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eGovWatch: “Transport Ministry to contribute 3% of GDP in next two years via implementation of technology” :Nitin Gadkari

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The highlight of the event was unveiling and presentation of the draft policy document about On Vehicle Smart Module (OVSM) to Chief Guest Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping by AIM-IT’s founder chairman, Vinit Goenka

After being stuck in the slow lane of growth for almost 70 years, Indian transport & logistics sector is finally set to realize its true potential through adoption of technology; this was the underlying statement at the launch event of Association of MSMEs in Information Technology (AIM-IT) in the national capital recently.

AIM-IT is India’s first sectoral organisation for Medium, Small and Micro IT enterprises (MSMEs) which was founded by well-known technocrat Vinit Goenka in 2015. The association was set up with an aim of representing, advocating and promoting interests of IT-MSMEs to ensure economic and technological advancement of the country.

The launch event of the association saw participation from relevant stakeholders including, central & state govt ministers, bureaucrats, IT and logistic companies, start-ups, innovators, and policy makers. Riveting discussions were held on various important subjects such as, the future of Smart Shipping & Smart Road Networks, ‘StartUp India’: Enabling efficient logistics, transport, & ecommerce and ‘Smart Cities’: Smarter Roads – Smarter Transport.

The highlight of the event was unveiling and presentation of the draft policy document about On Vehicle Smart Module (OVSM) to Chief Guest Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping by AIM-IT’s founder chairman, Vinit Goenka.

Addressing the audience, after unveiling the draft policy document, Gadkari, stressed on the importance of ‘smart technologies’ such as OVSM for revamping the transport sector. He said, “Information Technology should be used as a decision support system in strengthening, maintaining and upgrading national transport system. IT can help reduce cost and corruption and create better and more efficient infrastructure. The government is wholeheartedly adopting and integrating technology to increase the speed of implementation of infra projects and also to make it more efficient. For example, our ministry has already started the modernisation, mechanisation and computerization of ports. Our aim for the next two years is to contribute at least 3 per cent growth of GDP in India.”

OVSM was one of the top five recommendations which were selected after a nationwide campaign conducted by a special policy group – #ITforParivahan. This policy group was set up by IT task force members and renowned technocrats Padmashree  Mohandas Pai and Vinit Goenka as a platform to crowd source ideas to improve Indian infrastructure.

With an aim to make governance effective through public participation, the campaign invited suggestions from various stakeholders in transportation sector and also general public. The campaign which started in September 2015 saw a dedicated and self-motivated team of more than 200 technocrats reach out to 1.5 crore Indians across 62 towns and cities through a highly effective and ambitious social media campaign. In return, the policy group received more than forty thousand responses from all stakeholders. More than 66 million impressions were achieved during this campaign. Total number of User Mention Count was forty five thousand and almost ninety thousand tweets were generated.

While explaining the advantages of adopting OVSM in India, Goenka said India will be able to achieve and sustain its aim of 8-9 per cent of GDP growth over the next few decades only if it develops transportation network through adoption of IT. Emphasizing on the urgent need to integrate technology in the transport sector to make it efficient, economic and transparent,  Vinit Goenka stressed, “According to studies, India loses INR 60,000 crore annually due to traffic congestion, (including fuel wastage), slow speed of freight vehicles and waiting time at toll plazas and checking points. India can ill-afford this staggering wastage of time, money and resources. There is a growing necessity for planned infrastructure and effective enforcement to ensure sustained growth of the nation and counter the challenges of increased vehicle population, emissions, accidents and urbanization.”

OVSM is a simple technology which uses a combination of RFID, GPRS, GPS, smart card reader and 3-axis accelerometer to help address many challenges. The device – OVSM – can be installed on all vehicles. Such technologies have been successfully implemented in countries such as Singapore and Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and the US for toll collection and are being carried over for other challenges too. In Germany, which was one of the early adopters of the technology, close to 7 lakh vehicles were fitted with such technology way back in 2007.

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