Democratization of Information #DoI and embracing IT in governance. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-g6
Abraham Paul P. FIE, FIETE.
Dated 29 Sept 2012
For kind attention of Mr. Sam Pitroda.
Introduction: While agreeing fully that embracing IT is the way to improve Governance; India being one of the nations in the forefront of IT capability, it is astonishing why Government is still far away from exploiting its potential within the Country in its over-all governance so as to transform its various departments efficient, faster and transparent.
Democratization of Information #DoI through various social media would become much more effective and useful mainly for the middle class who greatly indulge in it to get over the lacuna they encounter due to delay in decision making in various Ministries, the PMO and those in Planning commission etc., and get their responses. Now no one never bother to reply to letters, suggestions and queries from ordinary people, other than in RTI route?
Good to see Mr. Sam Pitroda making genuine effort with his idea of ‘Twitter conferences’ on the topic, Democratization of Information (#DOI) in spite of it was too ill organized making little impact. Instead attempting limited window conferences in Twitter, it would be better to leave the window open for few days on each topic; have someone record the tweets and messages by mails and provide the information sought for after due moderation, periodically through social media and also in a dedicated page for it in Facebook.
For example, I have the following queries / suggestions for which I would like to know the views of the Government.
I. The issues at hand.
1. Induction of IT being the best way to improve day to day and long term Governance in every way, why India is not yet using it substantially in its various Ministries, Govt. departments, Judiciary etc.
2. Why can’t make Govt. departments work like Corporate with SAP, ERP and other IT based tools and methods implemented and managed?
3. Why HR wings in Government departments not doing Performance monitoring and evaluation of its employee’s jobs and tasks using computerized systems and methods?
4. Why there are no effectively IT based methods to monitor Income and Assets accumulated beyond source by Public servants / Political masters and others potential offenders to take action against wrong doers and thus to eradicate lethargy, corruption and black money?
5. Why there is so much delay in implementing people friendly projects that Government talk about for years?
5.1. As there is no word ‘Perfect’ in planning and Management, why not use contemporary Technology & Systems instead waiting for decades searching for perfect solutions and end up getting nothing done?
6. Thanks to Sri Rajiv Gandhi and Sam Pitroda and Technocrats, Phones are no more merely just phones but have become mini-computers. In fact, India of today, with considerable penetration of Mobile phone services, most people in the lowest social & economic strata use information communication technology using phones than any media in a day to day basis much more than what the governments do.
6.1. Connectivity is the crux of the issue in Digitalization and going to take some time to have it established all over the country. But why the Governments instead of waiting to accomplish digitization of entire country with basic Telecom penetration of every rural villages to implement and impart DBT etc., while it can be straightaway implemented in places where suitable eco system and Digital connectivity readily available and expand to other areas in a phased manner? After all poor people are available everywhere, and more in cities and towns also for that matter. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-a0
Currently un-connected areas can be serviced using Satellite link and GPS connectivity in a phased way is the way to go. ISRO has capacity to contribute much on this front.
7. Why there is no plan for much required FDI in Telecom Infrastructure? When there was explosive growth in Telecom & ICT during past few decades opening out great opportunity in manufacturing in Telecom & IT products; why are the PSUs like Indian Telephone Industry (ITI) and many others are rotting doing practically nothing?
8. Why Government do not consider to plan and implement something I suggested a decade back like ‘Universal Un-banked or Exclusively banked Money Management by phone’ that can be the means to quicken much needed financial inclusion and micro finance support to the poor and needy across the country in Urban as well as Rural areas. Pl see my blog http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-4g
8.1. Why not RBI look in the urgent need of creating a new banking and Micro Finance systems exclusively for regulating and dealing all money management using phones, both by Fixed ones and well as Mobile and INTERNET based banking services which will run into a trillions of rupees business and soon become parallel economy of Virtual Money before it becomes another big scam as explained in the blog mentioned above, lest the banks and banking industry get disrupted due to reasons as explained my many papersom and presentations o ‘Power and Perils of Money going Virtual in published in papaulsblog.
9. Being Technocrats in erstwhile DOT India the best ones than that anywhere in the world; why most of the Technology decisions of DOT are delayed and mostly defective? http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-gG
It appears Government need to pay more attention to it’s present for BSNL and make use of the rich expertise on Technology of its Engineers, Technology related issues in TELECOM instead of hearing to self serving Private Companies and the Media guys in their pay role. Fact is that there is no mechanism in place to interact about ideas and suggestions of common people out there with the Government. I have over 60 years of experience in Telecom and over past 15 years I had been trying to bring into the notice of Government many important contemporary and futuristic issues related to Telecom Technology and Telecom business which basically a Service Industry handing one of the vital Essential Services and hence altogether a different Ballgame to reckon with. Please see my dozens of blogs in papaulsblog.wordpress.com
10. Most importantly ,Government’s . policy on Telecom should be ‘People-Centric’ not ‘Money-Centric’> It is worth to ponder the rights and wrongs of spectrum is sold at high cost instead of allowing right of usage in a revenue share model that is heavily burdening TELCos and in effect killing the geese laying golden eggs; exactly what erstwhile DOT was doing for long? http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-3
11. Why is it the Government consider it necessary to have individual Systems and Network and billing and peripheral systems for every Telecom Service Provider involving huge CAPEX & OPEX and drain of FOREx while few Network Operators can provide Technogy systems and Network that can be availed many Service providers with MVNO Technology as being done all over the World. Please see my paper on Segregation of Service provision from network operation. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-t
12. Why not Govt. think of having much required exclusive Government owned GPS/GSM systems and network for Crisis/Disaster management, Security and terrorism control. Same can be used for Govt’s admin purposes and many Aadhar based services. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-28
13. Super hyped modern Mobile handsets and high speed networks and expensive user end devices products and services will increase cost of usage and push most low end commoners and poor users out of the system killing volume of business and its revenue with it. Why not Government insist manufacturers to make and supply cheaper Mobile phones and products indigenously and services that are affordable to majority of users. Over and above using Mobiles with high power chips before the eco system for it is yet to be ready is like like putting the cart before the horse and also will cause call drops due to channel stealing in UM interface http://wp.me/s1ZsI2-213
II. Other areas that need urgent attention on on developmental issues.
1. Why not Government provide subsidy to encourage rural captive power systems from Solar, Wind and Hydro energy?
2. Why not use tidal energy for power generation constructing dykes across river mouths, wherever possible? Such dykes will be help to create sweet water lakes that can be used for reaching drinking water and for farming during lean days. http://wp.me/s1ZsI2-44
3. Why not use vast area of open Deserts, Lakes and Canals and roof tops of building everywhere to generate solar power and have reverse feeding grids? Why not promote indigenous manufacturing of PV cells and provide more subsidies to promote usage of solar power and LED lamps that consume less Electricity. Why not Electricity board encourage solar power generation on roof tops and provide reverse grid to collect energy remain unused.
4. Why can’t ISRO set up enough Geo-synchronous satellites for providing Telecom connectivity to rural and remote areas instead waiting for OF connectivity and also use it for Road, Rail & Marine traffic control, Crisis and disaster management, implementation of Adhaar based service and an India CLOUD and a server for central Payment Gateway system. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-dh and Automous charging of Road Toll and Parking Charges, Fines & Penalitis. http://wp.me/s1ZsI2-506
5. Why is it that government is not seriously engaged in implementing IT based solutions for better safety and security in Railways? Now any miscreant can cause major accident by covering a signal with a gunny bag. http://wp.me/s1ZsI2-39
6. Why not push Bio-technology to invent cheaper medicines and cheaper solutions for improving health services to common man? http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-2a
7. Why not make National Census recording methods more error free, efficient and quicker using IT enabled devices and services?
8. Why Governments not taking serious steps in better waste management system in the country? Providing toilets every where is good but there shall be means for its sustenance. Also there shall be mass production of self supportable with biodegradable Toilets and supply to every Panchayat.
9. Why we have drought in places where there were flood months back. Why there are no serious effort for rain water harnessing like locally produced bricks laid ponds and Lakes and rain water management everywhere in the country?
10. Why are our natural resources exported cheap and then buying finished products at very high cost draining huge foreign exchange, instead of processing indigenously using these for internal needs?
11. Why Government is not controlling huge import of Gold into the country drawing huge Foreign exchange. Why can’t government restrict sale and usage Gold in India beyond 18 carat other than for making ornaments for export as being done in many countries?
Why not monetize huge quantity of Gold lying idle for governments development needs.
12. Why government give arable land at throw away price for SEZ and other Industries instead of making them develop uninhabited waste land available in plenty in rural areas begging development.?
13. Why the Army is allowed to use prime land in heart of the cities everywhere instead of having its set up in suburbs and villages and take up its development during peace days ad use it for its needs.?
14. Why more and money is dumped in already choked cities allowing people to move there and live like pigs instead of developing its suburbs that are begging for development for years? wp.me/p1ZsI2-5I
15. Instead of enhancing punishments as a remedy for assault against women and weak, why not take up and implement workable solutions to prevent crimes I suggested ling back in my paper: ‘Tech based Universal Emergency support systems and solutions.’ http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-lZ
16. Currently there is too much delay in Judicial system and norm of justice different when dealt by different judges and at different level. Why not use Super computers that India is capable of Creating, to deal with part of Judicial process to quicken it.
18. Last but not the least is the urgent need to impart teaching and training in Information Communication Technology in Schools and Colleges. Children of the day are too smart and learn to use computer in the Kindergarten days. Problem are the lack of teachers with adequate proficiency in teaching ICT is schools. Fact is that ICT itself can help the process of learning ICT for students as well as teachers. ICT should be included in general Curriculum and every school & Colleges shall be equipped with systems, connectivity and facilities toe the students to learn ICT and ICT based learning of other subjects and technologies.
III. About hurriedly moving on Digital India.
Hurriedly moving over to Digital India without it’s prerequisites made ready in a war footing basis will be disastrous if not suicidal. Please see my paper on: ‘Digital India: Views, opinions, and new proposals on various Technology & Social and Community affairs.’ http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-J5
The list goes on and on but seldom we get any information from Government on any of these and many other queries of common man.
Over and above Government should have an arrangement to look at what people write to them and use what is go for the Country in it.
Most of these are in the blog I wrote in May 2004 and send to those heading UPA Government then. ‘The Bitter Pills for India Reprieve’ http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-5I
I hope PR department of Government will conduct better organized conferences on each of these points and many other that are queried by common people in the country and act on possible areas.
PS. Good to see many things are happening past few years. ‘Better late than never.”
Most people like me are not bothered who helm the Government as far things go forward in the interest of Nation and People as a whole.
Abraham Paul P. FIE, FIETE.
Owner FCOMNET. Ex: V.P. SIEMENS SPCNL India / Director TRG, SC & TS SIEMENS ICN RHQ, UAE. / G.M. & SMT TBG, BPL. Mobile / TES (A) DOT India.
firstname.lastname@example.org Tweet @PA_Paul Dated 29 Sept 2012