Diversity Collective LK together with ICTA conducts the 1st Teachers Forum for 2018

The 1st Teachers forum for 2018 by Diversity Collective LK (DCLK) school pillar in collaboration with ICTA was held on 20th February at Millennium IT auditorium. The main objective of the session was to empower these ICT trainee teachers to attract more students to learn ICT as a subject and as one of the key influencers to students, the teacher empowerment aims to clear all doubts of parents on their students selecting ICT as a career.

The session was conducted for 50 Trainee ICT teachers from Ruwanpura National College of Education. The forum aimed at creating awareness about Higher education options in IT, the IT industry and how to be an innovative ICT teacher with the limited resources they have in the schools. These teachers experienced a live session via Skype – connecting an innovative ICT teacher who shared her experience and the successes obtained throughout her career as an ICT teacher; this was an inspirational session to the trainee ICT teachers.

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New ICTA Board appointed

The Board of Directors of the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), the apex ICT organization under the Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure has been reconstituted.  It is now headed by Professor Rohan Samarajiva, former Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission who contributed to the design of the e-Sri Lanka initiative that the ICTA implemented from 2003.  He served on the ICTA Board during the organization’s formative period.

Professionals with knowledge and expertise in the software and business process outsourcing sectors, telecommunications, cyber security, Government and verticals that are major users of ICTs have been appointed to the new Board.

Professor Samarajiva, Chairman of the ICTA, stated that “within a week of receiving the letters of appointment, the Board got to work in earnest, conducting a broad review of the activities of the Agency.  It is developing a plan to focus and consolidate the many ongoing projects and restore momentum to ICTA’s important role in working across multiple government departments, agencies and coordinating with private and civil-society stakeholders to ensure that digital initiatives contribute to efficient government, a dynamic economy and an inclusive society. “

The Chairman expressed confidence that “with the leadership of the Board of Directors and the commitment of the staff, ICTA would again become a trusted partner to all who wish to leverage the exciting potential of ICTs for the betterment of our country.”

View in – Sinhala / Tamil

 

 

 

ශ්‍රී ලංකා තොරතුරු හා සන්නිවේදන තාක්ෂණ නියෝජිතායතනයේ (ICTA) නව අධ්‍යක්ෂ මණ්ඩලය පත් කෙරේ.

විදුලි සංදේශ සහ ඩිජිටල් යටිතල පහසුකම් අමාත්‍යංශය යටතේ ක්‍රියාත්මක තොරතුරු හා සන්නිවේදන තාක්ෂණ ප්‍රතිපත්ති සම්පාදනය හා සංවර්ධන උපාය මාර්ග ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීම සදහා පිහිටුවන ලද ශ්‍රී ලංකා තොරතුරු හා සන්නිවේදන තාක්ෂණ නියෝජිතායතනයට නව අධ්‍යක්ෂ මණ්ඩලය පත් කරනු ලැබ ඇත.

නව අධ්‍යක්ෂ මණ්ඩලයේ සභාපති ලෙස මහාචාර්ය රොහාන් සමරජීව මහතා පත්කර ඇත.

මහාචාර්ය සමරජීව මහතා ICTA ආයතනය විසින් ක්‍රියාත්මක කරන ලද ඉ-ශ්‍රී ලංකා ජාතික තොරතුරු හා සන්නිවේදන තාක්ෂණ සංවර්ධන වැඩපිලිවෙළේ මුලික සැලසුම් සකස් කිරීමෙහිලා පුරෝගාමී මෙහෙවරක් ඉටු කරන ලදී. මහාචාර්ය සමරජීව මහතා විදුලි සංදේශ හා නියාමන කොමිසමේ අධ්‍යක්ෂ ජනරාල් වශයෙන්ද කටයුතු කර ඇත.

නව අධ්‍යක්ෂ මණ්ඩලය තොරතුරු හා සන්නිවේදන තාක්ෂණ ක්ෂේත්‍රය, සයිබර් ආරක්ෂණය හා ව්‍යාපාර ක්‍රියාවලි බාහිරකරණය (BPO) පිළිබඳ විශේෂඥයින්ගෙන් හා විද්වතුන්ගෙන් සමන්විත වේ. නව පත්වීම් කර සතියක් ඇතුලත අධ්‍යක්ෂ මණ්ඩලය විසින් දැනට ක්‍රියාත්මක කරගෙන යමින් තිබෙන ව්‍යාපෘති හා ආයතනයේ වත්මන් ව්‍යුහය හා එහි ක්‍රියාකාරිත්වය පිළිබඳ පසුවිපරමක් කිරීම ආරම්භ කළ බවද සදහන් කළ මහාචාර්ය රොහාන් සමරජීව මහතා, ICTA ආයතනය රාජ්‍ය, පෞද්ගලික හා සිවිල් සමාජීය කොටස් කරුවන් සමග ඉතා සමීපව කටයුතු කරමින් දැනට ක්‍රියාත්මක කරමින් සිටින සියළුම ව්‍යාපෘති ආයතනයේ කාර්යක්ෂමතාවයටත් එමගින් රාජ්‍ය අංශයේ ඵලදායීතාව, ආර්ථික සංවර්ධනය හා සමාජීය ඒකාබද්ධතාවය සදහා දායක වන ඩිජිටල් ව්‍යපෘති ප්‍රමුඛතා සකස් කර ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීමට කටයුතු කරමින් සිටින බවද සදහන් කළේය.

තොරතුරු හා සන්නිවේදන තාක්ෂණය වඩාත් ඵලදායී ලෙස සමාජ ආර්ථික සංවර්ධනය සදහා යොදා ගැනීමේදී සියළුම පාර්ශවයන්ගේ විශ්වසනීය භාවය දිනා ගනිමින් ඉදිරියට ගමන් කිරීමට අධ්‍යක්ෂ මණ්ඩලයේ නායකත්වය හා සේවක කැපවීම ඉවහල් වනු ඇතැයි මහාචාර්ය රොහාන් සමරජීව මහතා විශ්වාසය පළ කළේය.

ICTA பணிப்பாளர்கள் மீள் நியமனம்

தொலைத்தொடர்பு மற்றும் டிஜிட்டல் உள்கட்டமைப்பு அமைச்சின் கீழ் இயங்கும், பதினைந்து வருட கால வரலாறு கண்ட தகவல் தொடர்பாடல் மற்றும் தொழிநுட்ப முகவர் நிலையயத்தின் பணிப்பாளர்கள் மீள் நியமிக்கப்பட்டனர். தொலைத்தொடர்பு ஒழுங்குமுறை ஆணையயத்தின் முன்னால் பணிப்பாளர் நாயகமாகக் கடைமை புரிந்த பேராசிரியர். ரொஹான் சமரஜீவ, ICTA யின் தலைவராகப் பதவி ஏற்றுள்ளார். இவர் ICTA யின் ஆரம்ப கர்த்தாக்களில் ஒருவராக சேவை புரிந்து இ-ஸ்ரீலங்கா திட்டத்தின் வடிவமைப்புக்குப் பல வழிகளிலும் பங்களிப்புச் செய்தார் என்பது குறிப்பிடத்தக்கது.

புதிய சபை தகவல் தொடர்பாடல் மற்றும் தொழிநுட்பத்தின் பிரதான பயன்களான கணினி மென்பொருள், வணிகச் செயல் அயலாக்கம் (BPO), தொலைதொடர்பாடல், இணையப் பாதுகாப்பு மற்றும் அரசாங்கச் செயற்பாடுகளில் தேர்ச்சி பெற்ற நிபுணர்களை பிரதிநிதிப் படுத்தியுள்ளது.

சபை நியமிக்கப்பட்டு ஒரு வார காலத்தில் இச்சபையானது மெய்யார்வத்தோடு ICTA இன் செயற்பாடுகளை மீள்பார்வை செய்ததாக, ICTA யின் தலைவர் பேராசிரியர். ரொஹான் சமரஜீவ குறிப்பிட்டார். இதைத் தொடர்ந்து ICTA இன் பல் வகைச் செயற்பாடுகளையும் ஒருங்கிணைத்த திட்டமொன்று உருவாக்கப் படுகின்றது என்றும் கூறினார். இதன் முக்கிய நோக்கம், ICTA இன் உந்து வேகத்தை மீளக்கட்டியெழுப்பி அரசாங்க, தனியார் மற்றும் பொதுஜன சமூகங்களுடன் ICTA யின் முக்கிய பங்காகிய டிஜிட்டல் முயற்சிகளை முன்னெடுப்பதாகும். இதன் மூலம் அரசாங்கத்தின் திறனாக்கம், மாறும் பொருளாதாரம் மற்றும் முழுமையான சமுகம் ஆகியவற்றுக்குப் பங்களிப்புசெய்வதாகும்.  மேலும் ICTA யின் புதிய பணிப்பாளர்கள் சபையின் தலைமைத்துவம் மற்றும் அலுவலர்களின் அர்பணிப்பு மூலம் ICTA மீண்டும் ஒரு நம்பகமானதொரு இடத்தைப் பிடிக்குமென ICTA இன் தலைவர் நம்பிக்கை தெரிவித்தார்.

Cybercrime & Electronic Evidence Workshop by ICTA in coordination with the Sri Lanka Judges’ Institute (SLJI)

legal article

Over 300 Sri Lankan Judges were trained and benefited by the Cybercrime & Electronic Evidence Workshops, facilitated and coordinated by ICTA in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Judges’ Institute (SLJI) and Sri Lanka CERT.

The third and final Workshop dedicated to Sri Lankan District Judges and Magistrates on “Cybercrime and Electronic Evidence” was concluded in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 18 March.

This workshop had 75 judges, including two judges from the Judicial Academy in Nepal. With the conclusion this third workshop approximately 200 Sri Lankan District Judges and Magistrates were trained on matters concerning international and local dimensions of cybercrime and electronic evidence, delivered by a team of national Judicial trainers and Sri Lankan experts, with the collaboration of the Sri Lanka Judges’ Institute (SLJI), ICT Agency (ICTA) and the Sri Lanka CERT.

The pool of national Judicial trainers, trained during the initial GLACY project (2014-2016) under the ToT Program, shared knowledge on cybercrime and electronic evidence at this workshop. In addition to the District Judges and Magistrates, High Court Judges and new entry Judges have also been trained through workshops on cybercrime & electronic evidence, over the past two years, with over 300 Sri Lankan Judges having benefited from these workshops. The areas covered include substantive law related to cybercrime and procedural aspects of electronic evidence as well as international cooperation, public private cooperation and international case studies.

In the South Asian Region, Sri Lanka has been the first country to become a Party to the Budapest Convention, ratifying it in 2015. As a result, Sri Lanka benefits from the capacity building programme of the Council of Europe through the GLACY+ project, covering the Judicial, Prosecution and Law Enforcement sectors. Leadership to Sri Lanka’s accession to the Budapest Convention was provided by the Legal Advisor of ICTA Sri Lanka with support from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. ICTA, which facilitate and coordinates GLACY+ project activities together with the CERT, functions under the Ministry of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure.

Sourced by : www.coe.int

Smart Social Circle (SSC)

Smart Social Circle (SSC)

Smart social circle (SSC) initiative is one of the largest community empowerment efforts implemented with the intention of make all citizens effectively use emerging digital technologies and Social media for their day today life. This is a different type of model compared to other initiatives implemented in Sri Lanka, which is initiated and implemented with the collaboration of government and the government sector officials and the support of huge number of multiple stakeholders including public and private sector organizations.

The major uniqueness of this initiative is use of community driven governance mechanism. This is one of the very unique mechanisms and SMART Social Circle considered to be the first fulfledged digital society established in villages in Sri Lanka. This is a community own, community driven initiative implemented by ICTA with the support of government and other stakeholders.

The Smart social circle (SSC) initiative has been led by the ICTA to inculcate social awareness, recognize opportunities and critical issues in various geographical areas of Sri Lanka. This initiative will provide much needed facilities to citizens to engage in policy making of the government and contribute towards good governance. The idea is to create grass root level social circles using social media technology to cover all the Grama Niladhari (GN) divisions in the country, which will ultimately connect citizens with the digitized world via various digital  interfaces.

Since this is considered to be one of the main stream digital engagement arms at grassroot level in Sri Lanka, any type of agency, organization can consume this connected network of communities to deploy their information and services island wide.  This can be also used as a channel to reach different segments of the society in an effective manner. At present some government organizations including election department, Primary industries and SLCERT utilize this network to reach masses. The SMART Textbook initiative can also be used as a business model. As of today there are multiple initiatives partnering with the SMART Social Circle initiative.

The reason the SMART Social circle is one of a kind is the approach and implementation methodology followed. From the onset the project was targeted at all sectors of the community and was aimed at building capacities of all age groups regardless of ability, education level, race or any other external factors. Social media is playing a major role in this initiative and the initiative has been designed in a way that it involves citizens directly from each GN division, each division will have their own social media web page to connect with each other and the world, and therefore citizens will witness firsthand experience with the benefits of the program.

In Essence

Partners

ICTA, Ministry of Primary Industries, Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter (ISOC-LK), Election Commission of Sri Lanka, Department of Manpower and Emplyment (DoME), Ministry of Women and Child Affairs, Mobitel Sri Lanka, Lion’s Club, LK Domain Registry, National Youth Services Council (NYSC), Department of Agriculture

•    Empowered people with practical ICT skills that were used for their day to day activities
•    Promoted entrepreneurship
•    Expanded people’s income through the use of ICT technologies
•    Created citizen journalists for national development
•    Facilitated the development of an environment conductive to the achievement of the nation’s intellectual, cultural, and social aspirations through ICT

•    Over 6000 knowledge agents out of 8000 have been trained throughout the island
•    Close to 550 SMART Social Circles out of 800 have been established
•    There will be close to 60,000 indirect beneficiaries as result of the establishment of these social circles
•    Over 3000 cases were posted on all the Facebook pages created for respective GN divisions
•    More than 600 cases were shared on the SSC national page
•    There are around 80 Success stories taken place up to now and these stories include public issues, personal help as well as online marketing
•    Implementation of almost 80% the Smart Social Circle initiative

Objectives

To create an island-wide network of SMART social circles with knowledgeable, experienced & responsive staff by using social media and emerging technologies.
Specific objectives
•    To promote active partnership among citizens to organize, integrate and provide user-friendly on-line information and services.
•    To build networks among entrepreneurs, administrators, activists, educators, and innovators, who are working to create change through social media.
•    To establish research and development center for Citizen Journalism.
•    To link with industry and global knowledge centers
•    To produce Citizen Journalists in demand locally and internationally.

Procurement of a Consultancy Firm for Implementing e-Revenue License Phase II Solution – ICTA/SG2/GOSL/CON/QCBS/2017/005

Extension of Deadline

REOI

EOI Information Form

Terms of Reference

Published in Daily News on April 4, 2018 

Extension Paper Advertisement – Published in the Daily News on April 18, 2018

This is to notify that the Deadline for submission of Expressions of Interest has been extended up to 1500 hours on May 03, 2018.

ICTA Co-hosts A Round table discussion with Victorian Investment & Trade Minister

Industry Development Program (IDP) of ICTA in partnership with State Government of Victoria, Australia hosted a roundtable discussion chaired by Honorable Philip Dalidakis, Minister for Trade and Investment, Innovation and Digital Economy and Small Business on 16th March with the participation of the Deputy High Commissioner of Australia to Sri Lanka, Mr. Tim Huggins, CEO’s and C-level representatives of 15 Sri Lankan ICT-BPM companies who are strongly engaging with Australia as a key market, with some of them planning to expand their operations/trade further in the future.

Honorable Minister was briefed about ICTA’s facilitations to the local ICT-BPM industry to explore and expand their market in Australia through its 11 business promotion missions over the last 07 years, supporting 75 unique companies. ICTA led delegations participated in, included hosting Sri Lankan country pavilions at the Gartner Conference & Expo and the CeBIT & Connect Expo and bespoke business networking events organized in three main states; Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, where opportunities were provided to engage in onsite meetings with well-known international experts and analysts, discuss strategy, negotiate contacts and showcase product offerings.

The discussion enabled a platform for the Honorable Minister and the local business leaders to share each other’s experiences, current engagement in business/trade relationships, future expectations/plans; a dialogue between the two countries in-order to follow-up upon and carry forward investment & trade relationships. Minister Dalidakis reinforced Victoria, Australia’s commitment to Sri Lanka and the desire to further strengthen engagement very specially with the education and ICT sectors, that have experienced fruitful long-term relationships. Melbourne is home to the largest Sri Lankan community in Australia and he further stated the rapidly increasing Sri Lankan diaspora, which is nearly 56,000 forms an important part of the rich multinational community in Victoria.

The Minister said they are deeply invested in fostering close ties with Sri Lanka, given that it is a significant education and ICT solutions partner for Victoria. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to Melbourne in February last year and this visit by the Victorian Minister Dalidakis reaffirms the engagement to partnership commitment between Sri Lanka and Victoria.

Round Table discussion WriteUp

Honorable Philip Dalidakis, Minister for Trade and Investment, State Government of Victoria, Australia

ICTA partnered and endorsed ‘Eastern Chamber of ICT’ launched on 13th March 2018

Industry Development Program (IDP) of ICTA through the ICT for regional SME’s initiative, directly supports ICTA’s overall national vision of creating a Digitally inclusive nation, by working with numerous stakeholders on National and Regional levels to Build a Smart and inclusive information society which enables a platform to bridge national level initiatives with the regions to enable and empower the digitization of regions.

Eastern Chamber of ICT (ECICT) was formally launched on 13th March in Batticaloa with the participation of more than 80 delegates from the ICT community, representing Trincomalee, Ampara and Batticaloa districts. ICTA, being the apex institution of the government, mandated to take all necessary measures to implement the Government’s Policy and Action Plan in relation to ICT, endorsed by being the National partner and was actively part of this landmark occasion, signifying the development of the Eastern Province through ICT and by being part of a digital revolution ecosystem. ECICT is an unison and collaboration between the 03 district level ICT associations; Ampara district ICT Forum, Computer Visual Technology Technician Association of Batticaloa and Trincomalee Chamber of ICT.

ECICT is expected to be the influential, catalyst body that facilitates and mediates the platform of building quality talent which is the human resources capacity by also encouraging women and youth from the Eastern region to enter the ICT sector, supporting the growth of ICT/Digital solution providers in the region and above all support the national level goals of digitally transforming businesses.

ICT for regional SME’s initiative of IDP was instrumental in pioneering and worked closely to bring together the ICT and non-ICT associations and different stakeholders from all 03 districts with the presence of Hon. Rohitha Bogollagama, Governor of the Eastern province to successfully implement a Digital Transformation program for its businesses in the Eastern Province on October 26th last year, a landmark day as it was the first of its kind; a Digital Transformation workshop and exhibition rolled out for the first time by ICTA as the national partner with World University Service of Canada (WUSC) in collaboration with the Eastern District ICT forums. This program continues to produce several positive direct as well as indirect outputs, out of which the formation of ECICT will support to continue and follow-up, the digital transformation journey of daily lives, businesses and planning of all stakeholders in the region. The launch with the presence of over 60 businesses and further 20 vocational trainees, aspiring to be entrepreneurs or products of the ICT industry in the future, also enabled a follow up platform to the historical initiative organized in October last year, to reinforce the importance of digital transformation and technology adoption.

IDP is continuing to engage with ECICT to lead them in developing a strategy with short term and long-term action plans that are in-line with national goals and will further collaborate with the relevant stakeholders in the future to drive the digitization efforts of the Eastern Province.

ECICT

ECICT 5

ECICT 3

ECICT 4

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‘IT Utilization to Strengthen Economic and Social Infrastructure’ seminar by the Industry Development Program of ICTA together with CICC, Japan

The Industry Development program of ICTA co-organized a seminar together with the Centre of International Cooperation for Computerization (CICC), Japan on “IT Utilization to Strengthen Economic and Social Infrastructure” in Colombo, Sri Lanka on February 20, 2018.

This seminar introduced IT applications and solutions Japan has implemented in-order to help Sri Lanka apply IT in social and economic infrastructures. The participants of this seminar were government CIO’s, officials of relevant ministries, managers, researchers and decision makers representing public and private organizations.

The Japanese delegation comprised 12-15 C-level professionals from leading ICT organizations such as Hitachi Ltd, NEC Corporation, Fujitsu Limited, NTT DATA Corporation etc. and the delegation was led by the Executive Director of CICC.

Japan WriteUp

•    Japanese tech companies urged to explore skilled labour opportunities in SL
•    SL seeks to embrace Japan’s successes in establishing Society 5.0
•    Major study underway on drafting digital strategy
•    Agriculture, manufacturing and tourism sectors to maximize IT use

A Government MP on Tuesday extended an open invitation to Japanese technology companies to explore different ways in which they could invest in Sri Lanka’s digital development drive.

 

Speaking at a seminar on utilizing IT to strengthen economic and social infrastructure, jointly organized by the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka and the Centre of International Cooperation for Computerization (CICC) of Japan, UNP MP Prof. Ashu Marasinghe said Japanese tech companies could benefit from Sri Lanka’s skilled labour force.

 

“We know Japan is facing a shortage of skilled staff. We can give access to an excellent workforce. I ask you to please explore different ways Japanese companies can work with Sri Lanka,” Prof. Marasinghe told the Japanese company representatives present in the audience. Highlighting the technology related goals outlined in the Government’s Vision 2025 development drive, Prof. Marasinghe said the digitization of the economy as fast as possible was a key element in the program.

 

“We have identified that we need to make use of our friends who are ahead of us to help us leapfrog to the future. We also need to work with the private sector to achieve our vision. Our Government invites the private sector, both local and foreign, to invest in digital technology,” he said. Among the high-tech Japanese companies attending the seminar were Hitachi, NEC Corporation, NTT Data Corporation and Fujitsu. Prof. Marasinghe urged the participants to take back to their representatives the message that the Government of Sri Lanka was keen for them to invest in the country’s development drive.

 

“Our aim is to create a smart nation by 2025. We have already made many systems that make life easier for citizens,” he noted, listing examples such as the recently launched e-Local Government initiative that he said would contribute to making Sri Lanka an island of ingenuity. Commenting on the rapid advancements in ICT, the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence and robotics, Prof. Marasinghe emphasized the drastic changes taking place.

 

“We’re extending our life experiences to virtual and augmented realities. Advanced algorithms are being made to make sense of the massive amounts of data being generated. We’re seeing all these technologies embedded into our lives in a seamless manner,” he said. He added: “Today our lives are enhanced by these technologies and we have an ambitious plan to empower citizens and government officers towards digital tech. Who better than our Japanese counterpart to assist us.”

 

ICTA Chairperson Chitranganie Mubarak, who also spoke at the event, highlighted the need to work together in embracing advancements in technology. “We share the belief of the Japanese Government that if we are to move away from stagnation and achieve economic growth, we need to leverage on the industry 4.0, on IoT, big data, AI and, above all, leverage on these technologies to resolve social issues as well,” she said.

 

Mubarak noted that for Sri Lanka to move towards its own version of Society 5.0, Japan’s ambitious societal transformation plan, the island nation could learn from the former’s experience. “Moving to Society 5.0, we look to your experience in leveraging on these technologies to achieve these developments. One of the strengths Sri Lanka enjoys is that we have young people from our country working in your companies,” she said, referring to Sri Lankan IT professionals and startups being incubated in IT parks across Japan. “This exchange is a good foundation for us to move forward on,” she said.

 

Secretary to the Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Wasantha Deshapriya highlighted the Government’s National Digital Policy, eGov Policy and Broadband Policy currently being drafted with Vision 2025 in mind. According to Deshapriya, the Government has also adopted open standards, the Lanka Interoperability Standard, web standards and local language standards. Among the e-laws are the electronic transaction act, the computer crimes act and the IP rights act.

 

“The electronic transaction act has been recognized as one of the best pieces of legislature in the world. The United Nations International Trade and Law Commission and the UN Convention of Electronic Contracts were the two principal documents Sri Lanka used in completing the act. “The computer crimes act is all in place to protect some aspects of legal matters related to digital transactions. We need a data protection act as well as a cybercrime law. Both are in the pipeline being drafted.”

 

In terms of the hard-digital infrastructure, Deshapriya said the National Backbone Network covers 95% of the country, with a 140% mobile coverage (at 80% 3G and 30% 4G). The Lanka Government Network 2.0 connects 850 government organizations through fiber. “Lanka Gate manages huge amounts of traffic: over 1 million messages a day.” According to Deshapriya, a National Spatial Digital Infrastructure initiative is being developed.

 

Touching on digital economy initiatives, the Ministry Secretary noted that IT was currently Sri Lanka’s fifth biggest foreign exchange earner. “Innovation based startups are coming up fast. The industry must lead. Many private sector companies have created their own incubators, accelerators, etc. There is a new co-working space available across Colombo for people to just go in with their laptops and work, with unlimited Wi-Fi, coffee and various appliances. They make about Rs. 8,000 a day. This is encouraging,” he said. However, he added, regulation and legal support need to be introduced.

 

Recalling that American management consulting firm A.T. Kearney nominated Sri Lanka as the best outsource destination in 2015 and 2016, Deshapriya said that the Government has just started a major study for its Digital Economic Strategy. This initiative, he said, was run under Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s office, supported by industry bodies, and will look at three major sectors, namely agriculture, manufacturing and tourism. For example, considering even commercial agriculture still relies on mechanized tools as opposed to digital tools, said Deshapriya, the study will look at possible avenues towards incorporating IoT and other technologies to agriculture. “The objective is to maximize IT use in these sectors,” he said.

 

Encouraging the growth of a digital economy will also be looked at, he further said, noting that various fin-tech companies connected to the e-Local Government solution were unveiled last month. “e-Gov procurement has been approved by Cabinet but is stuck in the pipeline. It’s being implemented by the Treasury,” said Deshapriya. He said the ICTA was also pushing hard for a cross government document and workflow management system which should be available in six months’ time.

 

Delivering the keynote address at the event, Assistant Director of Information and Communication, Electronics Division, Commerce and Industry Policy Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Tadashi Okayama, spoke at length on Japan’s IT policy and its strategy for Society 5.0. According to Okayama, Japan has two basic acts on IT and data. This is in addition to an IT declaration made by the Japanese Government in 2013, which it continues to renew annually.

 

“The key to overcoming stagnation and realizing economic growth is Industrial Revolution 4.0 (utilizing AI, big data and IoT). We will incorporate innovation into all industries and social life, and we will realize Society 5.0 to solve various social problems,” said Okayama.

 

To illustrate, Society 1.0 – hunting society, Society 2.0 – agricultural society, Society 3.0 – industrial society, Society 4.0 – information society and Society 5.0 – super smart society. According to Okayama, Japan aims to realize this ambitious goal using IoT and a concept called Connected Industries. This concept seeks to connect various industries, companies, people, machinery, data and others and create new value-added products and services, while improving productivity using AI, big data and IoT.

 

One of the goals here is to resolve social issues such as the aging problem due to declining population figures, lack of personnel and labour, and environmental and energy constraints. “Strengthening industrial competitiveness will lead to an improvement of our lives and development of our economy.” Connected Industries currently work as digitization in factories, offices and societies at large. However, said Okayama, such data is managed independently, with no connectivity.

 

With the advent of Society 5.0, he believes this will change. “We can solve social problems to connect data and to make effective use through technological innovation, productivity improvement and skill transfer,” he said. To achieve this, he added, it is important to develop cross-sectoral measures immediately. It is just as important to strengthen cross-sectoral measures with real data.

 

Sharing and utilization of real data, further development through startups and other ventures, and laying a foundation for data utilization through research and development and human resource development as well as cyber security will be key, he said.

 

Sourced by: www.ft.lk