WSA & DEF Conducts Major e-Content Road Show in India

August 5, 2006, New Delhi: DEF along with WSA held a grand e-Content Road Show, in New Delhi, India. organized as “International Conference on e-Content and Sustainability” by WSA’s India partner Digital Empowerment Foundation, the event gathered more than 350 high profile e-content practitioners including many of the government bureaucrats from across the nation.

The highlight of the occasion was the national e-content award ceremony which is known and branded as Manthan Award. WSA’s Indian national e-content contest take place by the name of Manthan Award which is held every year under the patronage of DEF, WSA’s India partner.

The highlight of the roadshow was the showcasing of all the best practices of WSA 2005, and also the local winners of Indian subcontinent. Moreover, the WSA film was shown to all the audience, and DVDs were distributed among all and sundry. The WSA stall attracted major interest who wanted to know the international bet e-contents, and lots of queries of partnership were also raised.

On the other hand, the Manthan Award 2006, which can also be called The Indian WSA, is clearly a picture of hard work, diligence, quality and utility vis-à-vis the emerging e-Content atmosphere in the country, whose trace could be now found in our countryside as well. The winning and appreciation list is basket of creativity, sensibility, and sincerity in digging out innovations, a steely outcome of serious yet positive repercussion on the lives of the commoners courtesy Information Communication Technology. The products are vivacious, elements are threadbare and value is infinite if viewed from its creation to its usability phase in due course, may not be a instant tea/coffee item, just make it, drink and swallow it.

Since the year 2006 Manthan Award was sponsored by American India Foundation, the award was branded as Manthan-AIF Award.

The nominations and winning list is a myriad of a beautiful landscape of e-Content creators and their products cut across 250 total nominations; 14 categories; 32 winners; 5 special mentions, and 4 appreciations for community radio initiatives. Regional and cultural representations were equally vivid; 250 nominations from 24 States and Union Territories.

The nominations list: an interesting revelation across States and UTs. Maharashtra, Delhi and Uttaranchal topped the list with 52, 31 and 13 nominations while Nagaland, Pondicherry and Chandigarh had 1 nomination each while the rest interspersed in between. E-Governance, e-Inclusion and livelihood, e-learning, e-education, were the top notch ones while e-health, e-news, e-entertainment and few others were the laggards in filing nominations.

The Manthan-AIF Award 2006 equally reveals the platforms for e-Content innovations and their delivery. Offline; Web/ Internet; Broadband /online; CD/DVD; Mobile Content; Email; Video conference; LAN or WAN, local radio and Satellite broadcast; Audio video cable are the various technological solutions being utilized for e-Content practices and its distribution. Equally apparent were the cultural and linguistic emergence of e-Content products and services. If the Ananda Utsav site in e-Culture served its audiences in both English and Bengali language, the other picture is of Kannada Logo serving its customers and users in local Kannada language.

The Manthan-AIF 2006 witnessed the presence of technological and other dignitaries who have their presence felt in Information Communication Technology. Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, DG, CSIR; Mr. Wajahat Habibullah, Chief Information Commissioner, India; Prof. Anil Gupta, IIMA and National Innovation Foundation; Mr. Avdhash Kaushal, RLEK; Mr. Sachin Pilot, MP were among the distinguished guests whose presence in the Manthan-AIF Award 2006 added the much needed value and utility to the purpose.

The Manthan-AIF Award 2006 winners list is further interesting from quantitative perspective. E-Governance has got five winners, while e-education has four and e-Entertainment has only one winner. Surprisingly there are no winners in the e-Science category. State wise Maharashtra has the maximum winners of eleven in various categories. Kerala, Andhra Pradesh has one winner each while States like Assam, West Bengal have two winners each.

Initiating, operating and spearheading e-Content practices and popularizing it need not be a frustrating experience in India any longer. On the contrary there is a huge surface and edifice coming up and rapidly growing in the country including in the country side for ICT use and e-Content delivery just waiting to be explored and ploughed better for development and empowerment needs. The Manthan-AIF Award 2006 is a stark display of this emerging e-Content trend and increasing popularity whose appetite could be increasing by the day.

The Manthan-AIF Award is a first of its kind initiative in India to recognize the best practices in e-Content and Creativity. Launched in October 2004, by Digital Empowerment Foundation in partnership with World Summit Award, and the American India Foundation, the Manthan Award emphasizes the importance of e-Content & Creativity for and by the grassroots people and organisations. The Manthan Award 2005 recognized and awarded 27 initiatives out of 104 nominations received for 8 categories.

The mission behind Manthan-AIF Award is to create an information rich society where everyone, irrespective of caste, religion, race, region, gender etc., are empowered to create, receive, share and utilize information and knowledge for their economic, social, cultural and political upliftment and development.

The success of ICT does not stand on its own. Among several important components for any ICT intervention content formation and its utility assumes one of the core status. ICT delivery has to take into consideration the local needs of community, type and form of content for consumption and use, language of content and continuous value addition of content services and its delivery.

The Manthan-AIF Award is established to guide India through those best e-Contents from the country which stands out due to their excellence in carrying message and creating knowledge networks among local communities and the wider society. The e-Content practitioners are selected for their exemplary role and activities in empowering communities and groups through their ICT interventions in myriad ways.

The Manthan Award is an Indian initiative by Digital Empowerment Foundation, India as the national initiative of World Summit Award, to select and promote the best practices in e-Content and Creativity in India. It involves representatives from each state and union territory of India and visualizes the bridging of digital divide and narrowing of the content gap as its overall goal.

For Further Information please contact:

Maria Rizvi, Digital Empowerment Foundation;



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