Monday, February 25, 2008

Online governance in India

Governance in Jharkhand is all set to go online even at the grassroots level. Common service centres would be set up at each of the 4,562 panchayats in the state by March 31 where villagers can avail services like registration of certificates, filing commercial taxes among others.

“We have already set up such centres at more than 3,000 panchayats. The rest would be over by the end of this fiscal,” said R.S. Sharma, the state principal secretary of IT.

The centres — kiosks set up by the government and operated by private companies — would also offer record of rights and also documents related to transport. “We are among the first to connect all the 212 blocks and 4,500 offices through IP phone and data cable. The IP phones facilitate video-conferencing at lower cost. In fact, public distribution centres, jails, treasuries and co-operative banks are also put on a wide area network,” Sharma said pointing out the advantages e-governance has over the conventional methods of governance.

With the kiosks being outsourced to private companies, the services, however, would not come free. “There is no concept of free lunch anymore,” Sharma quipped, adding that only a token charge would be levied for the services rendered to the villagers at their doorstep.

“We are also trying to use geographic information system (GIS) for digital mapping of districts so as to know the exact location of a village. GIS would also be used to calculate how much rainfall an area receives in a year to facilitate irrigation. We are also trying to put emphasis on water harvesting mapping using GIS in the ground level,” said Sharma while attending Infocom, an initiative of Businessworld, an ABP Group publication which also publishes The Telegraph, in Calcutta.

Sharma also said that funds were not a hindrance to the ideas as the Union government supported their initiative with National E-governance Plan (NEGP). “With adequate funds, we have put the infrastructure in right place. The result of our efforts lie in future,” he said.

Via Source :


Post a Comment