Colombo, January 15 (Doordarshan/AIR): India and Sri Lanka signed here on Monday, four agreements for collaboration in the Information and Communication Technology sector; setting up an e-office system; and connecting the National Knowledge Network (NKN) of India with Sri Lankan institutions for collaboration among universities and academics of the two countries.
The MoU for cooperation was signed by the Indian Minister for Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad and his Sri Lankan counterpart Harin Fernando.
Indian Minister Prasad noted India’s commitment to share the fruits of the ambitious Digital India program with the Government of Sri Lanka. He underlined the importance of “digital inclusion”, the need to use IT to uplift the people at the grassroots level, and the need for benefits of IT to percolate to the most needy.
An MoU for cooperation in IT & Electronics was signed between Hon’ble Ravi Shankar Prasad & Hon. Harin Fernando. The scope of MoU inter alia includes e-Governance, m-Governance, e-Public Services Delivery including e-learning, tele-medicine, cyber security etc.
A pilot program on e-office, an electronic platform developed by the National Informatics Centre of India (NIC), which enables the conduct of office procedures electronically, was launched. It had been set up in 10 days flat – “a “mind boggling feat,” as the Director General of NIC Neeta Verma put it.
The E-office platform is widely used in government offices in India and has transformed government functioning to a more efficient and transparent mode, removing the need for processing/storage of conventional paper files.
A knowledge partnership between National Knowledge Network (NKN) of India and Lanka Education And Research Network (LEARN) of Sri Lanka was also launched. This would enable secure and reliable connectivity between educational institutions of India and Sri Lanka under a Ultra High Bandwidth network.
In one of its kind, several Universities in India and Sri Lanka were linked through a Digital Video Conference during the launch. Sri Lankan Universities would now be able to connect with Educational Institutions in Europe also through the network.
Top educational institutions in India & Sri Lanka are now connected through NKN. Among them are Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, Jawharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, Madurai Kamaraj University from India & Open University, Universities of Jayawardenapura, Ruhuna, Jaffna, Moratawa, Rajarata and Eastern University from Sri Lanka.
India remains committed to offer all assistance to Sri Lanka, based on Sri Lanka’s priorities and requirements, Minister Prasad said. Later, he called on President Maithripala Sirisena to discuss development cooperation and other issues of mutual interest. .
(The featured image at the top shows Indian Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad)