Indian National Green Party


National Policy-Information Technology

5.1 Principles
The Indian National Green Party’s Information Technology (IT) policy flows from the basis that we must adopt lifestyles and development paths that respect and work within the ecological limits. Developments in IT need to be subject to community scrutiny and the benefits of IT need to be shared amongst all members of the community and not be used to increase power and privilege for a few.
The Indian National Green Party want the debate about technological choice brought out of the back-rooms of government and industry and into the public arena. There must be appropriate public IT planning to ensure integration of IT into the broader social and economic objectives and to avoid the adoption of IT products becoming supplier-driven and piecemeal.
Full implementation of on-line services envisaged in some “Information Superhighway” proposals will be very expensive and the extent to which government should fund such proposals requires further analysis. The Indian National Green Party will support sufficient government funding to enable no- or low-cost access to e-mail, the Internet and other electronic information resources for schools, libraries and public sector organisations, in a context where the provision of such services is important to full participation in society.
The Indian National Green Party support direct measures, rather than tax incentives, which tend to be less equitable, to help organisations convert their systems to avoid the millennium bug.
5.2 Goals
Real opportunities exist for India, with a relatively educated and skilled population, to make a large contribution to developments in software, multimedia and intellectual property.
The Indian National Green Party support universal access to the fullest range of information and communication services.
5.3 Short Term Targets
The Indian National Green Party propose:
a) the establishment of an independent Information Technology Assessment Board (ITAB), to continually assess both new and existing information technologies and to recommend governmental action. Economic assessment would run alongside checks on health, safety, environmental and cultural impact, risks, and job satisfaction. The ITAB would have a statutory obligation to keep the public informed of its work in a clear and accessible way;
b) the encouragement of significant value-added operations in IT, such as Research and Development (R&D).
c) in the practices of government departments and in private business, the enforcement of the principles of:
l privacy - maintaining the confidentiality of personal information; and
l freedom of information - enabling public access to statistics and decision-making processes;
d) the encouragement of the adoption of codes of ethics or practice for which members of practising professional bodies can be suspended or “struck off” if the code is contravened ? preventing or restricting their ability to practise;
e) to make government set an example of open and responsible use of IT in its own systems;
f) the promotion of the development of networking standards for global operation in order to boost international communication, understanding and trade;
g) support for a democratic, egalitarian operation of the Internet with appropriate regulation based on wide public discussion;
h) support for the growth in “telecommuting” whereby office staff can work from home, reducing the demand for physical commuting, whilst ensuring protection for employees’ conditions;
i) support the growth of teleconferencing in order to decrease the dependence on air travel
j) support for the growth of remote “work centres” or “tele- villages” in order to reduce depopulation and increase employment opportunities in rural areas;
k) support for the growth of “tele-conferencing” in order to decrease the need for travelling;
l) to prevent the emergence of monopoly in telecommunications, computing or IT;
m) to identify and list sensitive applications/systems (i.e. with safety or security implications) and restrict their design to qualified professionals holding a valid licence to practise;
n) to achieve greater public review of the development of government computer systems, requiring proposals for new or amended government systems to be widely published with adequate if reasonable objections are recorded;
o) to support universities and other research establishments in research free of external direction by industry or government;
p) to support the full and frequent flow of information from researchers to the professions and the media regarding research progress and its implications;
q) support for an industry free to develop hardware, software and services commensurate with ethical business practices;
r) the encouragement of flexible approaches in industrial relations responses to changes in organisations, working conditions, job definitions and skill boundaries - all affected by IT;
s) the imposition of a rating and censorship system (similar to film) for computer games and related leisure services;
t) the improvement of women’s access to training and education in the use and understanding of computers and IT;
u) to ensure that the education system promotes children’s access to, and ability to use, information and technology;
v) facilitating access to Internet and e-mail services for rural residents by providing local call cost access through a government-managed and/or funded rural internet provider service.
w) enabling the trained IT professionals to get neological training in the field of enrepreneurship for establishing more and more training centres all over the country with a view to having a competent cadre of young men and women having expert knowledge in the field of different aspects and facets of information technology for managing the third millennium..