News and Events

Training Programme on Statistical Techniques in Scientometrics

Recognizing the need for strengthening the methodological base of scientometrics research in the country, NISSAT has sponsored a training/workshop in statistical analysis of bibliometric data at National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS) during 8-14 February, 1997. The workshop would essentially focus on practical aspects of data analysis rather than mathematical basis of different statistical techniques.

Course contents are: Statistical techniques, regression and correlation, cluster analysis, factor analysis, multidimensional scaling, correspondence analysis, critical information.

The registration fee of Rs. 2,000/- in bank draft in favour of Director NISTADS may be sent at the address given below.

For further information contact:

Mr. K.C. Garg, Convener, NISTADS
Dr. K.S. Krishnan Marg
New Delhi- 110 012, INDIA

Fax: 011-5754640
Phone: 011-5729151/5726460/578 8113
E-mail: postmast@csnistad.ren.nic.in

SIS ‘ 97 - Annual Convention

Society for Information Science, Bhubaneswar Chapter is organising the 16th Annual Convention and Conference at Department of Library & Information Science, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar in collaboration with Department of Library & Information Science Utkal University, Institute of Physics, and Regional Research Laboratory, Bhubaneswar on 29-31 January, 1997. The theme of the conference is ‘Access to Electronic Information (AEI)’. Some of the topics for discussion are

For more details, contact:

Dr. P. Padhi
Organizing Secretary
16th Annual Convention and Conference of SIS
C/o Deptt of Library & Information Science
Utkal University, Vani Vihar
Bhubaneswar-751004

CDS/ISIS Course

National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM), Hyderabad organized a two week course on CDS/ISIS (a UNESCO promoted and distributed software) during September 20 to October 1, 1996 at NAARM, Hyderabad. Associated packages Heurisco, Sanjay, Trishna, Fangorn, Windows version of CDS/ISIS were also covered. About 27 participants from all over India attended this course. The course was coordinated by Mr. Y.V. Siva Prasad and Mr. V. Muralidhar.

Interaction Meet on IT

Consultancy Development Centre (CDC), sponsored by DSIR, Ministry of Science & Technology, organised an ‘Interaction Meet on Information Technology’ for consultants sponsored by NISSAT, DSIR on 25 October, 1996 at Conference Hall of Electronics Niketan, Deptt. of Electronics. Forty-four delegates participated in this Meet, which was very successful.

Interaction Meet gave a terse overview of information systems in India. Topics covered were databases and online access, CD-ROM databases, video conferencing, E-mail and Internet services. The topics discussed were highly informative and useful to the delegates.

Demonstration of CD-ROM databases and online access over Internet was highly appreciated by the consultants.

PD Technology

The PD is a new, non-magnetic, totally optical data storage technology. Unlike CDs, PD disks are rewritable. In fact, they can be written, erased and rewritten with no loss of data. The recording layer of a PD disk is a special optical material. To write data on the disk, the PD drive uses its laser at high power to heat a small area of the surface, changing its reflectivity from high (bright) to low (dark), or back again to erase. To read the information written on the disk, the drive uses its laser at low power to sense the patterns of brightness and darkness, translating these into data for the computer.

A single PD disk will hold up to 650 megabytes of data, i.e. as much as 450 high-density 3.5" floppy disks will hold, and more than many hard drives. And unlike built-in hard drives, PD disks are removable giving effectively infinite storage capacity.

A PD drive is like two drives in one. In addition to reading and writing data on PD rewritable optical disks, the drives can read CDs of all kinds — CD-ROM, music CD, Photo CD, CD-Recordable, even the new CD-Enhanced (CD+) format. So there is no need to have a separate CD-ROM drive in the computer. On an average data transfer rate is 875 KB per second.

PD drives are ideal for all sorts of applications, from playing back multimedia to backing up files. And they can read CDs as fast as a quad-speed CD-ROM drives. Application areas include:

Database Property Rights

A new legal regime being proposed in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) would establish a new intellectual property right in the contents of databases that would:

The issue will be considered by WIPO as an amendment to the Berne Convention. If ratified, it will become the new international norm in intellectual property law. To date, there has been little or no discussion of this issue in scientific or academic communities. The WIPO conference on this subject will take place in Geneva, 2-20 December, 1996.

For further information:

Ferris Webster
Chair, ICSU CODATA Working Group on Data Access

Tel: 1+ 302-645-4266
Fax: 1+ 302-645-4007
e-mail: ferris@udel.edu

Workshop on Energy and Environment Information

A 3-day workshop on energy an environment information handling and dissemination is being organized by Tata Energy Research Institute during 5-7 March, 1997 at Tata Energy Research Institute, New Delhi. The course fee is Rs. 3,000/- (non residential) and the last date for receipt of nomination is 10 February, 1997. The course contents are:

For further information contact:

Ms. Nivedita
Dean, Information Services
Tata Energy Researc Institute
Darbari Seth Block, Habitat Place
Lodhi Road, New Delhi-110 003

e-mail: nivedita@teri.ernet.in
Fax: 4621770/4632609
Tel: 4622246/4601550/4641092

Health Education Library for People (HELP)

HELP, which is the first library of its kind in Asia, has about 5000 books, 10,000 pamphlets, 300 video cassettes, and around 30 CD-ROMs. An Internet access to the latest research in the world on any topic in medicine makes this library unique and perfect for any journalist, doctor, patient or lay person wanting more information. Dr. Aniruddha Malpani and his wife Dr Anjali Malpani, who started this library at Om Chambers, Kemps Corner, Mumbai, to encourage a healthy doctor-patient relationship, since the best patient is a well informed one. The library is beneficial for all. The well informed patients will demand the best treatment available internationally, it will act as an incentive for the doctors to update their skills, and for hospitals and clinics to improve their facilities. So far, there has been one way in which doctors could access MEDLINE ( an international biomedical database since early 1970’s) in India. They would have to go to the local hospital library i.e KEM Hospital Bombay, or AIIMS, New Delhi, which have the MEDLINE database on a CD-ROM. For each search at these centres normally a fee of Rs 100 is charged.

Worldwide the latest method allows online searches of the database—and this is now available for the first time in India at HELP.Using Internet, and Paperchase—a non-profit service provided by the Beth Israel Hospital (BIH) of the Harvard Medical School, Boston (USA), it is possible for any doctor to compose a search request of the medical literature, download, and review it—all online. The electronic database is much more current, since it is instantly available as soon as it is updated in the USA. The online search allows the doctor to search the entire database.

At the behest of BIH, the Malapanis will be doling out passwords to interested Indian doctors who have Internet access for a non-profit fee of Rs. 2000 and Rs. 12000 for hospitals and institutions that these doctors may have information in their own individual premises for a period of six months. Thus Paperchase allows the doctor to do his own searches, so that he no longer needs to retrieve a lot of garbage. The Paperchase does not need any software to operate and searches are much faster.

The annual membership of using the library is Rs 150 for an individual and Rs 7,500 for a company. Anybody can use the library by paying Rs. 5/-. The catalogue is computerised, which allows easy access to information. Medline searches can be done online, providing the latest in medical research from all over the world. This costs Rs 100 per query. For those unable to come personally to the library, answers to their questions are sent by post, fax or e-mail. Users have to pay Rs 200 per query for this service.

Panchtantra on CD-ROM

In a move which is first of its kind, the pioneers in multimedia business, Kirloskar Multimedia has developed and released an interactive multimedia on India’s most famous fables ‘the Panchtantra’, which will now be available on the CD-ROM.

The title "Panchtantra—the world’s oldest fables" is a collection of five carefully selected stories that strongly reflect the Indian culture and tradition. In keeping with the original Panchtantra, which literally means the book of five morals, each of the interactive multimedia story communicates specific values and morals.

The collection has been specifically targeted for children in the age group of four to eight, and the stories have been done through dramatically illustrated graphics and animation. Besides, it has music and surprises and the title provides fun and excitement while fulfilling educational and learning objectives. Tested extensively under the supervision of teachers and parents, the CD-ROM stimulates children’s participation while building their vocabulary and reading skills.

It is available in a Macintosh and Windows format and is being distributed worldwide by Kirloskar Multimedia’s publishing partner Padmini Multimedia.

— The Times of India, 18 August, 1996

IEEE/IEE Electronic Library on CD-Rom

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) is pleased to announce the release of a new full-image, CD-ROM database called the IEEE/IEE Electronic Library (IEL). The product contains full-page images of the entire collection IEEE/IEE publications, including over 10,000 journal and magazine issues, transactions, conference proceedings, standards and colloquia published since 1988. This is the core collection of published information in electrical and electronic engineering and computer science. Researchers and librarians can search the index, a subset of the Inspec Database produced by the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), then display and print the full page image, including all charts, graphs, diagrams, photographs and illustrative material found in the original publication.

The Windows search interface for the IEL has been developed through an agreement with Sony Electronic Publishing Company. IEEE chose Verity Topic Agents and Adobe Acrobat software as the foundation of the end-user system. The Topic search engine integrated with Adobe Acrobat provides an ideal solution for searching bibliographic data and accessing image data via CD-ROM.

— Program 30(3), July 1996.

Materials Science Goes Online

Five leading STM publishers have combined their resources to launch CoDAS Web, an online service for condensed matter and materials science researchers seraching for papers. The service provides abstracts from 66 journals, including the Journal of Materials Science, Materials Science and Engineering, and Surface Science. With the database growing at more than 600 abstracts per week, CoDAS Web will provide researchers with a large archive of abstracts and bibliographic data upto four weeks before they are available in print. Further information and a demonstration is available at http://www.iop.org/journals/codas. Alternatively, e-mail: custserv @ioppublishing.co.uk.

Whitaker Launches Web Service

Whitaker has launched Whitaker Web, an electronic bibliographic information service which combines Windows software with CD-ROM technology and electronic updating, using the TeleOrdering network. New features added to the service include a hot link from title to publisher information and a automated link to the TeleOrdering system. The software also allows for the inclusion of new data fields planned for later this year.

Subscribers will receive regularly updated English language bibliographic data, full text retrieval software, technical support and access to an expanding range of information services, which initially comprise The Purple Service-World Information, The Green Service-UK and Europe, The Red Service-Australia and New Zealand, and The Orange Service-Out-of-Print.

Subscribers to Whitaker’s Book Bank service can upgrade from their existing DOS package for an additional 65 pounds.

Contact: Whitaker Bibliographic Services, 12 Dyott Street, London, WC1A 1DF. TEL.: +44(0) 171420 6000. FAX: 8362909

New PC Browser

SLS (Information System) Ltd., UK, has produced a Z39.50 PC Browser, its first Windows-based PC software application. This Browser provides access to ten million bibliographic records on the SLS Database and allows the user to search other Z 39.50 complaint sources of bibliographic data. The Browser offers full online help and can be configured in English, Spanish, Portugese and Swedish. The Browser with full support of both the UK and US MARC standards can access global bibliographic resources from a single search instruction. The product comes fully documented and preconfigured with access to the bibliographic files on the SLS Database allowing immediate search and retrieval capability.

— Managing Information, 1996, 4(3), 15.

Software Training Tools on CD-ROM

Discover has launched a range of training tools on CD for the most popular office-based PC software including Windows 95, Windows 3.11, Word 6.0, Excel 5.0, Power Point 4.0, Word Perfect 6.1, Access 2.0 and Lotus 1-2-3.

The courses work by ‘taking’ people through each segment of a software package at users’ own pace allowing them to demonstrate their knowledge through self testing. It caters for each individual’s preferred learning style and pace, combining video presentation, reading practical hands on experience. Research conducted by Benchmark for DiscoverWare revealed that the main cause of inadequate training was lack of funding. The cost of the professional level version of the CD is $99.95.

— Managing Information, 1996, 3(4), 4.

European Patent Information and Documentation Systems (EPIDOS)

EPIDOS, the European Patent Information and Documentation Systems, is the service through which the European Patent Office (EEPO) organizes and coordinates all its activities in the field of patent information. Together with the national patent offices of the European Patent Organization’s Member States, it facilitates public access to and use of the information contained in patent documents.

EPIDOS maintains up-to-the-minute information on all the major technologies and enables users to keep abreast of current developments in 95% of research worldwide. It also pin-points trends and areas of activity whose full significance is yet to emerge. Together with PATOLIS - a unique source of Japanese Patent Data - the EPO and INPADOC archives house an impressive pool of information comprising over 50 million patents. As it is, there is one patent application filed every ten second in the world and around 600,000 in a year in Europe alone. As such the state-of-the art computer systems update the EPIDOS databases every day so as to remain always current.

The EPIDOS information operates in three ways :

  1. Within Europe, via national patent offices and their libraries or reading rooms.
  2. Via the world-wide range of commercial operators, online hosts, specialist publishers and other services, who supply patent information to the public.
  3. Through EPO and its Vienna sub-office with special responsibility for patent information.

The Vienna sub-office of the EPO manages world-wide patent information database known as INPADOC, covering over 50 countries. The database includes all Japanese patent applications, examined and unexamined, published since April 1973. It carries out searches on behalf of customers and provides answers to such queries as (i) Patent families, (ii) Technical fields, (iii) Applicant names, (iv) Inventor names, (v) Legal status, (vi) Japanese patent documents data, (vii) Japanese trademarks and designs. The results are supplied within two days on an average. As agents to JAPIO since 1985, EPO has online access to the Japanese database PATOLIS.

Another notable service being run by the Vienna sub-office is the index service produced on COM microfiche; the index service covers (a) Numerical Database (NDB), (b) Patent Classification (PCS), (c) Patent Inventor Service (PIS), and (e) Patent Register Service (PRS). NDB contains a complete bibliographic record, such as publication dates, application and priority dates; PCS gives a quick and easy access to a complete list of patent applications in any field; PAS lists patent documents associated with one applicant from where one can deduce the main fields wherein one is actively searching/researching; PIS provides a list of the patent applications filed by a specified inventor over the years; and PRS provides regular up-to-date information on the legal status of competitor’s industrial property rights.

Surveillance Service IPG-INPADOC Patent Gazette is yet another useful service, which is distributed weekly on COM microfiche, covering all patents published in over 50 national patent offices and those of international organizations in the form of clear standardized bibliographic data of patent documents processed in that week. Among the other services catered by EPIDOS-INPADOC databases is the CAPRI-system, i.e Computerized Administration of Patent Classification, which gives information on inventions patented prior to 1973.

— WISTA Intellectual Property, May 1996

NRDC Online Patents Search Facility

The National Research Development Corporation, Government of India Enterprise under the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research now provides on line patent search facilities for everyone. Searches can be requested by letter, telephone, telex or fax. All customers interested to perform one or more searches, have to deposit an advance of Rs. 5000/— per search. Payment can be made in cash or by crossed demand draft in favour of NRDC.

The facility is connected to a large number of databases for patent information such as INPADOC, DERWENT, JAPIO, APIPAT, IMSWORLD, etc. Information on Chinese Patents and their abstracts can be obtained in English. This online facility provides access to more than 15 million patents from 56 different patent authorities around the globe. These patent sources, which help you identify prior inventions against which yours will be evaluated, can be extremely helpful in preparing your patent application.

There are also a number of databases for trademarks covering Austria, Benelux, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Switzerland, USA, etc.

For more information contact:

National Research Development Corporation
20-22, Zamrudpur Community Centre
Kailash Colony Extension
New Delhi -1100048.

Tel: 011-4617942, 6432121
Fax: 011-6460506, 6449401
Telex: 031-71358

New Service from RPG

RPG Paging has recently introduced a service called InfoPlus. This service offers the user news and sensex updates alongwith a host of other information like cricket scores and election bulletins. In its current form infoplus comes free of charge to all RPG Paging subscribers. All new pagers come .preprogrammed for this facility.

The pager receives sensex information or news through a mail drop facility built into the pager so the pager doesn't beep when the information comes in. To access the latest in financial information and news, all you have to do is pull out your pager and read the information.

SW FOR STUDENTS LAUNCHED

A new software called 'Coming To America' has been launched that contains a database of the top 250 colleges in the US. This software will give you information like address, phone, fax, c-mail, contact person, application and financial aid deadlines, cost structures, etc. This software "I further enable a student to print application material request forms and letters, college mailing address labels and various reports. The software that comes for Rs. 200 contains one 3.5 inch floppy diskette, a help manual, a brochure and fee labels.

For further information please contact:

Ashish Bajoria
214 Jodhpur Park
Calcutta-700068

Tel: 01-33-4734205.

— The Statesman, 17 June, 1996

PUBLISHING MARKET PLACE REFERENCE PLUS

This CD-ROM published by Bowker Saur presents every conceivable name, address, activity and support service relating to the library, publishing and the book trades.

Various sources include

Additionally, the database gives you access to thousands of publishing industry facts and statistics from "Bowker Annual Library and Book Trade Almanac". All this for UKP. 720.

For finiher information please contact:

Informatics (India) Pvt.Lid.
337, 3rd Floor, Karuna Complex
Sampige Road, Malleswaram
Bangalore -560003

CD-ROM ON BANGALORF, FROM DECCAN YELLOW PAGES

Deccan Yellow Pages, one of the forefunners in the yellow pages business in the country, "I bring out a business and information directory on Bangalore, on CD- ROM.

The CD-ROM, christened "Bangalore on CD-RO"', details important locations, hotels, major business houses and a host of other information on the city. Deccan Yellow Pages hopes to roll it out in another six months time.

Manjunath Biijalahalli, Managing Director of Deccan Yellow Pages, said that he even plans to have part of the contents available on the Internet and to bring out similar directories on every important city in, the country.

The CD-ROM directory will provide video and audio sections for companies to advertise their wares at competitive rates. A very interesting feature of CD-ROM is its order booking form where users can directly fax their purchase orders to vendors who have advertised, at the click of a button.

Besides, it also contains information on various goods and services available in Bangalore With guided maps to look for them. It also has a brief history of Bangalore, profiles of important personalities of the city and a host of other relevant information.

— MALA Newsletter 9(2), 1243, 1996

BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING DATABASE

Major Hospitals- TIFAC has prepared a list of major hospitals and medical centres situated all over the country alongwith their addresses. The next step would be to update this list with inclusion of areas of specialties in these hospitals and medical centres.

Medical Equipment Suppliers- TIFAC has recently constituted an Expert Committee in Biomedical Engineering with an aim to evaluate R & D proposals in this important area and also to identify new areas. In order to help the committee in decision making, TIFAC has prepared a directory of Indian agents of foreign principals dealing in biomedical equipment. The information has been extracted from the Directory of Indian Agents of Foreign Principles registered with DGS & D.

Patent Study on Pacemaker-- A 26 years search on pacemakers, defibrillators and their related systems like leads, clectrodes, etc. patented in USA was carried out. Considering that the basic invention of implantable pacemaker was made in 1958 i.e., 37 years ago, one would expect that the number will settle down over a period of time. The findings were different:

  1. Number of patents went up from 7 in 1969 to 130 in 1994. The total. number of patents issued so far is about 1 1 50.
  2. 87% patents were assigned to industry. The percentage assignment was 98.5% in 1994 indicating emergence of novel ideas.
  3. 82% patents were held by only 5 companies in 1980 as against 75% held by 14 companies in 1993 indicating a rise in the number of market players.
  4. 320 patents out of the 1155 patents were originated in countries other than USA. These countries are Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Australia, Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan and Argentina.
  5. Many of top patent holders in USA are also the top market players in India in the pacemaker market.

KIRLOSKAR, PADMINI ENTER INTO CD-ROM PUBLISHING ALLIANCE.

Kirloskar Multimedia Ltd and Padmini Polymers have entered into a strategic multimedia CD-ROM publishing alliance. Kirloskar Multimedia will design, develop and produce the CD-ROM titles and Padmini Polymers will replicate, market and distribute them on a world-wide basis. The alliance will create at least 12 CD- ROM products over the next one year focussed at the general entertainment segment of the multimedia market.

Included in this range "I be products that have a content source in India but are made relevant to audiences internationally. Also, all products would have language implementations to enable these to be sold in several non- English speaking countries. The first commercial title from the alliance was launched on February 9 at Milia '96 at Cannes in Fmnee, which is the multimedia industry's leading trade show.

This is the first major joint initiative to develop and distribute CD-ROM products in the international multimedia market.

DATABASE & NATIONAL DIRECTORY OF CONSULTANTS

Consultancy Development Centre (CDC) is an autonomous non-profit registered society supported by Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India for development and promotion of consultancy profession in the country. CDC maintains a computerized database of consultants, which at present is having details of 3500 consultants for providing information and referral services to users of consultancy. Consultants / consultancy organizations are invited to send their profile in a format available on request from CDC to enrol themselves in the database free of cost. Also clients may contact CDC for referral services.

CDC has recently brought out a "National Directory of Consultancy Services" primarily for Technical Consultancy Development Programme for Asia and the Pacific (TCDPAP) listing profiles of approximately 1700 Indian Consultants. Limited copies of this Directory are available for sale on first-come first-served basis at a price of Rs. 5001- in cash or Rs 5501- by demand draft if required by post.

Consultancy Developnient Centre
Zone IV (B), 2nd floor, East Court
India Habitat Centre
Lodhi Road, New Delhi-110003

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE FOR TECHNICAL ENTERPRISES (BITE)

The IEE has one of the longest established information brokerages in the UK. Recently renamed BITE, its stalt combine both technical and business knowledge with infbnnation searching skills. They have access to over 1000 of the world's major technical and business databases and have developed in-house resources on competitor and market intelligence.

The BITE Products

The products are aimed at supporting the business needs of engineers with information which comprehensively covers their technologies, industry, competitors and markets. They can be delivered as on off products or as on-going subscriptions. The products are:

Company information (Competitor intelligence, mergers and acquisitions, and company profiles)

Market information (Market intelligence, tenders and market opportunities, and legislative issues monitor)

Technical Information Out-Sourcing

The resources of BITE are available to anyone who needs up-to-date information fast and the BITE team will work with clients to define their precise requirements. Documents and search results required urgently can be sent by fax.

For further information please contact BITE at:

Institution of Electrical Engineers
Savoy Place
London, WC2R OBL

Tel: +44(0)171 344 5453/8428/8429
Fax: +44(0)171 497 3557
E-mail: bite@iee.org.uk

First Inventory of Toxic Technologies

GREENPEACE has published the ‘Inventory of Toxic Technologies’ in an effort to inform technology importers about potential and unrecognized environmental and health hazards associated with certain technologies. Technologies are included in this inventory based upon the following five criteria:

A technology need only meet one of the above criteria for inclusion on the inventory.

To date, the inventory consists of 13 chapters, each covering a specific technology. Some examples include: metal finishing, chlorine bleaching of pulp paper, incineration, etc. Each chapter is comprised of five sections providing background information, a description of the technology, environmental and health impacts, a case study, alternatives, selected laws and regulations, information on industrial trends as well as reference information. Greenpeace does not envisage publishing additional chapters; however they would consider particular requests to do so.

For more information please contact:

GREENPEACE Toxic Trade project
462 Broadway, 6th floor
New York, NY 10013 USA

Tel: (1-212) 966-4386
Fax: (1-212) 941-1928
e-mail: Kbruno@igc.apc.org

Digital Videodisc (DVD)

The consumer technology breakthrough of 1996 will be the digital videodisc, or DVD, according to manufacturers assembled here for their huge annual trade show.

DVD players are expected on store shelves by this fall, and will sell for between $600 and $700, according to Toshiba, one of the manufacturers to unveil DVD players to the public here.

While DVDs look like compact discs (CD), a DVD holds 8.6 gigabytes of data on a single side—14 times the amount of data a CD can hold.

A 133-minute long film, which is as long as 94 per cent of movies produced, can be stored on one side of a DVD. Not only will the sound and picture quality of film of DVD be far superior than videocassettes, the new technology will accommodate multiple sound tracks. That will allow viewers to choose from soundtracks in 8 foreign languages, in addition to subtitles in 32 languages.

The manufacturers has split into two camps—one made up of an alliance between Toshiba, Matsushita and Time-Warner and the other made up of Sony and Phillips. But the agreement on a common technology will prevent types of players from appearing in the marketplace.

DVD players will not have a recording function in order to avoid the potential of copyright infringement and resulting litigation that could delay introduction of the new product—AFP.

— Economic Time Jan 9, 1996

Networking Market in India

India’s networking market, which saw a 100 per cent growth during 1995, is set to increase its reach, according to analysts in the IT Industry. The growth rate has been particularly healthy in the Local Area Network segment where corporate houses, research institutions and government agencies could network in a campus environment without depending on an external service provider. However, the Wide Area Network segment, the growth rate is not impressive, as the telecommunications infrastructure is still inadequate for high speed connectivity. As regards data communications products like routers, LAN switches and hubs for networking are concerned, market figures estimate sales of about Rs 250 crores ($700 million approx.) and a growth rate of over 120 per cent in 1996.

— Advantage, July 1996

Growing VSAT Market in India

The Rs. 200 crores ( $60 million) market for VSAT services in India continues to grow at an annual rate of 30 to 40 per cent, against the backdrop of poor terrestrial networks unable to cope up with the corporate sector’s need for reliable connectivity. It is estimated that the potential market for VSATs will be about 15,000 to 20,000 terminals in a five-year time frame.

Already, eight service providers including Hughes Escorts Communication Ltd. (HECL), RPG Satcom, HCL Comnet Systems & Services Ltd., Comsat Max Ltd., and Wipro-BT Ltd are in the running for this expanding market.

While most of the service providers have confined themselves to offering VSAT services only, Wipro-BT Ltd. has ventured in to both Value-added Network Services (VANS) as well as satellite-based communication services through VSATs. The services were launched in December 1995. A joint-venture between Wipro Ltd and British Telecom, Wipro-BT Ltd offers VANS solutions including international standard E-mail, file-transfer, protocol conversion and end-to-end communication services.

Lured by the growing demand for VSAT-based communication, many new players such as Telstra V-Comm., Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd., Shyam Telecom Ltd and ITI Ltd., are venturing into this business.

— Advantage, July 1996

Global Players to Tap IT Training Market in India

The worth of the IT training market in India in 1994-95 (April 94-March 95) is reported to be about $110 millions, with about $96 millions coming from individual IT training and $12 millions from corporate IT training. The market is expected to grow at a rate of about 57 per cent annually to cross Rs 500 crores ($ 1 50 millions) in 1995-96.

The market for IT education in India is considered to be huge compared to anywhere else in the world. So far, the IT training market has been dominated by the likes of NIIT (National Institute of Information Technology), Aptech and a host of others. The market is set to witness a stiff competition grom global players.

Finding the Indian market much more lucrative compared to other parts of the world, IBM is reported to be formulating plans to capture a major chunk of the market within the next couple of years. The two IBM subsidiaries, namely, Catapult and EduQuest are in the process of planning their entry into India by 1997.

It is expected that all these four companies will be jointly providing their services in India. They are likely to focus on the three areas in India, namely, end-user training, technologies like Internet and client-server as well as computer-based training with multimedia packages.

Major global players like Knowledge Pool, a joint-venture between Amdahl, Fujitsu and ICL, Integra, one of Europe’s leading players and Polar Bear Systems of US, are all expected to look at India as a potential market in the coming years.

— Advantage, July 1996

The Network Server Market in India

The Indian market for servers is estimated to be about Rs 450 crores ($140 million) and a whole lot of world majors like Sun Microsystems, Tata-IBM and Compac are entering into this segment with some high-end main frame servers as well as into the mid range and the PC-based Intel servers.

The server market is undergoing dramatic growth and, according to International Data Corporation (IDC), this is likely to grow at an astonishing rate of nearly 60 per cent. The phenomenal growth in the server market is due to the shift from personal computing to group computing and the Internet magnet that draws together and unifies computer, networks and most importantly, people.

According to Sun Microsystems, it has upwards of 20 per cent of the server market share in India. Tata-IBM claims that its AS/400 has been one of the most successful systems so far, as it combines mission critical system reliability, case of use, application investment protection and a array of industry-specific applications.

Apart from the boom in the networking business and the strengthening of the client-server route of computing, another area of growth in the server market will be the large replacement market, feels the representative of Compac India. In the Intel-based server segment; Compac claims to have a 35 percent share in the Indian market and is the leading multinational brand PC seller both internationally and within India.

The server market share in India for the multinational companies is expected to grow, as more and more corporates realize the need to have highly reliable servers. According to IDC data, the total market for real servers is between 16,000 to 19,000 out of which MNC brands have 7,000, while the rest are catered to by Indian machines assembled locally. The latter segment will be slowly graduating to the branded segment and MNCs share in the real market will be rising.

— Advantage, July 1996

EMERGING TELECOM SOFTWARE MARKET IN INDIA

According to a study by the Manufacturers Association for Information Technology(MAIT), 92 per cent of the total hardware installed in India by the Department of Telecommunications (DOT), Government of India, is in the form of stand-alone machines. Therefore, DOT has drawn up plans to implement its IT solution in network upgradation in all the major cities by 1997.

This will require about 12300 additional Unix-based servers, resulting in an outlay of Rs 450 crores (5135 million), while the corresponding application software, training and implementation cost would be about Rs. 200 crores (60 million).

With the basic telecom services now thrown open to the private sector, the demand for setting up telecom networks involving software system design, development, implementation and software integration is expected to go up by leaps and bounds, throwing open a major market opportunity. During 1994-95, communication software garnered Rs. 480 crores ($145 niillion) of the Rs. 2,400 crores ($950) software exports market.

— Advantage, July 1996

GOVERNMENT POLICIES ON SOFTWARE EXIPORTS: A REVIEW

Software export promotion in India began as early as 1970 with the government permitting import of computers for software export purposes. Since then, such imports have been liberalized gradually, but against stringent export obligations of importers. However, at least until the mid-1980s, these policies were often preoccupied more with curtailing computer imports rather than encouraging software exports.

By the mid-eighties, as foreign firms increasingly turned towards India's low cost skilled software professionals, the government began to consider seriously the provision of infrastructure and incentives for software exports from the country. The new software policy announced in 1986 permitted the import of the latest foreign designs and software development tools so as to enable the Indian industry to produce world class software for exports. However, the Government failed to create and sustain a large domestic market for software and IT applications, which could have provided the industry with immense opportunities for experimenting and learning. This in turn could have helped the industry in its export efforts.

However, during 1990, another major initiative called the Software Technology Park (STP) scheme was launched by the Government to provide level-playing field to companies and small entrepreneurs who could not afford expensive technological and communications facilities. Units in an STP were allowed liberal import of hardware and software tools, tax exemptions and easy access to satellite links.

The bulk of the software exports from the country can be characterized as 'body shopping', the practice of sending programmers to work at the customers' sites abroad. However, on-site services are showing a declining trend in favour of more offshore work. The growing international trends towards outsourcing of IT services may imply a promising future for Indian software and services exports. Outsourcing is becoming popular largely as a consequence of the substantial gap between local software development costs in the North American, Japanese, and European markets, and the markets of Asia. India is becoming an important outsourcing destination for firms in North America, Europe and Japan.

Despite many constraints, the apparent success of the government's software export promotion policies as well as the sheer size and the rapidity of growth in export revenues may direct attention away from the fact that a mature and demanding domestic market for IT applications is crucial for sustaining value-added exports in the future.

Recently the Department of Electronics, Government of India, had recommended that all government departments earmark at least one to three percent of their annual budgets for procuring and utilizing electronics and IT, but this has not met with any great success, as was expected. However, the government's recent focus on infrastructure, progressive deregulation of public utilities, banking and financial services, and the overhaul of the telecommunications sector can be consciously used to begin a new drive for computerization in the country, thereby positively impacting the growth of the IT industry.

— Advantage, July 1996

INDIA TO HAVE MORE GATEWAY CENTRES

Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (VSNL), India's international carrier, is currently in the process of installing four new Gateway switches at New Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta and Madras to further augment international switching capacities and provide a range of advanced international services including ISDN and Intelligent Network Services.

VSNL will also install three more gateway centres in Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh), Gandhi Nagar (Gujarat) and Mysore (Kamataka), which "I become operational by the end of 1996, for the smooth handling of the increasing international telephone traffic. These "I be in addition to two other gateways which are already in the process of being set up at Ernakulam (Kerala) and Jalandhar (Punjab).

These gateways will comprise digital telephone switch and Interseat Standard "C" earth stations. The new gateway switches will have features to provide Intelligent Network Services and wireless in local loop access.

With the commissioning of the new switches, the entire international switching network will stand significantly enhanced with capabilities of switched video conferencing, N x 64 kbps switched circuits and advanced network management systems.

— Advantage, July 1996

UNESCO RELEASED WORLD SCIENCE REPORT 1996

UNESCO Director-General Federico Mayor Presented this second report which reviews and updates the state of science and technology throughout the world to the Organization's Executive Board. The first UNESCO World Science Report was released in 1994.

The 356-page book, written by an international team of biologists, chemists, physicists, engineers, economists and other experts, is divided into three sections. Part one is a global industrialized national such as the United States and Canada are grappling with the need to rethink their scientific and technological priorities as they confront economic decline, shrinking research budgets and rising demands for rapid progress in research. As a result, governments in many of these countries are realizing that they need to strengthen international collaboration in big science projects if they are to tackle such problems as AIDS, global warming, energy research or food production. Former Soviet bloc countries are attempting to juggle the building of new scientific infrastructures and massive cuts in defence research spending are outstripping possible conversion to civil aviation, space and computing. In developing countries, low investment in science education, reduced salaries and social status for research professionals are among the factors hindering capacity building and sustainable development.

The second part of the report examines contemporary issues confronting scientists: bioethics, the need for increased international cooperation, geo-science and the human impact on the environment. The report also focuses on new developments in information science, biotechnology, materials science and engineering.

Women in science is the theme of the report's third section. Women hold fewer jobs in science and technology. They are paid less than men. They are more likely to quit. While governments continue to ignore gender issues and fail to value the importance of diversity and different perspectives in research, the situation is unlikely to change. The report examines education, discrimination and other reasons behind this phenomenon.

More than 140 figures, tables and charts illustrate the World Science Report 1996, a source for specialists, policy-makers and the general public. It is sold for US$ 45 or 220 FF by UNESCO Publishing, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France.

INDIAN COMPUTER SOFTWARE EXPORTS DURING 1995-96

According to the annual estimates of the Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC of India, exports of the electronics and computer software and related services during 1995-96 (April 1995 - March 1996) reached an all-time high at Rs 6.375.00 crores ($1.903 billion approx.) compared to Rs 3808 crores ($1.228 billion) during the corresponding period in 1994- 95, registering a growth of 67 per cent.

Software Exports

Overall exports of computer software and services during 1995-96 have been estimated at Rs 2,650 crores ($791 millions), up by 80 per cent (66 per cent in dollar terms) over the previous year. The export target for the current year, April 1996-March 1997, has been fixed at $ 1 billion. The ESC feels that the performance is a pointer of India's recognition in the global market for computer software.

Software was exported to 75 countries as compared to 67 countries in the previous year. In respect of 28 countries like the Netherlands, Denmark, Indonesia, Philippines, Norway and Austria, software exports have more than doubled. In some of the major markets too, there has been an impressive growth - 60 per cent in the US and 51 per cent in Singapore.

The number of companies making substantial exports has also grown. According to ESC, 36 companies are exporting software valued at more than Rs 10 crores ($3 millions) as compared to 25 companies which did so in 1994-95. Overall, 140 companies crossed the export level of Rs. one crore ($ 350,00) which indicates a growing maturity and professionalism in this sector.

The past efforts of market exposure by promotional programmes have identified many new markets for the software industry. In particular, success was achieved in penetrating the markets of Australia, the Netherlands, Denmark and Japan. Japan, the second biggest market of software in the world after the US, has begun to realise the immense benefits of sub-contracting in India for increased business profits by way of joint ventures and collaborations with Indian software companies.

Hardware Exports

India's evolving computer hardware sector had a growth of 49 per cent during 1995-96, with an exports turn-over of Rs 965 crores ($280 million) compared to Rs. 647 crores ($ 180 million) in 1994-95. The main items of exports were head stacks and subassemblies, computer systems, mother boards, switch mode-power supplies and Winchester / hard disk drives.

Exports of Telecom Services

Telecom services and project exports rose to Rs 1,325 crores ($400 million) during 95-96 compared to Rs 827 crores ($240 million) over the previous yew, registering a growth of 60 per cent.

Exports of Telecommunication Equipment

In the area of telecommunication equipment exports, the growth was 202 per cent. Total exports during 95-96 compared to Rs. 827 crores ($240 million) over the previous year, registering a growth of 60 per cent.

Exports of Telecommunication Equipment

In the are of telecommunication equipment exports, the growth was 202 per cent. Total exports during 95-96 stood at Rs. 305 crores ($90 million) compared to Rs. 101 crores ($25 n-tillion) during the previous year. Major items of export in this group were : pagers, token ring and accessories, telephone instruments, telecom cards and EPABXIEPAX/RAX.

Export Destinations

Out of the total exports, the major markets of Indian electronics and software exports were: North America accounting for 41 per cent of the total market share, and South East Asia 24 per cent. The European community accounted for 22 per cent, Russia and CIS 3.5 per cent, West Asia 3 per cent, Far East 2.4 per cent and others 4.1 per cent.

MAJOR INDIAN IT COMPANIES TO FORM A CONSORTIUM TO TAP JAPANESE MARKET

In an effort to break into the highly protected Japanese market a consortium of Indian companies is being formed with the help of the leading management consultant, Kenichi Ohmae, a former senior executive with McKinsey, the US-based international consulting firm. A company called JASDIC (Japanese Software Development by Indian Companies) Park will be incorporated in Japan shortly. At present, the names of five Indian companies which will be part of the proposed marketing consortium are being finalized. Of these five companies, HCL Ltd., through its subsidiary, HCL-Japan, Infosys Technologies Ltd., Bangalore and M.N. Dastur & Company, Calcutta, have agreed to take part in the venture. Wipro Ltd., Bangalore, is also understood to be considering this proposal. With Tata Consultancy Services pulling out, the fifth place remains to be filled in. The need for a company like JASDIC Park arose because some of the Japanese companies like to have assurance from a Japanese company, which can be given by JASDIC Park, which is to be incorporated in Japan.

The move for setting up the consortium is expected to give a major boost to Indian software exports to Japan. With the Indian software exports to Japan amounting to just Rs. 46 crores (514 million), out of the total software exports of about $800 million during 1995-96, this venture may help the Indian companies to do business worth at least $ 40 to 50 millions per annum in the near future.

INDIA'S PREMIER SUPERCOMPUTER DESIGNING CENTRE GOES GLOBAL

The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Pune, was set up by the Department of Electronics of the Government of India, following the denial of a Cray-x supercomputer by the United States Government in 1988.

C-DAC achieved its first goal in July, 1991, in developing successfully the first supercomputer of the country with a peak performance of one Giga flop and comparable to international standards.

C-DAC is now on the point of delivering a new supercomputer with a peak physical realization of 10 giga flops and scaleable upto 50 giga flops, a performance that would surpass Cray-x.

In the third and last stage of the cur&-ent mission, C-DAC would design a 100 giga flop machine, the performance of which would be scaleable upto the tera flop range (1000 giga flops).

Though Param- 9000 uses Sun Spare processors in its current architecture, the design of the machine is such that any other processor can he incorporated depending on the convenience of the user. It can also accommodate DRC Alpha, Motorola and power PC processors and hence is called open-frame architecture. This assumes significance, since, in case of denial of processor by any one company, C-DAC can go for another processor.

The novelty of the machine is its easy adaptability of any application specific package onto the system. It has found applications in weather predictions, space and remote sensing areas, aeronautics, biotechnology and medical science.

C-DAC has signed an agreement with PCI of Canada for using its EASIPAGE package in Param-9000. This package has tremendous capabilities in remote sensing, geographic information system, drainage and watershed network studies, data visualization and image analysis.

Following a number of serious enquiries received since the unveiling of the two Giga flop supercomputer in Washington in December, 1994, C-DAC proposes to set up a subsidiary, C-DAC Limited, with the Centre holding a 5 1 per cent stake in it.

According to sources, the Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India Ltd (ICICI) has already come forward and shown a keen interest in participating in the new company.

The proposal to set up C-DAC Ltd has arisen out of the need to have a strong marketing muscle for this research and development agency to promote its technology spin-offs into the international market place.