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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