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Wednesday, 20 July 2011

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Fifth in world for ICT development:

Top NRI for Lanka

The Networked Readiness Index (NRI) for Sri Lanka has been elevated from 72 percent to 48 during the last five years indicating a major improvement in the industry, Sri Lanka ranks fifth in the world in development in the ICT sector.

Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and UNESCAP ICT and Disaster Risk Reduction Division Director Dr Xuan Zengpei at the FutureGov Forum in Colombo. Picture by Sumanachandra Ariyawansa

The country had the biggest improvement in the NRI, which is a global indicator used to ascertain the success of ICT activities in counties.

Sri Lanka has managed to reap these positive results mainly due to the government’s e-development agenda, ICT Agency of Sri Lanka Chief Executive Officer, Reshan Dewapura said.

Addressing the FutureGov Forum Sri Lanka he said the Sri Lankan ICT industry is showing signs of being one of the potential industries in recent times as a result of coherent policies adopted by the government.

Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga addressing the FutureGov Forum Sri Lanka said investing in the ICT sector will never be a loss situation since it has the capability to achieve desired social and economic targets in Sri Lanka.

“We need to create an environment that facilitates the implementation of e-government services and this will help to have effective and efficient e-Governance. We are committed to build citizen centric, responsive and an open government by using ICT in an effective manner.”

ICT has made the world increasingly smaller due to its ability to interact with the world by disseminating information at a much faster rate and this will make our diplomatic moves much stronger.

“At a time when some parties are trying to tarnish the image of Sri Lanka over various issues, ICT would play a life-saving role by disseminating accurate information while depicting the true picture of the country,” Weeratunga said.

Accordingly to Weeratunga Sri Lankans are becoming more tech savvy with the higher usage of fixed and mobile phones and internet. It is apparent that the demand for ICT related services will increase in the years to come. What we need to do is to invent smart ICT initiatives for each sector to cater to the demand. The government is also looking at increasing the PC , internet, and broadband penetration in Sri Lanka.

Commenting on the usage of ICT initiatives in the health sector in Sri Lanka, Weeratunga said e-health applications in the healthcare industry in Sri Lanka are limited and this is time to use more smart e-health applications in government hospitals to have a better management system and new technology will benefit patients and hospital workers immensely.

The government has also shown its commitment to empower people particularly rural people by disseminating latest technological advances along with the implementation of e-Sri Lanka and Nenasala programmes.

“Rural, marginalized and differently abled people should be given best e-governance facilities with the addition of more features,” Weeratunga said.

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