New links on ict and development

20Sep05

Lean blogging period. Here are links to a few interesting articles I came across – ave placed them here for my future reading too…

Government Launches Two Portals For Women – via ContentSutra. Maintained by the NIC (National Informatics Centre), these sites are loaded with information and statistics (I checked out both).

The NRCW website (National Resource Centre for Women) is meant to be a one-stop information centre and resource centre on women-related issues. .

The other one is from the NCW (National Commission for Women) and is intended as a place for women to lodge their complaints – they have a system providing a daily update on the status of the complaint. Apart from promising quick olice intervention and monitoring, this cell also has these objectives –

The complaints received shows the trend of crimes against women and suggests systemic changes needed for reduction in crimes.
The complaints are analysed to understand the gaps in routine functioning of government in tackling violence against women and to suggest correctional measures.
The complaints are also used as case studies for sensitization programmes for the police, judiciary, prosecutors, forensic scientists, defence lawyers and other administrative functionaries.

Seems to me a commendable effort. However, I have this nagging thought at the back of my mind about how few women will be able to make use of this website and the complaint registration service it provides, due to : lack of awareness about such a website (or service) and equally importantly, lack of access to the internet – no computer, even no education is where I see many many women who will have the need for such a service coming from… I wonder what can be done to make this more accessible to such women…

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ITC’s program e-choupal has been chosen as the winner for the Development Gateway Award 2005 from among 135 nominees. Connecting the Indian farmer with the world is the mission statement on the e-choupal home page. The idea is simple and powerful – to eliminate the middle men – usually greedy and unscrupulous, giving the farmer direct access to the market, enabling him to sell and buy at better prices.

From the piece in ContentSutra, Since June 2000, over 5,200 eChoupal Internet kiosks have been established to serve 3.5 million farmers in 31,000 villages. At the kiosks, farmers learn management techniques, order fertilizer and other supplies less expensively, check market prices and sell products online, with resulting increases in earnings of up to 20%. .

ITC has added health services to its network of Internet kiosks six months ago and announced the launch of a new educational services pilot in the coming months. Read more about the award and program here

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