Centre for Internet & Society

A 20-member delegation from Iraq, led by its Science and Technology Minister Abdul Kareem El-Samarai, is in this tech hub for a firsthand account of the e-governance projects used for community development and as an interface between the government and citizens. This news was published in the Economic Times, April 20, 2011.

The delegation, on a three-day study tour since Tuesday in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Centre for Internet & Society, visited multi-specialty hospital Narayana Hrudayalaya to learn about tele-medicine services, which provide healthcare in remote villages using information and communication technology (ICT). 

"The e-governance projects and ICT practices employed for citizen services and community development in India could be a useful guide in developing a strategy for e-governance in our country," Deputy Iraqi Science and Technology Minister Samir Salim Raouf said in a statement late Wednesday. 

The delegation, comprising officials and experts from various fields, also visited the Azim Premji Foundation , a not-for-prof IT organisation set up by IT bellwether Wipro's chairman Azim Premji. The delegation wanted to gain insight into the foundation's efforts to reform school education across the country through ICT and modern management practices. 

"What is interesting is that the civil society and the private sector innovate and contribute to governance in India and everything is not left for the government to deal with," Raouf noted. 

After interacting with officials and experts in-charge of the e-governance projects in Karnataka, the delegation went to mobile and wireless communications firm Geodisc Ltd to study its innovative product GeoAmida, an open source handheld device for e-governance and banking solutions. 

"The mobile device, which can be used in diverse domains such as e-governance, banking, healthcare, transportation and retail, is a unique solution to address various societal problems faced by the Iraqi government, which is set to formulate a policy for e-governance and use ICT for social reform and development," the statement added. 

The delegation, which is a part of the 'Building e- Iraq National e-Governance Strategy' of the Iraqi government, will go to New Delhi Friday for studying similar projects of the central government. 

"Our objective is to increase transparency and accountability in Iraq through ICT and provide citizen services through e-governance initiatives," Raouf added. 

Read the original in Economic Times here

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