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ICTs for Development

See how Information and Communication Technologies are bringing changes in people's lives for the better.

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Article Report highlights broadband potential for a low-carbon economy
A UN-supported report emphasises how broadband and ICT can accelerate global progress towards a low-carbon future and bring effective solutions for mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change.
Article India fares poorly in global ICT ranking
India stood 69th among 142 nations in inherent ability and capacity to leverage information and communication technologies (ICT) for progress in the recent series of Networked Readiness Index reports.
Article Indian company launches iPad for autistic kids
SAP Labs India unveiled 'Bol' iPad for children suffering from autism, a neurological development disability. The 'Bol' iPad intends to improve and enhance their learning and communication skills.
Article Bangalore railway station goes BluFi
The Bangalore city railway station becomes the first railway network in India to offer BluFi i.e. Bluetooth + Wi-Fi connectivity for its passengers to access information through their mobile phones.
Article Mobile and web technologies to the rescue of communities
A workshop held in New Delhi put spotlight on the use of technology for social and economic development in India. The workshop was a repository of ideas and projects that show how technology is being used to bring about a change in the lives of people.
Article Dial for m-healthcare in Bangladesh
Patients receive free advice from healthworkers, prenatal health alerts all day round through mobile phones in Bangladesh. The patients can also file complaints about care through these phones.
Article Microsoft India launches website to connect teachers globally
Microsoft India has launched an exclusive website for teachers that will help educators in India and 107 other countries develop online connections with each other and share their educational plans.
Article India to launch "Spoken Web Services" for farmers
Farmers across the country will have their agriculture and weather-related queries answered quickly through the service.
Article e-housing for India's underserved communities
The e-housing scheme in the Indian state of Kerala ensures hassle free and transparent disbursement of pro-poor funds for the scheduled caste population.
Article Smaller fonts for bigger forests
Minus One Project is a CSR initiave which campaigns to reduce the font size of a document before printing for less paper consumption.
Article Green news on iPad, iPhone
A free, customisable application for iPad and iPhone, created by Taptu and powered by Guardian is a one-stop source of latest environment news.
Article Indian portal encourages to donate goods
An online Indian portal e-daan seeks to mobilise donated goods by finding someone who needs exactly what you no longer need.
Article An iphone app to tackle climate change
A new iPhone application launched by the United Nations Environment Programme highlights the role of ecosystems in tackling climate change.
Article Take back the streets
A popular website dedicated to ending street harassment in New York and in the Indian cities of New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai uses the power of the web and blogging to create awareness of street harassment.
Article Afghan children ready to walk down "Sesame Street"
An Afghan version of "Sesame Street" will debut on two local television channels to encourage learning capacities and cultural awareness among preschool children.
Article Technology for Indian non-profits
Datawind, the inventor of world’s cheapest tablet and the NASSCOM Foundation have announced a contest to bridge the digital divide in India wherein the non-profits will stand an opportunity to improve their operations and programme implementation to bridge the digital divide.
Article M-governance gains momentum in India
Indian states have successfully deployed various mobile-based technologies to offer better public services due to familiarity of people with mobile-based applications.
Article Hi-tech healthcare for rural Indian patients
Cisco’s new healthcare service in the state of Madhya Pradesh will allow doctors to examine and monitor patients at distant health centres and provide specialist consultations via video and audio links.
Article E-mails, SMSes to expedite UIDAI number dispatches
Unique Identification Authority of India is all set to communicate Aadhaar numbers (UIDAI numbers) to people through SMSes and emails before sending it by post to prevent delay in distribution of the Aadhaar cards.
Article E-mails, SMSes to expedite identity number delivery
Unique Identification Authority of India is all set to dispatch Aadhaar numbers (UIDAI numbers) to people through SMSes and emails before sending it by post to prevent delay in distribution of the Aadhaar cards.
Article Google offers free websites for small Indian business
In an effort to bridge the information gap, Google India will provide free websites and hosting to small and medium businesses for one year to help them get online.
Article Technology gives employment to Bangladesh's migrant workers
The Bangladeshi government is looking to simplify the process for citizens who want to work overseas by posting their personal information on a government website.
Article Giving citizens right to public services through ICT
The Right to Public Services Act in the Indian state of Bihar utilises ICT tools to enable the citizens to demand time-bound services from public servants ensuring corruption-free public service delivery.
Article A mobile app to enhance employability
An innovative m-learning module developed by the British Council and Avon Mobility Solutions will help potential job seekers in India to enhance employability by improving their vocabulary, CV composition and soft skills.
Article India: Delhi creates data bank to prevent information loss
Around 6,000 desktops have been installed across all institutions of Municipal Corporation of Delhi connecting them online to lessen paper work and avoid data loss.
Article Delhi to launch phone application for women's safety
To address soaring women harassment cases in Delhi, a charity will launch a fight back phone app in November that can protect a girl from attackers by sending simultaneous alerts to her friends, family, police and social networking sites through a single push button.
Article Bangladesh launches its first laptop
In an effort to cut the digital divide in the country, Bangladesh has unveiled its first laptop named Doel, priced at $130. In the pipeline are plans to make it available to millions of students living in remote areas.
Article India launches world’s cheapest tablet computer
India has unveiled world’s cheapest touch screen tablet computer worth $35 that will provide inexpensive internet access to 10 million students living in remote areas.
Article Online system to protect migrant Indian workers
A web-based information sharing system for overseas Indian workers will be trialled in the United Arab Emirates. The scheme by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs will allow attestation of employment contracts thus preventing abuses of worker's rights.
Article Community radio to educate migrant children
The Sesame Workshop Trust launches its latest initiative, the Galli Galli Sim Sim Radiophone project, in a suburb of the Indian capital. Disadvantaged children from Gurgaon's migrant communities can now access health and hygiene education via broadcasts on local community radio through mobile phones or 3G downloads.
Article Bringing unheard voices to the fore
Gawaahi is a unique venture that couples ICT with social activism to bring forth under-represented voices of the Pakistani society. It is an online archive of videos and digital stories that aims to promote critical social issues that do not gain sufficient media attention.
Article A digital slate for microfinance
A low-cost digital system, invented by Microsoft Research and NGO PRADAN, records the microfinance transactions of rural Self help Groups in digital as well as in the written format to make then easy and effective.
Article m-Health projects cutting maternal mortality
A United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) project is giving mothers access to fistula treatment by transferring money through SMS to cover travel expenses to a clinic. This is one of a number of UNFPA projects that use communication technology to improve maternal health care in developing countries.
Article e-deals for land in Indian state
Under the e-Zameen project, the state government of Gujarat has created an electronic database of land holdings which can authenticate land deals online. This has helped expedite the otherwise cumbersome process of procedural formalities.
Article Educating children on HIV through technology
A newly developed interactive software is offering an effective means of teaching children about HIV/AIDS using videos, interactive menus and voice-overs.
Article A lifeline to public services
Jeevan centres in the Indian capital facilitate single-window electronic delivery of over hundred different government services free of cost to its citizens. But despite it's rapid growth, the system suffers from under-utilisation of infrastructure, heavy competition and lack of innovation.
Article Digital Green: For more productive agriculture
The low-cost Digital Green initiative in India prepares video DVDs of live demonstrations of agricultural practices by experts to be distributed among small farmers in remote areas. By building on existing social linkages, the initiative is ten times more cost effective in disseminating good farming practices for higher productivity.
Article E-solution for public complaints
The Indian state government of Orissa has launched a new technology platform to solve the grievances of its citizens. Supported by the UN Millennium Campaign, 'Samadhan' will send real-time feedback to people on government service delivery to accelerate the achievement of the MDGs.
Article Technology for better eye care in India
An ICT based initiative has decentralised and improved the quality of eye care in rural areas in the eastern state of Tripura. The state project's success has now inspired the Indian government to include tele-ophthalmology in the national 12th Five Year Plan.
Article Virtual wallet for all
The first complete mobile financial service in Bangladesh will enable ordinary people to receive electronic money in their mobile phone accounts which they can cash-out through agents. The mobile wallet is a secure platform to enjoy banking services without holding a formal bank account.
Article Mobiles to revolutionise Indian schools
Mobile toolkits will soon be used by 60 schools across India for conducting detailed assessments. Reasearchers believe that digitising the test system will make it less time consuming and improve feedback on students' performances.
Article WHO launches web portal to combat malnutrition
A new web based information system eLENA by the World Health Oganisation will provide standardised guidelines to governments and healthcare workers to tackle all forms of malnutrition worldwide.
Article e-Kiosks to boost IT literacy in Sri Lanka
The Sri Lankan government is planning to establish 35 new telecentres equipped with internet and satellite communication facilities to raise IT literacy among its citizens to 75% by 2016.
Article Timely weather alerts benefit economy
The Indian Meteorological Department having improved its weather forecasting has extended farming updates by text messages to farmers through its Agromet Advisory Service. The nation as witnessed a significant rise in the contribution of its primary sector to its GDP due to the advancement.
Article UN aims poverty reduction through mobile technology
Millions of poor in Africa and South Asia will get low-cost Movirtu cloud phone numbers enabling them to access banking and agricultural services. The United Nations backed scheme aims to improve the lives of 50 million people by improving their livelihood through mobile technology.
Article Freedom TB: Mobiles for tuberculosis treatment
The Freedom Tuberculosis (TB) programme provides relevant information on the disease, treatment schedules and medicine alerts on patients' mobile phones. An initiative by ZMQ software systems, with support from Microsoft, it promotes awareness among patients and connects them with health service providers for treatment.
Article In their voice
CGNet Swara in Chhattisgarh is a mobile radio platform that has helped bring tribal issues to national attention.
Article India plans rural development through fiber optic network
The Indian government has announced nation wide plans to extend the existing fiber optical network to rural areas. The move will boost the village economy by creating additional jobs and curbing migration to urban centres.
Article Private FM stations to start broadcasting news
The Indian government has decided to permit private radio stations to broadcast news from the state run all-India radio. Non-news information to be broadcasted includes local administration’s public announcements, natural calamities and health alerts.
Article ICT innovations for public information
A knowledge sharing workshop in Bangladesh highlighted ICT innovations in South Asia for enhanced access to public information. The workshop was organised by OneWorld Foundation India and the World Bank Institute to create a knowledge base without frontiers.
Article India: Website to track sex-determination
Maharashtra government has launched a new website and a helpline to allow people to provide tip-offs about illegal sex determination tests. Complaints will be recorded anonymously on the website to effectively track such cases.
Article India: Passport application to become swifter, easier
New passport application centers aim to provide reliable and transparent services to applicants. The e-governance initiative will make the process quicker and more convenient.
Article Video blogging empowers women
Women Aloud Video Blogging for Empowerment (WAVE) is a platform for women to raise their opinions about social issues through video blogging. This nationwide initiative encourages the use of ict tools to give them a voice and steady employment.
Article Newly designed ATM for rural areas
A low cost, energy efficient model of ATM as been designed to facilitate banking in rural areas.The ATM works on solar power and is equipped with several unconventional features like dispensing of soiled notes instead of fresh ones.
Article India: Smartcards for PDS
Paper based ration cards in parts of Northern India have been replaced by new Public Distribution System (PDS) smartcards. This will be replicated nationwide to tackle the issue of fake cards and streamline the foodgrain distribution system.
Article An online platform to strengthen food security
Indian state of Chhattisgarh has devised a computerised mechanism to combat the corruption and leakages in the Public Distribution System. The new system provides effective monitoring right from procurement of food grains to their distribution.
Article Giving voice to people with speech disabilities
An ICT application enables text to be spoken through an iPad giving voice to people with speech disabilities. The simple application comes free of cost and can be used globally.
Article India: Government portal to debate on tax evasion
The government has decided to invite the public's view on the subject of black money through a new portal. The finance ministry hopes the soon to be launched portal will help decide if the issue demands a tough law.
Article Paid a bribe? Go, tell the world!
A website ipaidabribe.com launched by an NRI couple offers a platform to the ordinary citizens to candidly share their experiences with the ‘bribery culture’ in India. Around 10,000 incidents have been registered on the website which is gaining popularity in exposing cases of bribery.
Article World Bank loan for Bangladesh's identification system
The World Bank is assisting the government of Bangladesh to develop a national identification system for efficient public service delivery. The project envisages mainstreaming information technology as a pro-poor tool to reduce poverty, establish good governance and ensure social equity.
Article An information network for Indian farmers
Tamil Nadu’s Department of Agriculture has successfully created an internet based information network for 80 lakh farmers in the state. The system envisages itself as a comprehensive knowledge portal to disseminate relevant information to farmers.
Article An online blood bank
The website, friends2support, works as a virtual blood bank by quickly connecting blood donors to blood seekers through an online interface.
Article India's poverty census turns digital
The Ministry of Rural Development has given a new twist to its next BPL census that identifies households living below the national poverty line. About 600,000 hand-held devices will be used by the government to speed up the survey and reduce errors.
Article Maternal health tips on mobiles
USAID along with its partners has launched a mobile information system which will deliver vital health tips to new and expectant mothers in India, Bangladesh and South Africa. These mobile health messages will inform women of ante-natal and postnatal care besides connecting them with local health services.
Article Fisher-friendly mobile application in India
Fisher Friend Mobile Advisory (FFMA) application in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu offers fishing related vital information to fisher folk through mobiles for a safer and more profitable venture into the sea.
Article Storm warning system for fishermen in Bangladesh
Fishermen venturing into the Bay of Bengal face frequent storms threatening their lives and livelihoods. Oxfam International and local NGOs partnered with Airtel Bangladesh to develop an early storm warning system to ensure their safety in the sea.
Article SMS alerts on soil health for Indian farmers
In the recently held National Conference on Agriculture for Kharif Campaign the Government of Haryana launched a unique SMS alert service that will be used by the agriculture department to spread tips on soil health to farmers.
Article Now, free access to some of India's traditional knowledge
The Traditional Knowledge Digital Library of India which earlier had limited access to information is now planning to release a section of their documents to common users. This move will enable researchers to develop drugs for malaria and tuberculosis through free access to some of these documents.
Article India advances towards m-governance
To leverage the deeper penetration of mobile phones than the internet among Indian population, the govt. has initiated policy making for m-governance. This is expected to expand the access and reach of public services to all residents, especially in rural areas.
Article e-Toilets: New face of sanitation in India
Eram Scientific Solutions, a Kerala based firm, developed the country’s first e-toilets through amalgamation of electronics, web and mobile technologies to revolutionise sanitation in India.
Article J&K mulls ICT initiatives to save forests
The Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir is gearing up to employ ICT tools to monitor and manage its forests more effectively. The initiative is expected to accelerate the pace of implementation of the forest policy adopted recently by the forest department.
Article India: Government to set up 150 smart schools nationwide
The Indian government has proposed to establish 150 smart schools across the country the revised Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in School scheme. Proposals for 55 smart schools in 11 states and two union territories have been cleared so far.
Article Indian government steadily going 2.0
Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are becoming the latest apparatus of the government of India in ensuring active participation of the citizens in governance. Various government departments like Ministry of External Affairs, India Post, Delhi Traffic Police and MCD are reaping the benefits of emerging social media in the country.
Article India launches Sanchar Shakti to e-mpower rural women
In an attempt to bridge the digital divide, the Sanchar Shakti scheme envisages creating ICT skills among rural women by providing useful information to women about health, social issues and government schemes over their mobile phones. The scheme seeks involvement of women Self Help Groups for its successful implementation.
Article Agro-advisory system by women combats drought, pests
An agriculture research institute in southern India is responding real-time to the knowledge needs of farmers by training women to interact virtually with scientists and seek solutions. This agro-advisory system has helped local residents battle a severe drought which struck the region a couple of years back.
Article Indian Panchayats to have broadband connectivity by 2012
The government of India, to ensure financial and electronic empowerment of its machineries, has decided to equip every panchayat in the country with high speed broadband internet access by 2012. The step recognises ICT as an important tool to ensure quality and transparency in process of development
Article New software to check maternal mortality in Tamil Nadu, India
A software will soon be used in Primary Health Centres in the state of Tamil Nadu India to keep tabs on the mother throughout her ante-natal period and the child until the age of one year. The software will generate a unique number will be generated for every pregnant woman to maintain a record of their weight, scan results, anemia and nutrition details.
Article India: Bihar first state to put information of 70,000 schools online
In an effort to improve the quality of education, Bihar, previously India’s most under-developed state has become the first to put information of all its 70,000 government schools online. Known as the School Report Card, it gives valuable information about overall status of education along with details of students, teachers, quality of infrastructure, etc.
Article India: Government encourages participation in Census 2011 through social networking
The Registrar General and Census Commissioners’ office is using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to connect with citizens to promote participation in the second phase of Census 2011.
Article 2011 to be a digital year for Delhi
With the finalisation of IT Act of Delhi, the Information Technology Department of Delhi Government is planning to computerise all the departments to create a transparent and efficient e-Delhi. Installation of over 50 cameras of 5 km range on roof-tops of multi-storeyed buildings to curb crime and manage disasters is among the many more initiatives under the Act.
Article UP using cellphones to monitor mid-day meal scheme
Cloud telephony is helping the state of UP to monitor whether daily mid-day meals are being delivered in government schools or not. The central government may now deploy adopt the mechanism nation-wide.
Article India: Orissa state government to computerise PDS
The Orissa government has decided on a complete overhaul of the state’s Public Distribution System. The decision comes following the reports of manipulation and recommendations from an expert committee. Authorities are also mulling over computerisation of stocking centres to minimise corruption.
Article Inexpensive laptops make way for e-literacy in rural India
In Uttarakhand, where children have little or no access to computer education, a joint initiative by a local NGO, and Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University has rekindled the e-literacy opportunity among school children. A 100 dollar laptop for every child might serve as a model for ICT in education.
Article India: Prison outsourcing unit set for operation
A unique outsourcing unit established in the Cherlapalli jail in India’s southern city of Hyderabad is expected to be functional by the end of January. The BPO unit will begin working with 50-odd inmate "employees" and the work experience is expected to fetch them jobs if and when they are released.
Article Bihar deploys 3G mobiles to track road construction
Bihar is set to become the first state in the country to deploy the latest GPS enabled Android phones to monitor road construction.
Article India: Experts urge development of ICT for equal opportunities
Experts from the field of information and technology, present at the 7th Manthan Award South Asia 2010, called for developing an Indian ICT model to empower and promote innovations at the grassroots level.
Article New smart chip to fight chronic body pain
A smart chip, INS2, developed in Australia, promises to fight chronic body pain. The chip is implanted on the target nerve to monitor and block nerve impulses carrying pain signals to the brain and can also be ‘fine-tuned’ to manage different levels of pain.
Article ICT based solutions can cut GHGs by 10%
ICT based solutions can reduce India’s total green house gas emission by 10%, says a report. Of the 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emission reduction target by 2015, ICT adoption in buildings, transport and many other sectors could approximately achieve 30% of the target.
Article Bangladesh's farmers to sell sugarcane through SMS
Bangladesh PM has launched the e-purji system wherein, sugarcane growers shall be issued permits through SMS to sell sugarcane. This will reduce corruption by eliminating middlemen from the process.
Article MasterCard provides payment solution for India's UID card holders
MasterCard Worldwide has collaborated with India’s Unique Identification Authority to provide easy payment solutions for UID account holders with the objective of enabling financial inclusion of millions of people. The solution supports prepaid, debit and credit payment products and will empower ‘Aadhaar’ account holders to move towards electronic transactions.
Article Global Stockholm Challenge Award for Kissan Kerala project
The Kissan Kerala project, an integrated multi-modal Agricultural Information System of the Department of Agriculture, Government of Kerala has received an ‘Honourable Mention’ at the prestigious Global Stockholm Challenge Awards 2010. The Karshaka Information Systems Services and Networking (Kissan) is one of the leading citizen centric e-governance projects for the farming community across Kerala.
Article Innovations in technology to lead disaster management in India
Recent natural and manmade disasters have highlighted the need for modern disaster management strategies in the country. The advent of several state of the art technologies— remote sensing satellites, tsunami buoys, peak ground acceleration, high frequency radio networks - can help in this regard.
Article Haryana to respond to RTI queries through SMS
The Haryana State Information Commission is ready to implement an SMS service that will provide answers to RTI queries like status of appeals, complaints, decisions and the dates of hearing of cases.
Article Microsoft to provide eGov solutions for Indian states
Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal may soon benefit from e-governance solutions provided by software giant Microsoft. These solutions are pioneering the low-cost cloud computing mechanism to be employed for e-governance plans in India.
Article India: 97,392 villages go online
Bharat Nirman II, the flagship programme of the GoI, envisages to provide broadband connectivity to all village panchayats of India. 97,392 villages have already benefited from it.
Article Mobiles to transform healthcare in India
India may soon address healthcare needs in the rural area through mobiles. mHealth or mobile health solutions can be relatively affordable, and with the wide proliferation of mobile communication technologies in the rural areas, they can be ideal to provide healthcare at the grassroots level.
Article Mobile connect for refugees with Refunite service
Refunite - a free mobile service is helping as an online tracing tool to aid refugees search for their families as discreetly as they want, and with very basic text messaging exchange.
Article 3G services to revolutionise communication around Mt. Everest
Nepal has launched high speed internet services at the base camp of Mount Everest. These 3G services will bring faster, more affordable telecommunication services to the people living in the remote Khumbu Valley, trekkers, and climbers alike.
Article Punjab farmers to enjoy e-payment
The Punjab government, along with FCI is all set to introduce e-payment system for the farmers who sell their produce to the government. Payment will be credited online to the commission agents within 48 hours.
Article Biometric cards for PDS in Assam
Biometric ration cards have been introduced in the north-eastern state of Assam, India for PDS beneficiaries. The biometric technology helps to identify and remove duplicate registration of beneficiaries and also eradicate invalid ration cards.
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