‘The annual agenda of DeitY is target oriented’

President of Internet And Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), Subho Ray, talks to The Indian Express on the annual agenda of Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY). Excerpts:

What do you have to say about the annual agenda of DeitY announced by the Minister for Communications and IT, Kapil Sibal?

The agenda is target oriented. It clearly lays out the outcomes targeted between January and December 2013. This would give an opportunity to the government, the department and the interested citizens to review and assess the performance of the department for 2013. I believe, this should be the way in which most department entrusted with "public spending" should function.

Will there be problems in setting up mobile apps, mobile payment gateway?

The agenda covers no less than 18 "initiatives" with overall "objectives" and expected "outcomes" by 2013. Understandably, the objectives and outcomes are focused on pet initiatives such as mobile and electronic governance, electronics manufacturing, cyber security and promotion of software and services industry. Taking a deeper look, some of the objectives are clearly articulated, tangible and measurable. These, if achieved, will not only change the way government services are delivered, but will also act as an effective catalyst to the apps market.

DeitY is going to look into specific agenda areas. Do you think they are achievable?

Connected with the delivery of government services is the establishment of a cloud infrastructure. Here the specific target is setting up the infrastructure at the NIC Data Centre in Delhi. Again a specific target with much positive impact. The approval to set up an e-governance academy is also a part of this year's agenda. To close the governance piece, there would also be a dial in service to inform the citizens of various government welfare schemes.

Do you think that Centre is focusing on electronics manufacturing industry

Electronics manufacturing has been a major focus area in the last three years and a National Policy was announced in 2012 to promote this in the country. It is generally accepted that the policy had more heart than head in it. Beyond electronic governance, software and services and electronic manufacturing, there is obviously the popular or populist target to "develop indigenous product leveraging existing mobile spread and availability to cater to the security of the people". What exactly does the department want to do to achieve this? Among other things, and android watch, voice command activation, motion sensor, emergency response, alert button, etc are on the menu. More serious, necessary and possibly would be to "preserve and provide online access to India folklore".

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