Microsoft India hosts Government Leadership Summit

November 27th, 2007 - 4:20 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Nov 27 (ANI/Business Wire India): Microsoft India is hosting the Government Leadership Summit which will provide a platform for intellectual exchange amongst Indias policy makers on the challenges and opportunities of driving innovation-led growth.
At the first Microsoft Government Leadership Summit, Mani Shankar Aiyar, Union Minister for Panchayati Raj and Youth Affairs and Sports today launched SWARAJ, a state-of-the-art solution for managing the Panchayati Raj System in the country.
“We are pleased that Microsoft has developed the Panchayati Raj application aimed at addressing the most serious problems of poverty and inequality in the country, said Aiyar.
The solution addresses the information needs for all the five tiers of Panchayati Raj which include Ministry of Panchayati Raj at the Central Level, Panchayati Raj Departments at State level, District Administration at the District level, Panchayat Samitis/BDOs at the Block and Gram Panchayats at the Village level.
The Minister also released a compendium of e-governance initiatives in India titled ‘India {e}nnovates’.
Microsoft has developed SWARAJ as a single integrated application, which can run in both connected and un-connected scenarios and can provide the critical information on the schemes, funds, land and works besides baseline information to evolve Panchayats’ infrastructure and human development indices.
It has inbuilt analytical tools to study the data collected on a real time basis. The key difference from other solutions is that the monitoring of schemes, funds and works is today done by different applications which require the same data to be input multiple times.
Through an integrated application, the data needs to be input only once and one application can provide the complete information any time.
At the Summit, Microsoft and the Uttar Pradesh Technical University (UPTU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to address the training requirements of technology students in the state.
The understanding centers around a training program that will be open to all final-year and pre-final-year engineering students (BE) graduating in computer science and information science; as well as final-year students of the Masters in Computer Applications (MCA).
The MoU was signed by U S Tomer, Registrar, UPTU and Neelam Dhawan, Managing Director, Microsoft India, in the presence of Prof. Prem Vrat, Vice Chancellor, UPTU and Michel Van Der Bel, VP, Public Sector, Microsoft International.
“The Government Leadership Summit is a milestone in our on-going efforts to realize the e-governance vision for India wherein we aim to foster collaboration with all stakeholders to spread e-governance initiatives across the country. SWARAJ is another example of our commitment to strengthening the roots of e-governance through the Panchayati Raj System,” said Neelam.
“Microsoft is committed to empowering the student community with the latest tools and technologies which will enable them to excel in the competitive market scenario. Microsoft’s expertise in the field of information technology along with UPTU’s experience in training will benefit students in this state a great deal, not only allowing them access to training on the latest technologies, but also a wonderful opportunity to participate in global and domestic collaborative technology projects”, added Dhawan.
Commenting on the MoU with UPTU, Vrat said, “This MoU with Microsoft will provide valuable opportunities for the faculty and students in our colleges to work closely with Microsoft professionals on cutting-edge technologies deployed in professional practice”.
Further, Microsoft will also provide its assistance in other areas including providing access to the latest developer tools and select beta products to students, enabling them to better their market value; and setting up a portal for faculty members to share and communicate with other faculty worldwide under the Faculty Connection initiative.
Microsoft will offer a trainers’ training program free of cost to select trainers identified by UPTU who will then go on to facilitate the three- month course.
UPTU, on its part, will work with its member institutes and make available the required infrastructure for training and will also foster the formation of city-wide student user-groups, among other things.
Microsoft has signed similar MoUs with governments and universities in Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
The Microsoft Government Leadership Summit, organised for the first time this year, is envisaged as a platform for intellectual exchange amongst India’s policy makers on the challenges and opportunities of driving innovation-led growth.
Key decision makers, academicians, senior representatives from both the central and state governments, industry think-tanks, as well as NGOs debated innovative ideas to enhance rural growth.
The sessions focused on local self governance as well as global best practices on e-governance in the areas of infrastructure, healthcare, education and rural computing.
Initiatives like eChoupal and Project Bhoomi have shown how information access can empower the underserved.
Projects such as these inspired Microsoft to launch initiatives like Saksham and Shiksha. Under Saksham, 50,000 kiosks were set up across rural India in partnership with the government. Under Project Shiksha, Microsoft has so far reached over 200,000 teachers impacting 10 million students’ lives.
The MoU signed today is part of Microsoft’s Education Alliance Program under which Microsoft endeavours to partner with the academic community - students, governments, teachers, educational institutes - to advance the cause of education in India.
Microsoft believes that education at every level remains crucial for India’s continued growth. In the endeavour to partner with India on its journey towards socio economic growth, Microsoft has chosen education as one of the focus areas under its recently launched Unlimited Potential vision.
Other focus areas of the vision include fostering local innovation and enabling jobs and opportunities to sustain a continuous cycle of social and economic growth.
The MoU signed with UPTU involves an engagement for six months, starting in December 2007.
The terms of the agreement include a three-month long training program that will be open to all the students in UPTU’s member institutes.
At the end of the training, one top student from each of the UPTU member colleges, selected through a test conducted at the end of the program, will have the unique opportunity to apply for Microsoft’s Student Partner Program - an elite club of students around the world who are passionate about technology.
In addition, Microsoft has allocated 300 projects for UPTU under Microsoft’s Academic Projects Program. Microsoft will also train 90 faculty members of UPTU on its latest technologies. (ANI)

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