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Govt to complete m-governance application by year-end

The mobile service delivery gateway that would enable government-to-citizen services on mobile phones will be developed by IT companies in collaboration with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing

New Delhi: The Department of Information Technology (DIT) on Tuesday set December as deadline to complete the development of a platform that would enable government-to-citizen services on mobile phones, reports PTI.

"We should have a completely developed mobile service delivery platform by December," Shankar Aggarwal, additional secretary, DIT said during consultations with stakeholders on m-governance.

Mr Aggarwal formed two groups to sort out conflicting issues among stakeholders and to shape the proposal for technology development to be considered by DIT for implementation.

The mobile service delivery gateway will be developed by IT companies in collaboration with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).

There are divergent views in the industry on tariffs that should be charged for delivering m-governance services.

Government representatives and some application providers wanted to have a minimum fixed tariff for the services, but telecom service providers opposed it.

"DIT should not regulate tariff. It should be left on operator," said an Airtel representative.

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said the tariff related issues should be referred to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

Mr Aggarwal agreed to refer the issue to TRAI for the decision on tariff but asked the working group on mobile tariffs to come up with final proposal.

"We cannot allow service providers to exploit government service in any situation. The committee should work on the tariff issue first and then we will approach TRAI," Mr Aggarwal said.

The government issued draft framework for m-governance policy earlier this year.

The DIT will hold a round-table meeting with mobile application developers next week. As per the timeline set by government, the DIT has to come up with notification on the standards for mobile applications by end of this month.

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