Five Technology Vaporware from Indian Government in 2009 [2009 Recap]

We covered few WTF Technology stories of 2009 and here is continuing our focus on government’s tech vaporware stories:

Got a name-sake Broadband connection? TRAI comes to your rescue

TRAI announced plans to introduce regulations to ensure that ISPs provide internet connections based on the capacity of traffic they can carry, i.e. contention ratio (= ratio between the number of customers per unit bandwidth;).2009 in review

While broadband penetration in India stands at 7.40 million (which is a shameful number), TRAI’s move was opposed by standalone ISPs and frankly, this ain’t going anywhere.

TRAI, try and fail.

RBI Regulation on E-commerce

Since August 1, 2009 RBI made ecommerce more secure and safe. RBI issued guidelines making it mandatory for all online transactions to have an extra level of authentication. The ‘extra’ level, is a password that you will have to enter after entering your credit/debit carddetails while making online payments. You will require this ‘extra password’ for transacting on any website in India.

While we won’t call it truly a fail (a lot of online e-tailers I spoke to mentioned that the fraud level has come down), the initiative has hurt the ecommerce players. Most importantly, the new authentication process wasn’t so much conveyed by Visa and other folks in the ecommerce ecosystem.

National Mobile Phone Directory Service Approved

Indian government approved NIDQS (National Integrated Directory Enquiry Service), which means that information on (any) mobile number will be accessible via a 5-digit directory service – the segment was also made open for FDI (max limit of 74%).

The initiative was a ballsy step, but we haven’t yet seen/heard murmurs of any implementation /talk about this. So still a vaporware.

Indian Government to Invest $200mn in Building it’s own Microprocessor

Indian Govt. announced $200mn investment in building the ‘Indian microprocessor’. The core idea behind building an Indian microprocessor is to rely less on commercial microprocessors in military, telecommunications and space systems, more so after reports of a global network of Chinese hackers breaking into sensitive installations worldwide (Dalai Lama in Dharamshala and telecom networks in the UK).

Do you really need this? Can you really rely on Government’s knack for technology (especially after $10 Laptop story)?

Indian Government Sites to be made Accessibility Compliant

Indian government wants to make their websites accessible compliant, i.e. making it easy for people with disabilities, especially visually-impaired ones to use government websites.

Frankly, this takes the prize for the best vaporware story of 2009. Government sites are hacked left,right and center – and instead of fixing the current websites (and removing those meaningless sitemeter/banners), the attempt is to do something that just doesnt’ justifies the investment.

Maybe there is an ‘accessible’ scam in making, but be assured that such initiative is just a PR exercise.

What has been your WTF moment of 2009?

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