When Twitter is the medium
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Social media was part of the message during the government's experimental conference
A few weeks ago, we made the decision to do a live interaction on Twitter, to explain the government's strategy to democratise access to information. The medium was very much part of the message.
The UPA's commitment to more transparent, participatory governance is clear from the public information initiatives it has launched. We were looking to convey some specifics about these projects and why they are significant. Information unlocks possibilities, it is key to openness, accessibility, accountability, networking, decentralisation and, as a result, democratisation.
The government's plan to build a nationwide public information infrastructure will transform India's 1.2 billion people into 1.2 billion opportunities. This includes a national knowledge network that will digitally connect 1,500 nodes including our public universities, R&D labs, etc. As of now, 877 institutions are already connected on this network. We know from global experience that interaction and collaboration between various institutions that generate research, as well as between disciplines, is a vital spur to better research. The national knowledge network facilitates such sharing. It will enable participating institutions to seamlessly connect at speeds of 1 gbps or higher, and the system is designed to support overlay networks, dedicated networks and virtual networks.
We are also investing in a national optic fibre network, which will link 2,50,000 panchayats through broadband, and enable these villages to access e-governance initiatives.
Another initiative is the open government platform — already functional at data.gov.in — that gives the public full access to government datasets, with a variety of feeds from ministries and departments. It is meant to open up government functioning and allow anyone the chance to put public data to innovative use. A national data sharing policy has also been announced by the government to strengthen this effort. We are also planning to put ICT solutions to use in justice delivery, which includes computerising district and subordinate court data, as well as finding ways to widen access and reduce avoidable judicial pendencies and delays.
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