Saturday, July 5, 2008

President of India launches Portal to connect the rural poor

For the village population of the country, all information critical to their livelihood is just a click-away from now. The President Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil launched the Government’s multi-lingual Portal in New Delhi today that will provide information on strategic needs of the poor and the marginalized in local languages.

The Portal is titled as, “India Development Gateway (InDG)”. Rural communities can immediately access information in six important sectors namely, Agriculture, Rural Energy, Education, Health and e-Governance. The languages in which services are available are Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and English. In the coming days, more sectors and more languages will be covered.

The Portal is executed by the Hyderabad based Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) with support from the e-Governance division of the Department of Information Technology of the Government of India. A distinctive strength of the India Development Gateway is collaboration and partnership among Government, NGOs, community based organizations and private, academic and research institutions.

Launching the Portal, the President said, it can link panchayats across the country, empower village people and open a window of opportunity to rural development. Mrs. Patil said, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) must help bring about a second green revolution in agriculture. She wanted the benefits of this technology to reach remote and far-flung areas.

The President said, the Gateway should help achieve universalisation of primary education, energy conservation and energy efficiency and health objectives in the villages. Mrs. Patil said, the Portal should be used to inform rural population about benefits from Government Schemes and income generation options.

In his address, Minister for Communications and Information Technology Thiru A. Raja said the Gateway Portal is part of the national e-Governance vision to make all Government services accessible to the common man in his locality. He hoped that the Portal will bring about change in villages and holistic human development. He described the initiative as one more attempt to bring the power of IT to the unreached and to have an impact on rural livelihoods.

The Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology, Shri Jyotiraditya Scindia said, the Portal will bridge the knowledge gap, empower the youth and give full choices to citizens. He said, the project signifies the powerful combination of ICT with grass root level partners. The Chairman of the India Development Gateway Initiative and eminent scientist Prof. M.S. Swaminathan said, the Portal marks a new architecture of growth based on social inclusion, knowledge revolution and national development.

He said, the Gateway Portal will provide dynamic information in areas like weather and market to support agriculture and other sectors in the villages. The ceremonial launch of the Portal was attended by a host of partner organizations and senior officials. As part of the launch, various stake holders held a workshop on knowledge sharing for rural development and livelihood enhancement. An exhibition was also held highlighting various ICT initiatives for rural areas.

See this excellent Indian Gateway : http://www.indg.in/india/home-page/view?set_language=en

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

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