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India has made great progress recently on national ICT policy. India is constantly fighting to maintain its acheivements in ICT. Since the introduction of the World Market Policy,the focus has been on software improvment for export and privatisation of mobile companies. Many of their policies are aimed towards creating liberal and condusive platforms to allow for more ICT development.

The key published policies:

National Telecom Policy 1994 (5)
New Telecom Policy 1999 (5)
Broadband Policy 2004 (5)

The National Telecom Policy (NTP) of 1994 was the starting point in India's governmental focus toward ICT development. The NTP outlined the objectives of that the government of India wished to foster.

The objectives of the New Telecom Policy will be as follows (5):

  • The focus of the Telecom Policy shall be telecommunication for all and telecommunication within the reach of all. This means ensuring the availability of telephone on demand as early as possible. (5)
  • Another objective will be to achieve universal service covering all villages as early as possible. What is meant by the expression universal service is the provision of access to all people for certain basic telecom services at affordable and reasonable prices. (5)
  • The quality of telecom services should be of world standard. Removal of consumer complaints, dispute resolution and public interface will receive special attention. The objective will also be to provide widest permissible range of services to meet the customer's demand at reasonable prices. (5)
  • Taking into account India's size and development, it is necessary to ensure that India emerges as a major manufacturing base and major exporter of telecom equipment. (5)
  • The defense and security interests of the country will be protected. (5)

Further in this regard the New Telecom Policy of 1999 was enacted. Due to the inability to fulfill many of the National Telecom Policy objectives and recent changes in the nature of technology the New Telecom Policy was established. This further bolstered the government's mission to foster ICT development.

The objectives of the NTP 1999 are as under:

  • Access to telecommunications is of utmost importance for achievement of the country's social and economic goals. Availability of affordable and effective communications for the citizens is at the core of the vision and goal of the telecom policy. (5)
  • Strive to provide a balance between the provision of universal service to all uncovered areas, including the rural areas, and the provision of high-level services capable of meeting the needs of the country's economy; (5)
  • Encourage development of telecommunication facilities in remote, hilly and tribal areas of the country; (5)
  • Create a modern and efficient telecommunications infrastructure taking into account the convergence of IT, media, telecom and consumer electronics and thereby propel India into becoming an IT superpower; (5)
  • Convert PCO's, wherever justified, into Public Teleinfo centers having multimedia capability like ISDN services, remote database access, government and community information systems etc. (5)
  • Transform in a time bound manner, the telecommunications sector to a greater competitive environment in both urban and rural areas providing equal opportunities and level playing field for all players; (5)
  • Strengthen research and development efforts in the country and provide an impetus to build world-class manufacturing capabilities(5)
  • Achieve efficiency and transparency in spectrum management (5)
  • Protect the defense & security interests of the country (5)
  • Enable Indian Telecom Companies to become truly global players. (5)

In line with the above objectives, the specific targets that the NTP 1999 seeks to achieve would be:

  • Make available telephone on demand by the year 2002 and sustain it thereafter so as to achieve a teledensity of 7 by the year 2005 and 15 by the year 2010 (5)
  • Encourage development of telecom in rural areas making it more affordable by suitable tariff structure and making rural communication mandatory for all fixed service providers (5)
  • Increase rural teledensity from the current level of 0.4 to 4 by the year 2010 and provide reliable transmission media in all rural areas (5)
  • Achieve telecom coverage of all villages in the country and provide reliable media to all exchanges by the year 2002 (5)
  • Provide Internet access to all district head quarters by the year 2000 (5)
  • Provide high speed data and multimedia capability using technologies including ISDN to all towns with a population greater than 2 lac by the year 2002 (5)
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