CHENNAI: “The government is planning to use mobile phone technology as a platform for governance,” said Minister for State for Information Technology M Manikandan in his inaugural address at the FICCI e-Commerce summit and exhibition on Friday.
The minister said this was in line with the trend of people using mobile phone extensively, making it a powerful tool for the government to use for governance.
“Mobile phones are being used by all citizens irrespective of their income and background,” Manikandan said. “It has now become the easiest mode of communication and is available at extremely low costs. With the available technology, it is now possible for the public to access services through mobile phones.”
Over 165 services of various government departments could be accessed through online e-sevai centres across the State, he said, adding that many more were in the pipeline. “In addition, 300 more services will be offered through the e-district programme,” he said.
In a bid to provide more people with access to the internet, the IT Minister said all panchayats would be provided with broadband network connections.
“The Tamil Nadu Fibrenet Corporation (TANFINET) is to provide broadband connectivity to all 12,524 village panchayats,” Manikandan said. “The broadband network connection can be used for providing triple play service (voice, data and video) bandwidth to e-sevai centres.”
Touting Tamil Nadu as the “most technically powerful knowledge State,” the Minister said the State had a number of advantages ranging from skilled manpower to harmonious and peaceful industrial relations. To further make Tamil Nadu the preferred investment destination, he emphasised the need to tap the e-commerce space.
“The Amma government wants to promote e-commerce in a big way and would like to make suitable policy changes and remedial measures as needed,” he said. “We can’t just be e-commerce consumers but also need to be sellers. We are encouraging the Tamil Nadu Small and Tiny Industries Association and the MSME Institute to do more e-commerce programmes and encourage e-commerce entrepreneurship.”
While the minister acknowledged that international companies such as Amazon and Alibaba did have an edge over Indian companies in terms of “deep pockets and the patience to drive the Indian e-commerce market,” Manikandan said that Indian companies were working to bridge the gap by focussing on expanding sellers and their selection.
Elaborating how Tamil Nadu was among the few States where several initiatives such as the State Data Centre, cloud computing and State Wide Area Network (SWAN) were successfully implemented, the minister highlighted the eight ELCOSEZs that have been allotted `495 crore to start software companies spread across 946 acres in places such as Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchy, Salem, Hosur and Tirunelveli.
Others present at the inauguration were R Sudalaikannan, Chairman and Managing Director, ELCOT
(Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu Limited), Ar Rm Arun, Chairman, FICCI Tamil Nadu State Council, Dr C Velan, Executive Director and CEO of TRIL Infopark and Rajaram Venkataraman, convener of the Technology Panel, FICCI Tamil Nadu State Council.
The summit witnessed over 30 speakers discussing a variety of issues relating to the e-commerce sector. The conclave also threw much light on potential opportunities in the industry.
Tamil Nadu was among the few States where several initiatives such as the State Data Centre, cloud computing and State Wide Area Network (SWAN) were successfully executed