Bangalore, September 26,
The Government of India
today made an important contribution to advancing the
use of information and communication technologies (ICT)
for development, launching the first Research and Training
Center of the Development Gateway Foundation at the
National Centre for Software Technology (NCST) in Bangalore
by Shri. Pramod Mahajan, Hon'ble Union Minister of Communications
& Information Technology and Parliamentary Affairs.
With NCST as the implementing institution and Indian
Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-Mumbai) as its first
collaborating partner, the Center will support and develop
practical ICT-based solutions for bridging the digital
divide. Potential areas of research include Internet
technologies to facilitate information sharing and management,
language technologies that allow the retrieval of information
in multiple languages, and technologies that address
the information needs of specific sectors such as Agriculture,
Health care and Education.
"It is well known
that India brings to bear both innovative approaches
and technical expertise in applying ICT for development",
said Foundation Board member and World Bank President
James D. Wolfensohn on the occasion of the launch of
the Center. "We expect that the research that will
be undertaken by the Center will be an important contribution
to bridging the digital divide throughout the world",
he further added.
Expressing his happiness
on this occasion with NCST and C-DAC,
the two key institutions of the Ministry of Communications
& Information Technology, in implementing the projects,
Shri. Pramod Mahajan said, "Our Government wants
the IT revolution to flow from the West to the East
and from the South to the North of our country. The
Government shall achieve Digital Unity by bridging the
Digital Divide through the universal access to ICT".
He also thanked the World Bank and the Development Gateway
Foundation for reposing their confidence in India to
achieve these objectives.
India is a Founding
Member of the Development Gateway Foundation, an independent,
non-profit organization built on public-private partnerships,
which fosters the use of ICT for sustainable development
and poverty reduction. Other Founding Members on the
Board of the Foundation are governments of Australia,
China, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea,
Mali (sponsored by the Netherlands), Pakistan, and Rwanda,
as well as the World Bank Group. Additional commitments
are from Michael Bloomberg, the Government of Luxembourg,
Mac Holdings America, Inc., Mphasis, Transnational Computer
Technology, and UNDP.
The establishment of
a Network of Research and Training Centers is one of
four key programs of the Development Gateway Foundation,
and the Indian Research and Training Center is part
of India's US$ 5 million commitment to the Foundation.
As the first center in this network, the Indian Research
and Training Center will play a key role in shaping
the agenda of how ICT can be effective in the fight
against poverty and promote sustainable development.
Government of India
also launched "India Country Gateway," as
an initiative of the Department of Electronics and Information Technology,
Government of India and funded by the World Bank under
its InfoDev program. India Country Gateway portal is
aimed at involvement of Government, Private, Public,
Public & International Organizations sharing information
on various aspects on development in India and how use
of ICT can be leveraged for socio-economic development.
The prototype portal launched today, has been implemented
by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing
along with its partners.
India Country Gateway
when fully implemented would act as a window of information
from India and would play the role of a catalyst to
the introduction of best practices towards eDevelopment,
eGovernance and eEmpowerment etc. through collaboration
among various stake holders.
The launch was presided
over by Dr. Sanjay Paswan, Union Minister of State for
Communications & Information Technology. Shri. Rajeeva
Ratna Shah, Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology,
Government of India and Dr. Carlos Braga, Director,
Global Development Gateway Initiative, World Bank, also
spoke at the occasion.
- India Country Gateway,
www.countrygateway.org.in & www.incg.org.in
- Department of Information
- Development Gateway Foundation: