“Technology adoption at mass level key to success of eGov initiatives”

Minister maintains that there are no silos and barriers in digital world

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Samir Sachdeva | July 13, 2011



Sachin Pilot, Minister of State for Communication s and Information and Technology, Government of India today stressed on the need for driving down the national digital agenda  to the mass level for reaping out the benefits from e-Governance  initiatives in the country. 

Delivering his address at the conference organized by industry association ASSOCHAM and AMD on ‘Ethics, Governance and Technology’ in the Capital, Pilot reiterated the need for having content in all Indian languages and affordability so as to make ICTs a part of culture.

The minister averred that situation have improved a lot in the past decades. “The Indian population is now more aware, informed and have better access (to resources),” he said.  The teledensity has improved over past 20 years. During 1990-95, the number of phone users was one out of 100, as against in 2010, where in 72 people out of 100 use telecommunications.

On technology, Pilot said it has not only acted as an enabler but also as a leveler.  He said: “Once you are into digital world, there are no social-economic barriers and silos.” ICTs have made integration, collaboration and sharing a lot more easy. 

Speaking on the significance of use of technology in Judiciary, Justice J S Verma, former chief justice of Supreme Court said, “In 1989, the Supreme Court of India had 110,000 court arrears. With the introduction of technology, we reduced these arrears to a great extent, with eliminating vested interests, discretion, arbitrariness and inefficiency into the system. In 1994, the court arrears were around 55,000, which further got reduced to 23,000 in 1997. Later by 1998, we were able to reduce it to 19,000.”

Justice Verma said that corruption free governance is a basic right of every citizen.  In India, even after six decades of independence, the challenges of steep income inequality and poor humane conditions are yet to be addressed. It points out that there is certainly something wrong with the governance.

Prof Jean Pierre Lehman, International Political Economy, IMD Switzerland and founding director, Evian Group said that though the demographics, technology and market changed exponentially, the governance is moving at linear pace.

Dr Amitabh Rajan, Additional Secretary, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Government of India said that the issues in ethics, governance  and technology require more focused study so as to come out with solutions in these troubled times.

Ravi Swaminathan, managing director, AMD (India) laid stress on the need for speed and urgency, metrics and measurement, process reengineering, accountability, responsiveness and transparency in reforming the governance.     

On technology adoption, he said that initially IT was confined to computer nerds. Presently, it has gone to set of people, who are well educated and economically well off. So there is a greater need to expand and improve the accessibility of IT for the millions.    
 

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