In 1995 my college got its initial taste of e-mail via dialup and UUCP over a 2400 bps line. This was not the Internet. A few months later we "upgraded" to a 9.6 kbps VSAT link and got the first taste of the web. This 9.6 kbps would have been shared between 25-30 people (those in the computer center at the time). Fast forward to my first job at the end of 1996 with a prestigious computing research organisation of India. 100 people sharing a 14.4 kbps VSAT link. How happy were we when it was upgraded to a 64 kbps terrestrial radio link. At home, I got a dial-up connection in 2000 that never gave me more than 44.1 kbps :(
I do agree with you that the government agency does need to a lot towards transparency and openness.
As per your point about ISCII - well, isn't it a fact that Unicode for Indian scripts is largely ISCII.
Anyway: can you point me to good FOSS OCR for Indian languages.