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9th January 2007

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

Recognising that the internet constitutes a powerful and democratic source of information and knowledge, the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) deliberated on ways to create a series of web portals. These web portals should become a decisive tool in the popular movements in support of the right to information, decentralisation, transparency, accountability and people’s participation. In order to increase openness and enhance accessibility the NKC recommends the creation of web portals to aggregate, organise and present relevant and useful content in local languages, in a highly uniform, customisable, user friendly and personalised way for several key areas related to basic human needs. In this context the Commission recommends the following:

1. Create national portals for basic needs: National web-based portals should be set up on certain key sectors such as Water, Energy, Environment, Education, Food, Health, Agriculture, Employment, Citizen Rights etc. These would serve as a single point of access for consolidated information, applications and resources on the sector and will cater to a wide spectrum of users from citizens, entrepreneurs, small scale industries, students, professionals, researchers, local practitioners etc.

2. Management and ownership by consortium: While the government will be a key partner in the initial set up, the portals should be managed by a consortium with adequate representation from a wide range of stakeholders from the sector including NGOs, Research and Scientific Groups, Academic Institutions, Advocacy Groups, Government Agencies/ Departments, International Bodies, Other Funding Agencies, Private Sector, Technology Experts, Educators, eLearning experts, etc.

This will ensure that:

  • The portal remains a dynamic repository of information from multiple sources to aggregate content.

  • A collaborative model is adopted so that all stakeholders such as citizens, NGOs, businesses etc. participate in the creation, collaboration, sharing and discussions in a rich and meaningful way such that information cannot be monopolized by any one group.
  • The portal would have greater community ownership in order to ensure its success
  • Experiences, technology, processes etc. would be shared between various portals

 
 
 

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