Monthly Archives: February 2010

Pune Corporator uses SMS to stay in touch with constituents

This is an example of effective use of technology in public life in Pune. Sakaal Times reports that first-time corporator Rajendra Gorde, is using SMS to not only stay in touch with his constituents but also to provide them with useful information.


Rajabhau, as he is popularly known, has created a personal data-bank of nearly 80 percent of the electorate in his ward. Not only does he know people by name, where exactly they reside and the number of people in their families, but he also knows their birth dates, anniversaries and other important dates. Most importantly, he has the cellphone numbers of each of these people.

So, it is possible for him to send out personalised greetings, good wishes, condolences and other messages to each and every individual in his database. While this kind of SMSes help Rajabhau to establish a personal connect with his voters, what makes him stand out as a corporator are the public service and informational messaging that he sends out to hundreds of people every day.

For instance, he secured the names of all secondary and higher secondary students of municipal schools in the city who had secured 80 percent and above marks. It was a pleasant surprise for 83 such students when their parents received individual SMSes from Rajabhau informing them that they were eligible for grants of Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000, respectively, under a PMC scheme for meritorious students.

And apparently, residents are finding this service useful.

The most popular messages are the ones informing people about water cuts and power shutdowns. It enables people to prepare for exigencies and not get caught unawares.

PuneTech readers will note that this is very similar to what SMSOne has been doing in over 500+ villages and urban localities in Maharashtra and a couple of other stages. Unlike Rajendra Gorde, who is using this “SMS newsletter” concept as part of public service, SMSOne has been running this as a for-profit business, and it appears to be doing rather well. SMSOne appears to have shown that this is indeed a sustainable business model.

Given the really low cost and low technology requirements for setting up an SMS Gateway, this idea is something that many others can and should implement. I see few “web-2.0” businesses/services that are using SMS as an add-on to their website/service. And I see fewer still who are fully SMS based ideas. But, considering that India probably has 50 million internet users, and 500 million SMS users, I think more and more people should be looking at SMS as a primary enabling technology.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Pune (Microsoft Technologies) User Group – Community Tech Day – 6 Feb

What: Pune (Microsoft Technologies) User Group‘s Community Tech Days
When: Saturday, 6 February, 9:00am-5:15pm
Where: International Convention Center, MCCIA Center, 5th Floor, S.B. Road
Registration and Fees: This event is free for all to attend. Register here

PUG is Pune's user group for Microsoft Technologies. Click on the logo to see all PuneTech articles related to PUG.
PUG is Pune's user group for Microsoft Technologies. Click on the logo to see all PuneTech articles related to PUG.

Community Tech Days

This will be a day full of technical presentations covering ASP.NET, REST applications with .NET, Win 2008 R2, Exchange 2010 etc. The detailed agenda is as follows:

Event for Software Developers
9:00am – 9:30am Developer Track Registration
9:30am – 10:30am Microsoft ASP.NET MVC 2 The New Stuff Rohit Jejurikar
10:30am – 10:45am Break
10:45am – 11:45am Developing REST Applications with the .NET Framework Sanjay Vyas
11:45am – 12:45pm Windows Presentation Foundation 4 Plumbing and Internals Farzin Faramarzi
Event for IT Professionals
01:30pm – 02:00pm IT Pro Registration
02:00pm – 03:00pm Windows 2008 R2 Enhancements and Improvements Ninad Doshi
03:00pm – 03:15pm Break
03:15pm – 04:15pm Exchange 2010 Architecture Aviraj Ajgekar
04:15pm – 05:15pm System Center & Forefront Suites Abhishek Pradhan