India Water Portal announces the launch of its Kannada website
Released on: February 25, 2008, 1:05 am
Press Release Author: India Warter Portal
Press Release Summary: India Water Portal announces the launch of its Kannada website.
Press Release Body: Bangalore, February 22, 2008:
India Water Portal, launched on January 12th 2007 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, an open, inclusive, web-based platform for sharing water management knowledge amongst practitioners and the general public, today announced the launch of its Kannada website.
India water Portal is a website primarily focused on educating the general public about water related issues and offers solutions. It grew out of the felt need for a single location pulling together various resources in the area of water. The National Knowledge Commission (NKC) has been a strong proponent of the idea of knowledge portals in various areas, including water. NKC has been a strong supporter in the creation of the water portal.
The need for dissemination of water related information among the masses and to make them aware of various developments transformed into the Kannada version of the website. It is observed that most of the knowledge sharing on the internet is done on English websites, this limits the information flow. Initiating a website in the regional language is an effort to overcome this. The Kannada website is the first step taken towards this and more regional websites will follow, so that we can reach out to the masses with language not being a barrier.
"The website is an initiative towards building a forum that addresses water related issues. The content of the website is built by collecting information from experts in the field. We are keen to involve many more partners to expand the knowledge base and the reach in the water sector and look forward to gain some valuable suggestions towards it", said Rohini Nilekani, Chairperson of Arghyam Trust.
"The website is an interactive platform, wherein a person can post questions related to water issue which will be answered by a network of professionals and agencies engaged in promoting knowledge sharing and coordination within the water and sanitation sector. Others who want to offer their advice to the questions raised in this section are also welcome to do so - this can be done by adding your comments to the question", added Sunita Nadhamuni, CEO of the Arghyam Trust.
Mr. K Jairaj, IAS, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Department, Government of Karnataka, inaugurating the Kannada Water Portal, appreciated Arghyam's initiative as a unique public service. Congratulating Arghyam on behalf of the government, he said that accessibility, sustainability and quality were the three major issues which needed attention. To bring about a change in the water situation, he stressed on the need for government-non-governmental collaboration which should grow into an "energetic people's movement". He mooted the idea of a social audit of water issues by NGOs and other institutions.
In her address, Ms. Rohini Nilekani said that content from the portal should belong to the people. She said the new technology can be a powerful tool for democracy and progress. Eventually, it is bound to turn into a commonly used technology, like the mobile phones. During discussions with National Knowledge Commission, she said the idea of building portals like the present one across varied subjects had come up.
Member of the National Knowledge Commission, Smt. Sujatha Ramadorai, who was a special invitee spoke of the need for transparency and accessibility of knowledge. To make portals more accessible, she suggested that manned Government Kiosks, on the lines of STD booths could probably be run. She said that the National Knowledge Commission is committed to take e-governance to the people.
The India Water Portal is a web-based platform for sharing water management knowledge amongst practitioners and the general public. It aims to draw on the rich experience of water-sector experts, package their knowledge and add value to it through technology and then disseminate it to a larger audience through the internet.
The Portal is a voluntary effort being coordinated by Arghyam, a non-profit trust that works in the area of water. More information about Arghyam is at www.arghyam.org. The Water Portal is created in a spirit of sharing and openness by a wide range of partners including technical water experts, research institutes, NGOs, Government departments, historians and hydrogeologists, IT specialists, educators and others