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    In its continuous effort to prove as a provider of quality and innovative technology solutions, Zone24x7 recently was adjudged the overall winner at this year’s National Best Quality ICT Awards (NBQSA), organized by the British Computer Society (BCS) Sri Lanka Chapter.

    Additionally the company also won the Gold award in the R & D category for its winning product AZIRO (Autonomous Inventory Robot). Developed by Zone24x7, AZIRO will go on to represent Sri Lanka at the upcoming Asia Pacific ICT Awards (APICTA) which will be held in Sri Lanka this November. Zone24x7 will be the only contestant to represent Sri Lanka in the R&D category this year.

    AZIRO competed against 11 contestants in the R & D category with over 70 plus contenders overall that represented prominent IT organizations, technology institutes and universities amongst others. AZIRO is an intelligent surface robot platform with autonomous navigation capable of performing RFID (radio-frequency identification) based inventory taking and cycle counting for retailers. RFID technology improves inventory accuracy and supply chain efficiency and in turn retailer productivity.

     

    The team at Zone24x7 seen here receiving the overall Gold award at the NBQSA 2015This recognition reflects the company’s outstanding achievements and its vast contribution to the development of ICT in the country. Dr. Sankalpa Gamwarige, Zone24x7 General Manager and VP of Engineering, said

    ‘We are proud to be recognized and adjudged the winner among many other organizations that competed in this prestigious annual awards ceremony. This showcases our talent in innovative technology solutions and ability to compete in international markets.’

    Headquartered in the heart of the Silicon Valley in San Jose, California with operations in Sri Lanka including a state-of-the-art Electronic Systems Research Lab at University of Moratuwa, Zone24x7 is a leading global provider of innovative technology solutions with established business, technology and research centers in both USA and Sri Lanka employing over 180 top notch engineers.  While North America (United States and Canada) remains the major market for Zone24x7 the company has recently expanded its customer base to United Kingdom and Norway as well.

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    Explore ’14, the annual IT Day of St. Peter’s College, Colombo 04, organized by the Peterite ICT Team, was successfully held on the 29th of September 2014. With the aim of harnessing the ICT talents and skills and spread the benefits of technology to the entire society, Explore ’14 kicked off at 9.30a.m at the College Main Hall and went on till 5.30p.m. Over a hundred and fifty participants attended the event, with students from all over the island.
    Prof. Sanath Jayasena, chief guest at Explore'14

    Prof. Sanath Jayasena, chief guest at Explore’14

    Prof. Sanath Jayasena was the chief guest for the day. Prof. Sanath Jayasena has been working in the Department of Computer Science &
    Engineering, in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Moratuwa for about 20 years. His research interests include parallel and high-performance computing, machine learning and local language computing.
    Student participation at Explore'14
    There were interesting lectures conducted by well experienced professionals in the fields of:
    Mechatronics – Dr. Dilum Bandara. He is a senior lecturer from the Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Moratuwa. His
    teaching and research interests are in the areas of Cloud computing, Computer Networks, Wireless Sensor Networks, Computer Architecture,
    Embedded Systems, and Network Security.Game Design/Development – Uditha Bandara. Specializes in Microsoft development for Windows Phone, Xbox 360 and PC. He is South East
    Asia’s First XNA/DirectX MVP (Most Valuable Professional). He had delivered sessions at various events and conferences in Malaysia, Hong
    Kong,Singapore, Sri Lanka and IndiaCareer Guidance – Ms Chathura Sooriyaarchchi
    Mobile App Development – Ms Neera JayamohanThere were also bands and soloists from the school itself who performed at the event.
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    The event ended on a high note with Royal College being the winners of both the Inter-School Quiz Competition and the Hackathon. Ananda
    College emerged runners-up in the Inter-School Quiz Competition and the Hackathon.

    Peterite ICT Team for Explore'14

    Peterite ICT Team for Explore’14

    Article submitted by Vathsala Karunanayake.
    Photographs By Lakshan Bhanuka. Group photo by Tharusha Pathmaperuma.

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    The World Conference on Youth 2014 was held in Colombo last week where youth representatives and various stakeholders including government officials gathered from nearly 160 countries to discuss the issues of the youth community. The theme of the conference was based on developing the post 2015 agenda on youth development and various aspects related to youth development were discussed. These findings of the conference were documented in the Colombo Declaration which would become a primary input for United Nation in coming up with post 2015 youth development strategies. The conference emphasised on the importance of Information Technology (IT) in youth development and some of the highlights are discussed below.

    The Secretary to Sri Lanka’s President Mr. Lalith Weeratunga addressed the main plenary session on Mainstreaming Youth in the Post-2015 Development Agenda and highlighted the importance of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in youth development. He said “Throughout the years, ICTs has not had a more robust and loyal champion than the youth. They have effectively exploited ICTs to dictate the trends in a major growth industry, and fostered it to generate youth entrepreneurship as a solution for youth unemployment. Be that as it may, these are not advantages that youth all over the world enjoy. For those in developing countries in particular, ICT access comes at an unaffordable cost.”  The main argument put forward was the making ICT affordable for all youth as a mean to empower them in the development process. Mr. Weeratunga further stated that there is a powerful potential for ICTs to cut across many recommendations to strengthen their outcomes. However, it was also presented that the governments must go beyond simply enhancing access and become actively involved in training and creating programmes aimed towards the empowerment of young people.  In commenting on the IT and job opportunities, Mr. Weeratunga said that becoming ICT-savvy does not only open doors for job opportunities, but also motivates and enables young people to learn about their communities and become active in the local development process.

    Secretary to the President of Sri Lanka Mr. Lalith Weeratunga is seen speaking at the plenary session on “Mainstreaming Youth in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: What We Want” at the World Conference on Youth 2014.

    Secretary to the President of Sri Lanka Mr. Lalith Weeratunga is seen speaking at the plenary session on “Mainstreaming Youth in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: What We Want” at the World Conference on Youth 2014.
    (Photo credits : Official Photographer)

    The round table session on Poverty Eradication and Food Security discussed the importance of technology in achieving this aim. Mr. Anushka Wijesinha from the Institute of Policy Studies highlighted the ability to use technology to eradicate poverty. He noticed that youth participation in the agriculture industry has been dropping over time. However, citing an example from the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka, he stated that the youth who are already engaged in the agriculture industry use mobile phone applications to support trading. Further, he also commented on the use of social media at the global scale in order to support the agriculture industry while concluding that technology is a great method to eradicate poverty and address food security.

    A section of the audience at the plenary session on “Mainstreaming Youth in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: What We Want” at the World Conference on Youth 2014.

    A section of the audience at the plenary session on “Mainstreaming Youth in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: What We Want” at the World Conference on Youth 2014.
    (Photo credits : Official Photographer)

    The outcome of the conference was the Colombo Declaration which included 97 recommendations for youth development. Among many recommendations that are related to IT/ICT, following recommendations are identified as prominent and expected to be implemented at a global scale:

    • Encourage the use of Information and Communication Technology in education the establishment of inter- and intra-regional youth innovation and technology centers, as a means of disseminating knowledge, skills development, innovation and connectivity, thereby enhancing infrastructure in these areas.
    • Increase recognition of non-formal education and vocational education, including volunteer schemes and Information and Communication Technology models and apprenticeships, as an effective means of empowerment and skills transfer.
    A section of the audience at the plenary session on “Mainstreaming Youth in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: What We Want” at the World Conference on Youth 2014.

    A section of the audience at the plenary session on “Mainstreaming Youth in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: What We Want” at the World Conference on Youth 2014.
    (Photo credits : Official Photographer)

    It is interesting to notice that IT/ICT being given the due importance in the post 2015 development of youth. According to Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, the U.N. Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, this was not the beginning or the end but an opportunity to cater to the issues brought forward for the benefit of the youth of the world. Hence, we can expect more and more development in IT/ICT fields in terms of supporting youth development which is crucial for the betterment of the society.

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    Trends are changing. The mindset of ‘No Girls are allowed in IT’ is changing. We bring to you InfoV 2014, an ICT Exhibition organized by Vishaka Vidyalaya. You read that right, a Girls school. Scheduled to take place at School premises itself, this event’s key objective is to spread the use of ICT among school children, in order for them to be Global Citizens.

    Comprising of 5 main segments, such as

    • ICT Applications and Trade Exhibition
    • Mini Workshop on ICT themes by Industrial/Academia experts
    • Launching of an ICT Magazine with the winning article of the Trilingual Island wide ICT essay Competition
    • ICT Quiz Program
    • Games and Entertainment zone

    ICT regulatory bodies, new inventions, institutions, ICT vendors, trade stalls and game zones are planned to happen throughout the day, where government bodies will showcase their latest ICT products, policies and services while the exhibition goes on.

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    2 students from Visakha Vidyalaya talk to us about the exhibition

    Exhibition Plan – Overall Exhibition is planned under five main zones

    Zone 1 – Academic: Universities and related Institutions
    Zone 2 – Industry: Participants from ICT Industry
    Zone 3 –Government: Research & Development Sector, Authorities and Security Forces
    Zone 4 – Entertainment: Cyber Games, 4D Cinema, Kids’ zone and Food Fiesta
    Zone 5 – Mini Workshops: Hot Topics on ICT (40-60 min each)

    The event will be inaugurated on the 21st Friday from 3.00 pm while the exhibition for school children will start at 8.00 am. The exhibition will be open for general public only on 22nd Saturday from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm.

    Workshop Plan:

    Date Time Topic Speaker
    21/03/14 7.45-8.45am Virtuous Communication for Tomorrow Ms. Menaka Pathirana
    Ms. Theralika Livera
    Ms. Nilupulee Dombagahawatta
    (Telecommunications
    Regulatory Commission)
    TRC
    Register
    21/03/14 9.00-9.45 am Creating software Ms. Himeshi de Silva Register
    21/03/14 10.15-11.15am Social Media Mr. Channa de Silva Register
    21/03/14 11.45-12.30pm Oracle Academy and Careers in
    Computer Science
    Ms. Geetanjali Singh
    (Oracle Corporation)
    Register
    21/03/14 2.00-2.45 pm Fundamentals and applications of
    agent technology
    Mr. Asela Neligama Register
    22/03/14 9.00-9.45 am Introduction to artificial intelligence Dr. Palitha Dassanayake Register
    22/03/14 10.15-11.00am ICT in fashion industry Ms. Rukshanie Vidyaratne
    Ms. Udari Bandara
    Register
    22/03/14 11.30-12.30pm An Introduction to Google Search Mr. Rohan Jayaweera
    (Google Sri Lanka)
    Register
    22/03/14 2.00-2.45 pm A career guidance session for
    a successful IT career
    Dr. Ruvinda Rathnagoda Register
    22/03/14 3.15-4.15 pm Collaborative Learning through
    O365
    Mr. Harsha Randeniya
    (Microsoft Corporation)
    Register

    Please visit the event page here.

     

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    The students of grade 10, 11 and 12, who are following ICT and the teachers who are teaching ICT at Keerthi Abeywickrama Central College, formed the ‘Computer Society’ for their school last year. They have grouped the members and delegated the responsibilities into categories; Multimedia, Hardware and Software.

    Currently they already have couple of ongoing projects:

    • Electronic and printed versions of the ’CතුVලි’, a trimonthly magazine.

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    • Construction of the official school website.

    Their vision is to ‘Debug and Execute Students To Be Leaders In Knowledge Based Society’. ‘Manage ICT for Debugging Weaknesses and Executing Targets’ is their Mission.

    The students are managing a Facebook Page for the Computer Society and their website can be found here.

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    Dr. Dileepa De Silva was elected as the chairman of Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Awards(APICTA) for the year 2014-2015 by its Executive Committee. After considering the pivotal role he has played within the Alliance as well as the growth of Sri Lanka’s ICT contribution towards it for the last decade, the Executive committee has reached this decision.

    Dr. Dileepa De Silva was a member of the Executive Council of BCS The Chartered Institute for IT Sri Lanka Section. He is an IT Management Consultant, possessing over 35 years of experience in the IT industry. He has a doctorate in Engineering  and has also acquired a Masters’ Degree in Engineering. He is a Fellow Member of BCS The Chartered Institute for IT, a Fellow Member of CMI (UK), Chartered IT Practitioner (CITP) and a member of Computer Society of Sri Lanka.

    He will be overseeing an Alliance whose membership comprises of 18 economies of Asia Pacific region. Each member economy is represented by two Executive Members and Sri Lanka is represented by FITIS and BCS Sri Lanka Section.

    Our team here at diGIT wishes Dr. Dileepa De Silva all the very best on his appointment and his voyage to make Sri Lanka shine on the global ICT map.

    Source: Daily Financial Times

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      Phase two of the Sri Lankan national ICT initiative is about to get underway with the name ‘Smart Sri Lanka’. Smart Sri Lanka has been formulated as the next version of the e-development program of the government, as the e-Sri Lanka project under the guidance of ICT Agency (ICTA) came to a close in December last year.

      Premier objective of Smart Sri Lanka is to expedite the process for Sri Lanka to become a knowledge-based economy and information society, and eventually a knowledge hub in the region. Vital components of this phase include strategies for Smart Government, Smart Jobs, Smart Industries, Smart Information Society, Smart City, Smart Leadership and Smart Project Management.

      ICTA CEO, Reshan Dewapura, explained Smart Sri Lanka, “As a result of bringing e-Sri Lanka to a close, there will not be any stoppage or projects half-way through. Instead, they would be updated and continued in line with new technologies and revamped strategies under the Smart Sri Lanka banner”.

      Smart Sri Lanka project is to be implemented over five to six years, starting in the first quarter of 2014.