|Video: India - Africa Dialogue on ICT for Development: Changing the relationship between Citizens and States|
"This is not the resources that are the kickoff factor at the moment, it is the change of mind" says one of the participant of the study tour organised in India by CTA and its partners in India including Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS), Kerala State IT Mission (KSITM) and SREI-Sahaj Corporate. This video produced by CTA and People TV focusses more on the reactions of the participants and lessons learned.
India is made up of 28 states each with its own elected government, parliament and administrative services.
With a population of 1.3 billion it is the world’s second most inhabited country. Although the major cities are experiencing exponential demographic growth rates, two-thirds of the population still live in country areas.
These rural inhabitants have poor access to government services, health-care centres, education and agricultural information – all of which are located in major towns and cities.
But even city dwellers have problems accessing these services: the administrative centres are over solicited and it can often take several days to obtain a vital document or information.
In response the central government invested massively in one of the world’s largest internet systems and encouraged the creation of telecentres: Indians now have rapid access to a wide range of government services for passport applications, birth certificates, and information on agricultural land. But they can also access private sector services to pay phone or electricity bills, or even buy train tickets. One single computer for a multitude of tasks.
There are now tens of thousands of telecentres across India.
In December 2009, delegates from 14 African countries went on a study visit to India. The aim of the trip was to familiarise them with the system developed in India and study its possible applications in their respective countries.
The study visit was organised by Indian companies and the CTA - the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, an organisation promoting cooperation between Europe and the Caribbean, African and Pacific countries.