To be a part of the national project of a knowledge network

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A national portal on energy, environment, education, citizen's rights and literacy, which are key areas related to access to knowledge, will also be developed soon

Bangalore, Sept. 29

A national water portal, which will allow an exchange of information and data on the country's water resources, is in the pipeline, announced Mr Sam Pitroda, Chairman of the National Knowledge Commission (NKC), speaking at the two-day Infovision Summit held in the city. The summit is organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and International School of Information Management and revolves around the theme `Knowledge content community - methods and models'.

The portal, to be developed by NKC member and the Infosys CEO, Nandan M Nilekani's foundation, is part of the national project of a knowledge network, connecting universities, libraries, medical institutions, science and technology labs and research and development units across the country.

A national portal on energy, environment, education, citizen's rights and literacy, which are key areas related to access to knowledge, will also be developed soon, he said.

Bloggers could, someday, replace the op-ed pieces, but not journalists in mainstream media, was the verdict of industry experts speaking on `News and Media: Convergence and Disconnect'. "TV reaches hardly 25 per cent of the Indian adult population. Print reaches only 75 million and English print reaches 30 million," stated Mr Ajit Balakrishnan, Chairman & CEO, Rediff.com. "There just isn't enough media, and it is a crying shame," he added.

Speaking about the fourth estate, the changing role of the journalist was discussed. Journalists make sense of information and are the experts that understand and explain news to the crowds. "They hold a mirror to the society and describe what they see," is how Mr Allen J. Mendonca, Journalist & Director, Raintree Media put it. The authenticity of citizen journalists, on the other hand, could be questioned. Web sites can only ensure a disclaimer scrolls whenever news is reported by them, said Ms Abi Sekimitsu, Editor, Reuters.

NEW CYBER GENRES

Knowledge management in corporates can be made simpler using a free and open culture. "Tools such as wikis, blogs and tags can help companies in various verticals to assimilate knowledge of their employees and customers," said Mr Amit Dayal, Head - Communities, Communications & Front Door Business, Yahoo India, speaking at the discussion on new cyber genres at the summit.

Data mining and knowledge management has been a pain point to companies for ages. There needs to be a simple process to share information within the organisation, said Mr Atul Chitnis, Senior Vice-President, Geodesic Information Systems and promoter of the Free and Open Source movement in India.

Reputation Tags

Tagging, a way of classifying information, is set to grow in importance in the online communityMr Raj Dutta, General Manager, Knowledge Management, MindTree Consulting, said: "People will no longer be judged by the traditional certifications or experience, but by their reputation online with tags labelling people as experts in one field or another."

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 30, 2006)
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