Wednesday, August 26, 2009

C-DOT plans rural projects on its 25th anniversary

The Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT), the country's premier telecommunications research and development centre, turned 25 Tuesday.

"In all these years, C-DOT has been in the technology forefront and significantly contributed in the indigenisation of telecom technology, digitilisation, bridging the digital divide between urban and rural, establishing strong telecom manufacturing infrastructure and employment generation," said C-DOT executive director P.V. Acharya.

Added Sam Pitroda, National Knowledge Commission Chairman who founded C-DOT, "C-DOT was established as an independent society to help develop a series of digital switching products to meet Indian requirements. At that time, we had about two million phones for 750 million people."

Maintaining that C-DOT "planted the right seeds" for the an information and communication technology (ICT) revolution a quarter century ago, Pitroda told media, "The spirit of private enterprise helped it grow to a substantial industry."

C-DOT has today realigned efforts and defined its roadmap with a focus on developmental schemes for the 11th five Year Plan period.

The company plans to implement projects of national and strategic importance for rural India through the shared GSM Radio Access Network, which is currently under development and expected to give a definite fillip to business in the hinterland.

In the northeastern region, C-DOT aims to breathe fresh life into the fixed line infrastructure.

C-DOT's focus projects include the Gigabit Optical Passive Network that aims at bringing broadband and next generation network products and services to homes.

"Twenty-five years ago, the system was very resistant to new ideas. C-DOT experiment was seen with a great deal of suspicion and there were many multinational lobbying groups constantly trying to kill the initiative," Pitroda said.

"C-DOT was seen by multinational companies as a direct threat to their business interests in India. It survived due to the political will of the prime minister (the late Rajiv Gandhi) and it got accomplished simply due to the energy of the young."

According to Pitroda, the next big challenge is to benefit from the ICT revolution to improve education, health, agriculture, financial services and governance to bring growth and prosperity to the doorsteps of people at the bottom of the pyramid.

Agencies

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