Secunderabad, 13 August, 2010: Did you know which was India's first computer and how it looked like? It was HEC-2M, installed at Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata in 1955.
The giant equipment was so huge that it required about 300 square feet of space. Or do you know that the Indian information technology sector accounts for a 5.9 per cent of the country's GDP and export earnings, or India has the second largest number of telephone subscribers in the world and you pay the lowest mobile rates in the world?
An exposition-on-wheels enlightening visitors to many such nuggets traces the evolution of India's information and communication technology (ICT), its meteoric rise and its sweeping impact in every sphere of life – from industry, health and education to ecology and disaster forecast.
Spread across six coaches of a theme train called the 'Commonwealth Express', the exposition is aimed at creating awareness among people at large about the role of ICT in everyday life, its significance as a 'Change Agent' in social, economic and political transformation, and its critical application in bringing about 'good governance' by providing an interface between the government and the people. The exhibition will have focus on the National e-Governance Programme.
The exposition has been conceived by the ministry of communications and information technology in association with the Indian Railways. The Commonwealth Express will start its journey from New Delhi on 24 June, 2010 and will travel through 49 cities across the country.
Speaking about the initiative, R Chandrashekhar, secretary, ministry of communications and information technology, said, ''In today's times, life has become a lot more simpler due to the advancements in information and communication technology.
To spread the awareness about such advancements amongst people at the grassroot level, we have partnered with the Indian Railways to launch the Commonwealth Express. One of the main objectives of this initiative is to tell the people that they are just a click away from the government.''