Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal on Monday said the proposed National Optical Fibre Network should be used for societal good and not misused by private telecom operators for pushing their own products.
Speaking at the curtain raiser ceremony of India Telecom 2011, Mr. Sibal said the Department of Telecommunications would seek the Cabinet's approval to the Telecom Commission's recommendation to hive-off surplus land with Tata Communications (formerly VSNL).
Pointing towards the inherent dangers that technology can spawn and undermine individual privacy and security of the nation, Mr. Sibal called for devising systems that minimise such pitfalls and creating quality content in the language understood by the consumer. On the VSNL land issue, Mr. Sibal said: “A Cabinet note on VSNL land hive-off has been prepared and the matter will be sent to the Cabinet soon.” The Telecom Commission has already recommended that the government pick up a majority stake in the special purpose vehicle created to execute the sale of 773 acres of surplus land lying with VSNL (now Tata Communications).
On the occasion, Mr. Sibal also launched two new mobile applications. “Digital Mandi”, developed by BSNL in collaboration with IIT Kanpur, will give latest information to farmers of mandi rates of different crops to help them decide the rate and time of selling their produce. The other application developed at IIT Bombay is an intelligent mobile social networking platform (MSNP) similar to Facebook or Orkut based completely on mobile phones. It enables the service providers to develop personalised applications and send messages to users in the network based on their preferences such as demographic profile or interests.
Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot underlined the great potential of the telecom revolution to bring in a sea change in the quality of life by enabling delivery of quality healthcare and education while also enduring financial inclusion.
He said new technologies would usher in an era which would bridge the traditional social divides by demolishing geographical, cultural and linguistic barriers. The three-day India Telecom 2011, the sixth international exhibition and conference, will be held in Delhi from December 7.