Modi gets his own Nilekani to head open apps: Meet Amit Ranjan, co-founder of SlideShare

Amit Ranjan, co-founder of presentation sharing platform SlideShare who sold his start-up to LinkedIn for $118.75 million in a stock-cum-cash deal in 2012, is reportedly being roped in by the Modi government to head an open source organisation for government projects, the Economic Times said today.This move is expected to collaborate various government initiatives and app developers and can be deployed across the country.

According to the ET report, the government's aim is to create a Github like platform for Government organisations, where developers and government departments can collaborate to create apps and softwares.

Github is a platform that provides code hosting services for collaborative software development, source code management services and allows its users to share codes with friends, co-workers and track & assign issue to other teammates.

"By looking to hire Ranjan, the government is signaling that it wants to engage with the country;s brightest engineering minds that are keen on use their problem-solving skills to resolve national-level issues," the ET report added.

The government has already appointed nodal officers at key ministries to ensure the smooth implementation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's over Rs 1 trillion 'Digital India' programme. The new post of chief information officer (CIO) would be created in at least 10 key ministries to supervise the implementation of the programme. Additionally, a Digital India Advisory Group (DIAG) would be created, which will be headed by minister of communications and information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The department of electronics and information technology (DeitY) would also create four senior positions within the department for managing Digital India and will additionally provide support to other departments in conceptualising, developing, appraising, implementing and monitoring respective mission mode projects (MMPs)/e-governance initiatives.

Another core element of the Digital India initiative is to digitise millions of government records pertaining to the citizen and host it on the cloud while also making the'Internet of Things policy a reality.

Last month, CEOs of several Silicon Valley companies showed exuberance in using their expertise to boost digital infrastructure and back that up with online government services. Global tech giants like HP, Google, Facebook and Microsoft are bending over backwards for a slice of the digital pie.

While Google is willing to provide inexpensive internet access across India through a network of helium-filled baloons, Facebook too is keen on being a partner in the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) programme, which aims to connect 2.5 lakh village panchayats through high-speed broadband by 2017. Microsoft too wants to join the bandwagon as it plans to use "white space" - unused spectrum between two TV channels - to provide Internet connectivity in remote areas of India. White space is the frequencies allotted to a broadcasting service but is unused and is considered to have potential for providing wireless broadband Internet access in rural areas.

Modi plans on using the National Fibre Optic Network to deliver services such as health, education and other services to the poorest of the poor and these technology giants do not want to miss out on the opportunity to deploy their services.

With India's push on urbanisation, Cisco and IBM too have joined race to submit proposals to local governments, bid for projects and collaborate with real estate developers to build greenfield digital cities.

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Updated Date: Dec 15, 2014 13:20:30 IST

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