February 2007

News India

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KALAM ADVOCATES ESTABLISHING INSURANCE E-GOVERNANCE GRID

PRESIDENT A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, in his address recently at Pune to mark 25 years of the National Insurance Academy (NIA), advocated the need to establish an insurance e-Governance grid to enable a total company-wide connected environment. Kalam remarked that even though the present insurance industry in India has undertaken the computerisation of different sub-systems, it is still a long way to go towards using e-Governance. “The insurance grid will need to have a secured virtual private network connectivity with PKI Infrastructure with necessary dynamic encryption systems. NIA should work on strategies to enable firms to accept authenticated digital signature for all insurance transactions including financial audit,” President Kalam said.

DELHI E-GOVERNANCE ROADMAP LAUNCHED

DELHI Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit recently launched the e-Governance roadmap for the State stipulating the e-Governance vision and strategies to bring about all round development. Dikshit hopes that her dream of a paperless secretariat would soon become a reality bringing about a signifi cant change in work culture and effective curbing of corruption. Delhi plans to roll out e-Governance services in the next fi ve years. The e-services to be rolled out numbers 115, and have been classifi ed as G2C, G2B, G2G, G2E, G2N for citizens, businesses, other Government departments, employees and non-government organisations respectively. The e-Governance initiatives would be undertaken in various sectors such as health, education, welfare, infrastructure, finance, revenue, support and administration.

COMPUTERISATION OF EMPLOYMENT EXCHANGES ON THE CARDS

THE Central Government has announced that employment exchanges would soon be computerised across India. The computerisation would be done under the National e-Governance Programme (NeGP). The Central Government would bear 75% of the cost burden, while the respective States would share the remaining cost. Many States have already expressed their desire to computerise their respective employment exchanges with the assistance of the Centre. The software for the employment exchanges would be prepared by the National Informatics Centres (NICs) of the respective States. According to an NIC offi cial currently there are two specifi c targeted states for which the software for e-processing of employment is being worked out. Over eight States have expressed priority for employment exchanges in their list of MMPs (Mission Mode Projects).

Jharkhand to establish its first CSC

IN an effort to bridge the gap between the Government and citizen, the State of Jharkhand has decided to establish its fi rst CSC (Common Service Centre) under the NeGP (National e-Governance Programme). The CSC would act as the single gateway for G2C (Government-to-Citizen) services. Aruna Sundararajan, Chief Executive Offi cer of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services and in-charge of CSC’s project under DIT (Department of Information Technology), said that Jharkhand’s first CSC would be established in the next 2-3 months. Presently, there are 15,000 CSCs functioning in different parts of India, and are being run by various companies and agencies.

Bihar becomes India’s first in T-Governance

AFTERe-Governance and m-Governance, it is now the turn of T-Governance. The State of Bihar has decided to take the lead in T-Governance and has become the fi rst State in India to do so. With an aim to empower people and bring transparency as well as accountability in the administration, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar recently announced the setting up of the RTI (Right to Information) helpline in coordination with an NGO, Parivartan. According to Mr. Kumar this step was necessary because most of the people wanting to fi le RTI applications were simply unable to do so owing to the technicalities involved. “In most of the cases, offi cials were found unavailable. Even, some offi ces were located in far away places. The new call centre service would save the common man from the nitty-gritty problems of RTI application. It is the responsibility of the call centre to redress the grievance,” Kumar said and added, “People have a right to know about the fate of ongoing projects, reasons for delay, amount spent, status of loan applications, etc. It is hoped that the helpline acts as a deterrent against corruption.”

Amir Subhani, Secretary, Personnel, Bihar, explained that under the new provisions, the applicant would be required to dial a specifi c number forwarding his/her request to an attendant who would process it and send an application to the concerned offi cial. The applicant seeking information under the RTI Act would not be required to write an application. A duplicate copy of the applicant’s request would be forwarded to the District Magistrate through email followed by a fax message. Besides, the caller would also receive a copy of the application at his/her address within three days. The caller would also be given a special number for follow-up action. The caller would be required to pay Rs. 10 as RTI application fee, which would be added to the telephone call charge.

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