Bihar to match Gurgaon and Bangalore in IT : Nitish

Offers free land to IT companies in Bihar


Pratap Vikram Singh | December 8, 2011

Bihar will be a major IT hub like Bangalore and Gurgaon. This was stated by Bihar chief minister, Nitish Kumar while inagurating  the 11th state consultative workshop, “Citizen Centric e-Government”, in the state capital today.
Delivering his inaugural address, he said, “We want to deliver services to the people with utmost transparency, which could only be done through the use of information technology (IT).” “In the past six months, Bihar has progressed well.”
Citing an example of the way e-governance has evolved in state, the CM recalled, “When I first joined chief minister’s office, the office and the secretariat had Remington’s type writer machines. But now it has all been computerised. We aim to be the pioneer state in use of IT and e-governance.”
Giving the present state of e-governance in the state, he said that currently, all the applications are submitted online. On the right to information (RTI) project, Jaankari, he said, “Jaankari project has led to greater use of e-governance and IT in the public administration. We have received more than a lakh calls so far.”
Commending the state departments on their early adoption of IT, the CM said, “Despite all sorts of basic resources crunch, many of the state departments’ workflow has been computerised. The state treasuries have been completely computerised. Our registration automation has been appreciated as one of the best e-governance initiatives.”
Speaking on the recently enacted law on right to services, he said, “We enforced right to services law on 15th August, 2011. So far 50 lakh people have claimed services under the act. Most of the services requests were for caste, income and residential certificates. Almost 16 lakh people have claimed housing facility under this act. Since December 1, the services applications are submitted online.”
Commenting on the government’s commitment on increasing the number of IT institutions in the state, the CM said like Bangalore and Gurgaon, the two major IT hubs nationally, his government will try to make Bihar a big IT hub too.
Urging the entrepreneurs to set up their ventures in the state, the CM said, “We have a sound law and order here in the state. Round the clock, people can travel from one end to other in the state. We will provide our full support to the entrepreneurs to invest and set their businesses here.”
Highlighting the need to deal with e-waste, CM stated, “We also need to deliberate on dealing with e-waste, since the disposal of e-waste is a major issue.” As a solution, he proposed to deliberate on recycling of e-waste and use of green technology.
He also laid stress on computer literacy in the state. “Computer literacy is being given big significance these days, nationally. We will promote e-literacy in the state Bihar as we go ahead,” he said. 

Saheed Ali Khan, IT Minister, Government of Bihar, said that Bihar was way behind in IT. “We started late, in comparison to other states. However, presently, we are quite ahead in using IT. The recently launched state IT policy is a novel step towards taking the state ahead in IT and e-governance, “he said. 
The minister urged the department of IT, Government of India, to provide some relaxation in selection of service providers in e-governance projects. “The selection of IT service providers and the tendering process has to be made little liberal. It is too rigid, in its present manner.”
“We want entrepreneurs to invest and set up their businesses in the state.  For that they need to be incentivised,” he added. 
Ajay Sawhney, Chief Executive Officer, National e-Governance Division, Department of IT, Government of India elaborated on the various capacity building initiatives for all states and union territories. He said, “Through a slew of capacity building measures, we aim to provide the technical support and specialized training to the state personnel to create conducive environment for spread of e-governance.”
“We are pumping capacity through various initiatives which include recruitment in the State eMission Teams, training from policy to Panchayat level, ensuring smart knowledge management and appointing and training Chief Information Officers (CIOs) for the departments,” he added.
In his presentation, Arun Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary, Department of IT, Government of Bihar, said that it was only in year 2005 that the first IT initiatives were under taken, Couple of years later, in 2007, the state created the IT department. 
Elaborating on states IT vision, Shri Singh said, “State envisions to use information and communication technology to empower the masses through easier access to information, transforming government process for better service delivery and as a vehicle for economic development of the state.”
Providing status update of NeGP projects, he said, that under Common Service Centres (CSCs) project 8463 Vasudha Kendras are to be established out of which 7952 has already been completed at Panchayat level. Elaborating on services which will be delivered through the Kendras, he said, “Identification of government to citizen (G2C) services through CSC  is completed and will be  launched soon.” 
Presently, “applications submission under Pension scheme and coupons scanning and counting under PDS are being done through these centres,” he said. Besides, the IT department, in collaboration with Commercial Tax Department, is facilitating delivery of registration and e-filing for small businessman from CSCs or the Vasudha Kendras. “Various kinds of education courses for students in general category and courses for other youths which can generate employment are operational through these centres,” he added.
During the day-long workshop, the Bihar Government showcased IT solutions implemented in Rural Development department, State Information Commission, Food and Civil Supplies, General Administration, Information Technology, among others.
 The workshop was organised by Department of Information Technology, Government of India, Department of Information Technology, Government of Bihar, in association with  NASSCOM. This consultative meet is the 11th in 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 National e-Governance Plan: "Public Services Closer Home".

With many states in various stages of rolling out many public services on the e-governance platform, the NeGP Apex Committee has decided to create awareness about NeGP initiatives among stakeholders, discuss challenges in delivery of e-services, identify state specific issues and understand emerging technologies from Industry. The string of workshops will cover all state Capitals, UTs and some important cities between now and July 2012.
The workshop was attended by key stakeholders of the National e-Governance Plan  drawn from Central and State Government, e-governance consultants, technology partners and implementing agencies.
The National e-Governance Plan, 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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