet.
Andhra Pradesh to Digitize Land Records
Andhra Pradesh will digitize all the land records in the state within a
month. This is expected to bring about transparency and fairness in land deals.
The scanning of land records have almost been completed and they are in the
process of being hosted on the website. To discuss various issues related to
survey, records, and titles; an international symposium was organized on
Contemporary Trends in Cadastral Surveys and Land Titling by the Department of
Land Resources, Government of India and the Department of Survey and Land
Records, Government of Andhra Pradesh on 28th and 29th of April. The
deliberations of this symposium have been sent as recommendations to the
Government of India to formulate a national policy.
Rajasthan All Set to Embrace e-Gov
The Government of Rajasthan is planning to establish common services centres
(CSCs) across the state with the intention of providing various IT enabled
e-government and non-government services to the citizens. The aim of the scheme,
however, is not just to roll out IT infrastructure but also to build a network
of over one lakh rural businesses across India. The e-Commerce and online
services that CSCs intend to provide include booking of railway tickets,
astrology, matrimonial services, shopping, education services, community TV,
telemedicine, primary healthcare, and various agriculture services. These
centers would also be providing such business-to-business services like
advertising and promotion, data collection, distribution and financial services
for loans and deposits, referrals and insurance. It is proposed that 6,626 CSCs
would be spread across seven districts of the state.
E-Nagarik Seva Kendras Coming Up in Ranchi
The Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) will soon provide birth and death
certificates, payment of municipal taxes, and other civic facilities via e-Nagarik
Seva Kendras. Through this service citizens of Ranchi will be able to apply for
birth and death certificates and other payment of taxes with the click of mouse.
In the first phase, RMC has identified 17 wards to set up the kendras. With e-nagarik
kendras, citizens would be able to download forms for applying for birth and
death certificates and monitor the status of their applications. Apart from
this, the kendras would also offer details of various government schemes. After
the implementation of the project, it will bring various e-governance services
at the doorstep of ordinary citizens. e-nagarik kendras would be operational in
all 55 wards of the state capital.
Compiled by Priya Kekre