Internet In South Asian Development
- a weapon to
Heritage & Travel
the-south-asian.com February 2001
Page 2 of 3
The Role of Internet in South Asian
Development by Salman Saeed
The Role of Internet in South Asian Development
Digital Divides and Dividends [Connectivity = Productivity].
Grameen Telecom- Empowering women.
B3B – the Bottom 3 Billion poor is how Iqbal Z. Quadir describes the disenfranchised poor of the world. Iqbal Quadir [a former New York Investment Banker], after experiencing Local Area Network failure in his New York Banking office, found exchanging diskettes manually a major loss in productivity. Subsequently, he approached Mohammad Yunus, who had started micro Financing Loans under the name Grameen Bank to poor rural Bangladesh women, with the idea of starting Rural Mobile Telephone as a way to connect rural people to the rest of the world.
With investments from Telenor [ Norwegian Telcomms ] who owns 50% of the GrameenPhone, rural women in Bangladesh connect about 3000 villages in Bangladesh and make $ 2 daily.
A Wireless phone investment costing $ 200 [the price of a cow] becomes a cash producing electronic cow from the selling of phone calls to the rest of the rural village; in the case of Bangladesh migrant workers to the Arabian Gulf States have to send money transfers to their homes in the villages and also talk to their families; other Mobile phone uses are healthcare, social phone calls to relatives elsewhere in the country.
For Details see the article in this issue: Iqbal Quadir
2001- the case of Positive Electronic political change.
President Joseph Estrada was driven from office by angry citizens mobilized by electronic messaging [short message system – sms – as available on the GSM Mobile Phone network in Philippines]. The Philippines network operator Smart Communications Inc.'s public affairs department said that they received 70 million text messages a day during that week as against the daily average of 45 million text messages.
E-Post in 6 states
In the six states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Kerala, Maharashtra and West Bengal, the next time the postman rings the doorbell, a printed email will be handed over with a few words on it rather than a postcard, envelope or aerogramme. The sender would spend nothing. It's the person the mail is addressed to who would have to shell out the money to receive the message. This is how things will be when the Indian government goes hi-tech with its postal system.
ITC sets up Coffee Planters Internet Kiosks
Coffee prices, which are at record 30 year lows have prompted ITC to launch a portal (plantersnet.com) for coffee planters that provides prices and market information. The portal with Internet booths setup in the 6 – 12 months time frame will provide international coffee prices and market information to coffee growers.
ITC, which has business interests in tobacco, hotels and agri-business, launched a project this year to bring the Internet to Indian farmers by setting up kiosks. It plans to spend Rs 10 crore ($2.14 million) on the project. ITC is 31.7 per cent owned by British American Tobacco. ITC has set up some 100 Internet kiosks in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, the country's soybean bowl besides launching a soya portal. ITC's International Business Division deals in feed ingredients such as soymeal and rapeseed, foodgrains, coffee and marine products.
Andhra Pradesh Judicial Videoconferencing
Andhra Pradesh has become the first Indian state to provide videoconference links between jails and courts, a measure that will help 'produce' undertrials before magistrates without their physical presence. The video linkage facility between the Chanchalguda central jail, which has more than 1,600 undertrials, and the Nampally City Criminal Courts here has been provided by Stan Power Technologies at a cost of Rs.150, 000.
Andhra Pradesh – Site for Shrimp Farmers www.aquachoupal.com
This site provides shrimp farmers information on world shrimp prices and technology information on shrimp farming technology.
This is the web address of a group of overseas Sri Lankan students, teachers, academics setting up a virtual rural school community to help them in getting books and school /learning related resources.
London School of Economics (2000-1)
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