IT Taskforce
Information Technology Action Plan


IT for all by 2008

For enabling a proactive drive for 'IT for all by 2008', the following new policy instruments shall be devised and activated.


Recognising Information Technology to be a frontier area of knowledge, and also a critical enabling tool for assimilating, processing and productivising all other spheres of knowledge, the Government shall launch 'OPERATION KNOWLEDGE'. The aim of this national campaign will be to universalise computer literacy and also to spread the use of computers and IT in education. 'OPERATION KNOWLEDGE' shall be developed into a comprehensive policy within the next three months. However, the following initiatives shall be taken for the immediate implementation of some of its key objectives:

(58) The Government shall soon launch three schemes -- Vidyarthi Computer Scheme, Shikshak Computer Scheme and School Computer Scheme -- to enable every student, teacher or school respectively desirous of buying computers to do so under attractive financial packages. These schemes will be supported by a suite of initiatives such as lowering the cost of PCs, easy-instalment bank loans, computer donations by IT companies and other business houses, bulk donations of computers by NRI organisations, large-volume bargain price imports, multi-lateral funding, etc.

(59) Computers and Internet shall be made available in every school, polytechnic, college, university and public hospital in the country by the year 2003.

(60) All universities, engineering colleges, medical colleges and other institutions of higher learning in the country as well as Research and Development Organisations shall be networked for a supplementary programme of distance education for improving the quality of education before year 2000.

(61) The seven national level institutions (IITs, IISc.) shall be encouraged to triple their output of students in IT by suitably restructuring the programme.

(62) A National Council of IT Education comprising experts from both the industry and the academicia, shall be set up for defining courses and their content in the light of rapid developments taking place in Information Technology. The Council will also initiate a 'Teach the Teachers' (3T) programme for upgrading on a regular basis the IT knowledge and skills of teachers.

(63) An IT Course Module shall be made a compulsory component of all Degree Courses within a short period.

(64) The setting up of Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIIT) shall be implemented with urgency to make up for the lost time. Hi-tech institutions like the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) will be given the Deemed University status without insisting upon the mandatory three-year stipulation.

(65) The Government shall promote the pairing of our Universities with centres of excellence in IT in developed countries.

(66) Specific courses shall be launched in association with the Software Industry and IIMs to provide Project Management skills and develop specialised courses on Software Marketing.

(67) The concept of SMART Schools where the emphasis is not only on Information Technology in Schools, but also on the use of skills and values that will be important in the next millennium, shall be started on a pilot demonstrative basis in each State.

(68) An Institute for Computer Professionals of India shall be set up on the pattern of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India; the Institute will be nucleated by NASSCOM with initial financial support from the industry and the Government. The Institute will be given the responsibility as an Accreditation Body for IT Education and Training Programmes with full Government recognition in addition to the DOEACC Programme of the Department of Electronics.

(69) To enhance the knowledge base of IT related education at all levels the Government shall establish Information Technology, System Engineering and IT Security Institutes from within existing manpowr of the Armed Forces. The Centres of Excellence in IT Software and System Engineering in the Defence Services will be utilised to the national advantage.

(70) Virtual Institutes in different parts of the country shall be set up to achieve excellence in distance education.

(71) The talent and expertise of IT-trained ex-servicemen shall be utilised for IT penetration in rural India and Government will fully support this offer of the Armed Forces. A Plan will be prepared and implemented for utilising the services of the large number of IT literate defence personnel retiring every year for propagating the IT culture at sub-district levels.

(72) A 'National Qualification Framework' shall be established for computerised online objective system of knowledge acquisition; An 'Educational Credit Bank' shall be implemented for giving flexibility to integrate credits earned in different institutions/systems towards the eligibility for diplomas and degrees.

(73) A specialised sub-committee of this Task Force shall coordinate the setting up of National and State level Digital Libraries Projects.

(74) A pilot project under the aegis of the National Task Force on Information Technology shall be launched in some lead districts which have already attained universal literacy, with the aim of achieving universal computer literacy in all the secondary schools in these districts. Alongside, the network of educational institutions in these districts will be assisted to maximise the induction of IT in order to create world-class talent at the top-end of the education pyramid. These pilot projects will be joint initiatives of the local educational institutions, respective State Governments and the Centre. In the first instance, such a pilot project will be launched in Dakshin Kannada and Udupi Districts in Karnataka on a substantive self-financing basis. Within a short time, the same will be extended to suitable districts in other States.

(75) In view of the lower-than-national-average levels of technical and IT education facilities in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, several educational centres will be identified with a view to making them models for IT-based education and training at all levels. The aim of this initiative will be to promote IT education and awareness in Hindi-speaking States and thereby revitalise the Hindi heartland in all the fields of knowledge and knowledge-based enterprises. Allahabad shall be developed as the first such model IT-based education-cum-business centre. Within a short time, this initiative will be extended to other States which are underdeveloped in IT.


IT Penetration & IT Awareness

(76) Government shall encourage the setting up of value-added network services including ATMs, Electronic Kiosks, Telephones, Smart Cards, etc., for providing a 'One-Stop Non-Stop' service to the public.

(77) To make IT a mass movement, an awareness creation strategy shall be worked out within two months and the structures for implementing the same shall be put in place.

(78) A major promotional campaign shall soon be launched to boost IT in Indian languages. This campaign will be based on a multi-pronged approach, involving fiscal and other incentives for R&D, production, marketing and popularisation of IT products in Indian languages. This recommendation addresses the reality that India can become a major IT power only if IT penetration in the country deepens and widens-which in turn, is dependent on large-scale use of IT in Indian languages.

(79) The Government shall take all the necessary steps to boost IT for agricultural and integrated rural development. Towards this end, a number of demonstration projects will be devised in each State taking into account the specific strengths and needs at the local level. A unique 'WIRED VILLAGES' pilot project has been launched under the aegis of the National Information Technology Task Force on Information Technology at the Warananagar Cooperative Complex in Kolhapur District in Maharashtra. Efforts will be made to quickly replicate such projects in other states.

(80) The Government shall take necessary measures to develop, productivise and use, in domestic and global markets, indigenous technologies in wireless telecommunication such as CorDECT, remote access switch, etc., to achieve the national objective of rapid, low-cost expansion of telephone and Internet connectivity in rural and remote areas. Similarly, promotional measures shall be taken to encourage technologies that bring IT and Internet to the masses through the vast network of Cable TV houses.

(81) For promoting electronic commerce in a time-bound manner, a strict directive shall be given to Sea Ports, Airports Authority of India, DGFT, Banks, Container Services, Customs and Indian Railways in accordance with the programme approved in the tenth Export Promotion Board meeting.

(82) Bar Coding of every item sold in the country shall be made compulsory within a five-year period.

(83) The Armed Forces shall integrate far-flung and remote areas (Ladakh, North-East, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Kutch, Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands, border areas of Himachal and Rajasthan) with mainstream India, through IT penetration as part of their Civic Action Programme. The funds for this initiative shall be provided through the Government/Venture/Seed Capital.


Citizen IT Interface

(84) The Cabinet has approved NIC's proposal to make government Information, other than that having a bearing on security, available to the public. This decision shall be implemented by suitably empowering NIC to do so. This recommendation addresses the felt need for easy availability and extensive transparency of government information.

(85) District Information System (DISNIC) Plan Programme shall be made widespread and databases updated online, shall be made available to the public and Panchayats, among others. Courts Information System(COURTIS), Parliament Information System (PARLIS), Computerised Rural Information System Programme (CRISP) and other such databases shall be updated online over NICNET and access to public facilitated .

(86) A Citizens Charter for effective and responsive administration in terms of time-bound service to the public shall be framed and implemented under the coordination of the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances and hoisted on the official INTERNET Web Site 'India Image' of the Government of India.

IT in Government

(87) Each Department/Agency in the Central Government and State Governments shall be required to prepare a Five Year IT Plan.

(88) 1-3% of the budget of every Ministry/Department shall be earmarked for applying IT in the Department/sector; this investment will include not only the purchase of IT products, IT Software, but also for training and IT services; Reappropriation of the Department's budget for the IT sub-budget head shall be within the delegated powers of the Head of the Department.

(89) NIC, at the national level, and technology service organisations at the State level, shall establish 'Framework Contracts' with reputed suppliers to provide a wide range of IT consultancy, specialist services and IT products to Government agencies to reach the benefit of lower costs through bulk purchases.

(90) India shall participate in international projects like 'Government Online' Project of G-8 countries so as to not only learn from the experience of others but also to contribute to the global experience in planning and implementing projects to promote IT in Government.

(91) Tele-commuting is recognised as a new modality of doing work in an office and labour laws accommodating the same shall be enacted. An option shall be given to employees, where feasible and efficient, to accomplish part of their work through telecommuting in the framework of 'Management by Objectives' (MBO).

(92) The Government of India shall set up a central repository of data elements in Government with the NIC and make it accessible through NICNET.

(93) The recommendations of the TG-MAP Committee for Map and GIS Data Policy approved by the Committee of Secretaries under the Cabinet Secretary, shall be notified by the Ministry of Defence expeditiously.

(94) A computerised National Inventory of Training pertaining to different areas shall be maintained.

(95) A computerised Inventory of Government best practices for electronic access shall be maintained.

(96) Government shall stipulate IT literacy as an essential requirement for all future Government and public sector employment; in the Annual Confidential Reports of government employees, a column shall be introduced regarding contribution to IT utilisation in the department/organisation.

(97) A National Institute of Smart Government shall be set up to focus on all issues concerning IT-supported governance.

(98) State Institutes of Public Administrations shall be re-engineered to help bring about IT-responsive State Governments.

(99) Suitable floor space in Government buildings, which are not utilised during non-office hours, could be given to private educational institutions for IT training purposes in return for a proportionate number of free nominations of Government employees for IT training.


Data Security Systems and Cyber Laws

(100) A National Computerised Records Security Document shall be prepared within three months for enforcing security requirements by consulting similar documents prepared by SAG, JCB, WESEE, etc.

(101) An Information Security Agency shall be set up at the National level to play the role of Cyber Cop.

(102) A National Policy on Information Security, Privacy and Data Protection Act for handling of computerised data shall be framed by the Government within six months.

(103) Cyber infractions shall be addressed within the legal framework by the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs.

(104) The cryptology and Cyber Security knowledge and experience developed by the Defence establishments shall be suitably transferred to the civilian information security agencies for wider dissemination in the country to increase information security, network security and bring about a greater degree of secure use of EFT, Digital Signature, etc.

(105) The procedure of keeping records in paper form in public and private STPs shall be restricted to a maximum duration of two months after which the records shall be kept only in the Electronic/Magnetic/Optical media.

(106) The Indian Telegraph Act of 1885, the Indian Post Office Act of 1888 and the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act of 1993 shall be suitably modified in the light of the growing predominance of IT in day-to-day life. Suitable changes will also be made in other Laws/Acts, wherever necessary.

(107) The draft set of Cyber Laws prepared by the Cyber Law Committee set up by the Committee of Secretaries, shall be approved by the Government with suitable modifications and implemented, as a first step, within six months.

(108) All necessary instructions, notifications and amendements to procedures/Law shall be issued by the respective Ministries / Departments within three months.