Information Market Scenario in India


Abhijit Lahiri
National Information System for Science & Technology (NISSAT)
Department of Scientific & Industrial Research, New Delhi-110016.


The path on information flow from the generators to the end users in complex and beset with hurdles. While low demand discourages the creation of an elaborate information resource base and a service system, lack of failities restricts strengthening of the demand force. It is typically a chicken and egg situation and this so in the early stage of development of an information market. It takes powerful, ingenuous and radical measures well-designed to break away from this circular inter-dependence. Towards this end, all the players—information providers, promoters, intermediaries and end-users have to work in unison and generate enough thrust to attain the escape velocity.

Growth of Public Funded Information Systems

Until the mid-seventies, the responsibility for building up information resources and provision of services rested with the central institutions like the Indian National Scientific Documentation Center, New Delhi; Library and Technical Information Section of the Bhabha Atomic Research Institute, New Delhi; Small Enterprises National Documentation Center, Hyderabad; National Social Science Documentation Center, New Delhi; institutions under the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research and other scientific agencies of the Government of India like Department of Electronics, Environment and Space; other scientific institutions like the India Meteorological Department, Geological, Botanical, Zoological, Anthropological Surveys, etc.; institutions under state governments on specific subject areas like agriculture, forestry, animal health, public health, etc.; the academic institutions like IITs at Kharagpur, Delhi, Bombay, Madras and Kanpur; Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta; university libraries and some of the R&D units of industrial establishments and private institutions.

Dispersed resources, inadequate communication linkages, lack of concerted and coordinated efforts, low level of awareness and a strong motivational inertia were prevalent then; some of these prevail even today.

Prompted by conceptual and technological changes, the information scenario has metamorphosed to include a variety of endeavors as illustrated in Annexure I & II. The usual concern that networks will duplicate one another, may not hold eventually. There is and there ought to be some overlap of interests and some distinctions are artificial. In others, duplications are to be carefully avoided at the operational level. For example, NISSAT, NCSI, BTIS and ENVIS would all expected to deal with bio-information but their responsibilities need to be delineated. Similarly, while NRDMS may look after the ground component of resources data especially maximization of the use of data from secondary resources, NNRMS may concentrate on the utilization of remote-sensed data. Once again, these information systems which are institution-based cannot deliver their services without active assistance from others. Even if they could on the strength of money power, it would not be in the longer interests of the nation. In any case none of the systems can afford to indulge in superfluous activities when individually all have a large mandate with limited resources to operate.

Growth of Data Networks

From the mid '70s the situation started looking up more in the direction of networking both at the physical and conceptual levels. While this trend continued in the mid '80s, two significant developments took place. They are:

These in turn have revolutionized the entire information scene in the country. After our successes with the multi-purpose INSAT statellite services, digital data communication between geographically spread points is now possible. With the availability of cheaper computers and easier accessibility of land line-based or satellite based computer-to-computer inter-connections, physical networking of information centers/systems has become a reality. The mushroom growth of general data networks, library networks and specialized sectoral networks listed in Annexure IV & V should suggest this trend. Illustrative lists of VSAT and E-mail service providers may be seen at Annexures VI & VII.

International linkage

To be effective, the information activities described should necessarily have appropriate international linkages. Though S&T activities in India, after the independence, have grown by a magnitude of order, the production of outputs in the media of Indian origin has been low. Indian workers still tend to publish their major findings in international journals or write books for international publishers. Therefore, the demand on international linkage is not only to keep track of the international trends in knowledge generation but also to bring back the knowledge generated within the country itself. Further, as R&D on information science and information technology is as yet on a low key in the country, the international linkage is very essential to keep abreast of newer concepts, methodologies, techniques and tools.

As a result of the initiatives of UN Organizations, there has been a considerable growth in the development of global information systems. Most of these global information systems subsist on national inputs from an identified focal point or correspondent. An illustrative list of such information systems with corresponding national nodal agencies is given in Annexure-III.

Though the supply of inputs has been maintained effectively in several cases, enough initiatives have not been taken to disseminate information from the global database to the national users community. It is suggested that a forum to promote the utilization of global databases and to facilitate the exchange of experiences of participation may be created.

In bilateral cooperation agreements worked out by various S&T agencies, exchange of information invariably figures as one of the elements of cooperation. It is therefore necessary to take advantage of the existing and future S&T agreements to provide bilateral links to the national efforts on information systems.

Growth of Private Enterprises

Online services started in North America and Europe through bibliographic databases primarily relevant to S&T. Under the UNISIST programme, Unesco had taken major initiatives to introduce the technology in developing countries and in accordance with its charter, the subject coverage was also S&T and social sciences. The Indian efforts made so far have conformed to the world trend.

After an experimental phase, online services were quick to adopt other forms of databases on business and finance. In the diversified market, the share of S&T data-bases diminished progressively. The table given below shows that in the North America, STI has only 2.4 per cent market share in 1988, which may decline further. Many factors are responsible for this.

North American Electronic Information Revenues:
Percent Market Share by Major Information Type

  1988 1994

Vertical Market/Operation

27.9 24.9


21.5 14.9

Financial and economic

20.9 28.8

Marketing and Media

14.7 15.3

Legal/Legislative and Government

6.3 6.0


4.1 3.1


2.4 1.9

Product Info/Transactional Services

2.0 5.1

Source : LINK Resource Corp., 199.

First of all, investment on a subject like S&T and an activity like R&D do not usually fetch immediate, visible returns and therefore, are easy targets in the event of a budgetary squeeze. Moreover, the relationship between the S&T database users and those who foot the bill for database generation and use is not direct whereas, in the case of financial and business information, the returns are visible; the same is true for travel information; no wonder that these information sectors have proliferated in variety, usage and the number of users.

The question is whether a similar scenario will be true for India. So far there has been no such movement in the market to allow an inference either way. Considering that the Indian market is not an isolated entity but part of a world market, and recognizing that it is too small a part to influence the global scene, a plausible conjecture would be that the Indian situation will eventually align with the world trend.

There are already evidences of impending wide scale transformation of the Indian information scenario. The presentation in Annexure-VIII would portray the variety of new information enterprises.

Transformation of Book Trade

Until mid '80s, the private book and periodical suppliers were the only ones feeding the libraries and information centers in India. As their foreign principals adopted new media for information delivery, the local suppliers also changed the productmix. Some continued their business under the old banner e.g. Allied Publishers, some others had set up separate units to deal with information on new media e.g. the traditional Universal Subscription Agency and the new GIST. Long time market operators like the Informatics India tied up with several CD-ROM database producers like the Silverplatter and the UMI apart from their running agency with Dialog online services. Entirely new enterprises like the Memex, Pioneers, VIIL, etc. were set up. These changes have promoted competition in the market, much to the advantage of buyers of information products and services.

Endeavors in Business and Commercial Information

As mentioned earlier, because of direct visibility of the benefits of information use, and higher paying capacity of users, the business and financial information sector has an edge over S&T information. Keeping with the trend in the rest of the world, the Indian information market has been witnessing the development of new private enterprises on commercial information services especially in the following areas:

— company information
— stock market information
— general economic & geo-coded information
— tender information
— yellow pages and similar directories.

These have come up both as a part of large groups e.g., DART and CERC of the Dalal Street Journals Group and Tata Yellow Pages of Tata Press or as private limited/proprietary concerns like the Teledirect. At least two of these companies have already made public equity share issue e.g., DART and Vans; several other organizations may follow suit.

International Tie-ups

There is also a distinct trend in the development of tie-ups with large foreign companies. For example, the Informatics India with Faxon, and Teledirect with Kompass. For quite some time, Indian organizations have been inputting Indian materials into international databases e.g., National Information Center on Food Science and Technology (NICFOS/NISSAT) to the Food Science & Technology Abstracts (FSTA), Sandharba to the Science Citation Index. The economic liberalization and globalization process will give further boost to such activities.

India has distinct advantage over other countries in Asia on account of her vast size of technically qualified population, software capabilities, computer literacy and English language skills among the educated mass available at a fraction of international rates. No wonder that well known companies should find it worthwhile to use India as the base for their Asian operations. For example, one of the Fortune 500 companies—the Dun & Bradstreet has set up an office in India and is exploring alliances with Indian companies like the MODE. The Knight-Ridder has started independent operations of the well-known Dialog online services in India.

Market Dynamics

On the other hand, as is true in any developed market, splits, take overs liquidations and mergers, have added a new dimension to the Indian information scene. The merger of the ORG & MARG and their tie up with the well-known foreign company Information Resources Inc., the division of business responsibilities between Informatics India and the Knight-Ridder for Dialog online services and CD-ROM marketing, are just the beginning of a new chapter. In this context, it may be mentioned that one major tie up has fallen through; the National Point of Contact of ESA-IRS online services set up by the TIFAC has now been discontinued because of ESA's new policy of restricting its ESA-IRS usage only within the ESA member countries.

Changing Face of News Agencies

Internationally, the newspaper houses and news agencies play an active role in information business. Apart from, news indexes of various kinds (e.g, FT Index), they provide numeric and factual data services (e.g. Reuters whose services on FOREX is already accessible in India). The Hindu, the Times of India group, the Printers Mysore are now getting organized to get into similar roles. The PTI News Scan is now a common sight in public places.

The Business India group have diversified into E-mail and TV media business. Efforts are also being made by Indian companies to provide news index & text services from foreign databases — the FT service of Vans is a case in point. On the other hand, the Indian organizations are now prepared to deliver Indian information to the world market; for example, the DSJ group offers a variety of online (India online) and CD-ROM (e.g., IDSS) options for corporate information, stock market quotations and the like in tandem with news information. The Business India has announced that it would publish its journal on CD-ROM by January 1996. The Hindu has also taken to electronic publishing.

Commercialization and Privatization of Public Funded Systems

The situation has been changing drastically in tune with the overall liberalization and globalization process of the Indian economy since 1992. The funding pattern of the public R&D and higher education institutions has changed; for example, the national laboratories under the CSIR are now to meet much of their financial requirements through contract research, technology supply, consultancy, testing and other services. Higher education institutions like the IITs are also expected to follow suit. These changes also have concomitant impact on the information scenario.

As the budgetary support to public institutions declines, the crunch permeates down to the library and information units perhaps disproportionately more than that is due. In step with all other constituent units of an institution, the library and information centers are also expected to supplement the dwindling internal budgetary flow by selling their services. The handling of the situation calls for a total shift from conventional library practices of collection intensity to service intensity.

It is well nigh impossible to create this new work culture in the short term and therefore a totally different sort of strategy needs to be evolved. First of all, it may be maintained that the Indian market could provide a good opportunity for information broking activities because :

Therefore, information brokers could have a field day by maintaining a line of supply between potentially information hungry customers and passive sources of supply. However, as there has not yet been many success stories to recount.

The concept of information broking needs to be systematically pursued. Apart from getting the potential entrepreneurs interested, and then trained in dealing with a commodity like information which in itself is not visible and whose use does not usually result in direct and tangible benefits, they ought to be provided with start-up capital and risk coverage. More importantly, the broking operations would need to be given access to information resources held by the existing libraries and information centers—of course on mutually agreed terms.

Going little further, one could think of more radical measures. While the ownership may remain with the government, the management of existing information centers could be passed onto private hands for operation. This alternative is difficult to implement because a mechanism, in which a private agency spends public money with no ownership stake and real accountability, is not easy to design.

A more conceivable situation would be to float of joint sector enterprises. In this, a company is started with partnership between a government agency and a private entrepreneur. While the management responsibility remains with the private party, the government representatives at the board level closely monitor the activities. The autonomy that such a company enjoys helps it to prosper. The system works fine so long as both the parties are able to sustain investments.

A simpler alternative is to evolve a mutually convenient working arrangement between a government and a private agency and to formalize it through execution of a Memorandum of Understanding. The system works well for a short while after the pompous signing of the MOU, but thereafter, the interest tend to wane.

In the immediate range, a consortium approach is likely to yield benefits. The consortium could be floated bya group of like minded libraries and information centers, and the arrangement could be formalized by registering the consortium as a company or a non-profit society. This could work well so long as the bonhomie between the partnersis sustained. The structure of a registered society or a for-profit company also provides good amount of flexibility in operations.

It will be clear from the above that a variety of alternatives is available to make an information market tick. The pre-requisite for success is the will to accept the concept of privatization keeping in view the changing scenario and the sincerity to act with an open mind.

Indian Database Ventures

Indian bibliographic database ventures were mainly

Besides, Indian institutions have also undertaken broad-coverage databases to serve specific interests e.g., Current Literature on Science of Science (CLOSS) of NISTADS, SUCHAK on social sciences of SNDT Women's University.

In a recent survey conducted by NISSAT (Sur S.N. and Sunder Singh B.G. Information Today & Tommorrow no.1 1995), details of 293 items including 175 abstracting services and indexing journals and 118 databases could be collected. The highlights of findings are given below:

Indian Database in CD-ROM Form

Most of the database publications started and (still start) on paper-print media. With the advent of CDS/ISIS & dBASE and easy availability of computers, most of them graduated to computer based indexing and production, though their final publications continued to be in paper-print form. However, the situation is changing fast as few examples cited below would suggest:

Until last year, the multi-media systems were being discussed only at an academic level. Now a host of companies specialize in the design and production of software. A lot of companies for CD-ROM publications have come up in major cities. However, a facility for mastering and replication of CD-ROMs still does not exist in the country; in fact, the volume of production also does not justify setting up of one. In these context, it may be mentioned new enterprises have been established for the production of compact disks, as such the produce will mostly for entertainment audio software.

Indian Online Services

The online scenario has also changed considerably. Apart from NIC's medical information services, INSODC's national union catalogue of scientific serials and other S&T databases, TIFAC's technology & related databases, INFLIBNET, DELNET and BONE's open Public Access Catalogues, more spectacular developments may be seen in the non-bibliographic sector such as:

In fact, many databases of organizations like the CMIE and the Registrar-General Census are already in computer readable form and information publishing is being now done on magnetic media like the floppies. They have to take only a short step forward to go online. Therefore, one can safely and optimistically conclude on the subject that the online technology has caught on and many more new ventures are expected in the immediate future.

The proliferation of e-mail and V-SAT operators in the private sector, is expected to give a boost to application of this technology as their basic services are augmented with new value added products.

Commercialization of Public Supported Information Acivities

In keeping with the overall financial restructuring of R&D and academic institutions, the information activities are undergoing a major transformation. Since 1990, NISSAT adopted the policy of revenue generation through marketing of information services by the NISSAT centers. The target was stepped up in phases from grant-in-support matching with 100% revenue earned during 1990-95 to 50% of revenue earned from 1995-96 onwards. Whereas, after the initial six months of subsidized services, the NISSAT international access centers recover full out-of-product costs and in addition levy handling charges. This policy has made it imperative for the centers to aggressively market their services and charge for their own sustenance.

The NISSAT policy could have worked better had other programmes also adopted a similar kind of policy. Even after their decade long existence, the ENVIS and BTIS centers still offer free services in pursuance of their promotional role and on the basis of their financial strength. The NIC charges are ridiculously low.

It must be appreciated that the unequal competition between a fee-based service and a free service causes confusion in the market place and eventually serves none. A close scrutiny of ADONIS services of NIC vis-a-vis that of INSDOC and NCSI - NISSAT, Patents Full-Text of PIS and NIC vis-a-vis that of NISSAT centers and NRDC, the proposed free patents search service of the Patents Facilitation Cell of TIFAC-DST vis-a-vis that of VAPIS-NISSAT and NRDC would be revealing. The government system does not provide any incentive for revenue earning and it does not even allow a plough-back facility. On the contrary, expansion of services demand higher investment and therefore increased budgetary support—which is usually not met, making the life difficult for programme operators.

Apart from database services, such disparities in financial approach in network management is also a cause for concern. For example, while developing the library networks, NISSAT takes the "project" approach with resource inputs and consequent financial outlays worked out and deliverables specified; whereas, the NIC provides equipment and manpower to the same network organizers which may be additional to the inputs worked out for the project - a study of the NISSAT-DELNET-NIC will drive home the point. Similar disparities also exist in the management approach of NICNET and ERNET. The NIC provides hardware-software and even manpower support free-of-cost for operating the user node and recovers network use costs at nominal rates, while the ERNET cannot provide any hardware-software-manpower facility and on top of it charges heavily for network use subscription.

Ultimately it is consumer satisfaction which would be the determinant of success. Why else, private information brokers make a living out of information business while public funded efforts subsist at the tax-payers expense.

Strategies for Information Market Development


The diffusion of information & communication technologies in developing countries could facilitate access to the global knowledgebase for harmonious economic development, better environmental management and enhanced quality of life. A proper understanding of the evolving information society would help formulating regional policies based on different cultural, economic and linguistic-conditions. Apart from actions on the strategies outlined in the earlier section, the following specific recommendations are made:

(i) A regular mechanism for analyzing the trends in development of information technologies, new products and services in the national and international market place may be set up, and periodic reports on broad and specific areas may be made.

(ii) A baseline study of the Indian information market in respect of its size and the pattern of development may be undertaken immediately.

(iii) A mechanism may be set up for policy analysis, for making recommendations on new policy instruments and suggest methodologies for their implementation.

(iv) The Government may be urged to adopt a programme to help the nascent information industry (in public and private sector) to grow harmoniously with necessary fiscal policy and management support.

(v) The tradeable public domain information generated and held by the government may be selectively released to the private sector for product devlopment, value addition and service generation.

(vi) The public funded information systems may be urged to reassess realistically their charging policies vis-a-vis the national welfare objectives and market conditions and adopt new approaches so as to avoid causing unequal market competition and the drain of tax-payers money.

(vii) The information industry players—government, private for-profit and private non-profit, should get organized and form an Information Industry Association for furtherance of their interests and greater visibility.


The author is grateful for the assistance received from all the colleagues at NISSAT especially Shri B.G. Sunder Singh, Shri V.K. Varun, Shri Hans Raj and Smt. Meenakshi Ramesh in the preparation of this paper.

Annexure - I

An Illustrative List of Information Systems in the Country

Type Name of the Programme/System Operating Agency

Bibliographic National Information Deptt. of Scientific &

Technology System for Science Technology (NISSAT) Industrial Research (DSIR)

National Register Deptt. of Scientific

for Foreign Collaboration (NRFC) & Industrial Research (DSIR)

National Research Deptt. of Scientific &

Development Corporation (NRDC) Industrial Research (DSIR)

Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Deptt. of Environment

Biotechnology Information System (BTIS) Deptt. of Biotechnology

National Centre for Science Information (NCSI) University Grants Commission

Centre of Biomedical Information Indian Council of Medical Research &

National Informatics Centre (NIC)

Patents Information System (PIS) Patents Office, Nagpur

Value Added Patents NISSAT (on chemicals at National Chemical Laboratory

Information Services (VAPIS) and on engineering at Central Manufacturing

Technological Institute)

Technology Information Forecasting & Deptt. of Science &

Assessment Council (TIFAC) network-(TIFACLINE) Technology (DST)

Management Network of National Planning Commission

Information Informatics Centre (NICNET)

National S&T Management Information System Deptt. of Science & Technology

Remotely-sensed National Natural Resources Deptt. of Space

Data and Geo-coded Management System (NNRMS)


Natural Resources Data Management System (NRDMS) Deptt. of Science & Technology

Statistical and Socio- Central Statistical Deptt. of Statistics

economic Information Organisation

National Sample Survey Deptt. of Statistics

NICNET Planning Commission

Registrar General of Census Ministry of Home Affairs

Institution based Indian National Scientific CSIR

multi-disciplinary systems Documentation Centre (INSDOC)

Defence Scientific Information & Defence Research &

Documentation Centre (DESIDOC) Development Organisation

Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) Deptt. of Atomic Energy

Small Industries Extension & Training Min. of Industries


Research and Development Deptt. of Steel

Centre on Iron & Steel (RDCIS), SAIL

National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC)

Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) Federation of

Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industries (FICCI)

Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) Min. of Industries

National Medical Library (NML) DG, Health Services


Annexure - II

Illustrative List of Databases and Services on Science and Information Technology

Centre/System/Service Major Area

A.NISSAT information Centre

Central Manufacturing Technological Institute, Bangalore Metalworking, machine tools, production engineering

Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow Drugs and pharmaceutical, natural products chemistry.

Central Leather Research Institute, Madras Leather and allied industries, online search.

Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore Food processing & post harvest technology

National Chemical Laboratory, Pune Chemicals, Online search

Ahmedabad Textile Industry's Research Association, Ahmedabad Textiles, Online search

Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology, Hyderabad Online Centre

Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation, Trivandrum -do-

Indian Association for Cultivation Science, Calcutta -do-

Victoria Jubilee Technological Institute, Bombay -do-

National Aerospace Lab. Bangalore Compact disk, online search


Distributed Information Centres:

Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore Genetic engineering

Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai -do-

Bose Institute, Calcutta -do-

Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi -do-

University of Poona, Pune Animal cell culture & virology.

Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi Plant tissue culture, photosynthesis & plant molecular biology

Centre for Cellular & Molecular Oncogenes, reproduction physiology, cell

Hyderabad transformation, nucleic acid & protein sequences.

National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi Immunology

Institute of Microbial Technology, Enzyme engineering, immobolised biocataysts,

Chandigarh microbial fermentation & bioprocess engineering.


Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi Pollution controller, water, noise.

Indian Toxicology Research Centre, Lucknow Toxic chemicals

National Institute for Occupational Health, Ahmedabad. Occupational health

Development Alternatives, New Delhi Environmentally sound appropriate technologies.

Centre for Envoronmental Studies Anna University, Madras Biodegradation of waste & environment impact assessment.

World Wildlife Fund India, New Delhi Environment in Parliament & NGOs

Tata Energy Research Institute, New Delhi Energy

Environmental Planning & Coordintion Organisation, Bhopal State of environment in MP

Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad Environmental problems in mining

Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta Animal ecology

Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta Plant ecology

GB Pant Himalayan Instt. of Environment & Development, Almora Himalayan ecology

Centre for Advanced Studies in Marine Estuaries, mangroves corals & lagoons

Biology, Annamalai University, Perangipethai

Central Arid Zone Research Instt., Jodhpur Desertification

Centre for Environmental Education, Ahmedabad. Environment education

School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi Human Settlement

Centre for Ecological Science, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore Western Ghats ecology

Environmental Protection Training & Research Institute, Hyderabad Eastern Ghats ecology

National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur Solid wastes including hazardous waste.

School of Environ. Science Jawaharlal Nehru Universiry, New Delhi Biogeochemistry & environment law

Bombay Natural History Society, Avion ecology


National Aerospace Laboratory, Bangalore Composits

National Chemical Laboratory, Pune Environmental technologies

MRS/Defence Metallurgical Laboratory, Hyderabad Non-ferrous materials

Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore Food technology

Tata Energy Research Institute, New Delhi Energy

Confederation of Indian Industry, New Delhi Manufacturing technology

Centre for Materials for Electronics (G-MET), Electronics materials

Department of Electronics, New Delhi

R&D Centre for Iron & Steel, Steel Authority of India Ltd., Ranchi Ferrous materials

Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Ltd., Ranchi Coal technology

Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi Standards

TIFAC - Expertsbase Experts


Annexure -III

Illustrative List of International Information Systems and Their Focal Points.

National Focal Point System

Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (i) UNISIST/UNESCO (ii) Regional network for exchange of

information and experience in Asia and the Pacific (ASTINFO/UNESCO)

Ministry of Environment Forests and Wildlife International Referral System for

Sources of Information on Environment (INFOTERRA/UNEP)

Bhabha Atomic Research Centre International Nuclear Information System (INIS/IAEA)

Indian Council of Agricultural Research. Agricultural Information System (AGRIS/FAO)

Industrial Toxicology Research Centre International Register for Potentially Toxic Chemicals (IRPTC/UNEP)

National Environmental Research Institute Global Environmental Monitoring System (GEMS/UNEP)

National Institute of Oceanography Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Information System (ASFIS/FAO)

National Informatics Centre Regional Informatics Network for the South and Central Asia (RINSCA/UNESCO)

Department of Science & Technology Technological Information Promotion System (TIPS/UNDP)

Publications & Information Directorate i)Asia Pacific Information Network on Medicinal & Aromatic Plants


ii)Asian Health, Environmental and Allied Databases (AHEAD/IDRC)

National Medical Library Health & Literature, Library and Information Services (HELLIS/WHO)

INSDOC SAARC Documentation Centre (SDC).

Annexure - IV

Illustrative List of Network Development Efforts by Public Agencies

Name Executing Agency Remarks

NICNET NIC/Planning Commission To support MIS for Govt. decision-making.

4 Regional centres in all State capitals

and all district headquarters.

NICNET/RENNIC institutions -do- For educational and research

ERNET Department of Electronics Mainly for educational & research institutions

SIRNET INSDOC/CSIR Mainly for CSIR units, now also available for others

INDONET CMC Ltd. Available to all on commercial rates.

INET Department of Telecommunications Available in 89 cities in phase II

Integrated Services Digital Network -do- Now available in 6 cities for audio

image and data communication

Remote Area Business Management -dO- Only for organisations in

Network (RABMN) remote areas. Subscription now closed

Gateway Packet Videsh Sanchar Nigam Gateway system in Bombay, and

Switched Nigam Services (GPSS) Ltd. (VSNL) local PADs in 10 major cities for international linkage


Annexure - V

Illustrative List of Library Network Under Development

Network Executing Agency Promoter (Geographical Coverage)

INFLIBNET INFLIBNET Society UGC (All Indian universities, colleges, academic & research institutions)

CALIBNET Calibnet Society NISSAT (Calcutta)

DELNET Delnet Society NISSAT (Delhi)

BONET National Centre Software Technology NISSAT (Bombay)

PUNENET Poona University, NCL and C-DAC NISSAT (Pune)

ADINET Adinet Society and INFLIBNET NISSAT (Ahmedabad)

MYLIBNET Mylibnet Society & CFTRI NISSAT (Mysore)

MALIBNET Malibnet Society INSDOC (Madras)

BALNET BALNET Society Under Design

HYLIBNET — Under Design

Annexure - VI

Illustrative List of E-Mail Operators


VSNL - Gems 400






Business India Information Technology Ltd. - Axcess


Sprint RPG India Ltd.  - Sprintmail


DART - Dartmail




Datapro Information Technology Ltd - Xeemail


CMC Ltd - Indonet, CMC Mail




Global Telesystem Ltd


Archana Telecom



Annexure - VII

Illustrative List of VSAT Operators

1. RPG Telecom Ltd

Hughes Escorts Communications Ltd.

3. HCL Comnet
4. Comset - Max Pvt. Ltd.
5. Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd
6. Wipro Infotech
8. Amadeus
9. ITI Equatorial Satcom Ltd.


Annexure - VIII

Illustrative List of Indian Ventures in Commercial Information Services


Economic Information



Business & Industry



Stock Market & Company



Trade Information



Legal Information



Patents Information