India gets a radio station on disaster management
The country's first radio station on disaster management was launched on 23 February 2007, in Chennai. The radio station would help in the preparedness for impending disasters for the population of the infamous, tsunamiscarred district of Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu. The station will operate from Vizhundhamavadi, a nondecript village of the given district. Known as Kalanjiyam, the community radio station was a product of financial assistance of United Nations Development Programme to the Maduraibased Dhan Foundation. The local people have also pitched in with their active assistance.
The Dhan Foundation has already trained radio volunteers among the local youngsters, of which, many of them were victims of tsunami. The radio station would work as a warning system, and will aim to inform the local populace of Nagapattinam on how to cope with disasters. Initially the daily broadcast will be of half-an-hour duration, which later will be increased to an hour. Following the granting of license by the Union Government to the foundation, the broadcast will go up to six hours a day. Initially, the radio station's broadcasting range would cover a radius of around two kilometers through narrow casting, but later when the station graduates to a fully broadcast mode, it would cover a radius of up to 20-kilometers.
Concern over delay in telemedicine standards
Though three years have passed since the framing of the path- reaking draft report by the Department of Information Technology (DIT), which defined standards for telemedicine in India, they are still not notified. This is impeding the growth of telemedicine in India, which undoubtedly has huge potential. According to Rajeeva Ratna Shah, the Member-Secretary, Planning Commission, “a large number of telemedicine projects have been initiated in the country by both private and public players but they are scattered and based on different software protocols.”
A uniform standard would help different systems to network with each other. However it is expected that these standards would graduate from paper to practice by the end of the 11th plan, where, the senior bureaucrat assured, there are substantial allocations for e- ealth. However, simply funding is not enough, the focus and direction of the funding is equally important. Shah very pragmatically opined that the growth of telemedicine would depend on the availability of appropriate bandwidth, protocols of time-sharing and conceptualization and ution of suitable business models. These are other infrastructral lacunae, preventing the growth of telemedicine in India.
Mapping Healthcare Needs of Malappuram
Media Lab Asia, a non-profit R&D organization, which is functioning under DIT of Government of India, has undertaken an ambitious project to map the healthcare needs of Malappuram district of Kerala. The project would use ICT for collecting information on prent diseases in Malappuram, and also on the available treatments. This project is a collaborative effort between Media Lab Asia and the state government's e-literacy program called Akshya. The Medialab would also be collaborating with the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) and a host of non-governmental organizations for the purpose.
The field agents will record medical data of the people of the district on their personal digital assistants(PDAs) and the data would be sent to a cen