Smart Governance: There is Ever Increasing Awareness Among Citizens About Their Rights

Smart Givernance

Today there is ever increasing awareness among citizens about their rights, which has also given rise to expectations from the government to perform and deliver. This has resulted in a paradigm shift in the way governments have to govern or are expected to govern. Governments are expected to be transparent in its dealings, accountable for its activities and faster in its responses.

The session on Smart Governance which included panelists like Sanjiv Mittal, Chief Executive Officer, National Institute for Smart Governance and Shri Rathan Kelkar, Chief Execuitve Officer, Centre for e-Governance, Government of Karnataka, deliberated on this very key issue, at the India Digital Summit.

“Karnataka is in the forefront to ensure that National Optical Fibre Network reaches each and every Gram Panchayat in the state”, said Mr. Kelkar in his presentation. “The Centre for e-Governance (CeG) has been mandated to e-enable the government. As a part of that mandate, we maintain core infrastructure of the state like State Data Center, WAN, Secretariat LAN, touch points like ‘Bangalore One’ and ‘Karnataka One’ for the citizens and run common applications for the government like HRMS (payroll and service register maintenance). HRMS is widely accepted by employees working in the government where salaries and service matters are dealt with. Then, we have an e-procurement portal where any procurement above Rs 5 lakh is covered.

Besides, CeG has a mandate to build the capacity of departments for handling e-Governance activities. We do National Institute for Smart Government (NISG)-related module called STEP (Support to Training & Employment Programme) for employees and also conduct vast trainings for any new application and computer-related activity. We also help departments in clearing their annual action plans and give consent for their e-governance initiatives, so that there is no duplicity and the best practices are followed.”

Speaking about ‘Karnataka Mobile One’, Mr Kelkar said, “Karnataka mobile One is a single unified mobile platform launched by Hon’ble President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee, along with Hon’ble Governor and Hon’ble Chief Minister, on the 8th of December 2014. Karnataka Mobile One offers services on SMS, USSD, IVR, mobile web and mobile apps. We have on-boarded over 37 departments offering over 650 G2C services and more than 4,000 B2C services. The Department of Telecommunications has allotted 161 for IVR and *161# as USSD number, which has been opened across all major telecom companies. The response to the platform is very encouraging and it has been receiving excellent reviews on the project. We intend to on-board many other departments and citizen-centric private services as well in the future.”

Other major point which came out from the session was that there is a lot of co-ordination among various stakeholders with respect to the Digital India programme. Karnataka is in the forefront to ensure that NOFN (National Optical Fibre Network) reaches each and every Gram Panchayat in the state. Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) has assured that entire Karnataka would be covered by December 2015. The second aspect is to connect all departments through this line, which is happening through Karnataka State Wide Area Network (KSWAN) 2.0. We have already released an RFP for the same on gen-next architecture

From the state’s perspective, Karnataka has a good data center and is coming with a backup DR site. One of the touch points and focus for Digital India is reaching the citizens at their doorsteps, and ‘m-Governance’ platform has already been launched bringing services to the finger tips of the people. These developments make a cent-per-cent e- literate state a possibility in the near future.

Mr. Mittal said that that several aspects of the Digital India programme such as connectivity, technology, the new government at the centre, e-governance and financial inclusions among others should be seen from the point of view of the consumer i.e. the Indian citizen. He informed, “Our objective is to ensure that there is at least one digital literate person in every household in India.

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