Author: Nagarajan M

Track the Great Indian Election on Facebook

Facebook Launched India Election Tracker app to provide a live stream of the candidates. The app also has a poll section. It displays the leading candidates and parties on a real time basis based on the mentions on facebook.We can view the results of the ranking for the last 7 days.

facebook election tracker

Apart from the tracker, facebook also launched a feature called Facebook Talks where a video show with interaction from the politicians are being held. Recently Narendra Modi was to be the first guest of this multi-screen multi-platform live show. But later he decided not to participate and the show launched on March 04, 2014 with Arvind Kejriwal as the first guest.

Google has also launched a Election Page which contains the latest news and happening on the Election. The page is bi-lingual.

Save the Hacker – An event to fight the mediocrity trend in Technology

save the hacker

Save the Hacker – An event to fight mediocrity among coders.

Save the Hacker is a two-day hackathon organized by Freshdesk, meant for college students who want to demonstrate their talent and smart engineers who are stuck in an IT services company. If you feel like you are one of them, stuck, with nowhere to go, here’s your last chance at redemption. Code your heart out for two days straight, show us what you have, and while at it, win some great prizes.

Not long ago hackers went out their way to make stuff that made a difference. Today they are mired in corporate red tape, mundane rules and corporate bull shit. Writing awesome code didn’t really matter anymore, work lives became a 9-5 thing and god-level geeks allowed themselves to pursue strategic mediocrity. Today, the hacker is a dying species, endangered by pointless hierarchies, outrageous dress codes, and teammates who are hell-bent on being lazy. But wait, there’s still hope.

Save the Hacker will take place at the Freshdesk office in Chennai on March 1-2, 2014.

Registrations are free and will be open until the 25th of February. You can compete in a team of up to 4 people or be a lone wolf.

You can build a web or mobile app. Coding must be started during the hackathon only. No reusing existing stuff. At the end of the hackathon, you will be asked to give a 5 minute demo of your project to a panel of judges. We’ll be evaluating it based on the original idea, the completeness, and the technical challenge that went behind building your app.

If you’ve got questions, shoot them an email: rescue@savethehacker.com

We will be offering cash prizes of Rs.1,00,000 (and maybe something else) for the winners.

WordPress in Government – SWOT Analysis and Strategies –[video]

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series Future of Gov

The past month has been very busy for me with Republic Day celebrations. But it was also special because i had a chance to present my ideas on WordPress in Government to a big group of WordPress movers and shakers who got together at WordCamp Baroda. It was a great experience to connect with WP guys and gals and discuss about the software the web loves. I also met Harsh Agrawal of ShoutMeLoud whose blog has been a great resource for me over the years.

WordPress can help you make a change, create an impact no matter wherever you are, whatever you do. It empowers you to make a change. In the Goverment sector there is a lot of unexplored potential for WordPress. I have been using WordPress personally for many years now. There were some new and interesting projects i did using wordpress. I have discussed my experiences of these projects in the talk.

Some ideas i have discussed are:

Innovation is putting technology or concept in the right context.

WordPress has helped me be a leader in my area of work.

Government is a creator and enabler of platforms.

WordPress is the best tool to start your digital presence.

Watch the video below:

Presentation on Slideshare

Rail Radar HotSpots Allows You to Plan Your Journey without Disruption.

One of my post on Rail Radar at Govperneur blog crossed 6000 pageviews . It was an unexpected but pleasant milestone. So i went back and reviewed the article. To my utter dismay i found that the Rail Radar project which was covered in the article has been closed down and link now redirects to the National Train Enquiry Service (NTES)  website of the Indian Railways (CRIS).  On further digging i found that the project which was lauched in partnership with Rail Yatri has been shelved in favour of a new interface (supposedly user friendly) developed by CRIS  in this article.

In that article i had shared that this project marks a major milestone in the digital governance highway the Indian railways is cruising in. With the closing of this project in favour of the new inhouse interface by CRIS the project has moved backwards.  However not to be left behind, Rail Yatri (Stelling Technologies) has created Rail Radar Hotspots. This site provides train movements as per scheduled timings (since CRIS is maintaining its monopoly of train movement data) and also highlights the hotspots which are likely disrupt your travel.

Rail Radar by Rail Yatri

RailRadar™ HotSpots is a live tracker of spots of significant events and incidents called as ‘HotSpots’ occurring across the country which has or has the potential of impacting train travel in India. This live tracker is shown on an interactive map and allows users to locate these HotSpots across the country. It also helps determine if any of the scheduled train has the potential of getting impacted by it.

The effects of these HotSpots vary in terms of severity. Some of the known after-effects which we have tracked are as follows –

  • Widespread cancellation of services (partial or fully)
  • Changes in time schedule or route schedule
  • Delays
  • Rush in trains, unavailability of seats, etc.
  • Accidents/Mishaps
  • Increase in crime.
  • Increased cost of travel

It is difficult to predict a complete list of events or incidents which can impact train travel. However, one can take clues from past events/incidents over the years which have resulted in train travel getting affected in adverse manner. Some of them are –

  • Accidents, Mishaps, Breakdowns
  • Engineering & Construction work and maintenance
  • Significant public gatherings
  • Weather, Natural Calamity, etc.
  • Man-made disruptions
  • Events which cannot be explained or be attributed to – but typically are outcome of Chaos Theory or Domino Effect.

Every year thousands of such reported across the nation which has resulted in significant impact on travel.

Over the last decade, train network and traffic in India have grown tremendously. Indian Railways expects this trend to continue over the next few decades. Also increasingly Indian Railways passengers today want to know more – beyond just ‘an’ ETA of ‘a’ train at ‘a’ station. As the volume and complexity of information increases – we believe that new methods of information dissemination (associated with Trains) will be required. RailRadar™ is one such attempt on that line. We believe that value of information/directions can greatly be enhanced when presented graphically rather than just plain text.

RailRadar™ HotSpots is one such representation of information dissemination mechanism associated with events which can significantly impact train travel in India.

How this affects us?

The larger public interest is affected as CRIS is trying to maintain its monopoly of train data. They should release it as API and allow for innovation. Many innovations are possible like this Wake up call System called Pyka.

The Government has embarked on a mission to promote Open Data and to bring more information into the public domain. Much of the information published there are just statistics. It will be game changer if government takes a proactive approach in releasing such data that are relevant to large section of the population day in and day out.

This my friends represents the challenge and opportunity for Govpreneurs. What other data can be released by the Government that can have a major impact in citizen friendly government. Share your comments.

Credits – FAQs at Rail Radar Hotspots

How to Ask Your Government and Get answers for Public Interest Questions

askyourgovt.in

Information is the Anti-dote to Corruption.

Public Minded citizens are now asking various questions under RTI and making the bureaucracy dispense the information. Question Hour of the Parliament is considered the toughest time for ruling government where legislators ask questions and government is bound to answer. When RTI Act came into force the power to ask questions became available to the Aam Aadmi. Like legislators now even bureaucrats fear about the RTI Questions. It keeps them on their toes.

Most requests in RTI are made for personal issues/work. But when a question of larger public interest is made it becomes relevant to a lot of people. Ask Your Government  is a community around asking public interest questions. Citizens can start with knowing about RTI, How to Ask, Browse RTI requests and Responses or by reading public reactions. This will help in galvanizing the community to deliberate on issue of public interest.

The site also contains FAQs on RTI. The RTI Act is also available for download in 10  indian languages.

The facility to ask RTI questions online and publicly is available in many other countries. What do they Know of  UK, Ask the EU of  European UnionKosovo and Brazil are some good examples. What stifles the RTI movement in India is the need for payment of Rs,10/- as fees. If that requirement is waived off public authorities can be made to provide information online.

It will a great innovation if a Govpreneur can provide a service for Public Offices to provide information under the act using online platforms on payment of fees. Such an initiative is already underway in Government of India to make online RTI requests. However it will be sometime before the facility is available to states and local authorities and small public establishments. Till the online RTI space is open for disruption.

History of Right to Information

World over Right to Information is also known as Freedom of Information

Sweden’s Freedom of the Press Act of 1766 is the oldest in the world. In the 18th century, after over 40 years of mixed experiences with parliamentarism, public access to government documents was one of the main issues with the Freedom of the Press Act of 1766. Although the novelty was put out of order 1772–1809, it has since remained central in the Swedish mindset, seen as a forceful means against corruption and government agencies’ unequal treatment of the citizens, increasing the perceived legitimacy of (local and central) government and politicians. The Principle of Publicity (Swedish: Offentlighetsprincipen), as the collection of rules are commonly referred to, provides that all information and documents created or received by a public institution (local or central government, and all publicly operated establishments) must be available to all members of the public. It also states that all public institutions must do everything in their power to give anyone access to any information that he or she might want as soon as possible.

Over 90 countries around the world have implemented some form of freedom of information legislation.

 

 

Can You survive on $1.25 per day – 1.4 Billion People do

Extreme poverty is defined by the World Bank as living on less than USD$1.25 a day. For those living in extreme poverty this needs to cover everything — food, health care, housing, education. This is the kind of poverty that leads to children dying for lack of a basic immunization or access to clean drinking water. This level of poverty is unjust and unnecessary. Extreme poverty is the greatest injustice facing our time. A world that sees over one billion surviving on less than USD$1.25 a day, deprived of their basic rights and opportunities, is unjust and unacceptable.

The last two decades have been the most successful in history in the fight against poverty: the share of people living in extreme poverty has been cut in half worldwide, from 43% in 1990 to under 20% today. However, it is unacceptable that more than one billion people still live in extreme poverty. Ending extreme poverty in our lifetimes is a difficult but achievable goal. Now is the time to take action!
end extreme poverty by 2030

What can You do to End Extreme Poverty by 2030?

At the least you can Sign a Petition Online to end extreme poverty by 2030.

Tell the world what you can get for $1 in your place. Just take a picture of what you can get for $1 and post it on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram with #1dollar hashtag. It will be collected at the World Bank Social Hub for #1dollar.

Ask your friends to answer the #1dollar question on social media. Sample post:“What can you buy for #1dollar? More than 1 billion people live in extreme poverty. Post a photo of what you can buy for #1dollar in your country on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram and tag it with #1dollar to help spread the word: it’s time to end povertyhttp://zeropoverty2030.org”

About Zero Poverty 2030 Campaign

Zero Poverty 2030 is a campaign run by Global Citizen, an initiative of the Global Poverty Project, in partnership with charities working to end extreme poverty #by2030.

Global Citizen is a learning and action tool designed to help you become a more effective agent for change. Developed in partnership with leading organizations working to fight extreme poverty in the developing world, Global Citizen brings everything you need to know about extreme poverty into one place, and then helps you keep track of the issues and opportunities you care about.

The Global Poverty Project is not-for-profit organization whose vision is much like yours: to live in a world without extreme poverty. We know that extreme poverty is an injustice that can be ended. And we’re working to make it happen by building a global movement for change. We’re working to increase the number and effectiveness of people taking action to end extreme poverty. We utilize the power of education, communication, advocacy, campaigns and the media to advance the movement to end extreme poverty. You can learn all about us – our history, track record, Annual Financial Review – on our website www.globalpovertyproject.com.

Together, we can raise awareness and end extreme poverty. We look forward to seeing your Tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, and signatures.

Here are some of the things that you buy for #1Dollar around the world.

Visit the World Bank Social Hub for #1dollar to see more…..

What do you think $1 can buy?

 

 

 

Cyclone Phailin – Person Finder and Emergency Contacts – Search here

Click Here to Search/ Report Missing Persons

cyclone phailin

Google Crisis Response – a project of Google.Org has been helping to make critical information accessible in times of crisis. They have been responding to natural disasters since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 by making information such as storm paths, shelter locations, emergency numbers, and donation opportunities easily accessible. The Cylone Phailin presently hitting the east coast of India is likely to cause severe damage to life and property.

Google has set up a dedicated page for responding to this cyclone. The page has a searchable missing persons directory. Emergency Operations numbers of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh are also listed in the page.

Emergency Operation Centres – Andhra Pradesh

Andhra: +91-40-23456005 / +91-40-23451043
East Godavari:
Eluru: +91-8812-230617
Narasapur: +91-8814-276699
Kovvur: +91-8813-231488
Jangareddygudem: +91-8821-223660
Guntur:
+91-863-223490
Tenali: +91-8644-223800
Narasaraopet: +91-8647-222039
Gurazala: +91-8985920005
Hyderabad:
+91-4023-456005
+91-4023-451043
Nellore: +91-861-2331477
Nellore: 1800-425-2499
Srikakulam: +91-8942-240557
Srikakulam: +91-96528-38191
Visakhapatnam:
+91-891-2562977
1800-425-00002
Paderu: +91-94928-48502
Vizianagaram:
+91-8922-236947
Bhogapuram: +91-9440814722
Pusapatirega: +91-80083-01531

Emergency Operation Centres – Odisha

Odisha State Disaster Management Authority: +91-674-2395398 / +91-674-2395379
Balasore: +91-6782-262674
Bhadrak: +91-6784-251881
Cuttack: +91-6712-507842
Dhenkanal: +91-6762-221376
Gajapati: +91-6815-222943
Ganjam: +91-6811-263978
Jagatsinghpur: +91-6724-220368
Jajpur: +91-6728-222648
Kendrapara: +91-6727-232803
Keonjhar: +91-6766-255437
Khurda: +91-6755-220002
Mayurbhanj: +91-6792-252759
Nayagarh: +91-6753-252978
Puri: +91-6752-223237

Search Missing Persons
You can directly search for missing persons in this box below.

HealthCare Magic – Get your Medical Queries Answered in a jiffy

health care magic helpline

The beauty of internet is that it connects the haves and have nots. Its connects the knowledge seeker with the knowledge provider. Anything that can be delivered in zeroes and ones is being transformed by this magic of internet. Education has been revolutionized by MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). Healthcare is the next big frontier. Telemedicine was the first foray to transform physical boundaries to provide medical care. Today doctors are consulted routinely using email, web cam and chat.

70% of U.S. adults got information, care, or support from a doctor or other health care professional. Not finding right information and the mental stress may lead to “cyberchondria”  – a state of anxiety related to health research on the Internet, it can get worse as reliable information is sought, but not necessarily found. On the other hand searching for medical information can make you sick.

Getting right information from right source is a critical gap addressed by this service. HealthCare Magic service helps you ask a and get your queries answered by doctors from around the world, with medically correct information. This Ask-a-doctor service even covers special areas like cardiology, urology, neurology and oncology. While anyone is free to make a query that will be answered by willing doctors some type of consultations need to be paid.

A single query to a General Physician costs Rs 199 and a single query to a Specialist costs Rs 599.

An unlimited General Physician package costs Rs 799 a month and an unlimited Specialist package costs Rs 1,499 a month.

 

After TRAI now RBI gets going on Mobile Banking

rbi  mobile banking committee

RBI appointed a technical committee on mobile banking to conduct an in-depth study of the challenges faced by banks in taking mobile banking forward to the desired level. The Commitee is headed by  B. Sambamurthy, Director, Institute for Development & Research in Banking Technology.

Mobile subscriber addition in india increased by 3.16 million in June 2013.  Total mobile subscriber base has increased to 873.36 million.  Mobile Subscribers in rural india is contributing to more 2.91 mn of the 3.16 mn. USSD Technology is seen as a viable solution to financial inclusion through mobile banking but has a lot of implementation challenges. TRAI has just released a consultation paper for comments from the public.

The committee will also study the challenges faced by banks in introducing the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) channel and suggest solutions. USSD can have the advantage of  having a single application across all handsets in an SMS encrypted environment.

With the Telecom regulator and Banking Regulator putting their joint efforts in making banking accessible to the excluded section may become a reality sooner.

Reinvent the Toilet Challenge India – Funding Opportunity

reinvent the toilet challenge

Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, seeks to support the development of innovative, new sanitation technologies, products, and services. The program’s goal is to develop sustainable sanitation solutions that can address the many challenges facing poor and vulnerable urban and rural populations in India and the developing world. These challenges include suppressing the flow of pathogens into the environment, improving users’ acceptance and experience, and developing solutions that are easy to maintain and operate in resource poor settings and that complement existing sanitation infrastructure.

This Request for Proposals is specific to India and open to anyone who is interested in applying. Grants will be to innovators who are Indian individuals or Indian entities, but we encourage partnerships with researchers in other countries, especially where the opportunity exists to build on established collaborations.

The goal of the “Reinvent the Toilet Challenge – India” is to fund a portfolio of  Indian-led pilot projects that seek to contribute innovations that can be incorporated into a next generation toilet that will reduce the burden of excreta-related disease and improve the lives of the poor. The aim is to expand the use of toilet and sanitation technologies that do not connect to a sewer, as this is by far the most common approach used by the poor.

About Grand Challenges India

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Government of India and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in collaboration with India’s Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) have launched Grand Challenges India, a partnership framework for joint programs.

This partnership aims to support initiatives that could dramatically change the health and development landscape in India and leverage Indian innovations to support other countries facing similar challenges.

The partnership identifies the following priorities for cooperation:

1) reduction of maternal and child mortality and morbidity;

2) scientific and technical solutions for infectious diseases;

3) strengthening India’s scientific translation capacity;

4) scientific and technical advances related to agriculture, and

5) scientific advancement in food and nutrition.

The submissions deadline is November 15, 2013. Click here to apply.