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<nettime> bYtES For aLL ISSUE #3 OCTOBER 1999
Frederick Noronha on Fri, 8 Oct 1999 04:14:24 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> bYtES For aLL ISSUE #3 OCTOBER 1999



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01010101  bYtES For aLL * bYtES For aLL * bYtES For aLL  10101010
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n e w t e c h n o l o g i e s w i l l m e a n h a v i n g m o r e
i n t h e h a v e-n o t c a m p i f w e a r e n o t c a r e f u l
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01010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010
0101010101              SOUTH ASIA SPECIAL             1010101010
0101010101            Issue No 3 * Oct 1999            1010101010
1010101010      AN OCCASIONAL NEWSLETTER TO MAKE       0101010101
0101010101          COMPUTING AND TECHNOLOGY           1010101010
1010101010    FRIENDLY TO THE NEEDS OF THE MILLIONS    0101010101
1010101010  Compiler: Frederick Noronha fred {AT} vsnl.com  0101010101
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VISIT OUR NEW WEB SITE http://www.bytesforall.org
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FIGHTING POVERTY WITH THE INTERNET:  A new website offers the 
potential to engage a new constituency of people, networked by a 
common concern.  The site is called NetAid. It will allow those 
who log on to learn more about world poverty and find out what 
they can do to help.  
http://www.netaid.org

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INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR DISTANCE LEARNING (ICDL) is an 
international  centre for research, teaching, consultancy, 
information and publishing activities. 
ICDL distance education databases contain information on over 
31,000 distance learning programmes and courses mostly in the 
Commonwealth countries, over 1,000 institutions teaching at a 
distance worldwide, and over 11,000 abstracts of books, journal 
articles, research reports, conference papers, dissertations and 
other types of literature relating to all aspects of the theory 
and practice of distance education
http://www-icdl.open.ac.uk/>http://www-icdl.open.ac.uk/
SOURCE: George Lessard 

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LOW-EARTH ORBITING SATELLITES FOR EMAIL: Volunteers in Technical 
Assistance (VITA), together with its collaborators, is gathering 
information on the use of communications by non-governmental 
organizations in development. A store-and-forward email system 
using existing low earth orbiting satellites to serve 
humanitarian and development purposes will soon be a reality. 
Information from this survey will help ensure that the system is 
designed to meet real needs. 
Details from: garyg {AT} VITA.ORG Gary Garriott
SOURCE: DEVEL-L {AT} LISTSERV.AMERICAN.EDU

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EMPOWERING VILLAGERS THROUGH IT: The information age, so far 
confined to the urban population, is making an entry in rural 
India. The Chennai based M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation 
has set up an "Information Village," with an aim to provide 
location specific information to five villages near Pondicherry.  
Info courtesy: INDEV e-mail digest http://www.indev.nic.in/

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TASKNET'S SOUTH ASIAN KNOWLEDGE NETWORK: Some 300 people involved 
in international development and IT will gather in Delhi's Vigyan 
Bhawan, November 23-24, 1999 for a major international conference 
to explore the role of knowledge, information and technology in 
development. TASKnet: Towards a South Asian Knowledge Network
will focus on turning the information revolution into a force for 
economic development, social cohesion and poverty alleviation in 
the 21st century.
TASKnet is a part of the global knowledge partnership committed 
to sharing information, experiences and resources to promote 
access and use of knowledge and information as tools of 
sustainable, equitable development. It's co-hosted by National 
Informatics Centre and The British Council. Other major partners 
in this effort include UNDP, British Department for International 
Development (DFID), UNICEF, UNESCO, WHO, The World Bank, 
Delegation of European Commission in India, CAPART, The Hindu, 
VSNL, Development Alternatives and M S Swaminathan Research 
Foundation.
More information: TASKnet Secretariat, C/O British Council, 17, 
Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi 110001, E-mail: 
tasknet {AT} in.britishcouncil.org Website: http://www.tasknet.nic.in
Info courtesy: Shadrach <shadrach {AT} in.britishcouncil.org>

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REGIONAL SEMINAR ON IT (BANGLADESH): The Federation of 
Engineering Institutions of South and Central Asia (FEISCA) and 
The Institution of Engineers, (Bangladesh),Chittagong Centre, are 
jointly organizing a Regional Seminar on Information Technology 
for National Development: Sharing Regional Experience from 
October 28-30, 1999. Only recently have many of the developing 
countries have started looking seriously into the role that IT 
can play in national development. In this regional seminar, the 
experts from the FEISCA countries and other developed countries 
including Development financing agencies, UN Agencies and NGO's 
will exchange view on how best the countries can become active 
player in the IT revolution and reap maximum benefits for socio-
economic development.
Seminar objectives include human resource development; 
application of IT in government agencies, in poverty alleviation, 
and applications of IT in e-commerce; future opportunities for 
Third World countries; development of national information 
infrastructure; and nation IT policies and plans.
Submit papers to IEB, Chittagong Centre by October 15. Send in an 
email copy to <iebctg {AT} globalctg.net> too. 
Registration iebctg {AT} globalctg.net
E-mail ieb {AT} bangla.net 

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HARAPPA.COM from Pakistan: Interesting focus on South Asia. 
Promises some "very unusual material". It calls itself the 
'oldest site on the web'. Also has a mailing list, details from 
owner-harappamail {AT} list.sirius.com
You can automatically subscribe and unsubscribe to this list at
http://www.harappa.com/serai/mail.html
Information courtesy: Omar Khan, Producer 

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VOLUNTEERING ON-LINE is an electronic newsletter produced on a 
free voluntary basis which aims to encourage the participation 
and involvement of all forms of voluntary work through the media 
and in particular by the direct use of the Internet.
Contributing some free time every week can make all the 
difference to us and especially and most important to those, who 
may receive our help and support without even our knowledge.
To Subscribe, write "subscribe" to: teddy {AT} vol.net.mt

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THE HUMANITY LIBRARIES PROJECT: of the Global Help Projects is a 
network project of more that 100 partners. Its aim is to provide 
universal free or low-cost information access through co-
operation between UN Agencies, Universities and NGO's.
http://www.oneworld.org/globalprojects/humcdrom/

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PAKISTAN IT SUMMITY RECOMMENDATIONS: (By Ikramul Haq) ISLAMABAD 
(August 17) : New legislation on freedom of information at the 
federal and provincial levels was seen as top priority for 
inducting e-government for good governance in Pakistan. This was 
one of several recommendations made by a working group on this 
subject and presented at the concluding session of the summit on 
Information Technology. The other proposal is that the government 
website should be extended to three important government 
activities namely procurement of goods of over Rs 10 million; 
recruitment and foreign scholarships. This should be implemented 
in phases first by December 1999 and full implementation by March 
2000.  Also mooted was setting up of a cabinet division to 
promote development of IT human resources. A special cadre for IT 
should be created and promotions should be linked with IT 
literacy.  
Details at http://www.brecorder.com/story/S0011/S1103/S1103109.htm  
Information courtesy: Irfan Khan <KhanIA {AT} super.net.pk> and the 
South-Asia-IT mailing list <s-asia-it {AT} apnic.net>

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CONFERENCE ON INTERNET IN THE THIRD WORLD: "Converging 
Responsibility: Broadcasting and the Internet in Developing 
Countries" was a conference held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 
September 4-6, 1999. It was attended by people from 35 
institutions in 19 countries. In their report, conference 
participants expressed concern about the disparities between 
levels of access in various parts of the world and stressed the 
importance of addressing the issue with innovative responses. "As 
we enter the era of the knowledge society and the knowledge 
economy, access to the infrastructure to share knowledge is 
essential for social and economic progress..." 
Conference participants examined a number of pilot projects 
combining the radio and the Internet to mutually enhance their 
development impact. Some of these, such as Latin America's 
Agencia Informativa Pulsar and Indonesia's Kantor Berita Radio 
68H, use the Internet to link radio stations. Others, such as 
Kotmale Community Radio in Sri Lanka, are experimenting with 
using radio as a "gateway" to the Internet. These projects seek 
to make the Internet's information resources available to rural 
and under-served communities. 
Further info: http://www.comunica.org/kl/ 
http://www.comunica.org/kl/press.htm

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COMMUNICATION, INFO AND CHANGE: The Communication Initiative 
Partnership. Backed by Rockefeller Foundation, UNICEF, USAID, 
WHO, BBC World Service, CIDA, Johns Hopkins University Center for 
Communication Programs, The European Union, Soul City, The Panos 
Institute, UNAIDS. Information and dialogue on communication, 
development and change.
Details: Warren Feek, Director wfeek {AT} coastnet.com
HOME PAGE           http://www.comminit.com/
STRATEGIC THINKING  http://www.comminit.com/strategic.html
SEARCH              http://www.comminit.com/search.html
VACANCIES           http://www.comminit.com/vacancies.html
EVENTS CALENDAR     http://www.comminit.com/bin/calendar/events_cal.cgi
UNIVERSITY COURSES  http://www.comminit.com/university.html
THE DRUM BEAT       http://www.comminit.com/drum_beat.html
THE MEDIA BEAT      http://www.comminit.com/news.html

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MEDIA FOR DEVELOPMENT -- ABHIVYAKTI: Based in Nasik, India, this 
group has been producing for the last four years a quarterly 
video magazine 'Satyachitra' (True Stories) portraying struggles 
and stories of the marginalised people in India. It is about 40 
minutes in duration, and is in English and local language, 
Marathi. 
Details: Nitin Paranjape <amdnasik {AT} bom3.vsnl.net.in>
SOURCE: DEVMEDIA mailing list.

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ALUMNI ENGINEERS OF the Indian Institute of Technology in 
Mumbai/Bombay have started a non-profit organisation that 
collects donations and sends them to the IIT Mumbai.
http://www.iitbombay.org

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PASSPORTS FROM INDIA, VIA THE NET: India's Central Passport 
Organisation of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is making 
forms and other related information available on its newly-
launched website. Information on passports, visas and Person of 
Indian Origin cards will be available.
Dr Seshagiri of the National Informatics Centre said experiments 
were underway to use e-mail for new application, along lines 
similar to the one followed for filing income tax returns. 
http://passport.nic.in
SOURCE: The Economic Times

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SPECIALISED SOFTWARE FOR DOCS: Docspro is a specialised software 
package designed to cater to the needs of doctors who have no 
prior knowledge of computers. The package is an electronic case 
sheet of out-patients documenting all the conversations the 
doctor has with the patient and recording the details personally 
with the click of a mouse as the patient is being examined. 
The package acts as a ready reference of all medicines available 
for prescription. It can extract any kind of report, including 
prescriptions, case history and discharge summary reports. It is 
a user-friendly package with facility for online chats and net 
conferences with peers across the world. 
SOURCE http://www.economictimes.com/today/16tech03.htm

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PORTAL ON EDUCATION FACILITIES IN INDIA: Offers comprehensive 
information on educational facilities and opportunities available 
in the country. Web based post-graduate engineering courses will 
also be available on the ETH portal in collaboration with Anna 
University, Tamil Nadu. The portal provides model question papers 
of standards 10 and 12 along with answers. There are also 
practical tips on how to look out for jobs and prepare a bio-
data. 
http://education.eth.net 
SOURCE: Rediff On the Net 

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INDIA AND ICT: In "Can the Cultures of India Survive the 
Information Age?", Professor Kenneth Keniston, Director of MIT's 
India Program, who is looking closely at the question of "how, if 
at all, modern information and communication technologies ranging 
from cell phones to ordinary telephones to networked computers 
can be used to strengthen the economic position of the 
disadvantaged and to preserve and enhance cultural diversity."
http://web.mit.edu/kken/Public/papers6.htm
SOURCE: Arun Mehta, India-GII mailing list.

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INDEV, A SITE TO PROMOTE DEVELOPMENT: To receive email updates, 
please send a mail to 
indev {AT} bc-delhi.bcindia.sprintsmx.ems.vsnl.net.in with the message 
"subscribe" with your contact details.  

******************************************************************

TASKNET web site: Towards a South Asia Knowledge Network is a new 
partnership initiative that is committed to sharing information, 
experiences and resources to promote greater access to 
information and knowledge universally. TASKNET web site provides 
virtual space for individuals and organisations to air their 
views on global knowledge themes. From the INDEV web-site (write 
to request a full-text copy of this report to the above address).

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SCIENCE DISTRICT IN SOUTH INDIA (MADRAS): An information highway 
in Chennai's `science district' - Adyar, Taramani area - to 
share, receive, distribute and debate on frontiers of science and 
technology is now closer to reality. A grand alliance of 60 
scientific, technological and academic institutions of higher 
learning, to enable research scholars and scientists access to 
one another's common facilities such as libraries, is envisaged. 
>From the INDEV web-site (write to request a full-text copy of 
this report to the above address).

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SITA- STUDIES IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY APPLNS: The World Bank's 
Information for Development Programme has recently sanctioned 
Project SITA - Studies in information technology applications: 
Training in computer skills for low-income women. The objective 
of this project is to help women move away from the "achaar-
papad" (low-income, low status) areas of employment to high-tech 
areas, and to link technology to societal concerns and make this 
linkage commercially viable. From the INDEV web-site (write to 
request a full-text copy of this report to the above address).

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VIRTUAL CONFERENCE ON TELECENTRES: The International Institute 
for Communication and Development (IICD) is hosting an email-based 
virtual conference on telecentres. It began on September 21. The  
goal is to explore several telecentre concepts for developing 
countries, and to share information about practical issues 
surrounding setting up and running a telecentre.
To subscribe to the conference, send a message to:
telecentres {AT} iicd.org Do not enter a subject. In the body of the
message, type the text: SUBSCRIBE telecentres
Further information: Arjan de Jager, ICT developer
jager {AT} iicd.org  -  http://www.iicd.org
Located in the Netherlands, IICD aims to assist developing 
countries to keep up with the latest trends in Information and 
Communication Technologies (ICTs).
SOURCE: Katherine Morrow <kmorrow {AT} bellanet.org>

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NETWORK OF INDIAN ENVIRONMENT PROFESSIONALS: With membership of 
more than 135 environment professionals from all over the world. 
The archive at the website claims to have the richest collection 
of details pertaining to environment.  It is a electronic mailing 
list whose members are from premier institutes like Indian 
Institute of Forest Management, IRMA, IIT , Forest Department and 
others employed and working in varied institutions like Tata 
Energy Research Institute, Professors from Administrative Staff 
College of India(ASCI), IIFM, IIMs, NGO's like Society for 
Promotion of Wasteland Development (SPWD) , Researchers studying 
at Yale, Penn and other institutions in U.S. and others. 
Membership is free. Any environment professional or nature 
lover can become the member. Contact rosydas {AT} vsnl.com or visit 
the website http://www.egroups.com/list/niep
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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HEALTHNET NEWS: HealthNet News is a newsletter that is put 
together and sent out by SatelLife, electronically, free of 
charge, once a week.  The newsletter consists of a compilation of 
abstracts, summaries, editorials, and full-text articles taken 
from prominent medical journals, with special publisher 
permission.  Topics included cover a wide range of information in 
medicine, public health, and scientific research.  The number of 
articles per issue is around 8 to 10.  
Details from: Robin Brett Parnes, M.P.H. rbp {AT} usa.healthnet.org
http://www.healthnet.org 

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POOR INDIAN VILLAGES GET VIDEO E-MAIL:Video e-mail will open up 
India's Internet revolution next month to thousands of poor, 
illiterate -- and awe-struck -- villagers who have never seen a 
computer, AP reported. On Oct. 2, the birthday of Indian 
independence leader Mohandas Gandhi, video e- mail booths were 
scheduled to be inaugurated in eight towns in Uttar Pradesh and 
Bihar -- two of India's poorest and most populous states.
It will cost 15 rupees -- or 35 cents -- to send or receive a
three-minute message, including a video image and voice, through an
e-mail account. 
http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/merc/docs/012091.htm
Source DEVMEDIA {AT} LISTSERV.UOGUELPH.CA

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TEL-isphere 99 IN THE CARIBBEAN: The Caribbean & Technology-
Enhanced Learning Seminar from 24 - 27 November 1999, St. 
Michael, Barbados. Speakers include Newfoundland and Labrador 
premier Brian Tobin, who boasts that his government has ensured 
that the Internet reaches every school in the province and that 
it has the highest per capita use of the Internet in education 
across Canada.  Over 50 papers have been approved for 
presentation in parallel sessions and a plenary panel session is 
shaping up.  
Details at http://www.col.org/tel99
E-mail: tel99 {AT} col.org

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INDIA TOUCHES 1.5 MILLION NET USERS: Internet remains the fastest 
growing media in India, says a new survey. And India currently 
has 1.5 million net users, reports Uday Lal Pai, the India 
correspondent of asia.internet.com The Internet has once again 
proved to be the fastest growing media, according to the Indian 
Readership Survey (IRS '99). 
http://asia.internet.com/cyberatlas/0923-india.html

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INDIA TECHNOLOGY PORTAL LAUNCHED: Bangalore based Microland Group 
debuted its technology-focused community site, ITspace.com. It 
aims to be the resource destination of choice and preferred 
personal networking platform for savvy IT decision-makers by 
offering a range of news, user-generated content, discussion 
forums and peer networking opportunities, writes Hans Lombardo,
Managing Editor of asia.internet.com
http://asia.internet.com/1999/9/2301-micro.html

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ONLINE EDUCATION CATCHING ON IN INDIA: Online training fever 
grips India. While major software training institute NIIT has 
already commenced online courses, Aptech is launching its online 
training soon. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bangalore is 
starting virtual classes. Global majors also join the fray. Lotus 
Development Corporation announced its plan to set up centres for 
training via the Net. Sun/Netscape is scouting for alliance to 
impart training online to its corporate customers in India. While 
a normal MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solution Developer) course 
would need around $712 (Rs 30,000), the online version of the 
same course is available at a price tag of $302 (Rs 12,800) at 
NIIT's `niitnetuniversity.com.' Other courses like MCSE 
(Microsoft Certified System Engineering), and 40 other skillets 
like Java Programming, HTML Programming, Advanced Browsing is 
available on the Net, writes Uday Lal Pai, India correspondent of 
asia.internet.com 
http://asia.internet.com/1999/9/2104-india.html

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USE OF IT IN MEDICAL PRACTICE: Subbiah Arunachalam 
<arun {AT} indy.iitm.ernet.in> is researching the use of information 
technology in medical practice in the developing countries - by 
doctors, surgeons and hospitals in their clinical practice. 
Please send information to <subbiah_a {AT} hotmail.com> or 
<arun {AT} indy.iitm.ernet.in>. Arunachalam is a Distinguished Fellow 
of the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation in Madras, India.

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ONEWORLD RADIO NEWS SERVICE: Ever since the invention of radio as 
a medium, broadcasters have grappled with the problem of how to 
transfer audio material over long distances - between studios, 
stations and journalists in the field. Check out options at 
OneWorld Radio News Service. Audio features and reports of up to 
half an hour in length about human rights and environmental 
issues are now available free and worldwide via the Internet.
This service uses RealAudio technology to compress audio files so 
they are small enough to be transferred quickly over the 
Internet. It's possible to get hold of a 20-minute documentary 
programme with less than 20 minutes online. It has been encoded 
to a high RealAudio standard. (Technically speaking, it's 
40.3Kbps.) And it's miles better than the telephone.
http://www.oneworld.net/radio_news/index.html

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FREEOS.COM OFFERS OSs AND DOCUMENTATION: An India-based group 
this week launched a new Web site that offers users 11 different 
operating systems and their accompanying documentation, including 
Linux. The FreeOS.com site is based in Bombay, India, which 
staunchly opposes the lucrative practice of charging for 
operating systems. Besides Linux, other operating systems 
supported by FreeOS.com include, FreeBSD, BPMK, Cynus, FreeDos, 
Freedows, GNU Hurd, Minix, NetBSD, OpenBSD, and VSTa. While the 
site offers support for all 11 free operating systems, FreeOS.com 
said that the vast majority of activity in the market revolves 
around Linux and will probably remain that way for the 
foreseeable future. 
Contact Prakash Advani prakash {AT} freeos.com       
http://www.freeos.com 

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WIDE-TECHNICAL COOPERATION: WIDE's mission is to facilitate 
exchange of information and knowledge for technical cooperation 
among developing countries (TCDC). All information maintained in 
WIDE is in the public domain and is available to anyone, 
anywhere, free of charge. 
http://www.wide.org.br/htmlEstaticoEn/Pinfo.html

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DEVELOPMENT RESOURCE CENTRE in New Zealand: runs an email list 
offering links to development-related resources via cyberspace. 
To subscribe, contact Phillip Hewitt <phil {AT} drc.org.nz>
Or check out http://www.drc.org.nz/

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VIRTUAL EDUCATION: The Commonwealth of Learning commissioned an 
international group of experts to look at this phenomenon and 
provide a snapshot report. The entire study is available on-line 
[in pdf format] from  http://www.col.org/virtualed/index.htm
Contents include 'Virtual Institutions in the Indian Subcontinent 
by Dr. Sugata Mitra'. 

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RURAL HEALTHCARE IN VIETNAM: Humanitarian assistance project to 
rural healthcare in Vietnam, focused especially on children. 
Organizes annual medical missions to bring reconstructive surgery 
to children with orofacial deformities, and eye surgery to 
children with correctible eye diseases. Also training to 
healthcare staff, and develops sustainable projects to improve 
health outcomes (neonatal mortality, acute respiratory illnesses, 
malnutrition, cervical cancer detection etc.).
URL http://www.vietnam21.com/projectvietnam 
Info courtesy: The Asian Studies WWW Monitor

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INDIA TO HAVE 5million Net users by 2003
INDIA will be among the four Asian markets to have five million 
Internet users by the year 2003. Market research agency IDC India Ltd 
made this forecast at its 12th annual industry briefing. China is 
expected to have over 15m users, followed by India with about 8m, and 
Australia and Korea slightly behind. 
http://www.economictimes.com/today/04tech01.htm
Information courtesy: Irfan Khan <KhanIA {AT} super.net.pk> and the 
South-Asia-IT mailing list <s-asia-it {AT} apnic.net>

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SHOHOJOGI-AIDS from Bangladesh a mailing list and discussion 
forum based on HIV/AIDS issues.
See postings here: http://www.hivnet.ch:8000/bangladesh/tdm  

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DRIK-LEARN INITIATIVE: an initiative to provide computer 
education to the rural kids. the initiative is also  associated 
with Mit Media Lab in the USA. (http://www.drik.net/learn) trying 
to have more information from the organizers.

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KIDS TURN INTO MICROSOFT CERTIFIED PROFESSIONALS: In India Subia 
Hashmat, 11 and Supriya Singh, 12 are probably the youngest 
"person ever to attempt and clear the Microsoft Certified 
Professional examination."  Story at 
http://www.rediff.com/computer/1999/aug/04mcp.htm   
Meanwhile in Pakistan a 14-year student Bilal Iqbal "is the 
youngest Microsoft Certified System Engineer". Details at 
http://www.brecorder.com/story/S0011/S1102/S1102103.htm    
Info courtesy: owner-s-asia-it {AT} apnic.net

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TECH NEEDS OF NON-PROFIT GROUPS: After 18 months of research and 
consultation to analyze the technology needs of the nonprofit 
sector, the National Strategy for Nonprofit Technology (NSNT), 
has developed a blueprint for how the sector can use technology 
more effectively and creatively. The blueprint is published on 
the web at http://www.nten.org.  You may also retrieve it via 
email by sending a message to jmcLOKA {AT} hamp.hampshire.edu using as 
your SUBJECT-line GET BLUEPRINT. The NSNT blueprint recommended a 
series of steps be taken that, combined, should increase the 
technology resources, tools and know-how of the nonprofit sector.
Information courtesy: Richard Zorza <rzorza {AT} earthlink.net>

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SARAI: (sary, sho-rai) n. (Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, 
Persian, Turkish) an enclosed space in a city, or, beside a 
highway, where travellers and caravans can find shelter, 
sustenance and companionship...
Sarai is to study the transformations of the contemporary 
cultural space in India. Sarai aims to become a focal point of 
independent and critical new media culture in Delhi.
It plans to host websites, online discussion forums and news 
groups; provide free and public access internet facilities and 
offline/dial-up connectivity, create and maintain a non-
commercial ISP server and encourage the generation and 
dissemination of alternative software and shareware; host 
visiting media practitioners and scholars; conduct exchange 
programmes for scholars, artists and media activists on an 
international scale, etc 
The Sarai initiative will have an active South Asian focus.
More info: Shuddhabrata Sengupta <raqs {AT} vsnl.com>
http://www.sarai.net

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EASIER TO FIND BLOOD DONORS: (By N Venugopal HYDERABAD 16 AUGUST) 
-- Thanks to the spirited efforts of two Hyderabad-based IT 
companies, the hassles of finding a matching blood donor and 
making a deal in an emergency are going to be lessened. One can 
find a prospective blood donor and access the donor 
instantaneously from a large database, with only the click of a 
button. Enfolg NetSoft Solutions (ENS) and Cyber Planet Web 
Services (CPWS), the two IT companies focusing on Internet-
related software services, have come out with the site 
http://www.blood-donors.com, to be launched shortly. 
More info: http://www.economictimes.com/today/17tech04.htm  
Info courtesy: Irfan Khan <KhanIA {AT} super.net.pk> and the South-
Asia-IT mailing list <s-asia-it {AT} apnic.net>

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PLUGGED IN: THIRD WORLD STRUGGLES TO GET ONLINE
Issue: Digital Divide/ International
The Internet has been hailed as the ultimate global information 
network, but the promise of bringing the world online is far from 
a reality in 1999 when only 2% of the globe has access to the 
Internet. Developing nations -- faced with poverty, illiteracy 
and lack of telecommunications infrastructure  have been slow to 
stake out their place on the Net. People in many Third World 
countries have been forced to be very creative in forging links 
to the World Wide Web. 
SOURCE: San Jose Mercury News, AUTHOR: Nicole Volpe
http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/breaking/internet/docs/761187l.htm

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SPEECH ANALYSER FOR "INDIAN" ENGLISH: IBM Software Group on 
August 17 launched the 'Indian English' version of speech 
recognition software, ViaVoice, for the OEM (original equipment 
manufacturer) market. IBM ViaVoice has been developed to suit the 
Indian English accent with the help of Speech & Software 
Technologies (India), a Tata group company. IBM had been working 
for nearly a year to develop ViaVoice. In order the make the 
software recognise Indian accented speech, an Indian acoustic 
model with frequently-used Indian words has been built, the 
company said. Speech recognition software is used for giving 
commands to computers, as a dictation tool and as a reader, among 
other things. The starter set vocabulary consists of 62,000 words 
occurring frequently in the 16 million sentences collected from 
various Indian publications. This software has been trained to 
recognise words such as lakh (a hundred thousand), crore (ten 
million), Mumbai (Bombay) and Chennai (Madras) and other proper 
nouns which are unique to India. 
http://www.economictimes.com/today/18tech01.htm

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FIRST HINDI PORTAL (Sept 23) Indian Internet users need no longer 
communicate in English. With the launch of an Internet portal in 
Hindi, http://www.webdunia.com, the information superhighway has 
been opened up for millions of people who use only Hindi as the 
means for communication. Webduniya  offers usual e-mail and chat 
service provided by other websites, and also rich information on 
India from news and current affairs to culture arts and music, 
entertainment, astrology, religions, festivals and rituals.
Suvi Information Systems has developed E-patra which, it claims,
enables one to send e-mail messages in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati,
Malayalam and Punjabi even if one does not have a lingual keyboard. It
has also developed E-varta, which enables multi-lingual online chat.

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BRIDGING THE INFO-GAP: SDNP-PAKISTAN is the Sustainable 
Development Networking Programme (http://www.sdnp.undp.org). It 
is one of the first public email service providers -- having 
started its services way back in March 1994. 
In a nutshell, SDNP's aim is to promote sustainable development 
through electronic networking. But during the initial phase of 
its operations, in the absence of any public networking services 
available in Pakistan, it tried to promote electronic networking 
per se and act as a catalyst for creating a national network. It 
was a demonstration project to show that even without any massive 
capital investment or the use of state of the art networking 
technologies, a cheap dialup alternative could cater for useful 
national and international networking needs.  
See the 'Story of SDNP Pakistan' prepared for the NetAid's 
website http://www.sdnp.org.pk/aboutus1.htm
SDNP was the first network in Pakistan to introduce international 
Usenet newsgroups and APC conferences in March '94. It is also 
the first -- and so far the only network in Pakistan -- to launch 
a host of information services. Ranging from the extremely 
popular 'Cybermart' (a daily electronic leaflet of ads and 
announcements) to about half a dozen active discussion lists, a 
dozen distribution lists (for various kinds of news services and 
net publications) and more than 30 Usenet-like newsgroups, it 
provides a fairly wide choice. All these information services are 
free and more are in the offing 
http://www.sdnp.org.pk/service1.htm
SDNP is to also develop its own web site envisioned to become a
one-stop site for all significant development information about
Pakistan. 
Info from: Hasan A. Rizvi" <rizvi {AT} sdnpk.undp.org>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

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STRUGGLING FOR WEB-ACCESS: Having Web sites on the Internet is 
only half the battle. The real challenge is to provide access 
nationally in a country with very little infrastructure. 
http://www.economictimes.com/today/18tech04.htm

******************************************************************

INFO CENTER ON MICRO-FINANCE: PlaNet Finance has launched the on-
line information center on micro-finance, PlaNet Library, during 
the month of September.   It allows you to view on-line on-going  
events from the world of micro finance, publications, up-to-date 
newsletters from specialists and interviews. You can also gain 
real access to an on-line documentation center storing scientific 
and technical reports, case studies, articles, methodology, 
working papers, project publications, report notes and theses.  
To become a partner, visit 
http://www.planetfinance.org/fr/library/library.htm or contact 
library {AT} planetbank.org    
Info courtesy: Gnassounou Viwanou <vgnassou {AT} PLANETBANK.ORG>

******************************************************************

DEAD-ENDS IN CYBERSPACE? Twenty nations all but bar the Internet 
from their borders out of fear that the medium is a threat to 
either national security or the social order, a French media 
organization said in a report released earlier this week. 
Reporters Sans Frontiers' list focuses on the countries of 
Central Asia and the Caucasus, including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, 
Kirghizia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Also on the 
list: Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North 
Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and 
Vietnam.

******************************************************************

INTERNET SOCIETAL TASK FORCE has its web-site at 
http://istf.isoc.org You may find it interesting and useful.  

******************************************************************

PAKISTAN'S INTERNET BACKBONE: (Recorder Report) Pakistan's 
National Internet Backbone (NIBB) will be operative by October 
1999 decreasing the time consumed in surfing for the user of 
Internet manifold. It will also support the local software 
industry, Pakistani Information Technology Board chairman Dr 
Jawed Ghani was quoted as saying by  reports from Lahore on Aug 
23 said. 
He said that PTCL has laid additional fibre optics lines on both 
sides of the Indus of which 12 line pairs are lying un-utilised. 
Only one line pair will be sufficient to meet the data 
transmission needs of the country as it could carry 150 Mega 
bites of database while the country's international traffic of 
data is not more than 12 megabytes, he added. 
http://www.brecorder.com/story/S0010/S1002/S1002106.htm

******************************************************************

INTERNET PRICING IN INDIA: Rediff on the Net has published a good 
story on the pricing of internet services in India, and why, 
inspite of the presence of private ISPs, the internet access 
remains expensive in India. 
http://www.rediff.com/computer/1999/aug/21isp.htm

******************************************************************

INT'L WOMEN'S UNIV TECHNOLOGY AND CULTURE: From July 15th to 
October 15th 2000, on the occasion of the world exposition  in 
Hanover (EXPO 2000), Germany, the International Women's 
University will offer 900 female students from all over the world 
the opportunity to participate in a postgraduate program in 
English which will be centered in Hanover. Subjects include Body, 
City, Information, Migration, Water, Work. In order to become an 
ifu scholar, you are expected to commit yourself to one of the 
project areas, and your academic specialization should be from a 
related field.
Please note that ifu particularly looks forward to receiving 
applications from women artists as well as political activists 
working in NGOs. Apply before Oct 15, 1999. 
Details: http://www.int-frauenuni.de

******************************************************************

ORIENTATION BANGLADESH: Orientation.com, the world's first global 
network of local and regional Internet portals, in partnership 
with Drik, (http://www.drik.net) a renowned visual resource 
company that also boasts multimedia and ISP services in 
Bangladesh has launched Orientation Bangladesh 
(http://bd.orientation.com). The new Web site provides 
Bangladeshis one of the first-ever independent forums for timely 
news, information, and community discussions in their history. 
Orientation Bangladesh delivers news, historical and cultural 
information, economic and commerce data, an extensive database of 
Bangla Web sites, and free email that will help fuel the 
country's drive into the 21st century.
For  citizens both of Bangladesh and of the world, Orientation 
gives a unique opportunity to learn more about the country and 
history of Bangladesh -- in the local language -- and gives 
insight about where the country is headed through the emergence 
of high technology.  Our alliance with Drik is a critical 
component to achieving this success.
Today, Drik estimates that nearly 50,000 people are online
in Bangladesh as the market continues to grow daily.
http://bd.orientation.com

******************************************************************

THIRD WORLD INTERNET: By David Zgodzinsky <davidz {AT} cam.org> 
The Internet will be much more important to the poorer countries 
of the world than it is to their wealthier neighbors. It's a type 
of reverse colonialism. For a relatively small cost, citizens of 
developing countries can exploit industrialized wealthy nations 
for an endless supply of that precious commodity -- information. 
http://www.internetworld.com/print/monthly/1996/12/thirdworld.shtml

******************************************************************

NEW JOURNAL ON IS IN DEV. COUNTRIES: The Electronic Journal for 
Information Systems In Developing Countries (EJISDC) strives to 
become the foremost international forum for practitioners, 
teachers, researchers and policy makers to share their knowledge 
and experience in the design, development, implementation, 
management and evaluation of information systems and technologies 
in developing countries.
EJISDC targets the digital divide. Our aim is to situate 
contemporary trends in ICTs within a fully global context that 
moves away from the currently skewed perspective of developed 
countries.
EJISDC intends to reach its audience in a manner that is 
consistent with its mission. It will be published electronically. 
There will be no subscription fees. 
Editor-in-Chief, Roger Harris, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak,
roger {AT} mailhost.fit.unimas.my
Visit the journal's website for further information
http://www.unimas.my/fit/roger/EJISDC/EJISDC.htm

******************************************************************

INDIAN SATCOM SYSTEM: Centre for Development of Telematics (C-
DOT), a premier telecom research organisation, has developed 
India's first satellite communications system. The technology 
developed by C-DOT, called Insat-MSS, uses transponders in the 
Insat series of satellites and is ideally suited for providing 
telephone connections in those areas where it is not cost 
effective to lay the conventional cable-based network, reports in 
August said. 
According to sources, DoT is planning to induct 1,000 satellite 
phones in its network. These phones will be installed in the 
rural areas as village public telephones (VPTs). 
DETAILS http://www.economictimes.com/250899/25tech02.htm

******************************************************************

SOUTH ASIA PUBLIC HEALTH FORUM DISCUSSION GROUP: This email list 
is meant for the exchange of ideas and information among Public 
Health Professionals Worldwide, but especially who have interest 
in South Asia (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri 
Lanka and Maldives). Postings are welcome about research, health 
issues and social and economic changes in the region. Also feel 
free to post Public Health job postings. To subscribe please 
visit the website at
http://www.geocities.com/HotSprings/Sauna/7723
or email saphf {AT} geocities.com

******************************************************************

INEQUALITY IN COMPUTER ACCESS: The United States has more 
computers than the rest of the world combined. Bulgaria has more 
Internet hosts than the whole of sub-Saharan Africa, excluding 
South Africa. South Asia, with 23 per cent of the world's people, 
has less than one per cent of the world's Internet users.
SOURCE: Media-Mentor, George Lessard
http://www.undp.org/hdro/report.html

******************************************************************

FREE COMPUTER COURSE FOR TEACHERS: India's leading IT training 
institution, NIIT, has offered a free computer literacy program, 
SWIFT Start, to school teachers at all NIIT Centres around the 
country beginning from Indian Teachers' Day, September 5. 
NIIT will be offering the eight-hour SWIFT Start Program that 
will expose teachers to the fundamentals of computers like, how 
to word-process a document, how to create a spreadsheet, how to 
surf on the Internet and use an email. Teachers could enrol for 
this program at any nearest NIIT education centre between 
September 6 and 11. 
http://www.rediff.com/computer/1999/sep/04niit.htm

******************************************************************

SOFTWARE FOR NON-PROFITS: The Technology Project of the 
Rockefeller Family Fund offers for free download off the web a 
database package designed for nonprofits that need to track 
donors, members, and supporters.
It has all in one database for activist, volunteer,demographic, 
and civic participation data all in the same database, so you can 
analyze these data against each other, and against membership & 
donor data. 
http://www.ebase.org

******************************************************************

TechKnowLogia, INT'L ONLINE Journal of Technologies for the 
advancement of knowledge and learning. Subscription is free.
http://www.TechKnowLogia.org
SOURCE: Richard Labelle, Information Technology and
Management Practices for Development. email: rlab {AT} sympatico.ca

******************************************************************

    BYTESFORALL LINKS UP WITH PAKISTAN INTERNET JOURNAL: SPIDER, 
    the Internet magazine from Pakistan and BytesForAll have 
    worked out a collaboration arrangement, for reproduction 
    rights of material published on this unique web-site.
    BytesForAll is <http://www.bytesforall.org> an online 
    newsletter which aims at updating readers about new and 
    interesting people-oriented IT (information technology) 
    ventures and initiatives in South Asia. Attempts that focus 
    on people before profits.
    SPIDER magazine <http://www.spider.tm> -- the first Internet 
    mags on the sub-continent -- was launched by XIBERCOM and the 
    Dawn Group of Newspapers. 
    "Now, with the linkup with a Pakistan-based Internet 
    magazine, we have further narrowed the cybergap that exists 
    in this region which has enormous software skills, and a 
    crying-need for people-oriented software," said a news 
    release from BytesForAll.
    SPIDER editor Ms Bina Shah said of BytesForAll: "We received 
    word of your online newsletter, Bytes for All, and were very 
    impressed with what we saw."
    In keeping with its policy of generating and collating useful 
    information that remains accessible to the public domain, and 
    to the widest number of readers, BytesForAll agreed to 
    SPIDER's request for permission to reprint articles from the 
    newsletter.
    SPIDER carries cover stories and feature articles on the 
    development of the Internet and how it affects Pakistanis all 
    over the world. 
    BytesForAll has, in its brief two-month period of existence, 
    already drawn enthusiastic responses from across the globe. 
    It is a non-profit, volunteer-driven project which "aims to 
    make computing and the Internet relevant to (the needs of) 
    the millions", particularly those in South Asia, and other 
    areas of the Third World.
    In another development, Earl Mardle of KeyNet Consultancy 
    "Using ICT in the Real World" in Australia 
    (http://www.kn.com.au) has pledged to contribute to 
    BytesForAll regularly.
    Commented Earl: "It would be a good exercise for me to get my 
    head around the issues that face most of the world's 
    population rather than the often trivial problems 'suffered' 
    by its richest inhabitants."

******************************************************************

    THANKS IN A BIG WAY TO Iwan Baan <iwan {AT} iwan.com> who is into 
    photography, books, multimedia at http://www.iwan.com for 
    supporting the BytesForAll site and making our adventure with 
    the web possible. Also hats off the Partha Pratim Sarker (a 
    friend I've never met except via email) for putting in all 
    the work that made http://www.bytesforall.org a possiblity. 
    Check out our new web-site.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
bYtES For aLL * Compiled jointly by 
Frederick Noronha, Journalist Goa India fred {AT} vsnl.com and
Partha Pratim Sarker, Drik Multimedia, Dhaka 1209 partha {AT} drik.net
Compiled in public interest * May be freely circulated * 
Pls credit source http://www.bytesforall.org
OUR UPDATES, EARLIER ISSUES AND MORE, AVAILABLE ON ABOVE SITE
ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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