Dear press and media community,
(Bcc intentional)

In postscript are details about our sustained efforts to create awareness,
enable as well as pressurize the current Goa government to improve the
plight of Computer education in schools given its extremely high potential
to positively impact the teaching effectiveness of all other subjects as
witnessed across the globe.

While the state government has recently gone into an overdrive signing MOUs
with Google and others, practical outcomes from these remain to be seen
given the fact that this very same government has been squatting on basic
simple things in its direct control for months and years. Govt's inaction
despite schemes and budget availability, and tendency to waste precious
public funds on unsuitable hardware and unnecessary licensed software for
school education needs to be strongly questioned. We request your support
to push the govt into action. Kindly cover this story in your publications
and let us know if you need any quotes or bytes from our Executive Team.

Thank you very much.


*Goa IT Professionals – GITP *| |

*Important links: About GITP <> | GITP on
Social Network <> | GITP Core Team
<> | *Goa Skills Registry - GSR


*Project GEIT (Goans Empowered with IT)* - a Goa IT Professionals
(GITP) group initiative




*Project GEIT @ Tech Balcao: *25April2016 (,
18July2016 (

*Contacts: *Eruch Coutinho +919823120406 / Sangeeta Naik +918805162600
/ Vincent Toscano +919765410020

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Goa IT Professionals - GITP <>
Date: Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 2:32 PM
Subject: FOR CM's ATTENTION: Education portfolio looking bad...needs urgent
action...see email for details
To: cm goa <>, Laxmikant Parsekar <laxmikantparsekarbjp@gmail.
com>, cmo goa <>, Chief Secretary - Goa <>, Goa
Director DoIT <>,,,
"subhash.phaldessai" <>, Managing Director -
Infotech Corp of Goa <>

Respected Chief Minister, Laxmikant Parsekar:

While we are appreciative of your efforts to establish a MOU with Google
which has some standard value-adds for Goan schools, GITP would like to
bring to your attention the following points related to your Education
portfolio for urgent action from your government:

1.     As explained to you in our meeting on 27Jan2016, and even as of
today, the state of Goan school computer education continues to be
terrible. This remains a serious blot on your tenure as the Education
Minister of Goa.

a.     Barely 1-2 of the 10 govt-provided PCs are in working condition.

b.     Most software licences (Windows OS, MS Office) on govt-provided PCs
are pirated.

c.      Syllabus is centered on the clerical instead of the creative and
productive use of computers.

d.     Most computer teachers are incompetent even on basics.

e.     Scheme240 created by your govt a year ago and the Rs.25 crores
provisioned in this FY budget are yet to reach the schools.

2.     With extremely cost-effective and rugged hardware available today
(viz. Raspberry Pi etc.) and Free Open Source Software (FOSS), it is
criminal for any govt to be spending precious public funds on purchase of
the traditional expensive and delicate hardware and licensed software which
have historically only led to scams and the above mentioned plight of our
Goan schools. As explained to you on 27Jan, with just Rs.1.58cr every
school in Goa could be given 10 Raspberry Pi (or equivalent) kits to revive
their dead Computer Labs. Any Goa govt. department found violating such
cost-effective recommendations will face GITP’s and the larger IT
community’s wrath in public including RTIs and legal action if necessary. *Our
core team members have witnessed first-hand a senior Education Dept.
official (name to be disclosed if needed) recently claiming that Goa
InfoTech Corp. has issued a tender for traditional hardware for schools.
Please stop it immediately and channel the same funds towards the right
hardware (software free) as per our above **recommendations based on
global best practices.*

3.     Goa Board of Education has initiated a major drive to upgrade the
Computer Education syllabus for classes 9-12 from next academic year as a
result of which they have held workshops in each taluka for all school
Computer Teachers besides also holding a seminar for all HSSE Principals.
GITP and its well-wishers have contributed in this effort by conducting
some of these demonstration sessions, lending our Project GEIT hardware to
Goa Board and offering to train all school computer teachers for free. Such
self-initiative is commendable for a govt body and GITP vouches its full
hands-on support to any other Goa govt. department that proactively works
to improve the situation.

4.     As briefly discussed with you by our Vice President, Vincent
Toscano, at the recent Google MOU event, an initiative akin to Goa Board’s
needs to be undertaken by the Dept of Education to upgrade the Computer
Education syllabus for classes 5-8. We understand certain organizational
impediments exist there but with the recent appointment of Nila Mohanan as
the Education Secretary GITP now optimistically looks forward to progress
in the right direction. Please provide your full support and force as
needed to move things forward with this dept.

5.     Excessive delays on disbursal of Scheme240 and the 25cr budget do
not reflect well on your govt in an election year. Kindly help fast track
their implementation without potential mis-use by traditional unscrupulous
elements in the governmental supply chain.

6.     Lastly, kindly fast track the Google MOU commitments related to Goan
schools on a war footing so that its positive impact is evident at ground
level at the earliest.

We keenly look forward to your leadership and drive to *get the above
mentioned things done within the next couple months before the election
freeze denies you the opportunity to salvage the current poor track record
of your Education Dept.* Be assured of GITP’s full support in doing the
right things for the budding Goan generations presently in school.

FYI this communication will be released to the press after a couple days.


*Goa IT Professionals – GITP *| |

*Important links: About GITP <> | GITP on
Social Network <> | GITP Core Team
<> | *Goa Skills Registry - GSR

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Goa IT Professionals <>
Date: Mon, Feb 8, 2016 at 5:13 PM
Subject: Minutes of Meeting between Goa Chief Minister and GITP Core Team
on 27Jan2016
To: cm goa <>, Laxmikant Parsekar <>, cmo goa <>, Goa Director
DoIT <>, "subhash.phaldessai" <>,, Managing Director -
Infotech Corp of Goa <>
Cc: Goa IT Professionals <>, Vincent Toscano <>, Gaurish kambli <>,
Sangeeta Naik <>, Tirath nagvekar <>

Dear Chief Minister Mr. Laxmikant Parsekar,

Goa IT Professionals (GITP) Core Team is grateful for your precious time on
27-Jan-2016 afternoon to discuss regarding Goa IT policy, industry and

For the record and follow-up we would like to share with you the key points
of our discussion and a few subsequent updates from our side:


   Besides yourself this meeting was attended by:

      Goa government: Ameya Abhyankar, Subhash Phaldessai, Nilesh Phaldessai

      GITP: Vincent Toscano, Gaurish Kambli, Sangeeta Naik, Tirath Nagvekar

   In reply to your question about the direction and pace of DoIT we
   explained to you our official position that the recent Goa IT Policy is a
   respectable start, though it could have been much bolder given that Goa is
   lagging decades behind other Indian IT hubs. However GITP is extremely
   pleased with the appointment of Mr. Ameya Abhyankar as the Director of IT
   dept and his vision of an innovative blend of Tourism and IT as an unique
   offering from Goa to the IT industry. Also his results-oriented focus and
   work as witnessed by us in our initial recent interactions with him point
   towards *this year (2016) being the game changer for the IT industry in
   Goa. However this is subject to he being fully empowered and supported by
   yourself and the entire Goa government, to which you confirmed your full
   support, empowerment and financial provisions for Mr. Abhyankar to execute
   on the plan.*

   In response to our reiteration of the need for *proactive promotion of
   Goa as a IT Hub at relevant national and international events* Mr.
   Abhyankar confirmed his department’s eagerness besides availability of
   necessary funding to pursue the same with a joint team comprising of
   government and industry. And that preparations are underway for the Make in
   India event coming up in Mumbai in mid-February.

   With reference to our prior meeting with you on 01-Sep-2015, we
   reiterated the need to speed up the process of inventorying the un-utilized
   and under-utilized Goa government spaces in Goa which could be quickly
   upgraded as IT workspaces at minimal costs as an interim arrangement while
   the Chimbel IT Park comes up in next 3 years. *We pointed out a few
   glaring examples of such spaces and Mr. Abhyankar assured to visit these
   within a few weeks and explore options for their utilization for IT and
   other industries.*

   We explained to you how technology and innovation based employment could
   be created directly in our villages using available spaces of institutions
   like Panchayats through a Hub-n-Spoke expansion of the Assagao and Verna
   CIBA centres, which presently see a higher utilization by non-Goans due to
   low awareness and the general Goan averseness to entrepreneurship. IT could
   be used to provide largescale virtual mentoring, daily guidance and other
   support services from the CIBA Hubs to such rural incubation centres across
   Goa. *This could be piloted in a couple Goan villages to validate the
   concept within a year and GITP is ready to actively support this initiative
   with a few already identified willing Panchayats if your government could
   enable the process. Kindly consider.*

   Mr. Abhyankar disclosed that he has shared the architect’s drawings and
   awaiting feedback from GITP and other similar Goan groups about an optimal
   layout for the upcoming STPI (Software Technology Parks India) Incubation
   Centre at the Udhyog Bhavan, Panaji. [Sir, FYI since our meeting with you
   our GITP team has visited this site and shared a revamped layout for the
   centre along with other ideas and feedback based on our groups members’
   knowledge of related best practices of the Indian IT industry. *Our
   proposed layout improves the seating capacity by 33% to 60 seats. We hope
   it helps DoIT and we would be glad to support other such initiatives in a
   similar manner.*]

   With reference to our prior meeting with you on 01-Sep-2015, we
   reiterated the need to simplify/improve governmental processes of doing
   business in Goa which are presently highly cumbersome thereby suffocating
   smaller companies like Tech Startups. Goa is placed at a very lowly 19th
   position among all Indian states in terms of ease of doing business. *Mr.
   Abhyankar stated that his DoIT is keen to look at such pain points in the
   crucial government processes, simplify and automate these, and, make these
   available online for transparency. GITP commits its full support to such an
   initiative but would recommend that Goa DoIT considers reusing any such
   existing automation already done by other Indian states for cost
   effectiveness and efficiency.* We appreciate your concern and support in
   this regard through your referral to certain bureaucrats who could also
   make a real difference in overcoming such pain points.

   Regarding our ProjectGEIT (Goans Empowered with IT) initiative being
   piloted in 3 Goan village schools this academic year:

      We shared with you our key objectives of using IT to develop
      scientific thinking among children, making general subjects interesting
      through use of existing free online resources, and, bringing the latest
      technological exposure to our village children.

      GEIT is a completely society driven initiative – by the people, for
      the people – with volunteers giving their time and resources to make it
      happen. We hope to take it to all Goa level in the next academic year.

      We brought to your attention the sorry plight of Computer Labs in
      Goan schools with barely 1-2 working PCs out of the original government
      provided 10 PCs which have run out of warranty with no repair service
      available. Also most of these PCs have pirated Windows and
Microsoft Office
      licences which your government might want to investigate.

      And we explained to you how we have used a cost-effective
      micro-computer based solution called, Raspberry Pi2 (RPi2), to
fix the dead
      CPUs in these schools and successfully conduct our 9-day
Diwali2015 camp on
      MIT’s (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA) child-friendly SCRATCH
      programming platform.

      As explained to you each RPi2 kits costs approximately Rs.4500/- and
      can completely replace the traditional bulky and delicate CPUs while
      reusing the existing LCD monitors, keyboards and mouse in the school
      Computer Labs. Also the RPi2 needs no air conditioning unlike the
      traditional CPUs and the Open Source software it uses is fully license
      free. *For the approximately 350 schools to which the Goa government
      had provided 10 PCs it would cost barely Rs.1.58 crores to
replace all the
      dead CPUs with RPi2 kits and revive the nearly dead Computer Labs across
      Goa. This is a high returns, minimal investment your government
could make
      in the upcoming state budget and GITP strongly recommends it. Kindly

      We explained to you the chronic unreliability of the GBBN
      connectivity provided to the Goan village schools with it being
      turned off at the local Panchayat resulting in high downtime at schools.
      Additionally from our own experience the GBBN Fibre Optic Cable (FOC) was
      cut, and hence school connectivity lost, 3 times within a week when we
      tried to conduct an Hour of Code (see program at each
      of our 3 GEIT schools in December 2015. *We look forward to an early
      intervention and resolution of this chronic issue with the local
      as promised by Mr. Abhyankar.*

      Additionally we also discussed about the extremely low value-add of
      our current Microsoft Office-centric Computers syllabus in
schools oriented
      towards clerical rather than creative and intellectual work. It
is a proven
      fact that today everybody learns such clerical tools (like MS Office)
      without formal training by using the extensive learning material
and videos
      available on the internet. There is an *urgent need today to revamp
      our Computers syllabus for children to learn programming and its applied
      utility in creative space like graphics, animation, music, movie-making
      etc. *Using the RPi2 platform, its accompanying Open Source Ubuntu
      operating system and LibreOffice, the complete current Microsoft-centric
      Computers syllabus could be transposed to an equivalent (if not better)
      syllabus in a perpetually zero-cost, license-free mode thereby saving the
      Goa government significant expenditure.

      We also brought to your attention a scheme that the Goa Ministry of
      Science and Technology had created in response to Project GEIT to fund
      Rs.50,000/- each for 10 Goan schools to restore their Computer Labs.
      However *since the ministry’s approval in October 2015 this scheme is
      stuck and awaiting disbursal. Kindly help expedite it.*

      *Sir, under your leadership as also the Education Minister of Goa
      there is so much that could be done at minimal costs in light of
our above
      experiences and recommendations to turn our Goan education
system into one
      of the best in India. And GITP would be glad to collaborate with your
      Education dept. in this regard to leverage its group members’
national and
      global exposure and network to achieve the same. Kindly suggest the next

   Regarding the ongoing controversy about the Reliance Jio towers we
   suggested maximizing shared mobile tower infrastructure among all the
   telcos, possibly in PPP mode, besides also a proactive facts-based
   awareness campaign via TV, radio, print and social media by your
   Information & Publicity dept. Subsequent to our meeting we have reached out
   to Reliance Jio seeking facts and information to be placed in the public
   domain to address prevailing concerns and misconceptions. Though we have
   received some information from them so far it is incomplete and not up to
   our expectations as a professional body. *Sir, we believe you should use
   your good offices to get these corporates to proactively come clear in
   public with facts and figures to bridge the huge trust deficit that today
   stands in the way of much-needed technology like 4G for true development
   and progress of Goans in Goa.*

GITP appreciates your openness in our discussions during this meeting and
the overall direction you have empowered your DoIT to take inorder to
promote locally sustainable IT and related technology industries in Goa.
GITP is glad to contribute in this endeavour and looks forward to its
time-bound fruitful outcomes.

Requesting all other meeting attendees marked on this mail to point out
discrepancies if any in the minutes noted above. Thank you.

Goa IT Professionals

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