August 2008

Municipalities on IT Road

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Information technology, without any doubt, can reduce the pressure on municipalities. It can be of immense help to people as well. They can actually avail the services of the municipality from their homes. No wonder every municipality has to be digitised if it wants to serve its citizens effectively.

However, the process of digitisation is not simple. There are several blockades that come in its way. Issues like lack of funds, untrained staff, bureaucracy etc. are some of the issues that have made the dream of digitisation of municipalities a difficult one to achieve. However, there are several municipalities in our country which are doing exceptional work. This issue of ours is a tribute to those municipalities who have overcome tremendous odds and are using information technology to serve people to the best of their abilities.

In this issue of ours, which also is the special issue on municipalities, we have come up with the interviews of several municipal commissioners who have catapulted their municipalities on the fast track of IT. Needless to say that these are also the municipalities that have been performing creditably in our country. The issue also has a write-up from the only Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the country who has summed up the significance of CIO’s post, the need of more CIOs in the country as well as how municipalities have to change their functioning to counter the changing times.

In today’s times when the impact of IT is being experienced by every organisation, municipalities cannot be left far behind. If they have to serve people in a better way they will have to get digitised. Not only would it facilitate their interactions with citizens but also help them in managing their work efficiently and professionally.

Keeping in mind the growing impact of IT in almost every sphere of life CSDMS (Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies) is organising an ICT4D event which has seven seminal tracks. Keeping in mind the impact of IT in municipalities one session of this event is dedicated to the role of IT in municipalities and other urban local bodies. The event would prove to be a perfect platform for municipalities, private players and citizens who all can come together and share their experience and their expectations from IT in coming days.

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