Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology Current Affairs - 2020

Fact Box: Tele-Law Initiative

The Ministry of Law and Justice has launched the ‘Tele-Law’ initiative in collaboration with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to provide legal aid services to the marginalized communities and citizens living in rural areas through the Common Service Centres (CSC) at the panchayat level, spread across the country.

Salient Highlights

‘Tele Law initiative would help people to seek legal advice from lawyers with the help of video conferencing facility available at the Common Service Centres (CSC). Apart from the lawyers, law school clinics, District Legal Service Authorities, voluntary service providers and Non-Government Organisations working on legal aid and empowerment can also be connected through the CSCs.

In the initial phase, the initiative will be tested as a pilot project across 500 Common Service Centres (CSC) in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In this phase, challenges to the initiative would be identified and necessary corrections would be made and would eventually be rolled out across the country in a phased manner.

A new portal called ‘Tele Law’ will be made available across the CSC network to connect the citizens to legal service providers with the help of technology-enabled platforms. The initiative would strengthen access to justice for the marginalized communities.

The government will also put in place a robust monitoring and evaluation system to assess the quality of the legal advice delivered to the people.

Under the initiative, a Para Legal Volunteer (PLV), would be employed in each CSC. The volunteer would serve as the first point of contact for the marginalized communities in the rural areas who will help them understand the legal issues, explain the advice given by lawyers and assist in further action as per the advice of the lawyer.

Around 1000 women Para Legal Volunteers will also be trained under this initiative to provide legal aid services through the CSCs. This is expected to promote women entrepreneurship and empowerment.

Further, the National Legal Service Authority (NALSA) will also provide a panel of lawyers who will provide advice from the state capitals to the applicants in the CSCs through video conferencing.

Northeast India’s largest IT hub opens in Tripura

Northeast’s sixth and largest hub for information technology has been inaugurated in Agartala. The hub has been set up at a cost of Rs 50 crore to boost employment and e-governance besides export of software technology. The hub is expected to create more employment opportunities for the youths and extend the e-governance to cover all the people of the region. This would facilitate famous IT companies to set off their business and services and boost export of software technology. This will be the largest hub in the region.

Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), under the union Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology, helped the state government in setting up of the hub by sharing the technological knowledge. In the new IT hub, ready-to-use incubation space will be made available that can be used by the start-up companies, aspiring entrepreneurs, Indian and multi-national companies as per their needs and requirements.

Last year, Tripura got an award for its performance in IT and e-governance from the central government. The state has already extended many e-governance based facilities and services up to the level of gram panchayats. The e-district scheme in the state helps people in getting various certificates and documents from their concerned panchayats or blocks. It is estimated that the state’s 80 percent of the state’s 37 lakh population have begun to use mobile phones leading to an IT boom.

Significance

Tripura has a vast pool of skilled English speaking IT manpower. Thousands of these professionals are currently working in cities like Bengaluru or Hyderabad. Opening up of IT hub offers a new opportunity for not only Tripura but the whole of northeast India. With India’s recent agreement with Bangladesh over the purchase of surplus bandwidth and its close proximity to Bangladesh, Tripura can act as a “backyard” of the fledgling IT industry of Bangladesh. It can make use of Bangladesh’s plans to double its IT exports by 2017.