Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Rural Connectivity... Bridging Urban-Rural Divide

India started the first decade of 21st century with a magical (at least for Indians) utterance of “Information Technology”, a term which has largely been seen in its totality and has not been operated and analyzed with respect to the Indian realities. To analyze the situation emerging at the end of the first decade, in a more detailed manner, I divide the term into two – Information and Technology. 
It is quite often said that information will be the single most powerful tool to force through the social transformation in India but what is more important than information is access to the information as well as innovative use of the information. There is no doubt that Information will play a pivotal role in making India a knowledge powerhouse by the end of this decade (as expected by the Government) but the same will not happen until the information is accessed by the people at large that too in an equal manner across the country. So the availability of information and access to information, both are important issues to be addressed. 

Are we Ready for more FDI ?

We have to check whether any further increase in FDI will render thousands of people who are employed with cable operators, jobless while opening the doors to foreign media houses to take control of Indian media and infrastructure. Like this, several pertinent questions are yet to be answered. Let’s try to sum-up this, here. - Mrs Roop Sharma 
There is no doubt that the FDI plays an important role in the economic development of a country by enhancing competitiveness through transfer of technology, strengthening infrastructure, raising productivity and generating new employment. In case of broadcasting however, I wish to know whether any evaluation of foreign investments in the industry has been done so far since the last regulations to increase the FDI cap from 26% to 49% were introduced. I feel that there is still a need to take a stock of the goals achieved in terms of transfer of technology, betterment of infrastructure and generation of new employment due to FDI poured-in the country, till date. 

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Need to Bridge the Digital Divide

When the Government approved HITS (Head-End In The Sky) policy on November 12, last year, WWIL shares gained by 20% a day after, since it was the only license-holder to carry-out HITS operations in the country. But the cheers could not stay for long. Four months on, and WWIL decides to with-hold its HITS operations disappointing many cable operators who had started using their services making huge investments. Government must take the blame once again for making hurried decision in allowing HITS without putting distribution and interconnection policy in place. There were no guidelines for the broadcasters for giving content to the HITS operators. 
I personally feel if the government announced the policy to introduce HITS, they should have supported it wholeheartedly like they did in case of IPTV. It could be a major setback to the Government’s plan to improve the connectivity in rural India with HITS. 

April 2010


1/4/10 -- Tru TV enters Asia, launched in Singapore.