The Telecom sector has witnessed exponential growth, especially in the wireless segment, in the last few years. With 937.70 million telephone connections at the end of September 2012, the Indian telecom network is the second largest in the world, only after China. Tele-density, which shows the number of telephones per 100 population in the country, was 77.04% at the end of September 2012.
The number of internet subscribers increased from 22.39 million (including 13.35 million broadband subscribers) to 23.01 million (including 14.57 million broadband subscribers) during the period from January to June 2012. At the end of September 2012, there were 15.08 million broadband subscribers in the country.
Telecom has evolved as a basic infrastructure like electricity, roads, water etc. and has also emerged as one of the critical components of economic growth required for overall socio economic development of the country. A study conducted recently has found that, in India, 10% increase in internet subscribers delivers, on an average, 1.08% increase in GDP. In the 10 states which had higher penetration of Internet, the increase in growth was higher at 2.36% on a average, for 10% increase in Internet penetration. In the year 2009-10, these 10 states, referred to as ‘relatively developed States’ had internet penetration rate of 2.76% compared to the set of 9 ‘Developing’ States having average internet penetration rate of only 0.61%. The study has also found that a 10% increase in mobile penetration delivers, on an average, 1.5% increase in GDP.
National Telecom Policy – 2012 (NTP-2010)
The government approved National Telecom Policy-2012 (NTP-2012) on 31st May 2012 which addresses the Vision, Strategic direction and the various medium term and long term issues related to telecom sector. The primary objective of NTP-2012 is maximizing public good by making available affordable, reliable and secure telecommunication and broadband services across the entire country. The main thrust of the Policy is on the multiplier effect and transformational impact of such services on the overall economy. It recognizes the role of such services in furthering the national development agenda while enhancing equity and inclusiveness. Availability of affordable and effective communications for the citizens is at the core of the vision and goal of the NTP-2012. NTP-2012 also recognizes the predominant role of the private sector in this field and the consequent policy imperative of ensuring continued viability of service providers in a competitive environment. Pursuant to NTP-2012, these principles would guide decisions needed to strike a balance between the interests of users/consumers, service providers and government revenue.
Manufacturing of Telecom Equipment
With the advent of next-generation technologies and operators rolling out 3G and broadband wireless access services, the demand for telecom equipment has increased. In an attempt to capitalize on this opportunity, the government and policymakers are focusing on developing the domestic manufacturing industry. Despite significant growth of the telecom network and the subscriber base over the last decade, the telecom manufacturing sector has not shown corresponding increase.
The NTP-2012, inter-alia, has following objectives on promoting Telecom Equipment Manufacturing:
· Create a corpus to promote indigenous R&D, IPR creation, entrepreneurship, manufacturing, commercialization and deployment of state-of-the-art telecom products and services during the 12th five year plan period.
· Promote the ecosystem for design, Research and Development, IPR creation, testing, standardization and manufacturing i.e complete value chain for domestic production of telecommunication equipment to meet Indian telecom sector demand to the extent of 60% and 80% with a minimum value addition of 45% and 65% by the year 2017 and 2020 respectively.
· Provide preference to domestically manufactured telecommunication products, in procurement of those telecommunication products, which have security implications for the country and in Government procurement for its own use, consistent with our World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments.
Auction of Spectrum
Auction of Spectrum in 1800MHz band that commenced on 12.11.12 has been completed. Five companies participated in auction.
National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) project
· NOFN Project is envisaged as a Centre-State joint effort. State governments are expected to contribute by way of not levying any RoW charges. This requires suitable tri-partite MoU to be signed by GOI, state governments & BBNL.
· Tri-partite MoU has been signed on 26.10.2012 with 13 states and 3 Union Territories. A total of about 1,40,727 Gram Panchayats will get covered by Optical Fiber Network in these States and UTs.
· Three Pilot Projects have been completed to cover all Gram Panchayats of Arain Block in Ajmer District (Rajasthan), Panisagar Block in North Tripura District (Tripura), Paravada Block in Vishakhapatanam District (A.P.). As on 15.10.2012, each of the 58 Gram Panchayats in these three Pilot Project Blocks have provided with 100 Mbps bandwidth.
· Survey work for ‘laying of incremental OFC’ has commenced based on GIS data made available by NIC.
Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)
Various initiatives have been taken by DoT to cover the uncovered rural and remote areas of the country, with the support from USO fund. The achievements are listed below:
· 424 Village Public Telephones (VPTs) have been provided during the year 2012 till October 2012. at the end of October 2012, 5.80 lakh (97.76%) villages were covered with VPTs.
· As on 31.10.2012, 53452 VPTs out of the 62443 i.e. 85.60% VPTs have been provide under VPTs in newly identified uncovered villages as per Census 2001.
· 14 Mobile Towers and 209 Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs) have been commissioned by Infrastructure Providers and Universal Service Providers respectively under the Shared Mobile Infrastructure Scheme, during the year 2012 till October 2012. Under this scheme, 7310, (99.42%) towers were set up by the end of October 2012.
· 52,628 wire-line broadband connections and 3,347 kiosks have been set up in rural and remote areas under the scheme, during the year 2012 till October 2012 under the Rural Broadband Scheme for expanding provision of Wireline Broadband Connectivity up to village level.
· A subsidy of Rs 330.13 crore has been disbursed through USOF during the year 2012 till 31.10.2012, A total fund of Rs 47035.33 crore has been collected under USOF till 31.10.2012. A total of Rs 22438.17 crore of USO fund has been utilized till 31.10.2012 and available potential balance of Rs 24597 crore.
National Policy on Electronics (NPE) 2012
Unlike the IT and Telecom Sector, wherein India has already been recognized as a global player, the performance of our electronic hardware manufacturing has lagged on account of specific challenges.
It is estimated that by the year 2020 our domestic demand for the Electronics products and systems (this includes electronic products, hardware as well as components) would be USD 400 Billion as against domestic production of USD 100 billion only.
To focus on Electronics System Design & Manufacturing (ESDM) in the country, a separate policy for the sector i.e. the National Electronic Policy (NPE) 2012 was approved for implementation by the Cabinet on 25.10.2012.
The NPE provides for a comprehensive set of policy initiatives to revive the Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) sector in the country, which include, broadly:
- Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC) Scheme
- Modified Special Incentive Package (M-SIPS) Scheme
- Setting up Semiconductor Wafer Fabrication Units
- Preference to Domestically Manufactured Electronic Goods (Preferential Market Access)
- Scheme for mandatory registration of identified Electronic Products for meeting specified safety standards
- Human Resource Development initiatives in ESDM
National Policy on Information Technology (NPIT) – 2012
The National Policy on Information Technology 2012 was approved on 14th September 2012. The policy aims to leverage Information & Communication Technology (ICT) to address the country’s economic and developmental challenges. The policy inter alia envisages creation of additional 10 million employments by 2020.
Under this Policy the objectives for HR Development include:
- Creation of a pool of 10 million additional skilled manpower in ICT.
- Make at least one in every household e-literate.
- Enable access of content and ICT applications to foster inclusive development.
- Leverage ICT for expanding the workforce and enabling life-long learning.
- Produce 3000 PhDs annually in specialized areas by 2020.
National Policy on Skill Development
Government of India had announced a National Policy on Skill Development, which has set a target of skilling 500 million people by 2022 and a target of training 10 million persons in IECT sector has been assigned to this Department.
In the year 2011-12, about 2.25 lakh persons were trained by NIELIT and CDAC. The PM’s National Council on Skill development has set a target of skilling 4.4 lakh persons for 2012-13. As of July 2012, a total of 1,25,792 candidates have been trained/undergoing training at NIELIT and CDAC.
Development of North-Eastern Region
The Cabinet approved on 12th April 2012 the implementation of Deity’s scheme for development of NER by enhancing training and education capacity in the information, electronics and communication technology (IECT) area through the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) (formerly DOEACC Society). The total budget outlay for the project is Rs 388.68 crores spread over a period of five years.
NIELIT has also initiated projects for setting up Regional Institutes for e-Learning and Information Technolgy (RIELIT) at Kohima (Nagaland), Agartala (Tripura): and NIELIT Centres at Shillong (Meghalaya), Gangtok (Sikkim) and Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh).
Social Media and Citizen Engagement Framework
The advent of internet and social media has brought in paradigm change in which citizens engage with each other as well as with government.
In order to help government organizations engage more fruitfully with the various social media platforms, Citizen Engagement Framework and Social Media Framework has been created and notified on 8th September 2012.
Information Technology Investment Regions (ITIRs)
Government of India has accorded in-principle approval for setting up of three Information Technology Investment Regions (ITIRs) in the States of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
Setting up of National Internet Registry (NIR)
Indian Registry for Internet Names and Numbers (IRINN) under National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) was recognized as the National Internet Registry during March, 2012 by Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC).
National Supercomputing Mission
High Performance Computing (HPC), also known as Supercomputing, plays an important role in both scientific advancement and economic competitiveness of a nation because it is a powerful tool for accelerating a nation’s R&D programs by increasing the productivity of scientists and researchers. It enables them to produce scientific and industrial solutions faster, less expensively, and with higher quality than traditional theory and experimentation alone.
The national mission on supercomputing proposes to take an application centric approach for future HPC activities in the nation.
Parallely, an initiative to upgrade the computing power of the current PARAM Yuva system installed at C-DAC, Pune from 54 Teraflop to 500 Teraflop has been undertaken.
Major on-going Plan scheme/programmes of the Department
E-Governance: Of the 31 Mission Mode Projects (MMPs), 24 have been approved by the Government of India. 22 MMPs have gone live and are delivering services electronically.
State Data Centre (SDCs): As on date 17 SDCs have been made operational and SDCs in 3 states are under implementation.
Common Service Centers (CSCs): The CSCs are ICT enabled kiosks with broadband connectivity to provide various government, private and social services at the doorstep of the citizen. As on date, more than of 98,055 CSCs have been made operational in thirty five States/UTs.
E-District: The Department has approved 16 Pilot e-District projects covering 41 districts. Pilot project has been launched/gone live in all the 41 districts across the country. The scheme for National Roll Out of e-District Mission Mode Project (MMP) was approved by the Cabinet Committee for Infrastructure on 20th April 2011.
Mobile Governance: DeitY has developed and notified the Framework for Mobile Governance in February 2012.
- Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has been operational as a national agency for cyber security incident response.
- National Crisis Management Plan for countering cyber attacks and cyber terrorism has been prepared and is being updated annually.
- To enable comprehensive cyber security policy compliance, the govt has mandated implementation of security policy within govt in accordance with the Information Security Management System (ISMS) Standard ISO 27001. In addition, Computer security guidelines have been issued for compliance within Govt. A Common Criteria based IT product security testing facility has been set up at Kolkata.
- During the Year 2012, Cyber Regulation Advisory Committee has been reconstituted and notified under Section 88 of Information Technology (Amendment) Act 2008. The first meeting of the re-constituted committee was held on 29thNovember 2012.
National Knowledge Network
- 915 links to Institutions have been commissioned and made operational. This includes 266 links to institutions under NMEICT, which have been migrated to NKN.
- 61 virtual classrooms have been setup.
Research & Development
Recognizing the potential of cloud computing, in areas such as e-governance, education, etc, CDAC has completed Cloud Stack – named Meghdoot using open source softwares. The Meghdoot Cloud stack has been deployed in the State Data Centre, Chennai as a Proof of Concept, along with some State Government Applications.
IT Applications by National Informatics Centre (NIC)
Amongst the important initiatives by NIC during the year were:-
Open Government Platform (OGPL): The National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (NDSAP) has been notified by the Government. NIC has developed a technology solution for establishing an Open Data Portal for Government Departments. It will facilitate access and use of Government data by citizen to foster innovation and promote transparency.
Central Public Procurement Portal (CPP): NIC has developed a portal to provide a single point access to the information on tenders published by various Ministries/Departments, Public Sector Undertakings and Statutory Bodies. CPP is expected to bring in greater transparency in tendering process and gradually move towards adoption of electronic procurement solution for their procurement needs on a continuing basis.
Co-operative Core Banking Solution (CCBS): NIC has launched a Co-Operative Core Banking Solution (CCBS) for Co-Operative banks. It is being offered as ‘Application As a Service’ and is hosted at National Data Centre of NIC. It will enable co-operative banks to go for core banking solution at affordable cost and in a faster manner.
Department of Posts
Contributing to the financial inclusion of the rural people:
(A) Wage disbursal under Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA):Extensive rural postal network of the country is actively engaged in disbursal of wages of MGNREGA with high levels of efficiency. During the year 2012-13 the Post Offices disbursed about Rs 9,133 crore by October, 2012 through about 5.53 crore savings accounts of MGNREGA workers standing in the Post Offices. Thus, the Department of Posts significantly contributed towards the success of this unique social security arrangement of unprecedented scale.
(B) Financial Inclusion of Below Poverty Line (BPL Household: Department of Posts leveraged its network and outreach to financially include BPL households by targeting them for opening their savings accounts in the Post Offices and thus providing them with access to savings services. During the Year 2012-13 more than 1.53 crore households were financially included through this initiative by October, 2012.
Introduction of e-enabled services
(A) 24,969 Departmental post offices have been computerized as on date
(B) India Post has introduced Remotely Managed Franking System in place of existing electronic Franking Machines. Around 5681 RMFS machines have been licensed and activated as on date.
(C) e-Post office Portal was commissioned during 2011. During the current year PLI premia payment has also been added apart from sale of philatelic material.
International Remittance services
Recognizing the spurt in the volumes of international remittances into India in the recent years and the notable contribution of remittance inflows to the country’s economy, the Department of Posts has taken a project to revamp its international money order services. Currently, DoP provides electronic money remittance services on two platforms, viz. the IFS (developed by the Universal Postal Union) and Eurogiro. The following action has been completed in this regard:
- Setting up an International Remittances Unit (IRU) at CEPT, Mysore.
- Starting the inward international money order transactions from France on 22 November, 2012.
Expansion of Clientele Base of Postal Life Insurance(PLI)
In order to provide insurance coverage to persons of various organizations which were earlier out of purview of PLI schemes and to scale up business revenues employees of following organizations have also been brought under PLI scheme w.e.f. 18.10.2012:
(i) Joint ventures having Govt/PSU stake
(ii) Credit Co-operative Societies registered under Co-operative Societies Act
(iii) Scheduled Commercial Banks
(iv) Deemed Universities and Educational Institutions accredited by recognized bodies i.e. AICTE, MCI, NAAC etc.
“Sampoorna Jeevan Bima Gram” and “Sampoona Bima Sangathan”
For better insurance coverage of eligible population, a targeted approach to cover villagers under RPLI and organizations under PLI has been started from November 2012 as under:-
(i) to identify and cover minimum 75% of employees of 20 organizations up to 31.10.2012 and 30 organisations/units up to 31.10.2012 as “Sampoorna Jeevan Bima Sangthan/Unit” under Postal Life Insurance;
(ii) To identify and cover 1000 villages up to 31.10.2012 and 2000 villages up to 31.03.2013, as “Sampoorna Jeevan Bima Gram” wherein at least one member of each house hold is to be enrolled under Rural Postal Life Insurance.
The Department successfully completed the vendor selection for its Financial System Integration project. The vendor selected was M/s Infosys who will be involved with the Core Banking solution and setting up of ATMs for the Department. The project has started on 28th September 2012.
UIDAI Aadhar letters:
Department of Posts is working as Register with UIDAI for providing Aadhar enrolments through Post Offices for phase-II operations also. A total of 80,84, 181 successful enrolments have been completed.
New and enhanced version of ePost software has been launched on 12th December 2012. The enhanced version will have facility of sending multilingual messages apart from sending PDF files as attachment. During the year 2012 (upto Nov 2012), 13.64 lakh messages have been sent and Rs 104.50 lakhs earned as revenue.
Sale of Gold Coins:
Under retail post, India Post sells 24 carat gold coins of the denomination of 0.5 g, 1g, 5g, 8g, 10g, 20g and 50g through selected Post Offices. During the year 2012 (upto Nov 2012), 708 kg of gold coins were sold and Rs 10.99 crores earned as revenue.
Project Management Unit
The Government has approved the IT Modernization Project of the Department of Posts for computerization of all the non-computerized post offices, Mail Offices, Administrative and other offices, establishment of required IT infrastructure, development of required software applications. IT modernization Project – India Post will enable Department to enhance and provide value additions to Mail, Savings Bank and Insurance, customer service while providing a platform to launch new initiatives and provide new rural services.
Money remittance through Mobile phone service:
An agreement has been signed with BSNL for providing money remittance through mobile phones. This is joint endeavor of Department of Posts & BSNL. BSNL has been provided with the requirements of DOP for development of the software. This service specially tailored for those who have a need to remit money regularly up to a sum of Rs 10,000. Under the Scheme, a remitter can go to any Post Office in the Circle enabled for the Mobile Money Transfer Service and remit an amount from Rs 1000/- to Rs 10,000/- to be paid to another mobile subscriber at the designated Post Office. The Slabs for money transfer is as follows:
|Slabs||Charges of Remittance|
|Rs 1000 to 1500||Rs 40|
|Rs 1501 to 5000||Rs 70|
|Rs 5001 to 10,000||Rs 100|
The service initially has been launched on 15th November 2012 in four Circles viz. Kerala, Bihar, Delhi and Punjab and this service is provided in 18 selected Post Offices in each Circle.