February 2008

Curtain Raiser

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Introduction

The XIth National e-Governance Conference is being organised jointly by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Government of India, Department of Information Technology, Government of India and Department of Information Technology, Government of Haryana. The Conference will be held from 7th -8th  February 2008, at Panchukula, Haryana, India. The forum of this annual Conference is utilised to create awareness and generate debate and deliberations on issues and challenges related to e-Governance initiatives in the country.

Objectives

The objective of the XIth National Conference on e-Governance is to recognise and promote excellence in implementation of e-Governance, upgrading the standard and quality of administration, particularly in social and public services. The conference aims to provide a knowledge-sharing platform for policy makers, practioners, industry leaders and academicians to deliberate and develop an actionable strategy for bringing in transparency and good governance.

Background

Every year the Department of Adminstrative Reforms and Public Grievances organises the Annual National e-Governance Conference along with the Department of Information Technology and a State Government. Senior officers from Government of India, secretaries from states and union territories of India, government decision-makers, academicians, technical experts, non-government organisations (NGOs), public sector executives and service providers participate and interact, exchange opinions, discuss issues, problems and also analyse various solutions, frameworks and necessary action plan for firming up the road map for e-Governance.

At each conference, the attempt is to have a new state partner. These conferences thus provide a forum to showcase vairous e-Governance initiatives taken by various state governments, industries as well as to familiarise the government sector with the latest technologies and techniques being adopted across the different governments. The various states where the National e-Governance Conference have been held till date are: Hyderabad (twice), Bhubneshwar, Chennai, Kochi, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Goa and Bhopal.

The theme of the National e-Governance Conference has evolved over a period of time. Previously, the  Conference used to be focussed on broad themes, but gradually the themes have now come to focus on a few sectors.

Theme of the XIth e-Governance Conference

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Integrated Citizen Services – Issues and Challenges’. The sectors chosen for discussions and deliberations this year are: Health; Education and Agriculture.

The Programme

The chief guest for the XIth e-Governance Conference is A Raja, Hon’ble Union Minister of Communication and Information Technology.  The inaugural session of the Conference will be presided over by HE A R Kidwai, Governer, Haryana State.

The eminent speakers at the inaugural and plenary sessions of the Conference are: Suresh Pachouri, Union Minister for State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Pawan Bansal, Union Minister for State for Finance, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister, Haryana, Adesh Pratap Singh Kairon, IT Minister, Punjab, Subas Pani, Secretary, Planning Commision, Jainder Singh, Secretary Department of Information Technology,  Rajni Razdan, Secretary,  Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Naresh Dayal, Secretary, Ministry of Health, R P Agarwal, Secretary, Higher Education and N K Sinha, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development.

The Plenary Sessions of the Conference are: Citizen-Centric Governance; Integrated Citizen Services; Enabling Integrated Service Delivery; Enhanced Developmental Impact through ICT: Focus on Spreading Education, Improving Access and Delivery and Empowering the Farmer. The sessions will be chaired by the secretary of the various ministries and departments.

The panelists include the key decision makers from the government across various sectors such as National Informatics Centre (NIC) and Education and Research Network (ERNET), National Institute of Smart Government (NISG), to name a few; corporate heads, technical experts, academicians and NGOs.

e-Governance Compendium

Papers from adminstration, academia and industry are invited on the themes are to be discussed in the plenary sessions during the conference.  All papers received are evaluated and winning contributors gets published in the Compendium and it gets the exclusive audience with the Chief Guest along with the Conference speakers. There is also an award for the best paper, which is invited for presentation at one of the plenary sessions. The themes of this year’s Compendium are: Enabling Environment for Implementation of e-Governance; Integrated Delivery of e-Services; e-Governance and Development; e-Governance and Health; e-Governance and Education and e-Governance and Rural Sector.

The winner of this year’s best paper award is Joan Macalla from Cisco for her paper on International Experiences on Integrated Delivery of e-Services.

National Awards for e-Governance

The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Government of India presents National Awards for e-Governance every year, to recognise and promote excellence in implementation of e-Governance initiatives.

The category of awards for the Conference include: Excellence in government process re-engineering; exemplary horizontal transfer of ICT-based best practice; Outstanding performance in citizen-centric service delivery; Innovative technology usage in e-Goverance; Exemplary usage of ICT by public-sector units; Best government website; Sectoral Award (Focus Sector for 2007-08- Agriculture Sector); Special Award to recognise achievements in areas not covered in any of the above specified award categories. Gold, silver and bronze icon are awarded in each category.

Achievements

The National Conference on e-Governance has been a very useful event as it has led to very concrete recommendations/outputs. The concept of e-Governance plan at the national level emerged out of the deliberations of this conference as it was felt that there is a lot of duplication of efforts, so why not have a common infrastructure and a common philosophy. Similarly the National Institute of Smart  Government was an output of these conference, as it was felt that the competency of the private sector needs to be utilised by the government. Thus, these conferences have proved to be a platform for e-Governance initiatives and their percolation among the masses in terms of Government to Government (G2G), Government to Citizens (G2C) and Government to Business (G2B).

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