The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Wired-up state geared for info web

Calcutta, Jan. 20: After tasting success with its government to citizen (G2C) portal, the state government is ready to set up a government to government (G2G) portal that will facilitate information flow across its 52 departments.

The new portal will help the senior officials posted in the districts share information.

“For a proper G2C interaction, the various departments are doing lots of back end processing. So, digital data storing is in and now we are looking at the feasibility of hosting the data centrally, which the various departments can access,” said infotech secretary D. P. Patra.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee launched the G2C portal — developed jointly by the Tata Consultancy Services and Webel — in the first week of January. The portal has made citizen-government interface easier as the Net is used to access government guidelines and stipulations. People can even download forms from the sites.

G2G, on the other hand, will help in better co-ordination among the departments and the district administrations.

Connectivity, one of the most important factors for the success of a G2G portal involving all the departments, won’t pose any problem as the entire state is wired up by BSNL and Reliance’s network, felt the government officials.

With connectivity being taken care of, the challenge will be in terms of content and restricting its use beyond the desired group. “Once the departments are ready with their data inputs, hosting them and developing applications won’t pose much of a challenge. There will also be fire-walls to protect information being misused,” said Patra.

Though no deadline has been fixed, the details of the project —billed as a step to enhance efficiency and make decision making faster — are being worked out by the government’s high-powered committee on the use of WAN (wide area network).

But no one in the government is willing to divulge on the economics behind the project. “The G2C portal is developed in a way so that it can sustain itself commercially. The users are paying charges to access the information. But here, the government departments will be interacting and so it has to be cost-effective,” said Patra.

While IT officials are busy drawing up plans for the G2G portal, the stage is set for its expansion. “In the first phase, we covered 81 places, now we are working towards extending our presence,” the Webel chief said.

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