The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Over to mobiles beyond e-governance frontiers

Calcutta, Nov. 25: With the adoption of new technologies, cellular phones are set to assume roles beyond mere communication devices.

“Low internet penetration and high cost of access devices is throttling e-governance initiatives in the country,” Indian Cellular Association national president Pankaj Mohindroo said.

“Mobile governance initiatives will use the high penetration capacity of cellular phones across all sections of the society to bring in good governance,” he added.

The association has proposed that a common number for short messaging service (SMS) be introduced to enable citizens to message across their queries instead of using e-mail or snail mail.

“This will make the use of mobile phones more broadbased and will also help the association achieve the objectives of fuelling growth, increasing competitiveness and leveraging the advantages of cellular connectivity for long term benefits,” added Mohindroo.

M-governance works on the “push-pull” technology wherein the SIM card of the helpline number is directly connected to a central database. Depending on the type of information requested through SMS, the database is scanned and relevant information sent back to the user by SMS.

The adoption of GPRS and 3G technologies, which support data communication, have provided further impetus to such initiatives.

Tata Infotech is already working on a pilot project in Mumbai that allows a mobile user to request for specific services from the Yellow Pages database.

The company will introduce the service in major cities after studying the response in Mumbai.

The Delhi police have already introduced the service for customers who want to buy second-hand cars. The buyer has to send an SMS to the police helpline and request for any information on the car. This will help them avoid legal hassles in the long run.

The Maharashtra police are ready to launch similar services in the state.

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