“Gujarat is one of only two states in the country that has effectively set up the core e-infrastructure under the national e-governance plan (NeGP)," Ajay Sawhney, chief executive officer, national e-governance division (NeGD), government of India said on Friday. He said the challenge is to move forward and break ground.
Sawhney was speaking at the state e-governance consultation workshop, organised by DEITY and NASSCOM, in Surat. Giving a timeline for the completion of core projects under NeGP, he said, “We are hoping that by 2012-13, the core infrastructure of NeGP should be in place across the country.”
Moreover, he said that though the government has progressed considerably in setting up the infrastructure, it is still far from a position where an average citizen can take these services on anywhere, anytime basis.
Delivering his inaugural address, Ravi Saxena, additional chief secretary, department of science and technology, government of Gujarat, said, “The state has taken many unique steps including with the help of e-Government, it is bringing government from district to Taluka and from Taluka to the village through ATVT project. This has been made possible by Gujarat State Wide Area Network (GSWAN) that connects all 26 districts, 225 Talukas, interconnecting 4,400-plus State Government offices and 38,000-plus users. He however stated that though the State has immense demand for connectivity from units in Taluka centres, connectivity beyond Talukas remains a challenge, even though applications are getting more populated across GSWAN.
Speaking on security issues, he stated that the state data centre (SDC) is most secure platform for hosting government applications. He also said that each village panchayat is now on broadband. Gujarat is the only state to launch e-voting system.
Elaborating on various e-governance measures adopted by the state, he said that the state’s online job application system (OJAS) has facilitated 15 lakh applications and it has brought in transparency by removing human interaction in the system. The state wide attention on grievances by application of technology (SWAGAT) project, since 2003, has disposed of 91.04% applications. The public distribution system has been implemented in 207 e-gram centres. Property tax applications have removed tax disputes by bringing in 100% tax recovery. Gujarat is known for Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BiSAG) planning and its complete state map has no anomalies.
Seeking on future roadmap, he said that the state will be focusing on connectivity with people, digital literacy, and capacity building, with the help from government of India. Expressing concerns that despite progress Gujarat is way behind their targets, he emphasised, “There has to be digital pedagogy which is required for illiterates of the country.”
Rajiv Vasudev, vice-president, National Association of Software and Services Company (NASSCOM), said through their portal, egovreach.in, companies could register themselves for IT products, services and solutions that they are providing to the government, which government departments could access so that they could identity right technology partners. NASSCOM’s attempt was to identify emerging companies in IT BPO sector so that they could participate in government tendering, he said.
During the daylong workshop, the Gujarat Government showcased IT solutions implemented in Police and BISAG - Department of Science & Technology .
This consultative meet is the 16th in a series of 50 workshops being organised in all State Capitals and UTs across India. This is being done to amplify the mission and message of the NeGP: "Public Services Closer Home".
NeGP, a key component of the Central Government's "inclusive growth" strategy, was approved by the Cabinet in May 2006. It aims to deliver public services to the common man in his locality, to make them both accessible and affordable.
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