His Excellency Shri R. S. Mooshahary, Governor of Meghalaya, inaugurated the e-governance consultative workshop, “Citizen Centric e-Government”, at Yojana Bhawan, in Shillong on Friday. Delivering the inaugural address Sh. Mooshahary exhorted all stakeholders to use technology as agent of progress and “embrace change”.
Pointing out the need for robust connectivity across the state, he said, “We have to make the inaccessible areas of the northeast accessible. Unless a stable telecommunications network can be developed, e-governance cannot create impact.”
Commenting on the poor connectivity, he said that the usual response to his queries regarding the absence of a stable telecommunications network was highly unsatisfactory. Every time, he said, he was told that the poor connectivity is due to some “cut or an ongoing construction”. “The attitude has to change. We either get stuck in the status quo or embrace change,” he said.
Stressing on the fact that people were getting impatient in the absence of better livelihood and employment opportunities, he said, “The information technology industry gives us hope that we will be able to fulfill responsibilities.” He said if the process is delayed any longer people would not accept it.
Elaborating on the importance of technology in people’s lives, he said, “We need support of technology in a diverse and huge country like India.”
Referring to the need for reforming the delivery of services, he said, “We are aware that failure of delivery of service in every aspect leads to frustration, corruption and acceptance of things that continue unchanged, time and again.”
Terming technology as a tool for progress, he said he believed that the IT industry is here “to redeem us from that state”. He also called for active participation from the citizens who are the biggest stakeholders.
Delivering the keynote address, Shri W. M. S. Pariat, Chief Secretary, Government of Meghalaya, said that he is very keen to see the e-services in the state are brought to a level where it can be accessed easily by the citizens. “We as a state are very lucky. Most of the core IT infrastructure is already in place. We have done better than most state governments in the region and also some states in other parts of the country,” he said.
Laying emphasis on the citizen centric approach in e-governance, he said, “The intention of such a programme is to ensure that irrespective of location, any citizen should be able to access the services. We should look from the point of view of a citizen and understand how to make it easier.”
Giving an overview of the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), Dr Rajendra Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) , Government of India, said that the NeGP was launched in 2006 to make all government services available to the common man in his locality through common service delivery outlets in order to ensure efficiency, transparency and reliability.
On the status of NeGP, he said although the core infrastructure is uneven is some states, it should be in place in most states by the end of 2012-13. In terms of human resource, he said, state e-mission teams are in place in all states and union territories.
Speaking about the proposed Electronic Delivery of Services Bill, 2011 he said that it would make it compulsory for various Government departments to deliver most of the services to citizens electronically. The objective was to create competitive, accountable, across the counter and single window service delivery for public services.
Shri D. P. Wahlang, Commissioner cum Secretary, Department of IT, Government of Meghalaya, said, “The NeGP aims to provide the best of services to the common man. It is a centralised initiative with decentralised implementation.
He said that a proposal is in the pipeline to give basic ICT training to rural citizens in the form of internet, emailing, word processing and spreadsheet. "An agreement in this regard will be shortly signed," he added.
During the day-long workshop, the Meghalaya Government showcased IT solutions implemented in various departments.
The workshop was organised by the DietY and the Department of Information Technology, Government of Meghalaya, in association with NASSCOM. This consultative meet is the 17th in a series of 50 workshops being organized in all State Capitals and UTs across India, to amplify the mission and message of the National e-Governance Plan: "Public Services Closer Home".