Media Lab Should Be An Industry-Led Project : Mahajan

New Delhi: | Updated: Apr 26 2002, 05:30am hrs
Communications and Information Technology minister Pramod Mahajan Thursday reiterated that Media Lab Asia should be an industry-led project rather than merely a government supported one. Speaking at the Asian regional conference on IT for Development, Mr Mahajan said that all industry associations should join hands to make Media Lab Asia a success.

Aimed at taking technology to the Indian masses to begin with, Media Lab Asia was instituted as a not-for-profit company in September 2001. It is currently working on a few research projects like Digital Village, Bits for All and World Computer.

(From left) Brenda Gael McSweeney, resident coordinator, United Nations in India, Ma Songde, vice minister, science and technology, China, and Pramod Mahajan, minister for IT and telecom at the Asian Regional Network Conference of UN ICT Task Force in New Delhi on Thursday.
Mr Mahajan also said that 40,000 Village Public Telephones (VPT) would be provided over the next four months. To bridge and tackle the problem of Digital Divide, it is necessary to provide value added connectivity to the people living in the remote parts of the country, an official statement quoting the minister said.

By adhering to this schedule, the Minister said that he was optimistic that the Government would be able to provide VPTs to all villages by the end of the year (December 2002).

The minister also highlighted relevance and the need to promote digital education. Tools of digital education had to be more cheaper, accessible and affordable for the masses, he said.

He added that the systems of digital education should cater to the language in which people communicate.