In the last decade, Mongolia showed progress in e-governance, but there’s more yet to do. By Bolor Lkhaajav September 18, 2020 Mongolia’s e-governance is a topic often overshadowed by the cyber activities of the country’s large neighbors — Russia and China. However, the coronavirus pandemic gave an advantage to the Mongolian government in implementing long-overdue digital governance practices. Mongolia’s implementation of e-governance services, known as “E-Mongolia,” will enhance public services, maximize efficiency, and most importantly, diminishing the deep-rooted bureaucracy and nepotism that have been impeding government services for some time. In the last decade, Mongolia showed progress in e-governance. The United Nations E-Government Knowledgebase has tracked Mongolia’s E-governance Development Index (EGDI). The data shows that in 2003 Mongolia scored 0.343 and ranked 103 of 193 in comparison to the United States (0.9271, ranked 1), Singapore (0.7463, ranked 12), and South Korea (0.7441, ranked 13). By 2020, Mongolia showed significant improvement in the index, with its score moving up to 0.6497 and its rank to 92, whereas other previous e-governance world leaders have changed. Denmark has superseded the U.S. with a score of 0.9758, taking the top rank; South Korea, now ranked 2 with a score of 0.9560, has surpassed Singapore (0.9150, ranked 11). These indicators show how both developed and developing nations have been adopting e-governance models. Mongolia did not miss the wave of change to e-governance. During President Elbegdorj Tsakhia’s tenure (2009-2017), he introduced “Transparent Accounts” for financial transparency for government spending. Although this approach helped government agencies monitor one another’s fiscal matters, it didn’t quite serve the public’s interest. In adopting e-governance services, Mongolian policymakers looked to Estonia — a small-state with a population of just 1.3 million in 2020 ranked 3 in the U.N. EGDI — and Singapore — with 5.6 million people and, as noted, above a rank of 11 in 2020 — as possible models. While Mongolia’s e-governance has improved, it still lags behind top-ranked nations. The chief information officer of Estonia, Siim Sikkut, told the author during the “State of Digital Conference” on September 11, “There are three main areas for small-states to adopt e-governance: connectivity, structures, and changing the business model of government.” Connectivity connects rural areas, reducing the digital divide, which Mongolia needs to consider. Government service structures should not overlap, and e-governance becomes inefficient when there are too many government agencies. And lastly, by changing the business model of the government, small states like Mongolia and Estonia can depend on innovation, investment, and procurement. Mongolia’s push for e-governance services also stems from its highly metropolitan, globally-connected population of 3.3 million. As of 2020, two-thirds of Mongolia’s population are digitally connected via some form of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and others. As evidence of the pervasive influence of social media, the 2017 presidential election was disrupted by a whistleblower who went live on Facebook to expose high-level corruption, known as the “60 million (MNT) case.” With such a digitally connected population, e-governance had to become a reality at some point. In 2019, the government of Mongolia passed resolution No. 73, the “National Policy on E-Governance.” The main objective of the policy framework was to enhance the already-existing e-governance structure on a legislative and a practical level. The policy aims to utilize cyberspace, information technology, and innovation to expedite government services to reduce backlogs and eliminate government agency bureaucracy. The incumbent administration’s Government Action Plan for 2020-2024 includes the implementation of E-Mongolia services and will provide a soft-opening of 182 government services as of October 1, 2020. The implementation of the e-governance services aims to eliminate front-desk and mid-level corruption which has drained public via bribery for decades. The director of communications and information technology authority, Bolor-Erdene Battsengel, told the author, “In implementing E-Mongolia services, the transition period is crucial. Because of the existing digital divide, the service will allow some time for people to adapt and adjust to the variety of government e-services. Once the transition period ends, beginning in 2021, E-Mongolia is expected to provide 492 government services.” Moreover, “the public will have free access to uploading, submitting, and tracking documents—hence, expediting the government service without waiting in line, especially with an outbreak like COVID-19.” Furthermore, Mongolia’s e-governance includes facial recognition technology (FRT) to improve public safety, particularly in the capital, Ulaanbaatar. By 2021, Ulaanbaatar is expected to install 6,822 facial recognition cameras. Although E-Mongolia seeks to modernize and expedite government services, some experts have legal concerns. According to a cyber law expert, Galbaatar Lkhagvasuren, “while implementing FRTs are tech-savvy, there are legal concerns that need to be addressed, prepared, and implemented. The inefficiency of the currently developing FR technologies could turn into a human rights issue very quickly without legal justifications.” Source: The Diplomat
Tomorrow of Blockchain…
Throughout history, every technological revolution has brought the rapid progress and major changes in economic, social, and political development in which we live, and also a whole new way of accelerating the process to speed up re-engineering to humanity. We humankind has experienced the three major industrial revolutions creating and developing with stages those such as industrial mechanics, steam engines, and railways during the 1st revolution; the electricity, mass production, and assembly line in the 2nd revolution; and computer, electronic and automated manufacturing during the 3rd revolution as scientists consider. Then the experts have agreed since Professor Klaus Schwab the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum introduced firstly about the concept that we are now moving to the fourth industrial revolution at the World Economic Forum in 2016. The world leaders are paying particular attention to the preparation of the revolution providing supports to their research and academic institutions to develop strategies and policies. Even though human work performance was simplified and labor productivity was increased during the three industrial revolutions, now it is different in the 4th industrial revolution and the manufacturing by artificial intelligence which is to replace human intelligence would be managed through the Internet of things, in otherwise, artificial-intelligence-driven machines would outsmart humanity driving. Figure 1. Stages/Phases of the Industrial revolutions International research and analysis, consulting service organizations, and experts consider that the key technologies that will strongly affect the fourth generation of the industry as follows: these including, - Internet of Things (IoT), - Biotechnology - Smart Home - Smart City - Big data - Driverless car - Artificial Intelligence - Robotics - Nanotechnology - Blockchain - Shared Economy - 3D printing - Neurotechnologies - Virtual Reality (VR), - Augmented Reality (AR). The reason to point out the Blockchain technology called as a trust-building machine from those the technologies bringing revolutions is that blockchain technology-based innovation is acting as creative disruptive innovation technology for the startups and bringing more entrepreneurship greatly in the ICT sector somewhat start-up businesses were grown like the mushrooms after raining during the Dot-Com boom in the mid-90s. What is Blockchain? Blockchain technology is often understood as Bitcoin or electronic money, but only one application of Blockchain technology which is the base of Bitcoin is the cryptocoins/cryptocurrencies and it can be compared to the only visible part of the iceberg. How do we check if we buy expensive elegant brand products? How do you know and validate if it is actual? Can you deny that the salesperson sold A copy products or it is given during transportation even if purchased from the brand stores? How can you prove the original of inimitable artworks or fine arts which are worth millions of dollars when you buy? The best copy of imitation? Or are stolen? In a word, blockchain technology is the technology enabling to validate these. It enables the users to know and control/supervise all the data of the products or items starting from its manufacturers or sources, and when are made, stored, distributed, and delivered. Some technocrats/experts emphasize that the Web 1.0 era client-server technology provides information internet while the online contents are developed, exchanged, and created big data through social media and networking sites by Web 2.0 stage users. But the next revolution stage in the Web 3.0 phase creates internet value on a decentralized network powered by a Blockchain solution that enables us to make ownership validation, controlling, transferring, and trust-building in online environment. Blockchain is a digital ledger and its entry records are entered in chronicle order, unmodifiable, secure (validated by cryptographic and secure hash algorithms), with continuous storages and all records traceable is based on a peer-to-peer decentralized network of nodes based solution. When blockchain is useful? Professional experts consider that controlling the supply chain from end-to-end customers will enable to detect fraudulent supply, fraud and expel intermediate fraudulent distributors; to certify, validate ownership, transfer of any sources of such as products and goods; to save immutable records which are not able to delete; and to use the ledger with stakeholders when it is needed. How can public services use Blockchain technology? Blockchain technology is being used as a digital property and a source of information/data which is immutable and unchangeable as validated paper documents including all data of public services in a digital environment such as all types of certificates and identifications (of birth, marriage, death, criminal, residency identification, and educational, etc.); all types of ownership, assets, and registration (of land ownership, car and insurance registration, health insurance, military, and officer registration, electoral result and voter registration, organizational registration, and real estate ownership, etc.); all types of licenses, regulation logs, verification registration, construction approval, firearms license, criminal case journal creation and registration, enforcement execution records, etc.; and all these digital assets and records can be stored and operated on Blockchain. World nations strategy and policy on Blockchain technology Governments around the world face many major concerns and challenges on creating of policy and regulatory environment on Blockchain technology such as the lack of knowledge and understanding of the technology, the lack of certain concept, the importance of its usage in public services, how it can be standardized, and possibilities in trialing. A total of 202 types of blockchain technology initiatives of usage in public services in the world 45 countries under three main domains such as developing strategies to conduct research and analysis, validate those, categorize, develop, do piloting and testing, and including in incubations which are as shown detailed in Figure 2. Figure 2. Blockchain initiatives of Government organizations, OECD analysis, by March 2018. I emphasize some cases on the initiatives from international, for example, UAE has approved the “Emirates Blockchain Strategy-2021” paper in April 2018, and its main goal is to transfer 50 percent of its state digital documents to the Blockchain platform by the 2021 year. Thus, this means that blockchain technology will affect on works and lifestyles of its people which well-suited to the technology by saving their work time, cost-saving, time-saving, and resource-efficient. After the government's blockchain strategy implementation, it is estimated that 11 billion of Arabian currency transactions and records daily work will be digitalized, and will help ease the day-to-day processing of documents of 398 million papers and 77 million working hours. Also, in Dubai, blockchain technology is defined as an economic new opportunity and a new digital innovation wave, and its government and private sectors together established the “Global Blockchain council” under the “Dubai Blockchain Strategy” document. And this public-private council discusses the further implementation of all possible blockchain projects involving many organizations. Following the “Dubai Blockchain Strategy”, Blockchain will be used in sectors such as real estate, fintech, fiscal, banking, health, transportation, urban planning, smart energy, e-commerce trade, and tourism sectors. it is estimated that 114 million tons of CO2 carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced in a year by saving 100 million document papers. Tomorrow of Blockchain Now Blockchain technology is at its beginning stage of research and development. Following to analysis of the international research and advisory services companies and experts, Blockchain-based application programs will be used in most markets in the world by the year 2022, becoming more common in the next five to ten years, with nearly 55 percent of total usage is in the financial and capital markets, Global Marathon which is intended to the day of tomorrow of Blockchain technology in public services for the revolution in society, economy and business has just started and has made its first one or two steps once the attention of the governments of 45 countries has paid on it. There are equal opportunities to participate in the marathon for all countries in the world not depending on its level of development. But what will be the next day for full adoption of blockchain technology in Mongolia? Of course, there are full utilization of remittance and retailers payment service in financial sector using the cryptocurrency easily; enable to trade at stock market without expensive intermediary brokerage service; tax and insurance and related other registrations are verified on blockchain; exporting minerals able to track and trace that originated from Mongolia; livestock origination of place and all the history such as vaccination, exporting supply chain can easy monitoring used by blockchain platform; in cashmere supply chain industry eliminated expensive intermediaries so that herders more earn profits while cashmere price gone down for consumers; citizens able to electronic voting using their mobile phone with Blockchain powered application; government service able to deliver on smart e-government open, transparent, accountable, responsible and auditable system powered by Blockchain, thus our countries social and economic situation increased, citizens experiencing digital democracy more illustrated for the blockchain adopted tomorrow in Mongolia. Do we have a recent advantage and opportunity for Mongolians? Yes, there is. It is obvious that there are fewer difficulties to learn, adapt, develop Blockchain technology especially in the soil of nationwide following to factors such as our country’s smartphones and internet usage which exceeds the world average; our population is few 3.1 million and 64 percent of the total population is under 35 years old if compares to other countries. Will we make tomorrow of Blockchain for our country in the near future? Or further? Will wait for another country's development and follow? Will you lead? Probably, it can be a rare occasion and history of the technological revolution to bring the opportunities to keep up with the global development if we work together from today with planning and implementing. Moreover, it might enable opportunities to supply technical solutions and developing technology and to export intellectual capacity to other countries besides they come for our lessons learned. Therefore, for our Government of Mongolia, the time has already come to take a comprehensive approach/measures gradually to implement such as to start blockchain technology research and development studies, to approve and set up related policy and strategy, to develop blockchain modeling with defining relevant important sectors, to collaborate tightly with state and public partnerships and research and non-governmental organizations, and to make piloting and testing successful national program and projects. When we reach the outcome step by step, the value of the blockchain and the socio-economic benefits are not comparable to the present.
POST-DOCTORAL SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMME AT THE NORTHWESTERN POLYTECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF CHINA
The Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization is pleased to announce Post-Doctoral Scholarship Programme for 2020 at the Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU) of P.R. China. The NPU is located in Xi’an, China’s renowned ancient capital and the gateway to the historic Silk Road. Governed by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the NPU is a multidisciplinary, research-oriented university, with 17 academic schools. The university programmes cover fundamental science and engineering, humanities, management and social sciences. Its unique value lies in its research and education programmes in aeronautics, astronautics, and marine technology engineering — it is the only Chinese university featuring programmes in all the three areas. Moreover, NPU has strong programmes in materials, mechanical engineering and mechanics, as well as computer science, communication and control sciences. Research directions: Mechanics Aeronautical and Astronautical Science and TechnologyComputer Science and TechnologyControl Technology and EngineeringMechanical Engineering Period: 2-4 years depending the research work Grants: RMB 120 000 per year for research subsidiesRMB 2 000 per moth for housing subsidiesRMB 60 000 per year for annual subsidies Requirements: Shall be citizen of MongoliaShall be under age of 35 years by 15 April 2020Must hold Ph.D degreeMust have 3.0 GPA or above Application documents: Application Form for Post-DoctorPhD Diploma/Certificate (notarized photocopy or original one) and obtained PhD within the recent 3 years, or Certificate of Expected Graduation Date from the dissertation defense committee of the university studying currentlyAbstract of doctorate dissertationFull version of doctorate dissertationProvide study and work resumes as well as academic achievementsDoctoral degree should be conferred by a world renowned university. /Applicants’ doctoral degree requirement is adjusted to be issued by one of the top three universities in your country.Two Recommendation Letters (at least from Professor or Academic Expert)Photocopy of Physical Examination Form and the Report on Blood ExaminationThe Results of TOEFL, IELTSProvide proof of no criminal recordPhotocopy of First Page of Passport (the information page). Selection procedures: The Applicant will be invited to the first interview to be provided by the Communications and Information Technology Authority and materials of only potential interviewers will be sent to the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization. The final interview will be held by online and last decision on the selection will made by the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization and Northwest Polytechnic University. Submission deadline: 25 March 2020 Contacts: Ms. Ariuntuul P Room 100, Foreign Relations Division of the CITA, Central Post Office Phone: 329236, 99283868 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MASTA AND DOCSTA SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM AT THE BEIHANG UNIVERSITY OF CHINA
The Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization is pleased to make an announcement for Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program 2020 on Space Technology and its` Applications (DOCSTA) and MASTA 2020 Programme on Space Technology Applications (MASTA) on following research directions at the Beihang University of China. Beihang University was founded in 1952, considered to be one of the top four engineering research universities in Beijing, with an emphasis on aeronautical and astronautical engineering, but also covering diverse fields in the natural sciences, high technology, economics, management, the liberal arts, law, philosophy, foreign languages, and education. Research directions: Satellite Communications and Global Navigation Satellite System (SC&GNSS)Remote Sensing and Geo-information System (RS&GIS)Space Law and PolicySpace Science and Environment Period: MASTA 1 year 9 months, DOCSTA 3-4 years Grants: Tuition fee for 2 yearsFree accommodation (not including subsidies cost, such as water and electricity)Living allowance (3000 RMB per month for MASTA, 3500 RMB per month for DOCSTA)Medical insurance only for accident and hospitalization treatmentRound-trip air ticket (only one time) Requirements: Shall be citizen of MongoliaShall be under age of 35 years for MASTA and 40 years for DOCSTA by 1 March 2020Shall have some professional experiences of working at least 2 years in space technology industry or research institutesShall have Bachelor or Master degree of relevant discipline (Natural science or telecommunications engineer) of accredited universities of Mongolian or other countries governmentExpected to have good command of Enlgish and the ability to take courses in EnglishSupposed to have research background in relevant areasMust have 3.0 GPA or above Application documents: Application Form (https://studyinchina.csc.edu.cn)Diploma/Certificate (notarized photocopy or original one) Two Recommendation Letters (at least 2 from Professor or Academic Expert)Reference letter of current employerStudy plan List of research papersCertificate of English proficiency Photocopy of Physical Examination Form and the Report on Blood ExaminationPhotocopy of First Page of Passport Selection procedures: The Applicant will be invited to the first interview to be provided by the Communications and Information Technology Authority and materials of only potential interviewers will be sent to the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization. The final interview will be held by online and last decision on the selection will made by the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization and Beihang University. Submission deadline: 20 February 2020 Contacts: Ms. Ariuntuul P Room 100, Foreign Relations Division of the CITA, Central Post Office Phone: 329236, 99283868 Email: email@example.com
DIGITAL LITERACY LIBRARY READY TO BE DISTRIBUTED TO THE TEACHERS
Digital Literacy Library, the training programme with 5 articles and 18 lesson subjects, developed by the CITA in order to foster proper use of internet and social media by children and youth, is ready to be distributed to the teachers and students. The MoU was established between the CITA and Facebook Inc. in 2018 on cooperation to increase public awareness and digital skill concerning the proper use of internet and social media. And within the framework of that cooperation, in assistance with Faro Foundation Mongolia, the Digital Literacy Library programme was translated and published. The programme will help students from ages of 11-18 to ensure their private security, adjust proper usage and to engrain their positive attitude in social networks. The programme lessons in the Library are developed by the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University and has been successfully applied in over 60 countries worldwide. By the by, UNESCO is officially defined that “Digital literacy is the ability to access, manage, understand, integrate, communicate, evaluate and create information safely and appropriately through digital devices and networked technologies for participation in economic and social life.”
ORGANIZED RESEARCH COMPETITION ON IMPROVEMENT OF LEGAL ENVIRONMENT OF DIGITAL CONTENT AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Within the framework of APT Young Professional and Student Programme 2019, the research competition on improvement of legal environment of digital content and social media successfully organized among young researchers and students in order to enhance their legal knowledge concerning ICT sector and cross-sector regulation and to involve their participation in policy-making processes. The competition publicly announced from 23 September until 23 November 2019 through websites, social media, printed posters and other official sources and totally received around 30 research papers. Dr. Bold-Erdene, Deputy Director of Science School of National University of Mongolia, Mrs. Byambasuren E, Consulting Engineer of Mongolia, Mr. Zolzaya A, Director General of Broadcasting and Digital Content Department of the CITA, Mrs. Narantsetseg B, Director of Entrepreneur, Innovation and Research Department of National IT Park and Mrs. Ariuntsetseg D, Policy Expert of Digital Environment of the CITA are worked as a referees. After tough discussion and dialogues among participants and referees, following papers considered as best and agreed to be published and introduced to policy-making organizations. Photo 1. Referees Topic 1: Legal environment on digital content 1st prize: Ms. Sunderiya B, Master of School of Law, National University of Mongolia- Researches on legal regulation of digital content development In her paper, she comprehensively considered how the concept of content, including digital content, defined in legal acts and incorporated into the legal system of Mongolia, how it could be improved, and how relevant risks and conflicts could be handled. Moreover, she provided comparative studies on current legal situation with other countries, such as Germany, which has similar legal system as Mongolia, and raised specific proposals and ideas. Photo 2. 1st prize winner for the topic Legal environment on digital content 2nd prize: Mr. Sergelen D, Student of 2nd grade, Class of International Relations, University of Humanity- Develop soft-power policy through national digital contents Mr. Sergelen was one of the youngest participants, and at the beginning of his presentation, he emphasized the importance of soft-power policy. In other words, he mentioned that some countries, namely America, China, Japan and Korea, are competing for their content production and development that demonstrate their culture, history, custom and unique features and noted that Mongolia also shall pay great attention on it. He took internet game market as an example for his studies and was praised by the referees for the interesting and expedient initiation. In fact, the internet game is a kind of digital content development and not only valuable as a regular market or consumer, it can not only promote history and culture of the country, but also improve its economic benefits. 3rd prize: Mr. Margad-Erdene B, Student of 3rd grade, School of Law, National University of Mongolia- Legal environment to promote digital content This participant cited multiple sources of popular concepts and definition of digital content and emphasized that to develop this sector, the major attention shall be given to public awareness and content promotion as well as creation of new habits and attitudes on proper and great usage of those contents. Topic 2: Challenges on social media networking and their solutions 1st prize: Ms. Soninbayar Ch, Student of 2nd grade, Class of Law, Otgontenger University (private) - Challenges and solutions of social media usage (on e-commerce example) Photo 3. 1st prize winner for the topic Social Media Networking Exciting others with her speech skills, she was in the forefront picking up e-commerce as her study theme, which is the most challenging issue in Mongolia and requiring prompt and effective regulation, and provided effective studies comparing with best practices of other countries. 2nd prize: Ms. Tserenduzee E, Student of 4th grade, Class of Journalism, School of Science, National University of Mongolia- Survey of student awareness on fake news She took great appreciation from referees by conducting accurate survey among students of her peers on awareness and impact of fake news, which follows much trouble in social media networking and based on its results, made an objective assessment and proposed inventive ideas. 3rd prize: Ms. Dolgorsuren B, young Lecturer, School of ICT, Mongolian University of Science and Technology- Development of monitoring and filtering technologies in social media networks This participant touched the issue of personal security in social networking and defined the ways to solve it based on software calculation. She showed in her presentation that it is possible to develop filtering technologies to control the social media networking and proposed technical solutions to develop software that automatically check and control digital contents using big data algorithm. Photo 4. Winners of the competition As a result of the conference, besides of the study and assessment of the current legal situation for digital content and social media in Mongolia, the following recommendations were circulated: Evaluate and assess the weakness and disadvantage of existing laws and regulations;Consider websites as a media and ensure their content equality (balanced content)Improve legal environment through developing branch-law or inserting amendment on now-existing law;Promote SMEs in this field and allow them to get financial support from the Government as other SMEs;Promote national content development, for example to develop online games with Mongolian national character and support to introduce into global market;Incorporate future policies with the pride and protection of our national heritage and traditions and reflect regulating provisions, if other countries use Mongolian national heritage and historical elements in their digital content.
LAW ON BROADCASTING ADOPTED
The Parliament today provided last discussion on the drafting of Law on Broadcasting and approved it. The Law aims to define legal framework of broadcasting services, provide those services in line with national and public interests, ensure fair market competition and has articles regulating prevention from excessive ownership concentration, ownership transparency, fund of national contents and general criteria of service providers. The fund will support national contents of kids, heritage, culture and traditions. The Law shall come into force from 01 July 2020.
Let’s Join the “Share the Positive” National Campaign
Please join the “Share the Positive” campaign, organized by Crime Prevention Regulatory Union, Communications and Information Technology Authority, UN Children’s Foundation, Faro Foundation Mongolia Non-Government Organization and Facebook Inc., which aims to prevent child related crimes and risks in cyber environment, and to encourage digital literacy in social media environment.Through this campaign, we will share fresh contents and lessons on daily basis.The official National Digital Literacy program contents are available for free on the following social media accounts and pages: FB: @DigitalLiteracyMongolia Instagram: @DigitalLiteracyMongolia Twitter: @LiteracyMN Youtube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCvZSTKk6AP_buSjEQiN_dlA Also available on the following social media pages of the initiator of the National Digital Literacy Program: Mr. ZOLZAYA Arild, Director of Broadcasting and Digital Content Policy Planning Department, Communications and Information Technology Authority, Government of Mongolia. FB: @azolzaya Instagram: @MrZoloo Twitter: @MrZoloo Another key member to the campaign is Ider-Od Bat-Erdene, well known stand-up comedian in Mongolia. He has been working as advisor of Digital Literacy Campaign of CITA and local ambassador of Faro Foundation Mongolia NGO. FB: @iderod Instagram: @iderodcomedian Twitter: @iderodcomedian