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Previous Manifestos

Chapter 16

Accessibility

Our Policy on Information Technology

Making India a Software Superpower

RECENT advances in Information Technology (IT) have enshrined IT as the most revolutionary tool ever created in known human history. IT promises to transform every facet of human life and usher in a knowledge-based society in the next century. It has already been delivering on some of these promises. The world of computers, telecommunication, television, the Internet and all other media is converging very rapidly, shrinking, in the process, Planet Earth into a Global Village. This has opened up infinite and previously unimaginable new possibilities in work, education, communication, commerce, manufacturing, agriculture, services, health-care, leisure and entertainment. It will influence the working of our political and democratic institutions, too.

Although India lagged behind in the earlier phases of the Industrial Revolution due to historical reasons, she has served notice of soon emerging as a major global IT power. Indian computer scientists and professionals - both those serving in India and abroad - have shown with their achievements that they have the potential to make our country a front-runner in the age of Information Revolution. The BJP attaches a high priority for accelerating this process. Specifically, we will do the following:

1. Unveil a National Informatics Policy with a strategic 10-year perspective to fully harness the benefits of IT in every sphere of our national life;

2. Create awareness that IT is not a luxury, but the very backbone of future development;

3. The biggest contribution computers and the Internet can make is in the field of education. Our IT policy shall strive to take India towards the goal of universal computer literacy and Internet access in the shortest possible period;

4. Make India a software superpower by giving all-out encouragement to software companies to grab a large share of the global market. Our aim is to have software exports increase by ten times in the next five years;

5. The BJP will endeavor to provide, by the year 2000, computers and facilities for computer education in all secondary schools in the country, including those in rural and remote areas, which otherwise have basic facilities like a proper building and power;

6. Formulate a bouquet of policy initiatives to support, within a competitive environment, Indian IT companies and professionals to rapidly expand the scale of their operations and to enable them to take the Indian IT flag all across the globe;

7. Provide broad-band nationwide communication links using satellites, optical fiber-cables and wireless. No region will be without this essential IT infrastructure;

8. Ensure the fast nationwide onset of the Internet, Intranet and Extranet as part of the global and national information superhighways. These will be evolved to carry mail, finance and banking, electronic commerce and all other multi-media communication needs in the shortest possible time at the least cost;

9. Quickly collect, compile and reformat all official records, especially those which have a direct bearing on the country's economic progress and the average citizen's interaction with Governmental agencies, into a usable electronic format;

10. Network, through the Internet, Intranet, Extranet, local area networks and wide area networks, all limbs of the Government to facilitate quick, multiway flow of information amongst ministries, departments and key administrative functionaries. This will help the Government work faster, more efficiently and in a more pro-people manner; and,

11. Facilitate our schools, colleges and universities, in all possible ways, to harness the rich knowledge resources available on the Internet to improve the standard of education.