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Monday, March 19, 2001

NICís sheet-anchor role
By V.P. Prabhakar

THE National Informatics Centre (NIC), since its inception in 1977, has been playing a pioneering role in propagating "IT-led development" facilitating rapid economic growth and social transformation in India, by setting up a country-wide satellite-based VSAT network (NICNET), the first of its kind among the developing countries, linking about 540 district administrations, 25 state secretariats and seven NCT/UT administrations. The NIC plays an important role in the area of "informatics for development", which inter alia includes e-governance, e-commerce and decision technology system.

The NIC implements IT projects in collaboration with the Central and state governments, in respect of centrally-sponsored and central sector programmes, state sector, state-sponsored programme and district administration-sponsored projects.To promote information technology, Internet-based value-added services in industry, business and commerce, the NIC has established National Information Technology Promotion Units (NITRUS) at major industrial/commerce cities that includes Chandigarh, Jaipur, Ludhiana and Panipat, among others.


Video-conferencing facilities have been established at 26 cities including Chandigarh. "India Image" is a popular Web site of the NIC that presents a true perspective of India and its Government before the Internet community.As a result of signing of MOU between AICTE and the NIC, 16 engineering colleges are being provided NICNET/Internet connectivity. The ICAR has installed about 80 VSATs in various ICAR institutes and state agricultural universities to strengthen their agricultural research information system network. It continues to provide bio-medical information from various international databases to the medical community of India, including the MEDLARS databases of the National Library of Medicine, USA.Land records computerisation programme is being implemented as a joint effort of Ministry of Rural Areas and Employment, NIC and respective state governments.The NIC has provided operational support for fully computerised passport offices at 19 places, which among others included Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Jaipur and Delhi.NICNET services were provided to Press Information Bureau (PIB) and Doordarshan for the "Parliament Election 99" results analysis under the sponsored project of Doordarshan. To facilitate the 24-hour news channel broadcast by Doordarshan, the NIC has executed a paid project "News Room Automation", which facilitates both English and Hindi bulletins broadcast through the system. "Election 99" Web site got more than one million hits. PIBNET was established as an intranet over NICNET-linking Press Information Bureau headquarters and regional/branch offices as a part of the Ninth Plan scheme of computerisation project.

Cisco centres in UP

CISCO Systems Inc. has signed an MoU with the Government of Uttar Pradesh, to set up the Cisco Networking Academy Program in 10 polytechnics of the state with the UP Development Systems Corporation (UPDESCO).

The UPDESCO will be designated as a regional networking academy and receive networking equipment, comprehensive training, curriculum, and technical support from Cisco Systems. The regional academy will in turn set up nine local networking academies in government-run girls polytechnics and one co-ed polytechnic across Uttar Pradesh.

The Cisco program focuses on teaching students how to design, build and maintain computer networks. The program prepares students for the 21st century workplace, while serving as a valuable model for e-learning. As of today, more than 1,70,000 students have enrolled in the program at 6,174 academies in 108 countries around the world.

"This is the first step in our fulfilment of the commitment to establish 34 Cisco regional networking academies in every state and UTs in India, with UP being the first state to implement this program on a state-wide basis" Manoj Chugh, president, India and SAARC Region, Cisco Systems, said.

"In addition, we are excited that through this agreement, women across UP will be able to develop their skills and receive internationally recognised certifications, which would vividly show that the two great equalisers in life are the Internet and education," he added.

Established in October 1997, the Cisco Networking Academy will help to close the global technology gap.

The 280-hour program provides course work for a complete range of basic through advanced networking concepts from pulling cable through to such complex concepts such as sub-net masking rules and strategies.

Cisco has been active in India and the SAARC region since 1995.and Calcutta.


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