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News Clippings


News clippings on application of ICT for Knowledge Networking and Development. Suggest  possible additions by writing at:       


Last Updated : November 2003    

India bridges digital divide: Owner-operated computer kiosks allow villagers to get online (October 12, 2003)

 Today the 19-year-old runs a thriving small business, charging modest fees for services that range from Internet browsing and e-mail to daily computer classes to weekend screenings of Tamil-language films by means of her computerâs CD-ROM drive. Perhaps most important, she acts as a kind of village ombudsman, brokering e-mail exchanges and even videoconferences ÷ again, for a fee ÷ between semiliterate villagers and the government bureaucrats who still control many aspects of their lives.


Internet project for poor attracts rich (July 24, 2003)

Instead of aiding the poor, however, the project attracted the relatively rich. Its most avid users were some of the 1,500 coffee farmers in the region who traveled to LINCOS to learn how to market their products online. According to LINCOS staff, local residents were not interested in the project or used it only for accessing pornography and vice.


The Phones Keep Ringing In World's Poorest Country (Somalia) (July 22, 2003)

Harun Hassan  

Under the shadow of ruined buildings and in the middle of dusty streets, large numbers of Somalis walk about with a mobile phone in their hand. For a country that does not even have its own government, Somalia has an amazingly developed telecoms industry.


An Online Handbook to Citizens' Rights Challenges Abuses by Public Officials in the Czech Republic (June 2003)

PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- Each year, Econnect selects one crucial current topic on which to create an information portal for Czech audiences. June saw the launch of "Information Portal Civic Society - The Citizen's Handbook to Citizens' Rights" - this year's thematic portal intended to serve as a "civic defence" guide for those who feel their rights are not being respected by government officials or big business.


Why the poor need technology (October 6, 2002)

Two trends are particularly promising. The first is that many developing countries are managing to leapfrog over the industrialised world by using the latest technologies and missing out all of the earlier stages. Second, we are seeing the development of appropriate technologies. The Simputer is the best example of this so far - a powerful computer processor in an easy-to-use package available at low cost.


Computer nerds beware: The digital divide will help Big Brother, industry leader war warns (Jan 15, 2002)

Earth Times News Service

One of the world's leading telecommunications gurus warned colleagues at the annual meeting of the Pacific Telecommunications Council Tuesday that unless they found ways to adapt cutting-edge technology so that it helped reduce the so-called digital divide, democracy itself would be under threat.


Information Technology Vital for African Development (Jan. 15, 2002)

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

The head of the UN's Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) urged the continent to swing behind the information technology revolution sweeping the world. Kingsley Amoako said that information and communication technology would form a central plank to development in Africa. Information technology had a vital role to play in improving education and health across the continent, he stressed.

Rural Doctors Advance Care with Wireless (November 13, 2001)

A South African pilot project lets a developer test under extreme conditions

Brazil to open post office Internet booths (November 6, 2001)

SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) -- Brazil is pledging to install Internet booths in 4,000 post offices next year, giving free Web access to some 150 million people in a massive effort to bridge the country's gaping digital divide, President Fernando Henrique Carodoso announced. In his regular weekly radio address to the nation Tuesday, Cardoso promised to ``guarantee one of the great conquests of the modern world'' to the nation's residents. The kiosks will be placed in cities with 10,000 residents or more, and then put in areas with smaller populations. The first phase is expected to be done by the first quarter of 2002.


Web kiosks for India's villagers (October 16, 2001)

For millions of Indians living in villages, making a phone call, let alone connecting to the internet, is a distant dream. But a new cheap and robust wireless technology could bring the information revolution to rural areas. Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras have developed internet kiosks using a wireless local loop technology called corDECT


India sets up e-post offices (August 13, 2001)

The Indian postal department has good news for the country's villagers. Under a new scheme, they will no longer have to depend solely on the post but can send and receive letters on the internet through email accounts set up in their name. The postal department has launched this novel scheme on an experimental basis in five southern and western Indian states.


UNDP cites ICT role in development  (July 24, 2001)
Two reports recently released by the United Nations  Development Programme (UNDP) noted the important role of information and communication technology (ICT) in solving some of the social and economic ills of developing economies. The first report on the ICT chapter of the UNDP Annual Report and released early this month noted that ICT can help solve poverty worldwide.


$50 million Social Fund for digital have-nots (July  20, 2001)
Organized by Digital Partners, Vidya Pratishthan's Institute of Information Technology (VIIT), and the James Martin Company, and sponsored by the World Bank, the "Achieving Connectivity for the Poor in India" conference was held to develop initiatives and processes designed to harness the use of information technologies to support sustainable, rural development and poverty reduction in India.

Don't ignore the global digital divide (July 17, 2001)

It's clear that a divide exists between those who have access to electricity and those who do not. A similar divide exists between those who have access to a telephone and those who do not. And a divide exists between those who have access to a broadband connection to the Internet and those who do not. But most of us would agree that electricity and telephone services, access to clean drinking water and adequate healthcare and a long list of other necessities, are certainly more important than broadband access.

Taliban outlaws Net in Afghanistan (Jul 17, 2001)

The ruling Taliban movement has banned use of the Internet in Afghanistan, reports Reuters. Maulvi Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil, the Taliban Foreign Minister, told the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press that the Taliban was not opposed to the Internet as such, but was against obscenity, vulgarity, and anti-Islamic content.
Online AIDS Fight Can Slash Care Costs (July 13, 2001)

A Web-based project aims to bring HIV treatment costs down to as little as R8 a person a month. South Africa and Botswana will pioneer the world's largest Web-based HIV treatment and care programme that will slash the costs of HIV treatment and extend care to hundreds of thousands more people. Using sophisticated Internet technology, the fight against Aids can go into the poorest areas of Southern Africa, bringing treatment that would have been considered unattainable a few months ago.
Handheld PC Bridges Digital Divide (July 12, 2001)

From the outside, the Simputer is nothing special: a grey box the size of an electronic organiser, with a black and white screen and four chunky buttons. But the handheld device might solve the most pressing problem of the Internet age: how to get developing countries online. The Simputer, short for simple computer, promises to have as profound an impact on communications in the developing world as the clockwork radio of the British inventor Trevor Bayliss.
India lags in technology diffusion: UNDP (July 11, 2001)

Though India is home to a world-class IT hub in Bangalore, and the country has been ranked 115 on the human development index, the United Nations Development Programme Human Development Report 2001 reveals that it is a laggard when it comes to technology diffusion. For the first time, the HDR includes a Technology Achievement Index under which countries are categorised as leaders, potential leaders, dynamic adopters, and marginalised, based on creation of new products and processes through research and development, usage of new technologies and old, and skills for technological learning and innovation.
Medical journals give free access to poor (July 10, 2001),7369,519302,00.html

Six of the world's leading medical publishers pledged yesterday to allow free access to their scientific journals, via the internet, to those in the poorest countries who could not otherwise afford them. The deal was brokered by the World Health Organisation, whose director general, Gro Harlem Brundtland, said yesterday: "It is perhaps the biggest step taken towards reducing the health information gap between rich and poor countries."
UN Integrated Regional Information Network (July 10, 2001)

Ethiopian Internet access will be upgraded through the UNDP Internet Initiative by Africa programme, in partnership with the Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation. Ethiopia's Internet gateway will be enhanced with extended access through four large-scale regional Internet "points of presence" in Mekele, Awasa, Jima and Dire Dawa, and small-scale points in Bahir Dar, Dese, Shashemene and Nazret, a UNDP statement said on Monday. The project will enable these regions to host their own Internet clients. National capacity will be upgraded from 512 kilobites per second to two megabites per second.
Indian wins prestigious world technology award (July 2, 2001)

An Indian has won a prestigious world technology award for an experimental project that takes the benefits of information technology to poor fishermen. Venkatramann Balaji of International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics in Andhra Pradesh led a project to bring the benefits of IT to 15 fishing villages near Pondicherry.


Jordan: Expanding The Usage Of The Internet And Bridging The Digital Divide (June 1, 2001)
Amman - The Internet has emerged as one of the most powerful economic, social, technical and business phenomena in human history. It has been adopted more rapidly than all technologies combined and has changed business and government practices (e.g., e- commerce and e-government).

If you can‰t bill it, kill it: development mantra (May 31, 2001)
WHILE the dotcom backlash is taking a heavy toll on the B2C front, numerous start-ups are focusing now on another set of fronts on the convergent infrastructure side: the convergence between the Internet and telephony (dot-telecoms), the Internet and wireless communication (m-dotcoms), and the broadband internet and television (broad-coms).


LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN: City of murder and drugs seeks new image: Can 200,000 computers turn a poor Colombian city into a high technology paradise, asks James Wilson (May 23, 2001)
Its name became virtually synonymous with the drugs trade, and one of its most famous sons was the world's most notorious cocaine baron. But Medellin is now trying to change its image through ambitious plans to become a Latin American centre of high technology.
Ghana: Government to Subsidise Computers? (May 19, 2001)

The Minister of Transport and Communication, Mr. Felix Owusu-Adjapong has said that government would soon subsidise computers imported into the country as part of its commitment to augment computer literacy. "The high cost of computers in the country," he noted, "poses an impediment to its widespread use and so a proposal for a waiver of duty on imported used computers is being considered by government."


ITU Launches a Multi-million Dollar Project to Bridge the Global Digital Divide (May 17, 2001)

Under the initiative, ITU plans to establish 50 training centres to provide skills in Internet Protocol (IP) networking and services by July 2003 in existing non-profit institutions in developing countries. It is expected that the centres will also function as incubators to help small and medium-sized enterprises to develop Internet-related services.
Community telecentres - Telecoms prominent in push for greater prosperity (May 14, 2001)

Telecoms operators in mainland Europe may be pulling up phone boxes, télécabines, Telephonhaüschen and cabinas telefónicas by the thousand, but in the developing world it is a very different story. Home to two thirds of the world's population, the nations of Africa, northern and south-east Asia, Central and Latin America and the Pacific are so lacking in connectivity to basic services that analysts estimate around half the world's population have never made a phone call.


Iran shuts internet cafés (May 13, 2001)

Police in Tehran have shut down several hundred internet cafes over the past week in a crackdown believed to be driven by concerns of the state telecommunications monopoly that it is losing business to the newly emerging private sector. Hambastegi, a pro-reform newspaper, reported on Sunday that the police Department to Supervise Public Places had closed over 400 internet cafés on the grounds that they had no permits, although no such permits yet exist.

The strategy to get disadvantaged parts of the country online is suffering from a serious lack of planning (May 4, 2001)

The government's plan to combat the digital divide by giving away 100,000 recycled PCs to the poorest families in Britain has gone awry as it admitted today that it has so far distributed just 6,000 since October. The PC giveaway was part of a £10m initiative to wire up communities, announced by chancellor Gordon Brown in October last year.

The world's poor countries are without IT. Companies have IT to dispose of. Therein lie the makings of a new scheme (May 4, 2001)

Radical solutionsare needed if we are to close the "digital divide" - the gap between those with access to the internet in the "information rich" developed world and the many "information poor" people in developing countries. The digital divide is real, both in poor communities within rich countries and in poor countries, where almost 3bn people (50 per cent of the world's population) live on less than Dollars 2 a day. Information technology is beyond those people's reach. Telephone links are expensive and the cost of personal computers is prohibitive in the developing world. 

Tanzania Launches Database to Track Socio-Economic Development (May 4, 2001)

A comprehensive software application launched Friday with an ambitious mission to provide reliable information on Tanzania's socio-economic situation and human development is offering high-tech solutions to the country's data point woes. The aim of the Tanzania Socio-Economic Database (TSED) is to provide correct and reliable information on education, health and the economy from a centralised pool. 

ITU establishes first inter-regional node to promote online distance learning (May 2, 2001)

The International Telecommunication Union announced on Tuesday that the Global Telecommunication University, ITU's non-profit distance-learning project, had established its first inter-regional node on the island of Malta following the signing of a partnership agreement between ITU secretary-general, Yoshio Utsumi, and Maurice Zarb Adami, chairman of the Maltacom Group and of Maltacom College International.

US Programme Helping to Bridge Digital Divide (April 25, 2001)

The Education for Development and Democracy Initiative (EDDI) is strengthening the education, democratisation, and development partnership between the United States and the nations of sub-Saharan Africa, bringing new skills and technologies to the continent and helping to bridge the digital divide - the gap in the use of computer technology between developed and developing nations.

Bhutan to Launch First Internet Daily (April 22, 2001)

The secluded Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan will soon have its first daily newspaper on the Internet to help reach out to a global readership. The Internet daily, yet another sign of the opening up of the reclusive country, will be launched by the state-run Kuensel Corporation which also publishes the weekly Kuensel. ``The Web site will contain a daily updated news page with photographs and opinion forum for public discussion and digital advertising to make Kuensel sustainable,'' the weekly Kuensel said in its latest issue.


Owing to the speed, Digital Divide will be harsher than any other divide in the country, stated Mr. Pramod Mahajan, Minister for Information Technology and Parliamentary Affairs, Government of India at the Inaugural Session of Confederation of Indian Industry ës (CII) National Conference and Annual Meeting here today. The Digital divide does not emerge out of technology, but due to inequitable distribution of technology, he said. By leveraging the digital / information technology, India could replace the word ëdigital divide‰ to ëdigital unite‰, he added.

Where there's a WiLL, there's a phone for India's poor (April 19, 2001)
The Indian government's plan to offer a cheap mobile phone service faces stiff opposition from existing providers of the service who fear they will unfairly be deprived of subscribers. The new service will use the government-controlled fixed phone network and wireless-in-local-loop (WiLL) technology to provide limited mobility at no extra tariff. WiLL, which works like an extended cordless phone with a range of about 50 kilometers, has been dubbed the "poor man's cell phone".

Starfish connects the slums (April 19, 2001)

Over the coming year, the Starfish Initiative plans to parachute three 20ft shipping containers into Malawi, and Nagpur and Assam in India. Each will house one computer with six screens that will form a classroom for the girls and young women of the area. The Starfish Initiative began with a story. A young girl was walking along the beach. The tide was going out and thousands of starfish were stranded on the beach.

Canada, U.S. Among Top Countries for E-Government (April 16, 2001)


Governments have begun to close the gap between political rhetoric and reality as they bring their e-government visions to life, but they aren't there yet, according to the second annual global e-government study by Accenture.

Mexican E-Merchants to tap cross-border money flow (April 14, 2001)

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - At least two Mexican e-commerce companies have plans to tap the flow of the estimated $6 billion a year that Mexicans in the United States send home to their families, usually through money transfers. The idea is that Mexican workers, instead of sending money through notoriously expensive transfers, would buy products such as refrigerators and stoves on the Internet, which Mexican companies would deliver to their families here.


Tax structures need to be amended to accommodate e-commerce (April 9, 2001)

While no new taxes which discriminate against electronic transactions should be considered, clearly tax structures need to be amended to accommodate the new age of e-commerce while protecting SA's tax base, said Brigitte Franck of e-law unit at Cliffe Dekker Fuller Moore Inc, in Cape Town. She was responding to the e-commerce green paper which questions whether there is a need to introduce any new taxes on electronic commerce transactions.

Women now dominate South African Web use (April 5, 2001)

Fifty-one percent of South African Internet users are women, up from 38 percent in March 1999, according to new survey data from Webchek. Two thirds of Net users in South Africa have English as their home language and 56 percent have a third-level education.

Link up rural India (April 4, 2001)

Currently, more than half of India‰s villages lack telephone connectivity let alone internet access; the arrival of the information revolution to India is in doubt.

The 26 million phone lines (mostly business-owned) and 2 million internet subscribers that do exist nationwide are highly concentrated in urban areas, leaving rural areas out of the loop and harming the interests of both groups.

India : NIC Haryana develops five softwares for improving efficiency of the state government (March 29, 2001)

The Haryana unit of National Informatics Centre (NIC) has developed a package of five softwares to "improve efficiency of various departments of the state government". These five softwares are payroll system, personnel information system, court cases monitoring system, diary or despatch (DAK) monitoring meetings information monitoring systems, state informatics officer, G Bansal, said here on Tuesday.

One Room Rural Schools (March 23, 2001)

Will the information-rich get richer and the information-poor get poorer? Will the divide shrink, or expand? The question might also be phrased in terms of the education-rich and the education-poor. The latter category includes some 200 million children who do not complete their primary education. Still, the state of the world in terms of access to digital technologies can be viewed as half-full or half-empty.

Microsoft South Africa Launches Fifth SOS Digital Village (March 20, 2001)

Besides the imminent launch of two digital villages in the Cape area, Microsoft South Africa has also been in a position to use some of the funds received from damages awarded to them in its ongoing fight against software piracy to assist with the opening of the Umtata SOS digital village at the Umtata SOS children's village.

Pakistan  : post offices to get cyber cafes (March 15, 2001)

MULTAN, March 15: The Postal Services Corporation has signed an agreement with Paknet to establish cyber cafes at major post offices in the country from March 31. This was stated by Postal Services director-general Masudul Hasan while briefing newsmen here on Thursday. He said the postal staff would be trained to operate the computers for providing e-mail facility to the general public.

Thailand : Digitizing a Nation (March 8, 2001)

By any quantitative  measure, Thailand's New Economy has collapsed. Hundreds of dotcoms have self-destructed without viable business models; eyeing that failure, most traditional Thai bricks-and-mortar firms have eschewed the electric plunge.

US: Strong Productivity Gains Linked to Internet Use (March 8, 2001)

Productivity gains scored last year by Internet users were 2.7 times greater than those of businesses that have not yet embraced the Net. The net productivity gain for the year averaged 11.2 percent, with more large businesses than small ones noting improvements: 71 percent versus 66 percent.

Expert: Cooperation is key to rural South developing technology (March 7, 2001)

Whether the rural South can thrive in the technology-based economy depends on cooperation among universities, government officials and virtually everyone else, a North Carolina-based researcher said Tuesday. "Places that remain disconnected from the new economy remain threatened," Ferrel Guillory, a senior fellow at Chapel Hill think tank MDC Inc., said at the Governor's Rural Summit in Columbia.

Putting faith in the Net, Church plans to wire Philippine Villages  (March 6, 2001)
In a remote Philippines island called Samar, the connection to the outside world is a Catholic matter. The church plans to set up Internet centers in 79 dioceses across this nation of 7,000 islands, to join aid groups, private firms and governments at the forefront of connecting rural areas in developing countries.

Brazil attacks digital divide with $300 Volkscomputer (March 2, 2001)

Hard disk? Who needs it? Floppy drive? Surplus! Windows? Send to trash! The small, transparent acrylic box sitting in Sergio Vale Campos' office at the Federal University of Minas Gerais has none of the above basics, but it is still a computer. What's more important in Brazil, where the digital divide is a gaping abyss, the machine's lack of frills should mean it can be produced for about 600 reals, or $300. It is a PC for the people, a Volkscomputer.

Wired Future for Courtrooms (March 1, 2001)

In a not-too-distant future, courtrooms could exist only in cyberspace, with crime scenes re-created as holograms and trial participants seeing each other only through virtual reality glasses. That's the kind of magic ``Courtroom 21'' at the College of William and Mary has a taste of. In a recent demonstration, a judge presided from his home court in Portland, Ore., and a witness testified from Orlando, Fla. On the bench and in the witness box were huge televisions, where they could talk via Internet videoconferencing.

New Generation Technology Meets Third World Health Needs (March 1, 2001)

Mobile services company Exactmobile, in conjunction with National Health Laboratory Services and the Eastern Cape Department of Health, have developed a mobile solution to improve healthcare delivery in rural areas. A proof-of-concept pilot project just completed in Libode in Transkei used Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)-enabled cellphones to allow doctors to receive detailed laboratory test results on the same day that samples were sent off. 

Rights: 45 Countries Suppress Internet Access for Citizens (February 28, 2001)

Governments in 45 countries across the developing world are being taken to task for placing restrictions on their citizens' ability to access information on the internet. In most cases, government control has been achieved by compelling citizens to subscribe to a state-run Internet Service Provider (ISP), charges Reporters Without Borders (known by its French acronym RSF, for Reporters Sans Frontiers).

China harnesses the Internet to reduce rural poverty (February 26, 2001)

United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is joining with China's Ministry of Science and Technology in a $2.5 million pilot project to show how new information and communications technology (ICT) can be mobilized to reduce poverty in rural areas. The initiative aims to bridge the "digital divide" between urban and rural areas by setting up information and communication centres in five poor counties in different areas of the country with varying geographic, social and economic conditions.

Internet Helps Students to Share Solutions for Urban Ills (February 25, 2001)

The UNDP has initiated an innovative Internet distance learning course to enable students at 19 universities and other institutions around the world exchange information on solutions to urban environmental problems facing the poor. Involved in the project in Africa are the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, Polytechnic of Namibia Uganda's Makerere Institute of Social Research and the Zambian Institute of Economic and Social Research.

Global Technology Services Company Provides Internet Access And Science Education Resources To Disadvantaged Children Around The World (February 23, 2001)

Realizing that interdependence and sustainability are key issues of the new millennium, Schlumberger, the $8.4 billion (in 1999) global technology services company, has launched a progressive, nonprofit educational foundation that connects disadvantaged children around the world to the Internet and provides essential resources for science education. Through its Connectivity Grant Program ( and Educational Website (, SEED (Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development) partners with educational organizations in communities where Schlumberger employees live and work.

U.N. makes suggestion on web names (February 22, 2001)

GENEVA (AP) -- Internet domains representing individual countries should be subject to the same rules that govern names registered with international domains like .com, the United Nations said Wednesday.

Internet population reaches 56 percent of U.S. adults (February 19, 2001)

NEW YORK (AP) - The Internet was used by more than half of the U.S. adult population last year as some 16 million new users ventured online in the last six months, according to a study released Sunday. In addition, nearly three-quarters of children ages 12 to 17 had Internet access, said the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which has been tracking Internet usage and habits since March.

India Has 5.5 Million Net Users: Nasscom  (February 14, 2001)

The number of Internet subscribers in India as of January, 2001, was 1.8 million, and Internet users at 5.5 million, said an Internet survey conducted by the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM). Projections for December, 2003, show 15 million subscribers and 50 million users. Capital cities accounted for 77 percent of Internet connections.

RIGHTS: 45 Countries Suppress Internet Access for Citizens (February 8, 2001)

Governments in 45 countries across the developing world are being taken to task for placing restrictions on their citizens' ability to access information on the internet. In most cases, government control has been achieved by compelling citizens to subscribe to a state-run Internet Service Provider (ISP), charges Reporters Without Borders (known by its French acronym RSF, for Reporters Sans Frontiers).

Malaysia's Village Internet Dream Stirs Questions (February 3, 2001)

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia, keen to spread the benefits of the Internet to its villages, has embarked on an ambitious project to plug the countryside into the World Wide Web. But critics say the project, while technologically impressive, must focus more on selling the dream to the people if it is to succeed. Fans of the project are full of praise for the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) that stretches south from the capital Kuala Lumpur.

Cheap computers to widen Internet access in Brazil  (February  1, 2001)

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) -- Millions more Brazilians could soon be surfing the Internet, thanks to a new government program to build, sell and finance low-cost computers. Communications Minister Joao Pimenta da Veiga Filho said Wednesday the new PCs will be available this year for between $200 and $250.

India: Internet helps global Indians rally for quake aid (January 31, 2001)

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - There is now a virtual control room to aid India's earthquake relief. Far-flung Gujaratis originating from the quake-ravaged Kutch region in western India are harnessing the Internet to organize supplies, logistics and search for relatives following last Friday's massive earthquake.

Malaysia : Govt to set up 200 village Internet centres (January 30, 2001)

The Federal Government will set up at least 200 rural internet centres nationwide this year in efforts to narrow the "digital divide" between rural and urban folks. Deputy Energy, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Tan Chai Ho said the ministry applied for RM10 million allocation under the Eighth Malaysia Plan for this purpose.

Firm Introduces Software That Translates Nigerian Languages (January 25, 2001)

Paradigm International Limited, an indigenous information technology and engineering services company with specialty in software development has taken a giant stride in the in the information technology world as it will next week launch into the Nigerian market series of in-house developed softwares including a software that can translate Nigerian languages called Schools(r). Other softwares are Lingua(r), PrintWatch(r) and PiHyper(r).

India's tech boom beginning to reach the poor (January 22, 2001)

Despite being one of the world's poorest countries, India has become a global power in producing talented technologists who are highly valued from Silicon Valley to Singapore."Information technology has transformed our international image from being a land of elephants and snake charmers to a land of competent engineers," said Azim Premji, head of the info-tech giant Wipro and one of India's wealthiest men.

Indonesia Dreams of the Web Skip Rural Indonesia (January 20, 2001)

SUKABABO, Indonesia This village in northern Sumatra is home to 832 people who live on less than 50 cents a day farming the rich volcanic soil. No one can use the Internet. Cellular signals do not reach here. The nearest telephone is more than five kilometers away.

Growing IT access gap between rich and poor (January 18, 2001)

OECD and United Nations officials warned on Wednesday of a growing gap between rich and poor nations in information technology (IT), which they said was essential for economic growth. "Information and communications technologies and e-commerce have been identified as unique opportunities for development," Herwig Schlogl, deputy secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said.

India: Call for cyber activism (January 17, 2001)

Arun Mehta is very, very angry with the Indian government‰s ‹dog in the mangerŠ policy on telecom management. So, the key objective before his ëSociety for Telecommunication Empowerment‰ (STEM) is to lend an ‹electronic voiceŠ to the masses at the grassroots, through satellite broadcasting and low-cost Internet telephony. In other words, assist rural communities to set up short-wave radio stations that have made powerful inroads in low-literacy pockets of Philippines, Indonesia etc, during post-Internet boom.

India: MP government to introduce e-governance (January 14, 2001)
THE MADHYA Pradesh government has embarked on an ambitious task to introduce e-governance that seeks to computerise and network all government departments, and set up computer kiosks across the state to reduce transaction time and costs for citizens interacting with state agencies.

Start-ups Dry Up in Argentina (January 12, 2001)

Argentina should be a dot-commers dream. It has an educated, tech-savvy population, a high unemployment rate and a relatively sophisticated telecommunications structure. In the heyday of early 2000, Argentina launched half of all new startups in Latin America.

Pakistan Govt bans use of Internet (January 8, 2001)

A report published in the English daily, The Nation, today said that the ban is ridiculous in wake of the expanding world of Internet. "The logic behind the ban was to restrict flow of unauthorised information. There is a possibility that some information which the government does not want to make public, could reach some undesirable person or an organisation through e-mail, chat or data-transfer facility," a senior official said.

India: Orissa starts e-governance with administrative teleconference  (January 8, 2001)

Orissa began its e-governance march over the weekend with the first major teleconference of district chiefs through the indigenous INSAT-3B satellite. Chief Secretary D.P. Bagchi held the teleconference with the district chiefs of Bolangir, Kalahandi, Jharsuguda, Sundergarh, Angul, Boudh, Sambalpur, Subarnapur, Deogarh, Bargarh and Nuapara through the Gramsat project on Saturday, said Gandharba Behera, the chief executive of the Orissa Remote Sensing Application Center (ORSAC).

India: PwC Charts Andhra Pradesh E-Governance Strategy (January 5, 2001)

"PwC has made a comprehensive report on the strategy to be adopted for setting up an IT infrastructure and security protocols to enable the AP government to implement e-governance on a mass scale. The report will be analyzed by the study group of secretaries and will be

implemented in the phased manner," said J Satyanarayana, IT secretary for Andhra Pradesh.

Profiling Indian Internet Users (January 4, 2001)

With a high poverty level, India seems an unlikely place to support a viable internet model. Beyond this glaring quality, the country also houses some of the world's best-run software firms and a seemingly endless supply of software engineers. It is the latter that will gradually transform India from the backwater of internet usage to an IT powerhouse.

The divide is social, not digital (December 26, 2000)

The mainstream is quick to assume that people in the ghetto have nothing, but what I see are people who don't feel the need to be "connected." The internet is just "another bill" to pay for people who sometimes have trouble making rent. But the latest music, video game systems, etc? They got it, or are gettin' it.

Churches keep the faith online (December 22, 2000)

Almost 20 million Americans have used the Internet to find spiritual and religious information, and churches are also benefiting from the communications power of the Web.

Internet content, not access, creates the great divide (December 22, 2000)

Experts say that the gap between Americans who have Internet access and those who do not is narrowing. In December 1998, 9.2% of blacks were connected to the Internet at home, vs. 26.7% of whites and 8.7% of Hispanics. Those numbers are quickly changing. According to recent statistics, the number of whites online has increased 88% in 20 months, while blacks increased their usage of the Net by more than 218%, and Hispanic use was up more than 172%.

Healing the online patient (December 22, 2000)

Most people assume that when it comes to telemedicine - broadly speaking, connecting doctors with remote patients - the medical community is waiting for a big technological breakthrough. Wrong. "Telemedicine is no longer a technology problem in any category," declares Dr. David C. Kushner, the medical director of the telemedicine program at Children's National Medical Center of Washington, which is finding new ways to expand and extend telemedicine's reach.

Internet in every classroom no longer enough, report finds (December 19, 2000)

Schools connected to the Internet but lacking instant, complete access to its resources will be left behind this century, just as those with dated textbooks were in the last one, a bipartisan panel concludes.

Divide and rule out (December 14, 2000)
The internet revolution has still failed to reach 98% of the planet's population. Victor Keegan on the importance of bridging the digital divide.  The single pervasive theme of the 21st century has already been decided. It is the Digital Divide and whether it can be bridged. Seldom has a potential social malaise engaged so many minds everywhere at the same time.

Network for ill children expanded with help from Dell, AOL (December 13, 2000)

Thousands of seriously ill children will be able to play computer games, send instant messages and learn more about their diseases and treatments thanks to a donation from the Dell Computer Corp. and America Online. The Starbright Foundation runs Starbright World, a private broadband computer network linking 80 hospitals in North America.

Can E-Commerce and Charity Co-Exist? (December 12, 2000)

Here in the season of insane buying, it may be useful to point out that Americans are essentially a giving people. This generosity toward those less fortunate is a consistent national characteristic that the country should be proud of. The vast majority of Americans, about 70 percent, give to at least one charity per year, according to IndependentSector. The average contribution of US$1,075 is 2.1 percent of the typical household income -- a significant sacrifice involving a significant amount of money.

The Race to Wire Asia is On (December 11, 2000)

With Internet bandwidth demand booming in Asia-Pacific countries, companies around the globe are battling to get a piece of the business of undersea cable networks.

Connecting With Satellite Phones, Region by Region (December 11, 2000)

Iridium satellites are little used, ICO went bust and Globalstar is fending off criticism from its own investors. Stumbles by these U.S.-based technology giants have caused many to question the viability of satellite-to-handset phone calling, particularly when roaming agreements now permit globe trotting executives to use their regular mobile telephone from almost any city in the world.

Singapore leads planet in e-government effort (December 9, 2000)

While governments around the world race to make their services available online, ``e-government'' is old hat in tech-savvy Singapore, which has been aggressively computerizing its services since 1981.The idea is to get people online and out of long lines at government offices and to show the world's business community that Singapore is a seriously efficient little country.

Malaysian Internet Boat Surfs Into Borneo (December 7, 2000)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (Reuters) - Malaysia will pioneer waterborne Net surfing next year when it launches an Internet boat to educate isolated villagers on Borneo Island about information technology (IT). The vessel will cruise the jungle-fringed Rajang River in the state of Sarawak, docking at villages every few hours to teach residents how to use computers and surf the Net, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) dean of information technology, Khairuddin Abdul Hamid, told Reuters Wednesday.

ITU predicts an extra 1 billion Asian users in 10 years (December 7, 2000)

More than 1 billion additional users will have access to either fixed or mobile telecoms services in the Asia-Pacific region by 2010, according to the authors of the ITU's Asia-Pacific Telecommunication Indicators report. Other highlights from the report presented at the ITU's Telecom Asia 2000 show in Hong Kong by Tim Kelly, co-ordinator of the Strategies and Policy Unit, and Michael Minges, head of the ITU's Telecommunication Data & Statistics Unit, concerned competition, mobile technologies, and Internet subscriber levels.

WHO Boosts Health Information Via Internet (December 7, 2000)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Open Society Institute (OSI), a part of the Soros Foundation network, have teamed with leading information providers ISI and SilverPlatter, to provide access to high quality scientific information, via the Internet, to research centres in countries in Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

India: Andhra Pradesh to extend Internet to its villages (December 6, 2000)

HYDERABAD š Andhra Pradesh has approved a project to put the Internet, and a wide array of e-governance services, into its villages through a network of 7,500 electronic information kiosks. The Andhra Pradesh Technological Services Ltd. (APTS) agency will work with Reliance to install the kiosks as an extension of the firm‰s optical fibre cable network project.

Net opens Kazakhstan to ideas `no one here has ever imagined (December 4, 2000)

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- The people who gather regularly in the dingy Stalker Internet Cafe in a corner of Kazakhstan's largest city are fueling a revolution. Not a political revolution that might threaten Central Asian governments criticized for a lack of democracy, but a technological one that breaks down barriers to expansion of the Internet in this far-flung region.

Nigeria: Digital Divide: Federal Government Seeks Microsoft's Assistance (December 4, 2000)

The Federal Government has given a blanket approval to the world's leading information technology, IT, solutions provider, Microsoft, to support the government's objective of bridging the digital divide between Nigeria and the developed economies of the world.

G8 'Dot Force' meets in Japan (November 28, 2000)

[Tokyo | Reuters News Service, 28 November 2000] - (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, often accused of being on the wrong side of the ‹digital divideŠ himself, took to the Internet on Monday with a plug for info-tech as an engine of global growth.Mori was hosting officials from the Group of Eight (G8) nations, international organizations and developing countries who gathered to launch a ‹Dot ForceŠ unit to seek ways of bridging the huge info-tech gap between rich and poor.

Women turn to the internet for health information (November 24, 2000)

New York (Reuters) - More than half of American women who regularly surf the web say they lead healthier lives because of medical information they have found online, according to results of a new survey. One in seven women say that it is actually easier to get such health information from a website than from their own physicians.

E-Mail Outpaces the Web (November 24, 2000)

The popularity of e-mail continues to blossom as more people go online and electronics manufacturers add e-mail capabilities to wireless devices. According to a new report from IDC, there will be 452 million e-mail accounts worldwide this year; that will grow to almost 1 billion e-mail accounts five years from now.

Clinton Appoints Three To Digital Opportunity Taskforce (November 22, 2000)

The world's newest weapon in the war against the digital divide gained three important generals today, as President Clinton appointed Hewlett Packard Executive Carly Fiorina, Markle Foundation head Zoe Baird and White House National Economic Council member Thomas Kalil to the newly formed Digital Opportunity Taskforce, a.k.a., "Dot Force."

Revolt threatens ICANN's budget (November 21, 2000)

Foreign countries balk at paying Net overseer $1.35 million to maintain regional Web domains

UN TV Forum Issues Challenge to Television Industry to Bridge Digital Divide (November  20, 2000)

Challenge issued to television industry to put forward examples current or planned of initiatives that use television to help more of the world's population engage in and benefit from the digital revolution. (Source: U.N.)

U.N. agency may fight denial of ".health" domain (November 20, 2000)

The World Health Organization is extremely disappointed by an Internet governing body's decision not to approve a special Internet address for health care sites and may appeal. WHO had proposed the Internet domain name ".health" for health care sites whose quality and ethical standards it would approve with the help of public health organizations, consumer groups and academic institutions.

Developing countries pay heavily for lack of connectivity (November 15, 2000)

Developing countries' lack of access to information technologies is partly responsible for their inability to adequately protect their intellectual property rights, including their traditional knowledge, a UN official has observed. Larry Allman, Senior Counsellor of the Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), who is attending the info-ethics 2000 Conference, said intellectual property rights offices of 65 developing countries, the majority of them in Africa, lacked connectivity to the internet.

High-tech companies donating $30 million for computer centers (November 15, 2000)

Four high-tech companies are joining Intel Corp.'s pledge to fund 100 computer centers for children around the world, together contributing $30 million for the effort. Adobe Systems Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Macromedia Inc. and Autodesk Inc. are donating a total of $10 million for the Intel Computer Clubhouses, designed to serve as workshops for children without access to computers. Intel announced its $20 million contribution early this year. 

Many Battles Behind ICANN's Scene (November 14, 2000)
As the Internet's naming authority prepares to announce the domain name suffixes of the future, constituencies representing varied interests are scrambling to impose their respective visions for how intellectual property and free speech should be balanced in the process.

Countries cash in on Domain Names (November 14, 2000)

With some 20 million ''.com'' Internet addresses now registered, any moderately easy -to- remember domain name is apt to be claimed by now. So why not try a not-com from a Pacific island? There's .tv from Tuvalu, .to from Tonga or .cc from the Cocos Islands. Or how about an offering from a former Soviet republic, say Moldova (.md) or Turkmenistan (.tm)? 

UNESCO - Private Sector Alliance to Help Bridging Digital Divide (November 14, 2000)

Negotiations between UNESCO and Turner International, a general construction company, begun last week to explore the possibilities how the US based corporation could join the computer recycling action that UNESCO has developed under its INFOYOUTH programme. As a first result, PCs for Uganda's National Commission for UNESCO and two Internet central servers for a Technical College in South Africa have been donated by Turner.
Building Online Communities: Transforming Assumptions Into Success (November 10, 2000)

"Online community" is the concept of convening people in virtual space and describes a range of online activities including electronic collaboration, virtual networks, Web-based discussions or electronic mailing lists. This article discusses common assumptions about online communities that nonprofits can overcome and then lists resources for delving further into what it takes to build and maintain effective online communities.

Asian Domain Names Go Online (November 10, 2000)

Internet users in China, Japan and Korea this week can start registering Internet addresses in their native tongues as the keeper of the global ".com" registry takes its first step toward internationalising the powerful Domain Name System (DNS).
UNDP Launches "Digital Divide Fund" (November 9, 2000)

Ms. O'Donnell announced an initial contribution of $330,000 to a new UNDP Global Information and Communications Technology Trust Fund. The grant is co-sponsored by Ireland Aid and the Department of Public Enterprise. It will help close the gap between rich and poor countries in their access to communications technology.
Linux lines up to bridge digital divide in India (November 8, 2000)
Tech boom hits poor women (November 5, 2000)

Open source movement key for Internet growth in India (October 31, 2000)

Barclays Africa And Africa Online Launch Internet Centres (October 30, 2000)

Africa Online and Barclays Bank have announced the launch of their first Internet Centre under the joint brand name e-World. The centre, located at Nairobi's Barclays Plaza building, is the first project in the recently announced alliance between the two companies. Two more centres are set to be opened at the bank's Moi Avenue and Haile Selassie branches in the next two months.
 Women driving Italian Internet boom (October 31, 2000)

Gates rejects idea of e-utopia (October 19, 2000)

Health care and literacy -- not computers -- are the most important ways to help the world's 4 billion poorest people, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said yesterday.

Linux taking hold in India (October 18, 2000)

Potential benefits of using Open Source and Linux (September 27, 2000)

E-commerce, digital divide key to Net future (August1, 2000)

Global Summit Takes On Challenge Of Bringing The Internet To Developing Countries (July 31, 2000)

UNDP joins World Bank Initiative to build Web Portal on Development (July 31, 2000)

Great Indian digital divide (June 29, 2000)

INTERNET: Online Medical Group Targets Developing Countries (June 23, 2000)

`Gyandoot' creators say MP denied them credit (June 20, 2000)

Regional round table on IT (June 20, 2000)

Bandwidth policy in troubled waters (June 19, 2000)

Govt data will be accessible on net (June 14, 2000)

Information technology and social change (June 7, 2000)

Bengal Govt spots departments for e-governance (June 6, 2000)

HP to focus on IT-enabled services & e-governance (June 5, 2000)

Bandwidth ills could cost India $22.5bn (June 2, 2000)

Simputer aims to take IT to masses (June 2, 2000)

Paralysed, he used the Net to live on (May 31, 2000)

Draft convergence Bill proposes omnibus regulator (May 31, 2000)

Govt launches ambitious healthcare plan  (May 26, 2000)

The Gambia prepares to celebrate Internet Awareness week and online opportunities (May 26, 2000)

MTNL to offer broadband services soon (May 23, 2000)

Rethink IT bill (May 22, 2000)

Nothing IT about it (May 19, 2000)

Cyber village in UP (May 19, 2000)

Bridging the digital divide (May 8, 2000)

Govt approvals are now just a click away (May 02, 2000)

Infrastructure gap in telecom unbridged: report (April 28, 2000)

Towards a secure Internet (April 27, 2000)

Gujarat govt opens ëlanguage lab‰ to impart IT skills (April 26, 2000)

UN Urged To Narrow Global Digital Divide (April 25, 2000)

China blocks UN debate on human rights (April 19, 2000)

Radio broadcasting through cables may not be far away (April 17, 2000)

Annan praises India‰s digital revolution (April 04, 2000)

Online databases and intellectual property (March 31, 2000)

Web site on teacher education (March 31, 2000)

Bridging gaps: information kiosks in villages soon (March 24, 2000)

Call to use infotech for hiking farm production (March 16, 2000)

Rural folks need `Web' feet (March 14, 2000)

Doctor-to-doctor service from Ruksun (March 10, 2000)

Web Research Transforms Visit to the Doctor (March 6, 2000)

NI to set up R&D centre in India (March 6, 2000)

Satellite mail š the latest in messaging (February 25, 2000)

TELECOMMUNICATIONS: UNEP Hosts Global Initiative For Environment (February 24, 2000)

We must seize opportunities of knowledge revolution: PM (February 22, 2000)

Farmers, too, reap the rewards of e-comm (February 21, 2000)

Windows 2000 launched in India (February 18, 2000)

Poor countries can leverage on e-com: UN Study (February 17, 2000)

India to Create Telecommunications Court (February 14, 2000)

VSNL plans to take Internet to rural areas (February 9, 2000)

Unique micro level planning project launched in AP (January 31, 2000)

Project (January 24, 2000)

Bridging the Information Divide (January 17, 2000)

New Site Established for Major Scientific Electronic Archive (January 5, 2000)

AP to network integrated citizen services (January 4, 1999)

New product launches (November 4, 1999)

Ignore e-comm & miss out on customers, say experts (November 3, 1999)

New Biotechnology Website Launched (November 2, 1999)

NETAID: Anti-Poverty Web Site Opened With Flair (September 10, 1999)

Website to detail world‰s progress into Year 2000 (September 9, 1999)

IT alumni unlock Internet growth with (August 31, 1999)

Cisco & UNDP to offer Net education in Asia-Pacific (August 27, 1999)

Third World struggles to get into the world wide web (August 18, 1999)

IntechNet to offer unlimited Net use at Rs 8,500 pa (August 10, 1999) Initiative is conceived and managed by:


Vikas Nath

Inlaks Fellow (2000-1), London School of Economics, UK

Founder,  Initiative


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