As part of the National Democratic Alliance poll agenda, the Bhartiya Janata Party has pledged to use software based on open standards -- or open sources -- in all government-related matters if it comes to power.
Unveiling the BJP's IT Vision document at the party headquarters in New Delhi, the National Democratic Alliance's prime ministerial candidate LK Advani said, "A future NDA government, if elected to office in the coming parliamentary election, will give high priority to the realisation of this vision, which would help India overcome the current economic crisis; create productive employment opportunities on a large scale; accelerate human development through vastly improved and expanded education and healthcare services; check corruption; and make India's national security more robust."
The move to install the new free software is in sharp contrast to the last NDA stint, when the late Pramod Mahajan openly scoffed at those pleading to give a chance to the open source -- like Linux -- that comes free of cost.
New website: BJP president Rajnath Singh also launched a revamped website of the party, bjp.org, and gave credit to Sudheendra Kulkarni, a top aide of Advani, for redesigning it with new features.
"Whether it is economic sovereignty or nuclear sovereignty, the BJP stands second to none in protecting the national interests" and that ideology is imbibed in striving for the digital sovereignty," the IT vision document said.
As Advani stressed, the document lays down BJP's ambitious plan to use the Information Technology (IT) for empowerment of the common man to transform Bharat. The goals, include empowering the rural India with the Internet literacy in all six lakh villages of the country to generate 1.20 crore IT jobs in villages itself.
The document highlights how the IT is poised to make revolutionary changes in every field, be it education and literacy, banking, health, national identity card or in creating a digital record of land that enables anybody to access details of any property while sitting in any part of the world.
A presentation made on the occasion highlighted how the IT vision envisages to ensure every 'Hindustani' with a bank account accessible from anywhere, every BPL (below poverty line) family have a smart phone to handle such bank account, provide broadband in every village for Internet-based education, provide employment to all and bring the
government at the people's doorstep.
Advani said the party is working on its vision in various fields for inclusion in the NDA's national agenda for governance and plans to release every such vision separately, starting with the IT vision out on Saturday. Senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh is preparing the agenda in consultation with other NDA partners.
Another senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi is working on the BJP's manifesto which will present the "vaicharik chintan" (thinking) of the party.
Highlights of the 30-page IT Vision Document:
Multipurpose National Identity Card (MNIC) with unique Citizen Identification Number (CIN) for every Indian citizen in 3 years; to replace all other identification systems.
1.2 crore new IT-enabled jobs in rural areas.
1 crore students to get laptop computers at Rs 10,000.
Interest-free loan for anyone unable to afford it.
National Digital Highway Development Project to create India's Internet backbone, and Pradhan Mantri Digital Gram Sadak Yojana for last-mile access even in the remotest of villages.
Broadband Internet (2 Mbps) in every town and village, at cable TV prices (less than Rs 200/month).
All schools and colleges to have Internet-enabled education.
100% financial inclusion through bank accounts, with e-banking facilities, for all citizens. Direct transfer of welfare funds, preferably to the woman of the house.
Every BPL family to be given a free smart mobile phone, which can be used by even illiterate users for accessing their bank accounts.
Number of mobile subscribers to be increased from 40 crore at present to 100 crore in five years. Internet users to equal mobile subscribers. India to equal China in every IT parameter in five years.
Video-conferencing to be made affordable and universally accessible.
A primary health centre in every village to be linked to the National Telemedicine Service Network. Basic health insurance scheme for every citizen, using the IT platform. Cashless hospitalisation.
India's ranking in the United Nations' Human Development Index, which is currently 128, to be improved to 50 in five years, with the long- term objective of bringing India within Top Twenty by 2020.
Massive expansion in the use of IT in agriculture, rural development, SMEs, retail trade, and informal and unorganised sectors of economy.
National e-Governance Plan to cover every government office from the Centre to panchayats. The 'E Gram Vishwa Gram' scheme, launched by Narendra Modi in Gujarat, to be implemented nationwide.
Government spending to be made corruption-free.
A former Prime Minister once said, "If I put Rs. 100 in the pipeline in Delhi, only Rs. 15 reach the end beneficiary." In contrast to Congress governments' Leaky Pipeline, the BJP's IT Pipeline will ensure 100% benefit to people. Those who misappropriate public funds will be punished.
All post offices to be converted into IT-enabled Multi-Service Outlets. All telephone booths to be upgraded to Internet kiosks.
Citizens will have a simple 1-800 BSNL Toll Free Number, which will be accessible 24x7x 365 days of the year, to contact their Member of Parliament.
e-Bhasha: National Mission for Promotion of IT in Indian Languages.
Special focus to bring women, SC/STs, OBCs and other weaker sections of society within the ambit of IT-enabled development.
Use of IT for the protection of India's priceless cultural and artistic heritage.
Government to standardise on 'open standard' and 'open source' software.
Domestic IT hardware industry to be aggressively promoted to minimise dependence on imports.
Domestic hosting industry to be promoted to minimise international bandwith charges.
An independent body, Digital Security Agency (DSA), to be set up for cyber warfare, cyber counter-terrorism, and cyber security of national digital assets.