Exploring opportunities in e-governance

CIOL Bureau
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CHANDIGARH, INDIA: e-Revolution 2009, a two-day event by Nasscom and TiE included a panel discussion on ‘Opportunities in e-governance, Telecom & Healthcare in the Chandigarh (tri-city) Region’.


Moderated by Ibrahim Ahmad, group editor, Dataquest, a CyberMedia publication, the discussion revolved around the scope of convergence of VAS, e-governance and healthcare. The panel members included RK Verma, MD, Punjab Infotech; Karandeep Singh, MD, Sapient India; Vineet Kaul, senior VP, One97; and Amit Chander, head, IT/ITeS & education investments, Barings India.

Starting the discussion with the status of e-governance projects in the state, RK Verma of Punjab Infotech informed that Punjab is aligned with the National e-Governance Program.

“Under NeGP, we have collaborated with HCL for setting up SWAN. Also, we are working with the government for state data centers. Under CSC, we have Suvidha Centers at district level. We are now planning to penetrate them to city level.”


Verma stated that there are plenty of opportunities of deploying IT systems in government departments, such as transportation and municipal corporations. Upbeat about the MoU signed with Nasscom today, Verma said that Punjab Infotech is working on the development of all aspects – infrastructure, human resource, policies, and investor relations – in order to make Punjab one of the most sought after destinations for IT investments.

“We are coming up with an incubation center for nurturing young entrepreneurs,” he informed.

Taking over the discussion to healthcare and the scope of IT and telecom in it, Karandeep Singh of Sapient India stated, “Creating awareness on wellness, rather than illness, should be the focus of the tri-city.”


He informed that the key issues of the healthcare industry are rising costs of healthcare and the simultaneously rising patient safety expectations. “These are essentially the reasons why the healthcare industry needs to concentrate on IT solutions deployment,” he stated.

Mentioning a few areas of IT implementation, Singh suggested, “Maintaining medical history of patients, and having an integrated healthcare system that involves citizens, public health system, pharmaceutical companies, health insurance providers on a common platform, are some of the areas where IT can play a significant role.”

Vineet Kaul of One97 spoke about the immense potential of VAS in health programs, citizen journalism, public engagement and also in building business applications.

Lastly, Amit Chander pointed out, “Just as the ITeS was the fallout of the success of the IT industry, similarly VAS could be the fallout of the success of the telecom industry. And entrepreneurs should eye this opportunity.”