Narayanasamy seeks attention for hardware tech

Bhubaneswar: Seeking greater attention for the hardware industry in facing challenge from countries like China, Union minister V Narayanasamy today said hardware worth USD 400 billion would have to be imported in the next five years if advanced technology is not obtained for effective e-governance.

"India has to import hardware worth 400 billion dollars if we do not concentrate on this sector and obtain advanced technologies," Union Minister of State in Prime Minister`s office V Narayanasamy said at the 15th National e-governance Conference here. Though India has emerged a frontrunner in the software sector, it faces competition from countries like China in hardware industry which needs to be given adequate support and attention, said Narayanasamy, also in charge of personnel, public grievances and pension.

As e-governance would play a significant role in ensuring transparency and efficiency in all spheres including eduation, health and social sector, there is a plan to provide training under skill development programme to 60 crore people in ten years at a cost of Rs 60,000 crore, he said. The government alone cannot spread e-governance and all organisations and individuals would have to change their way of working to be able to adapt to changes. Stating that there is a perceived need for governance reforms to make public service delivery faster and effective, Narayanasamy said the second Administrative Reforms Commission too had stressed on the need for largescale process reforms.

In his opening address, Union Minister of State for Communication and IT, Sachin Pilot said the government proposes to ensure broadband connection to 160 million households by 2020 to make the dream of e-governance a reality. The Centre, he said, has sanctioned Rs 20,000 crore for optical fibre plan which would go a long way in giving an impetus to rapid growth in IT sector.

Stating that small and medium players have a big role in e-governance, Pilot said the drive for e-literacy must be given a big push to make at least one person in every family e-literate. The Centre and state governments must work together to substantially enhance accessibility and availability of IT enabled services. Attention should be paid to make e-governance affordable and the government should deliver services at the doorsteps in all six lakh villages of the country.

Birth and caste certificates should be made available online, he said adding on-line services should spread like mobile phones, which were now used by about 80 crore people. He said concrete steps should be taken for development of software in all Indian languages and major companies should play a big role in this regard. The private sector and lower bureaucracy should play a major role in making e-governance a reality instead of confining it only to seminars. The bill on electronic service delivery introduced in Lok Sabha would bring about a game change making governance transparent and efficient.

In his inaugural address, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said India has been one of the fastest growing economies since the 1990s. Not only has the growth been stable, it has also opened up opportunities for people of both rural and urban areas – primarily led by the service sector. The state Government recognising the importance of the sector, has adopted a pro-active policy in promoting investment in IT sector for economic development, he added.