IT Taskforce
IT Action Plan (Part III)
Long Term National IT Policy


74. Convergence of print medium, databases and telecommunication has led to the advent of the electronic content industry. The Content industry has come to mean various commercial and non-commercial activities relating to the bibliographic, textual and statistical databases as well as the information, education and entertainment materials in the electronic form including audio, video and multimedia forms. The Government of India will give priority for promoting this human-resource intensive industry extensively in the country.

75. Considering the vast global and domestic market, the content industry has a potential to grow to a size comparable to the computer software industry with enormous opportunities for income and employment generation. Content development being an integral part of any information system, the content industry is recognised as a priority sector for lending and according the same benefits for purposes of promotion and development as given to the software sector.

76. The Government and its associated organizations are the largest producers of socio-economic and statistical information. These vast databases will be rationalised by using standardised formats and retrieval mechanisms and make them easily available on line to the planners, scholars and the public.

77. All non-classified or declassified information in the possession of the government agencies will be made available to the content industry on non-exclusive basis. The terms and modalities of dissemination already approved by the Government will form the initial basis.

78. The government will fund and sponsor research on various aspects of content development, including related market studies and develop a short term as well as a long term vision and growth strategy for the sector. Detailed research studies will be undertaken to identify specific areas for content creation and its marketing at regional, national and international levels.

79. For the information generated or collected through its various agencies, the Government will evolve policy guidelines and a set of standards to classify or declassify the information at the point of origin or compilation. In the case of classified information, the period of classified status will be specified at the point of origin or compilation itself so as to facilitate automatic declassification of such information on expiry of the specified period.

80. All the reports generated out of the R & D works funded by the government and its agencies will be made available for wider dissemination and commercial exploitation. The government will ensure establishment of a suitable mechanism for collection, compilation and timely publication(hosting) of such information in the electronic form.

81. It will be made mandatory for all the universities or deemed universities in the country to host every dissertation/thesis submitted for research degrees on a designated Website.

82. It will be maximally ensured that any information or report collected by the government will be in electronic form at the entry point itself. Similarly, all the information to be made available to the public by the government, such as budget documents, customs and excise rules, railway time tables, telephone directory, maps including public domain digitised maps, etc. will be made available in the electronic form.

83. The national, regional and other public libraries will be required to develop databases of their holdings which will be hosted on a designated web site for free access to users.

84. The Government in association with the industry will evolve appropriate guidelines, codes and systems to ensure that materials anti-social, unsuitable, illegal or posing a threat to national security are not put on the websites.

85. The Indian language based systems are crucial for the growth of the content industry and for spreading the impact of IT to the grass root level. All Government funded software tools developed, for handling information in Indian languages, will be actively promoted for widespread use and made available at nominal cost.

86. India is known for its rich and diverse cultural heritage. It also possess a vast wealth of traditional knowledge. These are mostly in Indian languages and should be promoted and preserved for posterity. The Government will, therefore, take initiatives, through appropriate projects, to create electronic images of the information on the Indian arts and culture, for wider dissemination and research.

87. Indian language software and content will be required to conform to the BIS standard IS 13194:96 for ISCII code and encrypt keyboard.

88. An effective Copy Right protection system is a prerequisite for development of creative works in the electronic medium. Therefore, the Indian copyright law will be strengthened in this direction. Further, there is a need for global harmonisation of copyright laws. The conclusion of the TRIPSs ( Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights ) agreement and of the two WIPO (World Intellectual Proprietary Organisation) treaties, will be adopted for such harmonisation.

89. A domain name registration system will be developed in a manner that allows robust and open competition and facilitates management of Internet names and addresses in India following the best practices available elsewhere in the world.

90. There is a need to promote and encourage hosting of non-commercial materials related to linguistic, social and cultural aspects of the people by the public or private organisations. The Government will take initiative for providing web sites, free of cost, for such purposes.

91. Government will encourage and promote Indian companies and organizations to host their contents only on web servers located in India with Indian domain addresses and these will be made available at internationally competitive prices. Any information hosted on these sites will follow the guidelines evolved by the Government in association with the Industry.

92. For enabling Inter-operability between equipment, data, practices and procedures, Standards will be evolved to integrate hardware, software and communication systems and to exchange information across boundaries of different systems.

93. Creation of knowledge bases requires trained man-power for collection, compilation, analysis and production of value added information products and services. Specialized training programmes, through existing institutions, will be initiated to meet the requirement of trained professionals in these areas. Traditional curriculum being offered by the universities and educational institutions in various fields related to content industry will be suitably modified, such as library science, journalism and mass communication.

94. Multimedia and Internet are the foundations of the future content industry. Creation of multimedia products require specialists in multimedia designing, editing, programming etc. Training programmes for these core professionals in multimedia, will be initiated in Engineering Colleges, Polytechnics and other concerned institutions.

95. For providing global exposure to Indian content industry, the Government will project this industry through India pavilion in key industrial events like London Online. The government will, initially, sponsor such exposures through recognised Indian industry associations.

96. The banking and financial institutions will be advised to recognise content development activity as an industry for providing venture capital and develop appropriate norms for financing this industry. A special venture capital fund will be created exclusively for electronic content industry.

97. Suitable amendments will be made to all the existing acts and rules of the Government to recognise and treat the content in all forms(text, graphics, audio, video, visual, full motion, multimedia etc.) and all mediums (print, microfilm, optical, magnetic, Internet-based, etc.) alike for all statutory compliance and taxation purposes.

98. To make the Indian content industry globally competitive, the royalty terms for licensing the copyrighted contents and the software provided by the global information providers and publishers, will be allowed to be determined by the market forces. RBI guidelines, in this regard will be amended suitably to remove the present royalty restrictions of 15% for data ( publishing) and 30% for software.

99. A pilot project on digital library development, based on indigenous software, will be initiated. The project will be time-bound and implemented at one of the suitable existing libraries to serve as a model. The software so developed can be distributed to other organisations to accelerate the development of digital libraries in the country.

100. Virtual libraries provide extensive information and instant access to users through information networks. The Government will promote a pilot project for creation of a model virtual library. The virtual library will be enabled to work out suitable copyright arrangements with the relevant publishers for providing the service.

101. A National Internet Centre of Excellence (NICE), will be established in an existing institution to promote standards, assist digital content development in India, devise standards for content building and delivery, and research new technologies.

102. Games constitute one of the largest segment of digital content through such media as video games, TV Games, etc. Moreover, it would continue to command a large share of global digital media market for the next five years. Appropriate promotional measures will be taken to boost games software exports from India.