CEOs Respond to BJP IT Vision Document

by Manu Sharma    Mar 17, 2009

As most election manifestos go, BJP’s IT Vision Document, recently put up on its official website, promises a lot - ranging from generating 1.2 crore new IT-enabled jobs in rural areas, introducing IT in education and healthcare services, to making available laptops at Rs 10,000 to 1 crore students and setting up Digital Security Agency.

Following are some of the reactions to the vision document from CIOs and CEOs CXOtoday spoke to.

Vivek Kulkarni, former IT secretary of Karnataka, who is now the chairman and CEO of BrickWork India, said, "The IT vision of BJP will really come handy for creation of new job opportunities in the IT and ITeS sector in India where we still have a large percentage of unemployed graduates struggling to provide their services for the growth of the country."

Sudhindra Mokhasi, founder & CEO of e-Sutra, sees the document as overall a comprehensive and ambitious statement of intent, especially the open source preference, e-governance thrust, wider last-mile internet access, 100 million low-cost computers, education and financing.

"In a few cases it’s probably better to let the incremental approach like converting post offices into e-service centers and creating higher density of Internet kiosks to take root before attempting ambitious plans like smart phones for bank access for all BPL population," Mokhasi said.

Similarly more robust envisioning needs to be done to ensure that providers of the solutions are predominantly Indian IT companies so there is a full 360 degree of benefit to the Indian society," said Mokhasi.

In all, however, most of these vision statements are significantly focused on the infrastructure supply, education and empowerment side of the divide," he said.

Terming the document a positive intent, Ramakrishna Voruganti, managing director of Barracuda Networks (India), said, MNIC will help traceability of transactions and will result in better tax collections.

"Having an open standard and adaptation of open source will level the playing field for enterprises. The cyber security initiative and the establishment of DSA will provide enormous possibilities for Indian IT security professionals while providing opportunities for organizations like Barracuda Networks, who have been in the forefront of countering cyber threats," Voruganti said.

Ajay Dhir, CIO of Jindal Steel, said the multipurpose national identity card (MNIC) with unique citizen identification number for every Indian citizen is a good initiative. "Besides, the other schemes like IT-enabled jobs in rural areas, 1 crore students to get laptop computers at Rs 10,000 are all good schemes. Overall, one can say that it is a progressive vision."

The initiative to provide IT-enabled jobs was also welcomed by Voruganti especially since the government is acting a catalyst rather than as an agency.

"The linking of PHCs, schools and colleges, use of IT in agriculture, rural development, SMEs, retail trade, informal and unorganised will greatly impact at the grassroots, will improve the off-farm employment in the villages, and prevent labour migration," he said.

Some of the measures are populist, but that is expected during the polls, was the general sentiment about BJP’s IT Vision Document.


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