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Developing India 2020 - RTB, NBP and NEGP for Corruption Free GDP Growth

It is a proven fact that  Telecom, Media and Technology (TMT) have an unlimited role to play in our life until the civilization exists. As has been successfully demonstrated, 40 developed countries have been fully exploiting TMT for their inclusive growth since time immemorial. China and India with massive middle class young human resource are now poised to take over the mantle of leading the economic growth charge in the world. India is actually poised as best in this growth story with all plus points which no other country has. Unfortunately, India has corruption as one biggest negative  which if not converted into positive high morality standard might jeopardize the growth. This paper describes an approach  in the light of an urgent need to quickly put a TMT driven sound and fool proof monitoring and managing system in the country on similar lines as has already been successfully practiced in the developed world. 


To leave no stone unturned in quickest, largest, cheapest Ultra Low Cost (ULC) broadband infrastructure roll out so that India becomes No 1 true broadband country by 2020 and rest all will follow. 


India is passing through a very fast economic development phase at a scorching pace. May be after China, it is getting the largest foreign investment. Its infrastructure development is expected to get around USD 500 billion in next five years. The country has never had it so good and next 10 years are going to be the best period for economic growth and equity.

The country hopelessly lacks in necessary institutionalization of channels which can ensure that the huge inflows are parked through accountable instruments  well governed by banks and FIs. 2G spectrum, Common Wealth Games (CWG), Public Distribution System (PDS), National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), INR 15 Cr bribe demand for airlines license, Adarsh Housing, PSU banks bribery cases for real estate development, host of multiple scams etc is an ample proof that political and administrative machinery wants to take full advantage of India’s archaic monitoring mechanism in executive and judiciary. In fact, in every cash or kind related project where governments are involved, chances are that there will be corruption. The question is how to curb this and if it happens then there is ample evidence left which can assist in speedy trial and deliverance of justice. Fortunately, there is a TMT based approach available which can help reduce the corruption as demonstrated by Denmark and 39 other countries of the developed world. Even smaller countries like Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam etc are being helped by International Telecom Union (ITU) under the UN to put in place a robust telecom network and e-governance system to follow the journey of their freedom with growth and equity ab initio free from corruption.


Right To Broadband (RTB) is a key through which great awareness in the people of the country can be quickly created. The country needs a fool proof and ultra fast execution of National E Governance Plan (NEGP) in parallel with National Broadband Plan (NBP). KTMT Consulting through different forums has been contributing regularly and assisting Planning  Commission, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Dept of Telecom (DoT), Dept of IT (DIT), I&B  in the formulation of their plans as enumerated in the following links :-

(a)  India Looks for No 1 True Broadband Slot
(b)  KTMT Analysis of TRAI Consultation Paper on National Broadband Plan (NBP)

The way India has reformed its elections process, it needs to transform the country through NEGP. There is a need to bring out the importance of time bound implementation of NEGP to the masses through the media using all possible means. RTB is one such measure which has been proposed in the NBP. If 1.2 billion strong people are regularly told about this on TV, print and OOH media through vernacular video and ads  as the medium of communication, this can be facilitated a lot. All English, Hindi and regional TV channels, newspapers need to carry the slogan 'RTB, NBP and NEGP for Corruption Free India  2020'.

But here is the catch. DIT is responsible for the implementation of e-governance. Without NBP, NEGP can not be implemented desirably but both can be done in parallel. If NBP is left up to DoT and NEGP up to DIT both for implementation and monitoring, the country will never see the desirable e-governance even though both are managed by the Min of ICT. Both NBP and NEGP must be monitored through the   Prime Minister Office (PMO)  for a time bound implementation. Once a month, a Joint Secretary level official from the PMO should appear on national and regional Door Darshan (DD)  channels in English, Hindi and vernacular, and brief the nation for 60 minutes the progress on RTB, NBP and NEGP in an open program where last 10 minutes should be left for callers to ask questions. RTB, NBP and NEGP are the responsibility of the government to implement, thus DD is the right medium.

India needs to do some real strategic level thinking and fool proof ultra fast execution in the government set up as to how are they going to handle this very hot economic growth at a national level from 2010 to 2020. There are so many live examples in industry, when businesses start growing up very fast, they put in place full access control and automation mechanism through various means of telecom and technologies and ensure that no one is able to commit any fraud unless the top mgmt itself is involved. Even then, it always gets detected very fast. Companies like Chevron, GE, Verizon, AT&T, Tata Group, Reliance Group and many others have invested time, money and efforts in instituting corporate governance through security, access controls, SAP etc to protect their interests from internal and external frauds. Here, we are talking of trillion $ worth money coming and the country does not have  fool proof processes and systems to secure the economic interests of the nation in safe treasuries. Incidentally, e-governance implementation is the direct responsibility of government officials and not politicians. Thus, the officials need to answer to the nation as to what is National E Governance Plan (NEGP) and how it is being implemented. The entire procedural and administrative machinery has been in a mess  and no one is there to monitor. The cabinet secretary should periodically appear on National TV to explain to the nation as to what are the administrators doing about it. This will send a message to the government officials and highlight the importance the people and the country places in clean processing, administration and execution.  
RTB, NEGP and NBP alone are necessary but not sufficient. On the lines of Terrorists Activities Disruption Act (TADA), the country needs GDP and Economy Disruption Act (GEDA). An economic offender is first  sent to jail and the law takes over. India is the greatest democracy in the world and need acts like TADA and GEDA to safe guard  its territorial and economic interests.

No 1 in software reflects the high intellect of the people, No 1 in test cricket reflects fight to finish attitude of the youth and experience of big guys and 87 least corrupt country reflects the inefficiency in the administration continuing to thrive on the archaic, manual, non detectable methods for last 63 years of independence requiring personal meetings with officials for seeking approvals. Personal meetings are the hot bed of corruption. These need to be scrapped totally.  


TRAI is fully organized to address issues in TMT as a whole. However, for Applications and Services riding over TMT infrastructure, a lot of coordination between various ministries and departments Is needed. For example, for M-Trans in finance, a host of agencies like multiple banks, RBI, SEBI, IRDA etc get involved and the apps providers are running from pillar to post to resolve issues. Like wise, the apps domains is very large like education, health care, agri, governance etc.  There is no central body like Apps and Services Council (ASC)  to facilitate the coordination and give a Single Point Of Contact (SPOC) support to the apps developers and/or apps service provider.  Government may task III commission of the PMO to take up this as a start until an ASC gets created.  

TRAI being a neutral body may also take up a consultation on the demand side of NEGP which is finally to be delivered through TMT infrastructure and services. NEGP would essentially be a very large set of apps coming out of the demands of various beneficiary ministries, departments and the citizens. Once this TRAI time tested approach of consultation is adopted, the NEGP would take a holistic shape and not remain to perform routine functions like birth certificates, land records etc. DIT continues to implement it but the NEGP must evolve out of the needs of the beneficiaries.   

There can be a strong recommendation to the government for GEDA which would come out of the consultation process for NEGP.

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