INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IS A VITAL ENGINE FOR
DEVELOPMENT IN THE 21ST CENTURY: SHRI T.R. BAALU
The Union Environment and Forests
Minister, Shri T.R. Baalu has said that Information & Communication
Technology is a vital engine for development in the 21st
century. The Asia Pacific Region can address its poverty issues
by effective use of e-governance and ICT applications in environmental
management, because there are inherent linkages among poverty,
environment and governance. The Minister said this while addressing
a Two-day Regional Workshop on Information and Communication Technology
for Environment for Asia Pacific (ICTEAP) here today.
He said that sustainable development
is the slogan of the environment conscious global community today.
Sustainable development process can be strengthened in many ways
by Information Technology. Increased connectivity between computer
systems and networks and the immense power of computer hardware
and software make seamless information flow possible. Expert systems
and other software applications, as well as environmental databases
accessible over Internet, are important means for enabling access
to environmental information and informed decision-making on matters
of environmental concerns.
Shri Baalu further stated
that successful planning of developmental programmes at the micro-level
depends heavily on availability of quality and quantity of information
on natural and socio-economic resources. For this, Geographical
Information Systems (GIS)applications are widely available to
store, retrieve and analyse different types of data for the management
of natural resources.
Shri T.R. Baalu added that
besides resource management, in finding solutions to a number
of issues such as solid waste management, air pollution monitoring
etc., we are confronted with the task of handling voluminous and
complex data. In fact, environmental problems themselves are getting
more acute with the rapid population growth and unsustainable
consumption patterns. Thus, environment management calls for a
large number of people from different streams of expertise to
be engaged. Therefore, we have to bear in mind that to address
such complex and inter-related issues, the role of IT in promoting
reliability and efficiencies is critical.
He expressed his confidence
that the prowess of the Indian ICT industry, will significantly
contribute to this regional initiative in promoting South-South
cooperation, as well as towards the transfer of environmentally
friendly technologies and know-how. Participation of key governments
and research institutions of countries such as Malaysia, Japan,
China and the Philippines among others, has added a valuable dimension
to this endeavour.