Guwahati, Jan. 9: Dispur will roll out its ambitious e-district programme to expand online governance initiatives across the state by March.
A pilot project is already on in Goalpara and Sonitpur districts, offering 15 services such as certificates related to land, income, birth and death in the digital mode. These numbers will go up when the programme is extended to the remaining 25 districts.
The public can avail of the listed services through the common service centres (CSC) instead of going to a government office, which is more often than not a “horrifying” experience for most. For a hitch-free operation, Dispur plans to increase the number of centres from 3,881 to 4,375 by next year and is talking to BSNL to improve online connectivity, particularly in the two hills districts. It has also got 28 officials trained in Bihar so that they can train other government staffers from February. It will provide solar/generator facilities to maintain 24x7 power supply to the centres.
“Districts are the key delivery channels for the administration. Therefore, e-governance can significantly improve government service delivery. We will be spending over Rs 100 crore on the project, which will see the convergence between administrative reforms and IT under way in the state. We are tying up the loose ends, drawing from our experiences in the two districts where the ambitious project has shown encouraging results,” Rajiv Kumar Bora, principal secretary, personnel, IT and administrative reforms, told The Telegraph.
E-district is a State Mission Mode Project under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), a project launched to digitise high volume citizen services and internal processes of administration in the districts.
Having the project in place in all the districts has become important for Dispur as it will have to precede the Assam Rights to Public Services Act being launched in April. The act aims to deliver 47 public services in a time-bound manner, both online and offline, triggering a “mini revolution” in the way government services are accessed and delivered in the state. “Online initiatives and administrative reforms and the Results Framework Document, an instrument through which departments will prepare their vision, objective and target, will usher in a sea change. It will create a culture that will make the government even more sensitive to the needs of the public,” Bora said.
Dispur, which created its IT department in 2003 to help “accelerate” socio-economic development of the state, is also launching the online integrated public grievances cell which will help people lodge complaints against any service not covered under the Assam Rights to Public Services Act, an official said.