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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

IT conclaves a futile exercise

Vinod Kumar, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, November 23, 2012
First Published: 11:54 IST(23/11/2012) | Last Updated: 11:57 IST(23/11/2012)

Scholarly deliberations at the current annual information technology (IT) conclave notwithstanding, there has been little or nil the UT administration has adapted or translated into action from the recommendations and findings of the previous editions of the event.


All conclaves had a string of distinguished technocrats and representatives of IT giants, who had strongly made recommendations for the growth of the IT sector in the city and the region.

Officials in the administration admit that there is an absence of bridge between the experts' recommendations and the IT department, for the growth of which such conclaves are organised with much fanfare.

They also agree that there has not been any modality or framework to follow up or take feedback from the stakeholders about the recommendations of such conclaves.

The two-day conclave held in 2011 focused on the need to create platforms where local IT units and small/micro-size users can interact with IT industry leaders and take knowledge in terms of technologies, business and applications besides other issues.

The event of 2010 saw experts and officials of Chandigarh and Punjab deliberating upon transforming the region through extensive adoption of information and communication technology (ICT) both in the government as well as the private sectors, especially in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).

The previous year, the UT authorities along with the stakeholders pondered upon developing and promoting the region as an emerging IT hub for not only attracting further investments, but more importantly ensuring that IT growth was all-inclusive and encouraging the youth in the region to set up their own enterprise in order to contribute to the socio-economic development of the region.

Similarly, 2008 saw the UT officials talking about the need for innovating technology that could deliver health and education benefits to the lower strata of society as well as develop interactive learning aids for the primary school teachers to improve education delivery methods.

The conclave of 2007 stressed upon re-organising the vast amount of data of government offices in a more usable format, to which the e-governance initiatives of the UT administration were directed to solve issues concerning the common man.

Likewise, in 2006, there was a call for need to create a business eco-system in IT and ITES/BPO sectors.

Aware of the situation, Prerna Puri, secretary, information technology, said, "This year, they have developed a system of feedback and the local chapter of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has been assigned the responsibility of taking feedback and preparing a plan of action based on the report of the event.

Importantly enough, even Adaish Partap Singh Kairon, minister of IT, food and civil supplies, Punjab, in his address on the opening day of the two-day conclave, which underwent at Hotel Mountview on Thursday, stressed that such events should not end up just as mere interactions. They should be turned productive.
 
Brochure goof-up
In excitement over organising the event, the UT administration committed a goof-up in the brochure published for the event. They have wrongly mentioned Ram Niwas as the UT home secretary instead of Anil Kumar. Niwas was repatriated to his home state in 2011 after completion of his term.

All in vain
At its annual showpiece conclave to promote Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Panchkula, the UT administration has been making promises year after year. However, a perusal of the recommendations and promises doled out by previous shows has remained on paper only.

2011
Suggestions: Environment and government support and encouragement for more deployment of IT in small medium enterprise

Plug and play facilities for entrepreneurs

Action taken: Nil
 
2010
Suggestions: Experts from Punjab and Chandigarh called for creating platforms where local IT units and small/micro-size users can interact with IT industry leaders directions in terms of technologies, business, and applications besides other issues.

To help the MSME sector become more efficient, profitable and competitive

Action taken: nil
 
2009
Suggestions: Experiment with m-governance considering large penetration of mobile telephony in the country.

Action taken: Yes

To harness the potential for industrial growth, employment generation and wealth creation in the tricity by corporation with the authorities of the three stakeholders.

Action taken: nil
 
2008
Suggestions: Need for the IT industry to innovate through a conscious structured programme that can significantly contribute to its growth

Need for developing a system for uplift of unemployed people by generating more jobs for them.

Action taken: nil
 
2007
Suggestions: Reorganising vast amount of data of government offices in a more usable format and make it useful for the usage of the citizens

Use of IT for innovating technology for delivering health and education benefits to the lower strata of society

Action taken: nil

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