MIT to recast organisations under four silos

In a significant move to bring to focus the development of the IT sector in India, the Union Ministry of Information Technology (MIT) has decided to recast the twelve independent organisations which are under its administrative control. The initiative will lead to the complete overhaul of the following 12 independent organisations and societies, which come under the MIT umbrella: National Informatics Centre (NIC), Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Software Technology Park of India (STPI), Department of Electronics Accreditation of Computer Courses (DOEACC), Education and Research Network (ERNET), National Centre for Software Technology (NCST), Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering and Research (SAMEER), Electronic Research and Development Centre (ER&DCI), Centre for Electronics Design & Technology of India (CEDTI), Centre for Materials for Electronics for Technology (C-MET), Centre for Liquid Crystal Research (CLCR) and Export Promotion Council (ESC).

These organisations will now be merged to create four new organisations each with an individual focus area. The four new focus areas, on the basis of which the 12 entities will be merged are: Software, Hardware, Infrastructure, and Education (human resources). The move may also result in the closure of a few entities, which are no longer relevant in the present technological environment.

When contacted by The Financial Express, Information Technology Secretary, Mr Vinay Kohli confirmed that the ministry is re-organising all societies into four focus areas.

"India is emerging as a leading IT nation on the world arena and the Government has a responsibility to provide appropriate research support in the area of software, hardware, education and infrastructure to the private sector. These newly-formed organisations will work towards helping the nation in these areas," said Mr Kohli.

"Some of these societies are doing great work in their respective areas but their efforts are not bringing in the desired results, nor do they have proper recognition due to a lack of co-ordination and focus," he said.

The restructuring is being done on the basis of recommendations made by a committee of senior ministry officials, formed three months ago, to look into the relevance of these organisations in the present context. The brief of the committee was to suggest ways to make these organisations more effective and focussed in their activities. The committee has recently submitted its report to the Secretary, Mr Kohli.

The restructuring exercise will blur the boundaries between organisations that have synergies and club them under one entity to make them work towards common objectives. For example, organisations or any of their divisions working in the area of software research and development will be brought together under one composite bigger organisation.

Most of these organisations have been inherited by MIT from the erstwhile Department of Electronics, and the rest were brought under its aegis when MIT was formed in October 1999.

Reported by Ashu Kumar, The Financial Express, March 27, 2001

Indo- Russian Centre for Advanced Computing Research

The Centre was inaugurated on 3rd July, 2000 during the visit of Prof M M Joshi, Hon'ble Minister for Science and Technology to Moscow. The parallel computing system, PARAM 10000, designed and developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) has been installed at the Centre. Initially, the system is of 12.8 GFLOPS peak performance which would be subsequently upgraded after the multidisciplinary applications are optimized. Projects on the development of software for the applications like computational atmospheric sciences, computational fluid dynamics, seismic data processing and development of parallel compiler have been initiated.

— Science and Technology in Russia, January 2000, p 11

Law portal launched

Supreme Court is a law portal,, started in July 2000 providing texts of the judgments of the Supreme Court of India, whether reportable or non-reportable online. The site is updated on a daily basis, as a result, a judgment pronounced today is on the site by almost the next day thus bridging the time lag to the minimum between the pronouncement of the judgment and the availability of the full report. The services on the portal were being provided free initially. It has been re-launched on 1st December 2000 and made a paid site wherein only the members of the site have the access to see/download full reports from the site. The non-members and the visitors to the site can only see the subject index of the judgments updated on the site. As an introductory offer, a nominal amount of Rs. 500/- is being charged for the membership.

Contact: M/s. International Law Book Company, 1562 Church Road, Kashmere Gate, Delhi - 110 006 for detailed information.

ADINET Study Circle

Ahmedabad Library Network (ADINET), Ahmedabad has started a study circle. Librarians, information professionals and others meet on last Friday of every month during 5pm to 7pm and discuss professional problems, developmental activities, etc. The invited speaker initiates a talk which is followed by discussion on the subject and other subjects also. Normally 40-50 professionals and others attend the meeting.

During the past few months there has been several talks associated with discussions. The talk initiated by Shri P C Shah was on the `Changing role of libraries and librarians'. Ms Swadha Majumdar of National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad initiated the talk on `Indexing for designer- one experience'. The talk of January 2001 was initiated by Ms Pragnya Pathak of Institute for Plasma Research (IPR) on `Web design: Librarian's point of view'. She opined that with increasing awareness of our users about new information technology and Internet resources, it has become essential to build a Web site for announcing our activities and available resources. She enumerated the steps of Web building/designing from the librarian's point of view. The steps that are necessary to design a better Web site were also discussed. She also elaborated on the development of the Web page of the IPR library and the information included in it.

Reported by Sh. P C Shah, Hony. Director, ADINET, Ahmedabad

How far will science and technology advance in 21st century?

What kind of things will science and technology realize in the 21st century? National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP) of STA (presently under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology =MEXT, Japan) prepared in December 2000 a survey report called `The Perspectives and Viewpoints of Science and Technology in 21st Century.' NISTEP collected comments of 1,200 specialists in all fields, regarding epoch-making technologies that will be realized or likely be realized in the 21st century and will bring about drastic changes in the life and society with new technologies, and presented a report taking these comments into account. The main points are as follows:

In widely interested genetic technology, humans will be endowed with tolerance against various hindrances to advancing into space such as scarce oxygen, cosmic rays, or low/high temperatures. Food and population problems will be solved by the miniaturization of human beings. Further, artificial life will be realized by chemical reaction. By the elucidation of brain functions, a new instrument will be developed, which will automatically record what has been experienced by a human being and enable exact regeneration of memory by only reminding it, assisting the thought of a human being. A computer exceeding the performance of a human brain (perception, cognition, learning. memory) will be developed, which will be able to take part even in creative activities.

Renovation in medical treatment will advance and regeneration treatment will become popular, and a human body after treatment will be constituted of original body parts, clean intestines, and artificial intestines. The average life span will sharply increase and aging speed will possibly be controlled, which will lead to a healthy aged society. Further, micro-robots, which are able to travel inside the human body to check and treat it, will replace surgical operation.
In energy field, the following will be realized:(i) Space photovoltaic power generation will be realized; (ii) nuclear fusion power generation technology will be established, which will totally replace thermal power generation and nuclear fission power generation ; (iii) global power network using room-temperature superconductive cable will be developed, which will enable most optimal energy supply for all countries; and (iv) technologies, which can convert violent natural phenomena such as typhoon, earthquake, or volcanic activity into usable energy, will be developed.

Regarding travel, space journeys will become popular, and trips to the Moon or Mars will be routine. In addition, deep sea exploration tours exceeding 1,000m will attract people's interest, which will give rise to deep sea tour business boom.

On the other hand, regarding the treatment of negative legacy of the 20th century, disposal of carbon dioxide in deep sea or in space or the fixation of carbon dioxide by biotechnology will be established, and the depleted ozone layer will be restored. In addition, bacteria capable of neutralizing land mines will be developed.

Most of the respondents described prospects for the science and technology in the 21st century and gave comments as well on philosophy required for the way science and technology should be, its ethical aspects, and its relations with society. These subjects will become particularly important in thinking about the science and technology in the 21st century.

S & T Today 2001, 13(2), 8

Cement 2001 on CD ROM

UK -based Palladian Publications Ltd. has put CEMENT 2001 on CD ROM. .It provides two year editorial archive on World Cement with details of full company profits and their own Web sites. It also gives easy to use reference tool specifying plant and equipment along with equipment guide.

Contact: Palladian Publications Ltd..15 South Street, Farnham Surrey GU976U, England Tel:+44(0)1252 718999 or visit the website at http://www.worldcement. com

WISTA Innovation 2001, 2(8 =Feb.), 19

SMEs and Information Technology. International Trade Forum, 2000 (3)

The study focuses on the role and importance of information technology in raising the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the international market. It identifies critical factors preventing SMEs in developing countries from making optimal use of IT, provides recommendations aimed at SME support institutions as a basis for designing technical assistance services for the business sector; presents case studies illustrating active participation of trade support institutions in this area in Africa, Asia and Latin America,

Contact: International Trade Centre,1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland.

— WISTA Innovation 2001, 2(8 =Feb.), 19

G M Kumar Best Paper Award

The Medical Library Association of India (MLAI) has since instituted G M Kumar Best Award with the amount donated by Dr R P Kumar, Secretary, MLAI in memory of his father. The award will be presented annually to the best written and presented paper during the National Convention of MLAI. The first award will be presented at the MLAI-2002 going to be held at Bangalore. [Reported by Dr R P Kumar, Secretary, MLAI]

Information Today & Tomorrow, Vol. 20, No. 2, June 2001, p.28-p.30