Minutes of the Preparatory
of the National
Information Technology & Software
on 12, 13 and 15
Task Force meeting was held on 12 June 1998, 13 June
1998 and 15 June 1998 at the Planning Commission,
Yojana Bhavan, under the chairmanship of Professor
M.G.K. Menon, Co-Chairperson of the Task Force.
The following members were present:
Shri N.R. Narayana Murthy
Shri Ashok Soota
Shri A.V. Gokak
Shri N.K. Singh
Shri N.R. Narayana Murthy
Shri Ashok Soota
Shri N.K. Singh
Dr. Y.S. Rajan
Shri Ravi Parthasarathi
|Prof. M.G.K. Menon
Shri P.P. Prabhu
Dr. N. Seshagiri
Commodore Prem Chand
Shri Dewang Mehta
Shri Anil Bakht
recommendations made by the Preparatory Task Force are
enclosed at Annexure-I.
3. Before the above recommendations
are placed before the Task Force under the chairmanship
of the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, the views of
Secretary (Revenue), Secretary (Finance) and Secretary
(Telecom) shall be taken on specific recommendations in
the light of which modifications as suggested will be put
before the Task Force along with the recommendations at
Annexure-I to enable the Task Force to make a final set
of recommendations for placing before the Prime Minister
and the Cabinet:
i) Specific Recommendations
referred to Secretary (Revenue):
5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13,
14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 38, 78, 79
ii) Specific Recommendations
referred to Secretary (Finance):
20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26,
28, 29, 32, 33, 34, 35,
iii) Specific recommendations
referred to Secretary (Telecom.):
(50) to (77), 97, 101
the Preparatory Task Force meeting of the National Task
Force on IT and Software Development
I. CUSTOMS &
EXCISE RELATED ISSUES
1.1 Definition of 'IT Software'
(1) (i) Definition: "IT
Software" means any representation of
instructions, data, sound or image, including source
code and object code, recorded in a machine readable
form, and capable of being manipulated or providing
interactivity to a user, by means of an automatic
data processing machine falling under heading 'IT
Products', but does not include 'non-IT products'. IT
service is defined as any service which results from
the use of any IT software over a system of IT
products for realising value addition. The term 'IT
Software' shall be substituted in place of 'Computer
Software' in all notifications.
(ii) Finance Ministry (CBEC)
shall introduce a new classification called,
'Information Technology (IT) Products' including
Computer, Digital/Data communication and Digital/Data
Broadcasting products, by recognising the progressive
technological convergence of these three categories
and in line with the classification list in
Attachment A (Section I and Section II) of the WTO
(iii) IT Software shall be
entitled for zero customs and excise duty.
1.2 Duty Reduction Schedule :
Commitment to WTO
(2)(i) Issuance of a
notification and informing WTO and the primary
signatory countries about India completely acceding
to the Ministerial Declaration of 13 December 1996 at
(ii) Issuance of a notification
rescinding the modified position conveyed by India to
(iii) Issuance of a
notification announcing the following new schedule:
In Attachment A, Section I of
(a) Out of
the sub-list of the 94 items conveyed to WTO in
1996 which are found in the list:
3818,8469-11 to 8531-90, 8542 to 8544-70, and
9030-40, the duty shall be reduced to zero by 1
(b) Duty on
the Other items in the above list in 2(iii) (a)
will be reduced to zero by 1 January 2000
(c) Duty on
the items 8532 to 8541, and 9009-11 to 9027-90
will be reduced to zero by 1 January 2002
In Attachment A, Section-II:
(d) Duty on
all items in the list will be reduced to zero by
1 January 1999.
(iv) Zero excise duty and zero
special additional duty shall be concomitant with
zero customs duty.
1.3 Duty on Compact Disc or on
other Optical Disc Media or on magnetic media with
(3) No customs duty on import
of CD-ROMs or Optical Disc Media or Magnetic Media
containing text and data as content.
1.4 Duty Exemption for gifting
(4) Imported IT Products can be
taken out of bonded offices or out of Electronics/IT
Units under EOU/EPZ/STP/EHTP Schemes after a period
of 3 years from the date of import or after declaring
them obsolete, if these are gifted to recognised
Schools, Colleges, Libraries, R&D Establishments,
Government organisations, Registered Charitable
hospitals, Charitable societies looking after the
welfare of weaker sections of the society, destitute
children, destitute women and environmental
1.5 Bonding and Inspection
(5)(i) IT components for
non-commercial use and IT software should be allowed
to be imported through registered courier without any
upper value limit.
(ii) IT Software and IT
Services companies shall be exempted from inspection
by Inspectors like those for Factory, Boiler, Excise,
Labour, Pollution/Environment etc.,
(iii) Physical bonding in the
bonded offices or in the operations of
EOU/EPZ/STP/EHTP Units, shall be removed by
maintaining a certified record of all IT Products or
IT software imported or procured locally for use in
the bonded premises in a dedicated central computer
archive maintained by the Custom House with the
details entered into it in standard EDI format
through INTERNET by an authorised person in the
bonded unit. This shall be subject to sample physical
inspection by customs.
1.6 Shipment related issues.
(6) (i) Export shipment time
for air cargo shall be reduced to less than 24 hours.
(ii) "Known Shipper"
will be introduced to avoid delays on account of
cooling off period.
(iii) Cargo companies and other
associated agencies to allow consolidation of export
The Ministry of Civil Aviation
shall issue necessary notifications/amendments in the
regulations in association with Ministry of Home
II. DIRECT TAX
2.1 IT as Infrastructure
(7) Declaring Electronics and
Information Technology as "Basic Growth
Industry" and as "Infrastructure
facility" under Section 80-IA of the Income Tax
2.2 Income Tax Concessions
(8) Section 80 HHE of the
Income Tax Act provide for income tax exemption to
profits derived from software and services exports.
This section has to be amended as follows:
existing formula is changed such that tax on
profits have no relation to domestic turn over.
definition of export turnover is changed for
including IT services
Profits of overseas branches shall get tax
Deduction for sub-contractors in respect of
profit from export of computer software to
continue for ten years.
(9) Allowing 50 percent of all
foreign exchange brought into India by a Company to
be exempted from the Income Tax Act shall continue
for ten years.
(10) IT software and IT
services shall be deemed as manufacturing activity
for the limited purpose of applicability of Section
10 (15) (iv) of the Income Tax Act.
(11) The current benefits of
Section 10A and 10B of the Income Tax Act shall
continue for ten years.
2.3 Service Tax Exemption
(12) Service tax should be
exempt for IT software and IT services industry and
(13) IT Software should be
exempt from withholding tax through amendments in the
'explanation' of Section 9 of the Income Tax Act.
2.4 Tax Incentives for Promotion
(14) Creation of IT software
products and packages shall get R&D benefits
under Section 35(2AB) of the Income Tax Act.
(15) Foreign/NRI professionals
in IT Products, IT Software and IT services shall be
exempted from paying income tax on their salaries in
India for a period of upto two years.
(16) IT/Software companies
locating all their businesses in Class-C towns and
rural areas shall be exempted from Corporate Income
Tax for a period of three years.
(17) IT Software companies
employing women IT specialists and specialists from
constitutionally recognised weaker sections of the
society, in any combination of numbers, to the extent
of more than one third of the total IT/SW
professionals in the company shall be given deduction
in respect of profits and gains under Section 80HH.
2.5 Gift & Income Tax
Exemption for PC/IT Products
(18)(i) For individuals buying
IT products including computer, the expenditure shall
be deductible under Section 88 of the Income Tax Act.
(ii) No gift tax for the giver
or Income Tax for the taker on PCs whose original
purchase price is upto Rs. 50,000 and the gifting is
for fully residential use.
2.6 Income Tax Exemption for
Domestic Sale of Software
(19) Indian Software Exporting
companies shall have 25 percent of their domestic
sales exempted from Corporate Income Tax.
BANKS/RBI/FERA/INVESTMENT RELATED ISSUES
3.1 Working Capital Requirement
for the Software Industry
(20) As a special dispensation
towards the working capital requirement of running
software units, banks should consider working capital
as a term loan as is done by the State Financial
Corporations. In the Reserve Bank guidelines for
providing working capital to software companies,
certified and approved cash flow statements shall be
accepted instead of collaterals..
(21) A special working capital
fund of Rs. 5,000 crores shall pooled by a consortium
of banks for the exclusive use by software companies.
3.2 Venture Capital Requirement
for the Software Industry
(22) Creating an IT Venture
Capital Fund of US $ 500 million in the next five
years for giving low interest bearing loans and
investing in equity of start ups on the basis of
Share Capital participation or on the basis of profit
sharing by the banks instead of charging interest
(23) A venture capitalist is
allowed to set off losses in one invested company
against profits in another invested company, during a
particular year, for purposes of Income Tax.
3.3 Sweat Equity
(24) The issue of shares at
'par value' should be done away with by offering
sweat equity at a differential pricing.
(25) Amendment of Company Law
to facilitate issue of Sweat equity
(26) A new definition No. (66)
may be added after definition No. (65) in Clause 2 as
"(66) Sweat Equity means
equity allotted to promoters, Directors or employees
for providing any intellectual property or value
addition to the Company.
Suggested Section to issue
(65) after Sub-Section (1) (b), following clauses
shall be inserted as Clause (1)(c) and thereafter
the present Clause (1)(c) may be re-numbered as
3.4 Marketing Fund
(27) Marketing funds shall be
provided to the IT software and IT Services companies
in the form of 50% grant, similar to the EMF Scheme
of EXIM Bank.
3.5 FERA Issues
(28) Modifying FERA and
Companies Act for acquiring companies abroad/setting
up of operations abroad.
(29) Changes in FERA Act for
facilitating Electronic Commerce.
(30) 100% depreciation in the
first year itself must be provided for any investment
made in IT Products, IT software and IT services.
(31) 100% depreciation within
first year of purchase of IT products and IT Software
3.7 Priority of FI & Banks
for IT Software and IT Services Exports:
(32) IT Software Industry and
IT Services shall be treated as priority industry by
Financial Institutions and Banks.
(33) Capital Finance for
Software/Capitalizing Software Purchase shall be
(34) Bank guarantee should be
waived off for manufacturers having ISO quality
3.8 ADR/GDR, Stock listing &
(35)(i) Dollar Stock Options
shall be linked to ADR/GDR for employees of the
(ii) Dual listing of the Indian
Software companies in India and issue of ADRs or
overseas stock listing shall be permitted; one
relating to listing and trading in India and the
second class of shares relate only to overseas
(iii) Options like
Acquisitions, Mergers, leveraged buyouts, building
brand equity and overseas listing shall be made
procedurally simple with time bound clearance by the
(iv) Two way fungability for
ADRs should be allowed for software companies subject
to minimal essential restrictions for safeguarding
against adverse effect on capital convertibility
(v) Non-listed Indian software
companies (on Indian Stock Exchange) should be
allowed ADRs and overseas stock listing.
3.9 National Software
(36) Setting up of National
Software Development Board for providing
rolling-fund, soft loan and grant through specialised
'National Software Bank' under SIDBI.
IV. MOC/EXIM -
POLICY RELATED ISSUES
4.1 EPCG- Scheme
(37) In the EPCG scheme a
system of self-declaration shall be introduced with
100% post-checking subject to punitive penalty for
4.2 EXIM Policy related Issues
(38) The value limit for import
of IT Products including personal computers may be
reduced from Rs. 1.50 lakhs (cif) to Rs. 50,000;
simultaneously all CG and inputs to PC manufacture
and PC component manufacture reduced to zero duty and
the corresponding excise duties concomitantly reduced
4.3 Benefits to private
infrastructure and common facilities/service providers
(39) Private and public
organisations providing infrastructure/common
facilities shall be included for duty exemption for
importing capital goods. Such service providers in
view of such capital goods imported shall undertake
the export obligations as provided for import of
capital goods in the STP Scheme.
4.4 India Brand Equity Fund
(40) This Scheme operated by
the Ministry of Commerce shall be made available for
Software companies with lower interest and longer
V. SOFTWARE &
IT SERVICES: DEVELOPMENT & EXPORT
5.1 Body Shopping & Software
(41) 'Body shopping' has to be
made easier by combating Visa regulations of the
recipient countries through a planned diplomatic
strategy by the Ministry of External Affairs and the
Indian Missions abroad for which MEA will create a
suitable dedicated structure.
(42) Returns from package
software development shall be increased by enabling
Indian Marketing companies to set up wholesale
companies abroad by making all the provisions of (22)
to (29), (36) and (40) applicable to them; they shall
also be given maximum flexibility in organising the
marketing of package software from India through
5.2 Bench Marking against
(43) For Bench marking our
country with our emerging competitors, a study shall
be conducted once in two years by internationally
reputed consultancy companies for which provisions of
(36) can be utilised on priority.
5.3 Removing Location
(44) Restrictions on the
location of IT software and IT Services (including IT
training) companies in residential areas shall be
5.4 Y2K & Large Niche
(45) To enable organisations
and companies to identify, explore and plan
strategies for Large Niche Markets like Y2K and Euro,
notionally and Corporate wise, provisions of (22) to
(29), (36) and (40) shall be made applicable; through
MOC and DOE funds 'India Pavilions' may be set up in
several major IT exhibitions around the world through
the initiative and coordination of ESC and NASSCOM.
5.5 Promotion of Software &
IT Services Export
(46) 'Mega Web sites' shall be
created on INTERNET for promoting marketing and
encouraging Indian Software products and packages
under multiple initiatives like NASSCOM, ESC, etc.
(47) Under DEPB Rupee trade
arrangement, IT Software and IT Services export to
Russia shall be permitted with promotional support
given by the Electronics and Software Export
Promotion Council (ESC).
5.6. Promotion of IT enabled
(48) All promotional and
liberalisation policy instruments available to IT
Software and IT Services shall be made available to
IT enabled services including the Information Content
Industry by classifying IT enabled Services as
tantamount to IT Software and IT Services.
5.7 Setting up of Self-contained
Self-financing High-Tech Habitats
(49) Cities like Bangalore by
themselves can not fulfill the high targets now set
for the IT industry by the Year 2008. International
experience has shown that hi-tech industries flourish
essentially in the rural hinterland adjacent to
cities with top class hi-tech educational/research
institutions. India too will promote such 'High-tech
Habitats' in the rural hinterland adjacent to
suitable cities. For that purpose suitable autonomous
structures will be designed and progressive
regulations will be framed to facilitate
infrastructurally self-contained self-financed
Hi-Tech Habitats of high quality.
Initially, five such Hi-Tech
Habitats shall be planned and implemented in the
rural hinterland of the cities: Bangalore, Hyderabad,
Pune, Gurgaon and Bhubaneswar. It is estimated that
progressively 50 such Hi-Tech Habitats can be viably
set up by empowering the State Governments to
autonomously nucleate them within a technologically
progressive and administratively liberal set of
guidelines to be prepared by a Special Task Group on
Hi-Tech IT Habitats set up by the Task Force.
VI. DOT / TRAI -
6.1 Toll-Free Services &
Reduction of Telecom Costs
(50) (i) DoT & VSNL should
introduce toll free access to every INTERNET Service
Provider's point of presence (POP).
(ii) DoT to introduce toll Free
Lines to access INTERNET from any telephone exchange
in the country for those creating databases in India.
Each call shall be restricted to a maximum duration
of 30 minutes.
(51) Local call rates for
Internet access shall be charged for calls from any
subdistrict point to the district headquarters by
generalising the Kerala pattern of tariff to the
(52) There should be no
surcharge for a fully paid international high speed
Data Circuit (64 Kbps and above), if it is used for
making phone calls.
(53) Double the tariffed lease
rental for high speed data circuits leased by
companies licensed to provide value added service;
must be removed and normal tariffed lease charges
only shall be payable.
6.2 DOT-related Routing Issues
All ISPs and CUGs should be given
the following facilities:
(54) Requests made by ISP or
CUGs for release of Bandwidth to be sent by VSNL to
INTELSAT within one week of receipt.
(55) Allowing voice along with
data where required for IT Software and IT Services
export shall be cleared by DOT within 30 days.
(56) Reduction in domestic
lease line rates by 50 percent for IT software and IT
(57) VSAT-based and other data
networks should be allowed to be interconnected with
the public switched telecom networks (PSTNS) with
bilateral or multilateral interconnect agreements
between the parties.
(58) Restrictions against the
networks being linked to each other directly and the
insistence that they should go through the DOT's
network shall be withdrawn.
6.4 New Public Services
(59) Setting up Centralised
call centres shall be permitted and DOT shall quickly
respond to requests for bandwidth and links; The Call
charges shall be reduced to 1/3rd.
(60) DOT shall develop on
priority the 1-800 and 1-900 services on the same
pattern as in USA.
VII. INTERNET / VSNL - BASED
7.1 Ending VSNL Monopoly
(61) Direct global connectivity
should be allowed to private sector ISPs or CUGs, who
should be free to choose either between VSNL's
gateway or any other international gateway of their
(62) VSNL monopoly permitted
upto 2004 for switched voice telephony shall be
immediately reviewed and in line with the WTO (NGBT
and ITA) Agreements, the monopoly shall be removed
with effect from 1 January 1999.
(63) The INTERNET enterprises
(ISPs) shall be free to set up their own uplinking
facilities without going through VSNL or the
Department of Telecommunications and without the need
for any approvals, except frequency/spectrum
7.2 Ending Licence & Licence
Fees for ISPs
(64) For setting up operations
by ISP or CUG, there shall be neither any licensing
required nor any licence fee shall be charged; ISPs
shall register with TRAI for intimating to them their
7.3 Cost Minimisation for
(65) DOT shall remove the
time-related call tariff for INTERNET Access..
(66) Restrictions on
voice-over-data communication over INTERNET shall be
(67) Access to INTERNET through
cable TV shall be permitted and necessary changes in
the proposed broadcast bill shall be made.
7.4 Inter Networking &
Backbone Support to ISPs
(68) ISPs and CUGs should have
the freedom to build their own backbone, networking
and local access
7.5 India as a Telecom/INTERNET
Hub of the Region
(69) Government of India shall
promote the creation of a regional telecom hub in
8.2 DOT Backbone
i) DOT achievement and the
(70) In the Fibre Optic
backbone built by DOT, the last mile
problem is basically multi-media application oriented
and is not a pure and simple telecom capacity
provision for the customers/users; the last
mile solution rides on the Application
solutions instead of vice-versa. The entire
last mile investment is preferably made
by private and public sector IT application
enterprises. DOT, shall also give 'last mile'
linkages taking care to avoid direct or indirect
restrictive trade practices.
ii) National High Speed
(71) Bimal Jalan Committee
recommendations approved by Cabinet shall be
8.3 Backbone by Railways, Power
(72) As pointed out by the
Jalan Committee, Railways, NIC, DOE, ERNET,
Electricity Boards and Power grid must be able to
play an effective role in building the NII for which
the Government of India shall give necessary budget
(73) The Railways, the State
Electricity Boards (SEBs) and the National Power Grid
Corporation (NPGC) and even the ONGC, GAIL and SAIL
who have got rights of way (way-leaves) shall be
allowed to host fibre optic backbone. They can
contribute to part of the infrastructure by building
optical fiber transmission systems either by
themselves as elsewhere in the world or in joint
ventures with foreign and/ or domestic companies.
8.4 Backbone by Anyone
(74) In the long term ensure
that no licensing & policing is required for
building the infrastructure and any agency shall be
free to undertake this activity; the banks and FIs
may be permitted to encourage this by assigning
8.5 LII Infrastructure
Reforms in spectrum
(75) Reforms shall be
introduced to the system of spectrum allocation so
that spectrum can be made available quickly to new
users, duly deciding on competing uses on the basis
of rational criteria through an efficient, equitable
and transparent system of spectrum allocation.
ISM band spread spectrum
(76) Certain frequency bands
like the ISM bands should be declared open for anyone
to set up Spread Spectrum based non-interference type
Wireless Equipment for solving the last mile problem
between the IT backbone infrastructures and the
Transferring WPC from
the Ministry of Communication to TRAI
(77) The Wireless Planning and
Coordination Wing shall be transferred to TRAI
management along with its allocation of business and
budget Head. As it is for EM Spectrum planning, the
budget head can be part of the main budget head of
the Ministry of Planning.
IX. IT PRODUCT
9.1 HIGH-TECH PARKS
(78) Large Technology Parks
shall be set up with special promotional provisions
and incentives for manufacture of IT Products.
Hardware manufacture has to be prioritised to areas
which will be hard to obtain from abroad if the
country were to be subjected to the maximum extent of
international sanctions. The next in priority is to
take up System Engineering of IT Products and Systems
so as to save the system engineering costs which
account for about 20 to 30 percent of the total cost.
(79) Efforts shall be made to
locate Chip manufacturing facilities in India in
collaboration with leading international partners.
The concept of infrastructurally self-contained
self-financing High Tech Habitat applies to IT
Product manufacture and Chip manufacture also.
Immediate negotiations with the five big chip
manufacturers in the world should be taken up on
priority giving attractive terms like free land,
freedom from customs duty, uninterrupted economical
power supply or facility to create their own captive
power stations and other infrastructural facilities.
X. IT PRODUCTS, IT
SOFTWARE AND APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT
(80) For promoting Indian
Software Packages (system as well as application
software) users shall be given fiscal incentives for
buying Indian packages. A special screening mechanism
shall be worked out for identifying the more
promising packages developed in India and giving
consistent support by the Government as well as the
industry for ensuring acceptance in international
(81) Creation of computer
software products and packages shall get R&D
benefits under Section 35 (2AB) of the Income Tax
(82) Priority shall be given in
the TDC Scheme of DOE and ITDP Scheme of NIC to
invite proposals from IT companies for development of
applications of use to the public, especially in
public services and public domain information
retrieval and provide development funding (part grant
and part loan to be paid back as royalty to the
Government) if companies cannot fund the development
by themselves. Towards this end, the TDC and ITDP
budgets have to be substantially increased.
XI. IT IN
(83) Each Department/Agency in
the Central Government and State Governments shall be
required to prepare a Five Year IT Plan.
(84) One to three percent 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
(85) NIC at the national level
and Technology service organisations at the State
level, shall on the lines of CCTA in the UK,
immediately establish 'Framework Contracts' with
reputed suppliers to provide a wide range of IT
consultancy, specialist services and IT products to
(86) The country 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
contribute to the global experience in planning and
implementing IT projects.
(87) Tele-commuting shall be
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 Government
employees to accomplish their work through
telecommuting in the framework of 'Management by
(88) The Government of India
shall set up a Central repository of Data elements in
Government with the National Informatics Centre.
(89) 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
(90) A computerised National
Inventory of Training pertaining to different areas
shall be maintained.
(91) A computerised Inventory
of Government best practices for electronic access
shall be maintained.
(92) Government shall consider
imposing 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
(93) A National Institute of
Smart Government shall be set up to focus on all
issues concerning IT supported governance.
(94) State Institutes of Public
Administrations shall be re-engineered to help bring
about Smart State Governments.
(95) Suitable floor space in
Government buildings which are not utilised during
non-office hours shall 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.
XII. IT SPREAD
& IT AWARENESS
(96) Computers and INTERNET
shall be made available in every School, Polytechnic,
College and public hospitals in the country within
the next five years.
(97) Government shall give
incentives for the setting up of value added network
services by private and public sectors including
ATMs, Electronic Kiosks, Telephones, Smart Cards,
etc., for providing a 'One-Stop Non-Stop' interface
with the public.
(98) To make IT a Mass
Movement, the awareness creation strategy paper
issued by the Prime Minister's Office shall be fully
(99) For promoting Electronic
Commerce in a time bound manner, a directive shall be
given to Sea Ports, Air Ports Authority of India,
DGFT, Banks, Container Services, Customs and Indian
Railways in accordance with the programme approved in
the tenth Export Promotion Board meeting held on 22nd
May 1998. Non-compliance in implementing the same by
any officers shall be dealt with appropriate
(100) Bar Coding of every items
sold in the country shall be made compulsory within a
five year period.
(101) STD/ISD Booths shall be
upgraded and transformed into Public Telecom
Information Centres (TeleInfo Centres) by replacing
or adding to the existing telephones a Personal
Computer/multimedia PC for which ISDN lines shall be
provided, on priority, by the Department of
Telecommunications. The setting up of TeleInfo
Centres shall not be required to have any licence or
payment of licence fees.
XIII. CITIZEN IT
(102) The Blue Print for the
Freedom of Information Act that has already been
prepared, shall be reviewed and converted into an Act
within six months.
(103) The Cabinet decision
taken that NIC shall be enabled to make the
Government Information other than those having a
bearing on security, are made available to the
public, should be implemented by additionally
empowering NIC to do so without waiting for the
clearance of the Departments concerned.
(104) DISNIC Plan Programme
shall be made widespread and databases updated
online, shall be made available to the public and
Panchayats, among others.
(105) COURTIS, PARLIS, CRISPS
and other such databases shall be updated online over
NICNET and access to public facilitated along with
E-mail entry into the Grievances/suggestions
(106) Citizen 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.
XIV. DATA SECURITY
(107) A National Computerised
Records Security Document shall be immediately
prepared for enforcing security requirements by
consulting similar documents prepared by SAG, JCB,
(108) An Information Security
Agency shall be set up at the National level to play
the role of Cyber Cop.
(109) 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.
(110) Cyber infractions shall
be addressed within the legal framework by the
Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs.
(111) 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
(112) The procedure of keeping
records in paper form in STP shall be restricted to a
maximum duration of two months after which the
records shall be kept only in the Electronic /
Magnetic / Optical media.
XV. IT MANPOWER AND
(113) The Malaysian 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.
(114) An IT Course Module shall
be made a compulsory component of all Degree Courses
within one year.
(115) IT shall be made an
integral part of the educational system throughout
the country within three years.
(116) 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.
(117) The seven National Level
Institutions (IITs, IISc.) shall triple their output
of students in IT by suitably restructuring the
(118) NASSCOM's proposal for
the setting up of a 'National INTERNET Centre of
Excellence (NICE)' to standardise and promote Indian
content development on INTERNET shall be fully
(119) The setting up of Indian
Institutes of Information Technology (IIIT) one in
each of the four regions of the country, as approved
by the Union Cabinet as part of the Computer Software
Development, Export and Training Policy of 1986,
shall be implemented with urgency to make up for the
(120) A 'National Qualification
Framework' shall be established for computerised
online objective system of knowledge acquisition; the
Korean experiment of 'Educational Credit Bank' shall
be implemented in the country.
(121) A National Virtual
University shall be set up within a year to achieve
excellence as a global hub for distance education.
(122) The Ministry of HRD shall
promote the pairing of our Universities with US,
Japanese, European and Australian Universities noted
for excellence in IT.
(123) A National Level Task
Force shall coordinate the setting up of National
Digital Libraries Project.
(124) A National Council of IT
Education comprising of 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 shall also initiate a 'Teach
the Teachers' programme for upgrading on a regular
basis the IT knowledge and skills of teachers.
(125) A Law shall be enacted to
force IT graduates seeking jobs abroad to pay back to
the country the amount equal to the estimated
subsidised cost of the higher education; the funds so
derived shall be distributed to the training
institutions for training more people
(126) A Plan shall be prepared
and implemented for utilising the services of the
70,000 IT literate defence personnel retiring every
year for propagating the IT culture at sub-district
(127) An Institute for Computer
Professionals of India shall be set up on the pattern
of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India;
the Institute shall be nucleated by NASSCOM, etc.
with initial financial support from the industry and
the Government; the Institute shall 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.
RE-ENGINEERING & CYBER-LAWS
(128) 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.
(129) A Legislation focusing on
Electronic Signature as a means for preventing
Electronic fraud and for promotion of online commerce
shall stipulate the creation of a certification
system for electronic transactions applicable to
E-Mail messages and banking operations as well as
(130) 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 and implemented, as a first step,
within three months.