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Re: Admn: Info needed at once! (fwd)


Thought I'd forward this for all of us to realize the pitiable state of
internet in India, today: SS [name withheld since this was addressed to
me: the subscriber concerned can take ownership of this mail if he likes]

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 22 Jun 1998 14:02:45 +0530 (IST)

Hi Sanjeev, 
This is my first direct mail to you after I have subscribed to the
India_Policy listserver.
I have been wanting to write to you and the list in general about the good
work that it has been carrying out, and that it is really such a think
tank that is needed to work out the policies that can help formulate a
better action plan to rid india of the lethargy that it has taken to and
improve upon the overall structure to see a new and improved India in the
times to come.
Actually, I feel that it's a bit ironical that you have not been aware of
the Internet situation in India, 'coz I guess that's the [primary way that
you guys have to reqach people in India. And to know it's state in terms
of the accessibility to the Internet world wide shall help this group
interact with more and more indians who are interested in taking part in
these activities.
I usually feel pretty disappointed that when you keep mentioning the Web
page and describe in various hues and colors the statements of the
policies, it is really difficult for people who do not have a TCP/IP
access to the web to understand all these finer points. 
In India, VSNL - the only body to provide access to the Internet runs it's
servers in the metros - Bombay, Pune Cal, Chennai,B'lore,Delhi and some
routers in the other satellite cities to give access to the  internet.
The accounts are shell and TCP/IP for which it charges different rates
based on an yearly/hourly contract terms whichever is earlier.
the shell access has telnet,ftp,lynx,pine - the basic Unix utilities,
the TCP/IP access has the browser based graphical web access.
students have a discount access paying Rs500 for 250 hrs. the TCP/IP
access has a fee structure like 15000 per year/500 hrs. whichever is
This way, these monopoly players have been ruling the roost in providing
access to the Internet.
In my case, thogh I have a company account, it is still just pine, no
telnet,no ftp no lynx - the situation in the India of the 21st century is
still so very restrictive that it sucks.

Anyway, Indians being resourceful, do tend to get the user accounts and
passwords of corporate mail accounts and use those TCP/IP accounts in a
clandestine  manner to satisfy their quest to know the Internet with all
its graphical capabilities.

So in my opinion, to involve more and more people in India in this
the best way is to reach them by e-mail, and whoever has the access, using
lynx, but then as long as it the corporate bodies, they have the TCP/IP
access, so people who are working for such bodies would'nt have problems
accessing it in it's trendy form.

And the access being on dial-up and that too at the mercy of the govt.
body, it is pretty difficult to maintain a long connection, and frequent
disruptions are a pain, which people are learning to live with anyway.

I hope this gives you a picture of the situation here, and based on which
the members of this list can decide what is the best way to reach the
people here.

Looking forward to being more participative in this issue
Best Regards