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Webel, Oracle to knit Bengal

Calcutta, Dec. 3: The West Bengal Electronics Industry Development Corporation (Webel) proposes to join hands with software enabler Oracle India to usher in e-governance in the state.

“The state has identified four thrust areas for successful implementation of e-governance—achieving connectivity, automation of internal processes, delivering public service utilities and educating citizens,” Webel managing director S. K. Mitra said at a seminar on e-governance.

“E-governance should be a good communication mechanism between the government and the citizen and help in improving public interaction. The focus should be on providing utilities to citizens rather than reducing government costs, which takes place in the long run,” Oracle India managing director Shekhar Dasgupta said.

Software major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the application service provider for the e-governance project, has conducted a system study for 14 government departments.

Oracle is currently involved in e-governance projects in 13 states and the commercial tax, treasury and employment exchange in Bengal already run on Oracle software.

The government is also planning to set up citizen-centric kiosks across the state to provide access for various utility services in the districts and villages.

“We have not yet identified the areas of co-operation with Oracle,” minister for information technology Manabendra Mukherjee said. “We have held initial talks and will reach a decision soon.”

“Several state governments have realised the importance of e-governance for providing effective solutions to solve citizens’ problems. The critical factors essential for the success of e-government projects world-wide include strong leadership, choosing a centralised architecture, acquiring capability for e-governance and setting up key measurement criteria for rollout of services,” Dasgupta added.

Mitra said the West Bengal State Wide Area Network project would embrace more government departments in due course.

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