E-Gov India: Public Private Partnerships to Bring Government Closer to the Indian People
The Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program and the Aspen Institute India jointly convened the Aspen India/ C&S Fourth Annual Joint Roundtable on Communications Policy in Goa, India, February 13-15, 2009 and in Delhi with government officials on February 16, 2009. The purpose was to explore ways that the public and private sectors could work better together to improve and expand e-governance throughout India.
The participants included Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Aspen Institute trustee and former UN Under Secretary General, Indian Additional Secretaries D.V. Singh and S. R. Rao, HCL Infosystems CEO Ajai Chowdhry, NIIT CEO Vijay Thadani, Vanu, Inc., CEO Vanu Bose, Center for Governmental Studies CEO Tracy Westen, and ATT executives Dorothy Attwood and Ellen Blacklerb.
Subsequently, the group met in Delhi to present their recommendations to Ashwani Kumar, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry; Jainder Singh, Secretary of Information Technology; Subhodh Kumar, Additional Secretary for Telecom; and Prithvi Raj Chauhan Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office.
Some of the recommendations the group put forth at the government meetings were to introduce a Country Information Technology Officer (CITO); language translation wikis to ensure E-Gov materials are available in the 19 Indian languages plus numerous dialects; reforms in public private partnerships (PPPs) and procurement policies; and setting up of Community Service Centers (CSCs) in Post Offices and Schools in rural India.
The senior sponsors of this meeting were ATT and HCL Infosystems; sponsors were Cisco, HP, Intel, and Vanu, Inc. The report is forthcoming.