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Governance of Rural Information and Communication Technologies   
Governance of Rural Information and
Communication Technologies
Opportunities and Challenges
EDITOR: Harekrishna Misra
Hard Bound Book (6" x 9") :   Pages : 300
2009  Edition   :  ISBN - 978-81-7188-599-2
Price : INR 895 / US $ 59.95
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Role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in rural development in India is quite appreciated. ICT has gained the status of infrastructure, and numerous approaches have been taken to exploit opportunities that ICT provides. Despite phenomenal changes in the policy level improvements in rural ICT infrastructure, digital divide has still remained a challenge for national policy makers, state agencies and service providers. Various agencies have piloted many projects showcasing usability of ICT at its core to extend services in the rural sector and address issues related to digital divide. Many of the pilot projects are being considered for scale up at the national level under National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). However, most of the projects have remained to be “supply-driven” leaving much scope to transform them as “citizen-centric”. Therefore, this limitation is an important dimension of the digital divide which needs attention of policy makers and implementers.

In this book various dimensions of the citizen interfaces, opportunities to consider the demand of the rural citizen and status of the rural ICT infrastructure are discussed. The contributions are drawn from field level experiences which include and focus on disparity in rural-urban ICT infrastructure, trends in spatial databases and GIS applications to appreciate the challenges of the digital divide that India faces. In addition, case studies like ITC’s e-Choupal, Drishtee, Ahmedabad District Collectorate, Village Knowledge Centres, and e-Governance in Panchayats are discussed to comprehend the potential of interfacing successful citizen services with NeGP.

The book will be useful for researchers, academia, ICT planners and policy makers, organisations engaged in e-Governance and civil society organisations.


Harekrishna Misra is a faculty in the area of IT & Information Systems at the Institute of Rural Management, Anand. An Electronics and Communication Engineer, he holds a Doctorate from Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, in the area of Information Systems Management. He has around 27 years of experience in indutry and academia in the fields of IT infrastructure management, communication and networks. His current research interests include software engineering (process modelling), e-Governance, information systems management in develop-ment organisations, e-Business for rural enter-prises and ICT enabled value chain in rural enterprises. He has widely published in national and international reputed and refereed Journals. He has also participated in technical as well as programme committees, and has presented papers in national and international refereed academic conferences.


List of Tables, Figures and Annexures

About the Editor/Contributors


Section I
Examples of Good Governance and Information and Communication
Technologies with Convergences in Architectures, Models
for Large Scale Applications and Content Standardisation

1. Governance of Rural Information and Communication Technology:
Opportunities and Challenges — Harekrishna Misra

2. ICT and e-Governance for Rural Development
T.P. Rama Rao

3. e-Governance and Citizens’ Charter: An Agenda for an Effective Delivery Mechanism—The Ahmedabad Experience — Anita Karwal

4. e-Governance: Gujarat Initiatives and Experience
Nirlesh S. Kothari, Pradyut J. Modi and Neeta Shah

5. Governance and Disaster Management
V. Thiruppugazh and Sudhir Kumar

6. GIS and Governance in Development in India: Trends and Strategy for Implementation — Pramod K. Singh

7. Basic Services to Rural Community and Role of Standard ICT Infrastructure: Prospective Models for Large-scale Replication and Sustainable Governance School as the ‘Pivot’ for Rural ICT Services — J. Shankar

Section II
Basic Services through ICT with Business Approach
in Rural Areas: The Indian Context

8. Using ICTs for Reaching the Unreached
— S. Senthilkumaran

9. Rural Business through ICT: Profitability and Role of Governance
— Satyan Mishra and Nitin Gachhayat

10. ICT for Rural Development: Lessons Learnt from Village Knowledge Centres, Pondicherry — V. Madhava Rao

11. e-Governance at Panchayat Level: Role of Infrastructure in ICT Development — V. Annamalai

12. Towards an Appropriate Software: Motivations and Case Studies
— Dinesh T.B. and Anand Bala

13. ITC e-Choupal: Enmeshing Interests, Enhancing Incomes
— S. Sivakumar 

Section III
ICT Connectivity in Indian Villages and Quality of Service

14. Mobile Phones and Rural Telephony
— Mahesh Uppal

15. Emerging Technologies for the Last Mile Connection in the Villages: Preference for Solar Powered Laptop with GPRS based Data/Internet Services
— Ranganayakulu Bodavala and Kamal Bandopadyaya

16. ICT Infrastructure for Rural Development: Issues and Priority for Application
— R.R. Hermon

17. Communication Infrastructure Convergence in India: A Case Study on Kheda Telecom District of BSNL — S.S. Solanki and Harekrishna Misra



V. Annamalai holds Doctoral degree from the University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad. He is a faculty member of National Institute of Rural Development, Hyderabad. He has carried out several independent research projects and contributed many articles to leading journals and chapters to many books. His areas of interest are local institutions and resource management and interface between local institutions and state and central governments. His current research interests include improving the efficiency of local governments (panchayats) through e-Governance for better delievery of services in rural areas.

Anand Bala has a multi-domain experience, from hotel management to alternative tourism and from negotiating the business development of community oriented software for NGO needs to managing programmes at an international mega corporation. He is currently with Oracle Corporation India and is working as Programmes Manager, Business Development in Bangalore.

Kamal Bandopadyaya a Computer Science Engineer from Dr. D.Y. Patil College of Engineering & Technology, Shivaji University, Kolhapur, Maharashtra has worked in various organisations like ASCI, Hyderabad and several software organisations. He is also associated with THRIVE, Hyderabad, a not-for-profit organisation working for the benefits of rural and tribal communities in home lighting, ICT, education and health using advanced and innovative technologies. He is currently providing consultancy services to the World Bank office in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Ranganayakulu Bodavala heads THRIVE, a not-for-profit organisation based in Hyderabad, which was founded by him with a group of professionals to work for the benefits of rural and tribal communities in home lighting, ICT, education and health using advanced and innovative technologies. He holds a Ph.D. in MIS area from Andhra University and was a Post doctoral “TAKEMI” fellow in Harvard School of Public Health during 1999-2000. He has worked with Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI). He has also worked with several state and central government agencies in India and with international agencies like World Bank, DFID and UNICEF as a management consultant. He has conducted several management development programmes for senior health officials of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Karnataka and Punjab.

Nitin Gachhayat is the President (P&P) and Co-founder of Drishtee and CEO of Quiver InfoServices Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Drishtee. Under his leadership, Quiver develops new services and applications for rural India that can then be delivered through Drishtee and other kiosk networks. An MBA-International Business from FORE School of Management, his work experience includes technology and research. He has been an invitee or a guest faculty in various forums.

Rajender R. Hermon a Senior Assistant Professor at National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD), Hyderabad holds Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in economics area. He has extensively worked and widely published in the areas of econometrics, geo-informatics, micro planning, policy evaluation, project planning & management, geospatial statistical development, programmes and geographic information system, application of GIS and RS for planning and management of watersheds, natural resource management, disaster management, infrastructure planning, application of RS to environmental studies, GIS and GPS applications for participatory village level planning.

Anita Karwal is in Indian Administrative Service since 1988 and serves in Gujarat State Cadre. She has held various positions in the State administration. She holds M.Phil. in African Studies and Masters Degree in Political Science from Delhi Universiy. She was instrumental in conceptualising and designing of e-Governance project in Ahmedabad District in Gujarat State which received Computer Society of India Award—Nihilent Award 2005, for the Best Service Orientation Project category. She is presently the Secretary, Primary Education, Government of Gujarat.

Nirlesh S. Kothari is a fellow of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He is associated with several Management Institutes during last 18 years as a visiting faculty, teaching courses in the areas of systems, operations research and quality management. He has many consulting assignments to his credit in the areas of corporate strategy, business process reengineering, information technology strategy and systems including quality mangement systems.

Sudhir Kumar holds Post-Graduate Diploma in Rural Management from the Institute of Rural Mangement, Anand (IRMA). He is currently working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and implementing a disaster management project. His papers on disaster management themes have been published in national level journals. His area of interest is institutional mechanism for disaster management.

Satyan Mishra, Founder and Managing Director, Drishtee, has extensive experience in rural development coupled with inborn entrepreneurial skills. After completing his Masters in Business Administration from Delhi University, he decided to direct the entrepreneurial urge within him to make a difference in the life of ordinary Indian villages. He worked towards combining his passion with his managerial and technical expertise to create a viable organisation.

Pradyut J. Modi holds M.Sc. degree in Physics and is pursuing his Doctoral programme in computer science from Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidyanagar. He has 23 years of experience in the areas of computing with focus on database applications, internet applications, web design, e-Commerce, and enterprise resource planning. He is presently working as Manager, ISU, ICRISAT, Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh.

V. Madhava Rao holds degrees in B.Tech (Electrical), M.Tech (Remote Sensing), MBA and Ph.D. (Applied & Analytical Economics) and a Ph.D. in Spatial Information Technology. He has 25 years experience in corporate sector, government departments, post graduate teaching, research, training and action research in management and development administration. Since last 19 years, he is with National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD), Hyderabad and is currently working as Associate Professor and Head, Centre on Geoinformatics Applications in Rural Development (C-GARD). He has extensively worked and published in the areas of GIS and IT application solutions in rural development sector. He has handled numerous research projects both national and international and contributed substantially in terms of policy and programme development. He has set up State GIS Centres in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Orissa and is in the process of establishing a National GIS Centre in New Delhi and an NGO GIS Centre at Ralegaon Siddhi.

T.P. Rama Rao is a faculty member in the Computer and Information Systems Group at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) and is currently the coordinator of Centre for Electronic Governance (CEG) at the institute. He holds Masters Degree in Technology in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kanpur. Prof. Rao has contributed extensively to teaching, research and consulting in the area of computer applications in management. He has several publications including books, monographs and has a number of articles/papers in the areas related to management applications of information technology to his credit.

S. Senthilkumaran is the programme Director, Jamshedji Tata National Virtual Academy for Rural Prosperity (NVA), M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Chennai. He holds an M.Sc. (Maths) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Science and Applications (PGDCA) from Bharathidasan University, Tamil Nadu, At present, he is the Secretary of Mission 2007 of Government of India with the objective of setting up Village Knowledge Centres (VKC). He has widely published papers, participated in various seminars and presented papers in India and abroad.

Neeta Shah is working with Gujarat Informatics Limited as Director, e-Governance. She holds Ph.D. in Management in the area of information technology. She is a member of various IT Committees in the State Government of Gujarat and also member of IT Standards, Macro Framework Committee of Government of India. She is actively involved in e-Governance in the state of Gujarat. She is recipient of e-Governance Champion award for the State of Gujarat. She has widely presented papers in national and international conferences.

J. Shankar is a Chartered Accountant and Law Graduate. He was with Wipro Limited for 18 years. Currently he is a consultant to corporate entities and is an independent non-executive director on the Board of Companies and NGOs. He is also a Guest Faculty with Indian Institute of Science, Department of Management Studies and Union Bank School of Management. His areas of interest include: governance of corporates and NGOs and ecological and social sustainability initiatives in corporate entities. He is the author of a forthcoming book: Corporate Disclosures 1553-2007: The Origin of Financial and Business Reporting.

Pramod Kumar Singh is an Assistant Professor in the area of natural resource management and geoinformatics at Institute of Rural Management, Anand. He holds M.Sc. as well as M.Phil degree in environmental sciences and Ph.D. in remote sensing and GIS application, all from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. His areas of academic interest include natural resources management, environment and development planning, and emerging areas of GIS. He has been published extensively in reputed journals and the Proceedings of National Conferences.

S. Sivakumar is Chief Executive of the Agri-Businesses Division of ITC Limited, India. He has conceptualised the path-breaking e-Choupal model and is spearheading its roll out across the country. Sivakumar is honoured with the World Technology Award. He is an alumus of the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) and served a farmers’ cooperative for six years before joining ITC in 1989.

S.S. Solanki an Electronics and Communication Engineer from L.D. College of Engineering, Ahmedabad is working with BSNL (Erstwhile DoT) since 1998. He has gained experiences in installation and maintenance of E-10B switching system (43000 lines), subscriber administration, Intelligent Network, Internet, Point-to-Point, CUG, VPN and GSM Mobile services. Currently, he is working as a Divisional Engineer (IT) at Ahmedabad in Gujarat Circle Office of BSNL looking after the IT activities of Gujarat Circle.

Dinesh T.B. completed his Ph.D. in 1992, from the Department of Computer Science, University of Iowa. He has held various academic, research and industrial positions where he has worked on object-oriented programming, generation of software and course-ware from specifications, and structuring information for its use on the Internet. He co-founded Pagelets, Inc. in 1999 while in California, which was responsible for the research and development of a community and social software. He moved to Bangalore, India in 2002 where Pantoto Communities software is developed with local talent and like-minded people to serve the information management and community networking needs with the goal of freeing them from software developer dependency. He has been serving as the technical director of Janastu, an IT NGO catering to IT needs of NGOs, and Servelots, a company that has been developing open source community oriented products.

V. Thiruppugazh belongs to the Indian Administrative Service and is of Gujarat State Cadre since 1991. He served in various district assignments before he was posted in 2001 as the Joint Chief Executive Officer of the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority which was set up as the nodal agency for reconstruction following the Gujarat earthquake. In addition to his contribution in Gujarat earthquake reconstruction, he also has vast hands on experience of handing various disasters such as floods, cyclones and droughts. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in the Australian National University.

Mahesh Uppal is Director of Com First (India), a Delhi based company that advises on policy, regulation and strategy. After a Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, he obtained an MA in Communications Policy Studies from City University, London. His clients include governments, international private sector and civil society. His work is focused on telecommunications in its various roles including a major industry, utility, and tool for national development, productivity and competitiveness. He comments on major telecom developments in his frequent articles in major newspapers and professional magazines, interviews and comments in print, radio and television.

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