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Indian state rolls out e-Sanchar for better governance

Feb 19, 2010

A MoU has been signed between the Rajasthan Government and OneWorld Foundation-India launching e-SANCHAR, an innovative e-governance application that will bring real benefits of social sector programmes to the poor segments of society. It integrates mobile/telephony network with ICT to enable real time information from text to voice mode.

Jaipur: The OneWorld Foundation-India signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Rajasthan Government’s computer agency, RajCOMP, for a large scale roll-out of e-SANCHAR, an innovative e-governance application of the Department of Information Technology and Communication and RajCOMP, here today for the benefit of citizens under various beneficiary programmes.

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The MoU was signed in the presence of the Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, Prithviraj Chavan, who was here to attend the 13th National Conference on e-Governance, the Rajasthan Minister for IT and Communication, Dr. Jitendra Singh, and a battery of senior officers of the Union and State Governments.

The Director, OneWorld Foundation-India, Naimur Rahman, and the Managing Director, RajCOMP, Ashwini Kumar, signed the MoU on behalf of their respective institutions.

The ambitious e-SANCHAR (e-Speech Application through Network for Automated Communication Help and Response) project, initiated by the DoIT&C which is an ISO-9001 institution, integrates mobile/telephony network with ICT to enable real time information from text to voice mode to citizens under various programmes through which they get the State Government’s support and assistance.

Significantly, Tanmay Kumar, Secretary, DoIT&C, had originally conceived this creative idea of integrating IT with mobile telephony.

"The e-SANCHAR application has wider penetration in rural areas, where the medium of voice in Hindi"

Rahman said after signing the MoU that the e-SANCHAR application integrates data migration, text to speech in Hindi, automatic dialing and communication of citizen centric Government advice and information in the form of fixed as well as variable voice messages to the targeted beneficiaries.

Delivered over telephony platform, the e-SANCHAR application has wider penetration in rural areas, where the medium of voice in Hindi and the local dialect addresses the constraints of illiteracy.

The e-SANCHAR project brings value to a wide variety of the State Government’s welfare and beneficiary programmes by facilitating a reality check, besides doing away with intermediaries between the Government and the target groups. Rahman pointed out that it could also be used as a very effective IEC tool for spreading social messages far and wide.

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As part of today’s MoU, OneWorld will work with RajCOMP to help bring the real benefits of social sector programmes to the poor segments of society, while the RajCOMP is considering scale-up of the innovative application and have it replicated to get it implemented in all the development programmes and initiatives for citizens in the rural areas of the desert State.

Rahman said the scaled-up e-SANCHAR implementation would be under the banner of DoIT&C and RajCOMP, while the OneWorld would anchor the implementation and delivery.

The association established between OneWorld and RajCOMP through the MoU aims at strategically harnessing and synergising the individual expertise and strengths of partner organisation to improve the flow of citizen centric information and knowledge, and thereby support governance delivery at the grassroots through ICT innovation and outreach.

The two institutions will also collaboratively market e-SANCHAR effectively in other State Government departments. RajCOMP will own all the trademark, copyright and intellectual property right related to e-SANCHAR. The service will be offered with a ‘not-for-profit’ approach.

OneWorld has been working in Rajasthan for several years in the fields of sustainable development, telephone helplines and health care by using ICTs for ensuring an enhanced transparency in various sectors on the ground.

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