How India can Build a Stronger Internet Ecosystem

India being a developing country has tremendous potential especially when it comes to the Information Technology sector. While the IT penetration in India is very low, there are many ways in which the government can build a stronger Internet Ecosystem which will benefit the entire populace. Some of them are listed below:

1.Extend infrastructure for low-cost, high-speed internet to semi-urban and rural parts: In order to increase the IT penetration to more than 20%, it is essential to extend the Internet infrastructure beyond the top metropolitan cities. Mobile connectivity will play a large role in achieving this. As the 3G network grows and the 4G network is introduced, it is pivotal to include the semi-urban and rural areas.

2. Reduce the cost of Internet access and usage:  The logic is simple. The cheaper the access to Internet, more is the IT penetration. More the IT penetration, more is the connectivity (both in rural and urban areas). Ultimately, development of rural areas and growth of the IT sector is achieved.

3. Enable large-scale digital literacy: Lack of education in using the internet and near absence of local language support in devices, applications and services is holding back the increase in usage. This shortfall becomes more acute as less educated users from rural areas gain access to the internet. As more and more rural and semi-urban areas connect to the internet, adoption could be accelerated by the developing local language content with image-based user interfaces and less textual content.

4. Create a favorable environment for Internet businesses to both start and scale-up: India lags behind in this regard. Both the government and private sector have the potential to impose the situation through focused actions- ease procedures, accelerate the rate of setting up businesses, provide tools and platforms that help the SMEs and entrepreneurs to scale up and reduce uncertainty in the legal regimes affecting online businesses.

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Technologically-innovative India!

UdtGAxQvfSqN5W1BwSsAjUeSp8k4onHxzCw7Fsc-HBPk96pMVrP_Lg7YVO7rPF9TmaiyHBQeHstgvYXigFsWvm3XfFpw5CjvBFrkEB2dMtm83fo_MP1t7C6Xm78=w542-h272-ncIndia’s young people have driven the rapid adoption of online services. The engagement with online activities such as social networks, e-mails, etc. have slowly started following a similar pattern to that of their counterparts in western countries. That being said, India’s low IT penetration has held back the rapid expansion of online services.

Compared to other developed and aspiring countries, India’s consumers could derive much more benefit from the use of free Internet services like email browsing to information services and search. Why? It’s because in a poverty-ridden country like India, free Internet services will promote technical literacy amongst the common masses which will end up benefiting the economic status of the country in the long run. In addition, the nascent e-commerce platform in India can also be improved in terms of internet availability as well as efficient enablement of online payment.

While India’s large enterprises were among the first to adopt broadband and now lead the way in adopting more advanced Web technologies to increase revenue and decrease cost, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have not yet fully leveraged Internet and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as well as web technologies. This implies that most of the SMEs in India have not yet achieved their maximum potential and in a country like India which has countless number of SMEs, the result of benefiting from internet technology is unimaginable. The main reason why most of them are held back is not unavailability of technology (which is also an issue) but the lack of knowledge of the World Wide Web. In addition to this, the high cost of internet services at present is a very demotivating factor for many.

However, it should go without saying that SMEs in India which have effectively used broadband to their advantage are growing fast and will eventually transform the nation from an agrarian country to a technologically-innovative one.

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Say NO to Used Goods – ask for refurbished!!!

India, since ancient times, has this belief that ‘to waste is to sin’. Compared to western countries, we are semi-conservative in nature. We do not dispose carelessly. However in this day and age of technology, the concept of buying used goods is hardly a boon but in fact, a bane.

There are many factors to contemplate while buying second or third hand products. You have to consider the way it has been used or damaged and of course the probable remaining life of the product. In addition, the product has to satisfy your needs.

While refurbishment is a popular term in the western countries, the same cannot be said in India and that’s where we are at a disadvantage. Buying second-hand computers might seem like a good idea initially but in the long run, that’s where your wallets as well as time gets spent. Used laptops will eventually require a lot of time, money and effort for its maintenance. Refurbished products on the other hand do not.

Not only do refurbished products come with a warranty but also can be bought at pretty much the same price if not cheaper. It is why the saying ‘refurbishment is as good as new’ has been propagated. Not to mention, they also come with customer service just like any other major brand.

It is only a matter of time that the concept of refurbishment will make people change their perception of buying used products and hence, pave the way for IT penetration in India. Say NO to Used Goods and start saving NOW.

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E-GOVERNANCE – REACHING THE UNREACHED

E-governance is the use of a range of modern Information and Communication Technologies such as Internet, Local Area Networks, mobiles etc by government to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, service delivery and promote democracy.

 e-governance

It can transform citizen services, provide access to information to empower citizens, enable their participation in governmental functions so that they can make better lives, for themselves and for the next generation.

 

Why e-governance

India is one of the most populous nations of the world with a population of approximately 102 crore million people and about 72% of them inhabit in villages. In such a situation it becomes impossible for citizens and the state authorities to keep a track of the ongoing activities. Hence, the central government of India announced the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) in 2006. Their aim have been to set up 1,00,000 CSCS (Construction Skills Certificate Scheme). These CSCS are rural tele-centres set up  to provide the villagers with a slew of services, such as birth and death certificates, land registration, employment opportunities, matrimonial, mandis (market-places), education, veterinary services and so on in the rural areas. Another important rural- centric project under NeGP is termed as e-PRI (electronic-panchayati raj institutions).

 

Drawback

But the fact remains that 90% of these proposed plans have not been implemented. The concept of digital divide prevails till date. Even today a larger segment of rural India does not have access to broadband services. Unfortunately, even if the area has internet services, there are high possibilities that they do not have any digital devices to access the World Wide Web; the reason being the high- cost of the computing devices.

 

Proposed Change

The situation can still be changed; it is possible to make India a digitally literate nation. The foremost initiatives to be taken by the central and state level authorities to ensure that internet connectivity is available in throughout the rural areas, accessibility to digital devices at a low cost. And most importantly train the people on how to use these devices.

 

Taking a step forward to change the prevailing situation a Bangalore based company Renew IT focuses on providing refurbished computers, laptops and other digital devices at an extremely affordable rate. Moreover they are Microsoft certified and come with a warranty.

 

Transparency is the key to good governance & e-governance and is the only effective way of transparent governance. Especially in a country like India, e-governance is the only way for effective delivery unto the last. What’s unrivalled about e-governance is that a few keystrokes can bring smiles on a million faces.

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Enabling Digital Literacy

Digital Literacy

Digital Literacy

The digital decade is not about any particular aspect of computing, taking enterprises, knowledge workers and homes and building standards that connect all of those together. The key piece in the center is trustworthy systems, systems that do what you expect on an extremely reliable basis. So in each of these areas we have new scenarios, new ways that people will be using their computers that they never did before.

 

Digital Wave

Computers have provided an entirely new medium for literacy. Digital literacy has led to great increases in information that can be quickly accessed and facilitates the collaboration and sharing of knowledge. With other forms of digital literacy, we are also seeing an increasing reliance on digital modes of communication. Word processing is now the standard for writing and there has been a global uptake of email and usage of the World Wide Web. In addition social sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, all speak to digital literacy leading to greater global participation in literacy.

There is now the potential for global access to knowledge and an interest in creating more multilingual and multi-literacy online environments as digital technologies facilitate global and intercultural exchange. The computer has become an integral part of global business and the education culture, to this end that digital literacy has a direct effect on a country’s economy.

 

State of Karnataka

The state of Karnataka, home to IT giants like Infosys & Wipro and has plans to make at least one member in every family Internet literate. State’s IT & BT minister S R Patil recently mentioned in various media interviews that he aspires to provide broadband connectivity to all Panchayats within a year’s time. The government is also planning to distribute free Internet enabled mobile phones to rural households at a budget of INR 7,000 cr.

 

How much of this would be implemented is the BIG question?

Fortunately, moving another step ahead in utilizing the information technology in governance, Karnataka Government has made it compulsory the computer working knowledge for its employees and offered INR 5,000 annual incentive to those who learns the skills.

Considering the 2011 census, amongst 13 million households in Karnataka only 4.8% of them have access to Internet and computers. The numbers at present are extremely depressing but there’s scope. Especially with the plans of the present government there’s hope for improvement.

Supporting the government’s initiative in providing digital media to the rural area, a Bangalore based company- ReNew IT provides Microsoft certified refurbished laptops, computers and other digital devices at an extremely affordable rate. Although they are based in Bangalore, they deliver their products various selected locations of the country. The prime motive of ReNew IT is 100% digital literacy, as they have the right assets for a rapidly-growing digital world.

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Literacy – Traditional vs Digital

Traditionally, literacy means the ability to read and write. By that measure, a fourth of India’s population is illiterate, according to the 2011 census. If we look at the revolution in communications in the past two decades, the entire world is gradually moving towards digital communications through mobiles, laptops, computers, tablets, text messages, emails, voice calls and so on. Digital literacy is defined as the ability to effectively and critically navigate, evaluate and create information using a range of digital technologies.

Digital Literacy

Many see technology as the problem behind the digital divide, while some others see it as solution. In reality, technology is neither. Its function is to operate in conjunction with business, economic, political and social system. In the current scenario computing is no longer about computers. It is about lifestyle & living.

Sate of Computer Literacy

According to various industry sources, computer literacy in India is around 12% and the Internet penetration is less than 10%. Fortunately the scope for 100% digital literacy in India is high as the outreach of mobiles is about 330 million households which is approximately 53% higher than radio and television outreach which is around 150 million households. The 2011 census has also revealed that only 9.8% of the Indian households have access to either a laptop or a computer and only 3% of these homes have internet connection.

Real Challenge

One of the issues that needs to be addressed by the new Government of India is the digital divide that prevails till date. Most of the future jobs will require some basic level of computer knowledge and digital literacy. Some of the measures to bridge this could be by ensuring internet connectivity in each and every area. Educational institutes should be equipped with laptops and computers. But these solutions would still be limited to a specific audience. The primary reason that prevents computers from being a part of the households is the cost of the device.

The Viable Solution

Continuing the vision of bridging the wide digital gap of the country, Bangalore based Microsoft certified computer, laptop and other computing technology refurbisher ReNew IT provides perfect solution to coping up with this challenge by making laptops, computers, servers and other day-today computing accessories at a very affordable rate.

It provides enterprise class refurbished laptops, computers with one year of service along with genuine Microsoft Windows licences at a fraction of the cost available in the market. ReNew IT’s refurbished computers comes at reachable price for the lower income group of society; though products are refurbishes, but they are as powerful as the brand new ones; which is  a indistinguishable from magic. Its refurbished and re-engineered computers are available from a range of popular brands.

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PPP – A possible solution to bridge the Digital Divide?

Public private partnership (PPP) refers to a combined effort of a private sector organization and government agency for a successful implementation of large scale public project which is meant for betterment of the society.

PPP play a major role in modernising public services and infrastructure. It is a collaborative and contractual partnership between government and private sector organization wherein a government organization may hire a private sector company to carry out one of the tasks relating to public welfare. PPP often uses private sector investments to finance, build and operate a public project when sufficient government funding is not available. In PPP, the key responsibilities are shared and the projects and services get delivered in a more efficient way.

The success of a PPP project depends on its sole objective – that is to provide cost effective and better services for the public. Various operative PPP models include — Build-and-Transfer (BT); Build-Lease-and-Transfer (BLT); Build Operate and Transfer (BOT); Build-Own-Operate-and-Transfer (BOOT); Build-Own-and-Operate(BOO); Build-Operate-Share-Transfer(BOST); Build-Own Operate-Share-Transfer (BOOST).

PPP enabled Social Development in India

PPP has a long way to go in India, although a considerable development sought recently. The PPP approach is mainly seen in the sectors like Road, bridge, power, water, health and education, renewable energy, telecom, tourism and port. In 2004, there were only 85 PPP projects; but the figure had gone up to 500 in 2004 and 2005. Currently, more than 1000 billion worth of PPP projects are in progress across the country with the largest number of projects in road, bridge and port. States including Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Karnataka have the highest number of PPP projects.

To drive this, Indian Government has introduced various measures to encourage private sector participations in the growth of India’s road transport system. The high-profile Second Vivekananda Bridge in Kolkata, the Jaipur to Kishangarh Expressway in Rajasthan and the Tirupur Water and Sewerage Project are few of the examples of successful PPP models.

Telecommunications sector is one of highest gainer of PPP in India. The country has over 326 million strong telephone networks, and mobile phone connections have been increasing substantially due to continuous encouragement for private sector organizations. This has made India as the second largest telecommunications network of the globe.

PPP to reduce the digital gap

In-spite of technological development, sadly, the digital divide is still rampant in India. Internet and PC penetrations in India are at a very nascent stage. Citizens from the lower income group of the country yet the feel the speed of the Internet world.

Global Digital Divide

Bringing in public and private partnership to bridge the digital divide can be landmark initiative and it will able to able to power the needy ones with basic computing as well as accessibility to Internet. A public-private partnership model has the potential for optimising the existing resources; as the public sector plays the role of facilitator while the private sector adds its technology, expertise and management practices. Thus, an ideal form of Public-private partnership can result in the availability of computer technology amongst the underprivileged.

To enable this, government agencies can collaborate with the broadband providers as well as computer manufacturing companies, for affordable broadband connectivity as well as affordable PCs respectively to promote digital inclusion.

Conclusion

Without a healthy digital inclusion strategy, the lower socio-economic groups will not be able to access the benefits of Information Technology, and social marginalisation will continue to dominate. But, with an ever-increasing presence and affordability of high-speed broadband communications, availability of affordable and refurbished PCs and laptops supported by Public Private Partnership, the digital divide can be reduced.  It will help spread IT infrastructure and broadband connection to the rural and lower economic groups. The government organisation need to connect and collaborate with the private companies like ReNew-IT to provide affordable and refurbished PCs and laptops to the needy population of our country.

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Enabling Social Growth through IT – AMBA CEEIC

AMBA Center for Economic Empowerment of the Intellectually Challenged (AMBA CEEIC) was founded by Sugandha Sukrutaraj ten years back to help the intellectually disabled adults, who cannot be trained by through formal education. The NGO aims at creating sustainable livelihood for the mentally and intellectually challenged individuals by providing them education and training with cutting edge technology, innovative teaching methodologies and peer-to-peer training programmes.  Apart from providing required training, AMBA CEEIC make them economically empowered by placing them across regular salaried occupation viz. data entry operators, computer operator etc.

ReNew IT is committed to provide affordable computing technologies to the needy and bridge the wide digital gap prevails in our country. The company has been successful in following this on its own way. It has been supporting this Bangalore based NGO in their ground breaking endeavours.

“RAMBA SugandhaeNew IT has truly made a difference to AMBA. It has been an ideal partner in our social journey”

– Sugandha Sukrutaraj, Founder AMBA CEEIC

The NGO makes the optimal use of information technology and has regular requirements of computers and laptops to train the intellectually disabled and low IQ individuals. And ReNewIT fulfils this requirement by providing them affordable refurbished computers in bulk.

Overwhelmed by the support offered by Renew IT, the founder of AMBA CEEIC, Sugandha Sukrutaraj says, “ReNewIT as social enterprise has helped us to stretch our resources while ensuring enterprise level laptops and computers for our programme. The icing on the cake is that everyone at ReNew IT has an amazing heart. Their support goes way beyond enabling low cost hardware. They are great partners to AMBA CEEIC”.

According to Sugandha Sukrutaraj, in India, 3% of its entire population is intellectually challenged; and it is a big task to educate wherethere are almost 35 million intellectually disabled populations in the country. Besides, these are individuals who are not only intellectually disabled but many of them are physically challenged as well.

In AMBA CEEIC, they have been trying to help and provide them a sustainable livelihood through the optimization of information technology. In this social achievement journey, ReNew IT has been an ideal partner and the company has been supporting AMBA with its high quality affordable computers and laptops along with service warranty. ReNew IT has truly made a difference to AMBA, says Sugandha Sukrutaraj, emphasising the immense contribution made by ReNewIT to AMBA.

According to her, it is not only ReNew IT provides them high quality low cost computers; but it also helps them in many other ways; whenever the NGO has any technical glitches across there IT infrastructure; ReNew IT has been always on time for support. This has helped AMBA to a greater extent in following timeline of achievements.

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Best Computers or IT Infrastructure for Growing SMEs

Computing infrastructure for small and medium enterprises

IT needs for small businesses

In Asia Pacific economic circle, the Small and medium enterprises covers almost 90% of all businesses, including India. Government of India’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development act 2006 defines small enterprises as business initiatives whose investment is more than 25 lakh but does not go beyond 5 crores. The medium enterprise are those enterprises whose total investment is more than 5 crore and but does not go beyond 10 crores. These businesses run with lesser number of workforces.

The SME market in India

The small and medium enterprises contribute to employee generation, productivity, exports and the overall growth of India’s economy. For example in the places like Odisha, the SMEs are contributing to create maximum employment next to agriculture. SME sector is responsible for about 40 percent of the exports and 45 percent of the total manufacturing output in the country. This sector is creating 1.3 million jobs every year, providing employment to 60 million Indians and also producing almost 8000 quality products per year. It is estimated that India has 30 million SMEs functioning and in the coming years, around 12 million more employees are expected to join the SME sector and the sector is growing at a rate of 8% per year.

How to buy computers for the SMEs?

Efficient IT infrastructure plays a major role in the growth of small and medium enterprises. Hence, well planned IT investment is a key; while doing so, industry best practices also cannot be ignored. For the SMEs, the functionalities, speed and power of the computing equipments matter most.

Before investing on technology, there is a need of evaluation of IT needs of the business, and then comes right need of technology efficiency- need to consider technology abilities viz. processing speed of the computer like how quickly it runs.  Normally the greater number of cores it has, it functions better. Adding more RAM will allow a computer to work faster. Even the storage is also important which determines how much information one can save on a computer’s hard disk. If the business requires larger storage capacity such as need to store more software applications and data on computer; then, should not opt for computers which only fulfil minimal requirements for an operating system (OS).  For example, the Windows 7 OS requires at least a 1 GHz or faster processor, 1 GB RAM and 20 GB available hard disk space to function effectively; without these specifications, the system will not perform effectively.

Once the technology requirements are clearly listed; it’s time to decide between a desktop and a laptop. Desktops come at a reasonable price and deliver great performance. They are the best choice, if flexibility is not a concern.  But, if portability is a business priority, laptops or new generation net books can be the right choice. Whether it is a laptop or desktop or any other hardware parts, it is better to buy in bulk; it helps in decreasing number of investments as well as CapEx.

What about purchasing refurbished and affordable computers, if budget is a challenge?  In fact, it can be a fair deal to buy affordable refurbished computers and laptops. Refurbished computers are those computers which are used but completely re-engineered for new users. Refurbishment is a stringent step by step evaluation process of the old computer and restoration of its parts so as to make it highly functional. Hence, no technological or performance difference exists between brand new and refurbished computers. These computers come at a low price with a limited period warranty like a new one.

But, before taking a decision, we need to zero down at a reliable refurbisher. There are companies who maintain a strict re-engineering process to provide complete satisfaction to their buyers.

ReNew IT is one such initiative to provide low cost, high quality computers to the needy population of our country. It can help you with a smart deal for your growing business!

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What does your kid learn through Computers?

Affordable computers for kids

Low cost computers for kids

Today’s smarter life demands basic computer literacy from every one of us; even from pre-school kids! With information technology interfering in each sphere of our life, it has been becoming a challenge for the people who do not have the required computing skills. Given the immense development of smarter technology everywhere, schools have stared inducting courseware related to computer starting from the primary level.

Computers, video games always fascinate kids. Since visuals attracts them most; it is easier to teach them with the help of a computer; and they learn faster!

There are a number of computers games that develop various aspects of a kid like memory, concentration, interest and observation power etc. For example, the Big Brain academy helps forgetful kids on how to remember things; Dora’s cooking club enables a kid to learn mathematical and scientific skills; Backyardigans helps kids to learn about team work and togetherness. Scribblenauts Remix helps in vocabulary building with its built-in features of iOS. ItzaZoo is a learn-to-read game including aspects like drawings, strategy building and problem solving. The fitness games like Nickelodeon Fit, Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout, Wii Fit Plus, Wii Fit U help the kids to remain physically fit. These games are designed to cater to the various needs of a kid which combines educational and entertaining content so that they can find it interesting and learn easily.

Ideal courseware

In the beginning, kids need to understand the various physical parts of a computer and their functionalities. Gradually, they can move on to learn the various programmes; about the internet and how it operates; how to search online information and how to be safe while using internet. And these basic knowledge can be acquired in home as well.

Kids find the paint very attractive; and we can initiate the learning process with this. Parents can also use the ‘easy learning software’ which helps the kids to understand Chemistry, English and Maths. Normally, the kids prefer to use computer and internet for gaming, drawing, painting, information gathering and other educational purposes.

There are some programming languages which are suitable for the beginners. They include – python which is a simple computer language to start with a modern day kids; the Raspberry Pi which is a affordable little device where kids can learn coding ; Mine-craft is a funny and creative video game a kid can play; Scratch is another visual programming language a kid can be taught initially in the primary level. However, depending on the age, the course materials can be customized.

At Kindergarten stage, kids need to learn how to power on and power off the computer safely. The basic computer courses are suitable for children up to 5th grade which teaches them to operate the computer and open and close any particular folder.

At grown up stage, (between 5th to 9th grades) they need to learn how to operate various programs. In this stage, children are also introduced to internet and how to play multifaceted games. Then comes the technical courses and they are made for the children above 8th grade.  At this stage, a child mainly learns the programming and graphics.

Tips that may help you to familiarize your kid with computing

  • Encourage your kid to explore and play with the computer on his/ her own
  • Be a co-participant with your young star and help him/her to understand better by asking questions
  • Guide your kid to establish his own pace of learning; making him/her more engaged. It does not matter if your kid is a slow leaner; the more important point is how much she/ he has learnt to use it
  • Allow your kid to use it for a limited time. Do not allow your kid to spend the whole day the PC which might have an adverse effect on him/her

Buying the right machine

While buying a machine for your kid, you need to identify his/ her priority. If your kid will use it in home, the desktop is preferable; but if portability is the chief concern, then you should opt for a laptop.

Kids are new users and not matured enough to handle a PC with care; hence, instead of buying a brand new PC, you can choose an affordable refurbished one. There is not any technological or performance related differences exist between a brand new and a refurbished computer which come at a low price with a limited period warranty and service contract.

There are companies which provide refurbished affordable computers and laptops. Renew IT is one such company focused on making high quality computers and laptops affordable and accessible to all.  Not only the kids, there a

re schools, NGOs and many other social organisations which need computers in bulk and also at a lower cost. ReNew IT caters to the needs of all these.

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