The draft Convergence Bill which was expected to bring a new communication order by integrating telecom, IT and information and broadcasting sector; had already been cleared by a Group of Ministers on IT and telecom headed by the Finance Minister. The bill was introduced in the parliament in May, 2001.
The bill was put on website to get the feedback of the industry and the common people. Once the bill is cleared India will have become the second country in the world after Malaysia to have a regulation encompassing communication information technology and entertainment sector under a common umbrella. The bill seeks to create a Communication Commission of India (CCI) to issue licenses in all three sectors.
In all, the Bill is expected to facilitate the spread of broadband technology, web casting, multimedia content and net technology, which is currently not permitted in India.
The Convergence Bill marks yet another milestone in linking IT with other vital services. IT Ministry’s national Advisory Committee discussed about the ambitious target of at least 100 million Internet connections by 2008, and one million Internet-enabled kiosks or cyber-cafes across the country. The committee asked the IT Ministry to perceive IT as a tool for empowerment to address problems in education, health and rural development.
Another thrust area discussed by the committee was the HRD development for the IT sector, as globally there would an estimated shortage of 1.5 million skilled professionals in the next five years. India alone would require additional 800,000 IT professionals by 2008.
The National Advisory Committee on IT also discussed the strategies to meet the demand with reference to ‘operation knowledge’, launched by the Ministry to bridge the gap between demand and supply as well as up gradation of engineering colleges and Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT’s) to double the intake in IT-related engineering disciplines by 2003.
A happy coincidence of the meeting of the National Advisory Committee on IT was the important visit to India of the President and CEO of in information technology infrastructure in order to avoid out to more technology savvy competitors elsewhere in the world. He pointed out that Internet will not only connect everything and everyone but also make goods and services cheaper.
Very soon voice transmission and the data transmission over Internet will become free of cost. Education too would change forever with the advent education over the worldwide web. E-business too was poised to increase five times as many years. He announced an investment of pound 10 million in India for setting up 34 networking academics in association with the Central Government and educational institutions in every state and Union Territory.
Not to be left behind the rest of the country, Uttar Pardesh too became on December 19, 2000 the fifth state after Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Kerala and Maharashtra to sign a MoU with Microsoft Corporation for Strategic Microsoft Technology Partnership for introducing E- governance.
In the age of IT, computer plays a vital role in military intelligence too. We are on the threshold of information warfare too where we may try to penetrate the enemy’s computer systems and destroy the data and supplant it with false information. At the same time we may have to guard our own computer and information networks. The Military Intelligence Training Schools is now in the process of opening a wing of information warfare, which will train our officers to protect the vast network of computers being inducted in the army and break the enemy’s secret code to gain across to its information networks.
The Digital Imaginary Analysis Centre can take inputs from any type of imagery systems such as synthetic aperture reader, remote sensing satellite data, aerial photos and infrared image data. The inputs are amalgamated with maps and even non-graphic texts. It gives output in the form of three dimensional terrain models fly-through and walkthrough models.
As India marched ahead, IT would continue to play a significant role in all walks of life, making India compete with the rest of the world on equal terms. Computer is also keeping the armed forces ever – ready to meet any eventuality.