Accessing IT

Published: Monday 30 June 2003

Media, Information technology and Grassroot Development Bangalore May 23 & 24, 2003

A two-day conference on 'Media, Information Technology and Grassroot Development' was organized by the Press Institute of India in association with one of India's leading English-language daily The Deccan Herald and the German non-profit group Friedrich Ebert Stiftung on May 23 and 24, 2003 at Bangalore. The meet was attended by wipro chairperson Azim Premji, Norti Bai of Tilonia and former Planning Commission member L C Jain.

Participants stressed the fact that Information Technology (it) could be successfully deployed in diverse activities such as remote sensing in agriculture, locating water and actualizing right to information through e-governance. Jain struck a cautionary note when he emphasized the need for a strong panchayat to enable it to reach grassroot levels.

Sunil Abraham of Mahiti, a software company that provides free software to non government organizations, emphasized the need for a general public license regime where everybody had the freedom to study software source codes. A session also focused exclusively on the need for the mainstream media to do more "development journalism", for which the vernacular press came in for some praise.

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