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Govt to mandate RFID cards for all toll payments

Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath has said that the government will soon be making it a must for all vehicles to be fitted with RFID  cards for making road toll payments.

“Within 18 months we will ensure that RFID is being installed in every vehicle.  It will be like a chip that you use for mobile phone. You charge it with whatever  amount you want and make the payment when required,” Nath said.

All new vehicles would be coming with pre-fitted RFID chips, once the new rule  comes into effect. Nath said each card would cost `70 initially and the price may go down to `50 once the chip is used on a large scale.

The minister further said the RFID technology would help bring in consistency and transparency to the toll collection process. “It is quite safe and most advanced technology. It can be used for various purposes.”

RFID uses communication via electromagnetic waves to exchange data between an object, in this case vehicles and a terminal. The technology, generally used for identification and tracking purposes, can be used on any products, animal or person.

Identity Management
Orissa to make UID more inclusive, adds 12 base specs

In Orissa, at least a dozen more specifications will be added to the ‘Aadhaar’ scheme for providing unique identification (UID) numbers to citizens, according to the state government.

A decision to this effect has been taken at a high-level meeting attended by chief secretary, director census for the state, among other officials. The list of  specifications will include documents like ration card, BPL/ APL, driving   license, PAN, EPIC, passport, Kissan and credit card, LPG, Rashtriya Swasthya Vikas Yojana, pension ID and pass book numbers and NREGS data. Orissa chief secretary BK Patnaik said the work for biometric data collection for preparation of UID would start in December from eight districts in the Kalahandi-Balangir-Koraput region. People are expected to be getting UID in these areas from around mid-2011.

Public Grievance
Karnataka to offer call centre-based RTI services

Government of Karnataka will be adding telephony as a channel that can beused by citizens for Right to Information (RTI) services to enable citizens who are  not computer savvy access information from government departments. It also plans to set up citizen call centres for the purpose.

Citizens will also be able to register and escalate complaints through the call centre channel, which will be integrated with the public grievance management system.

Health
e-Health cards for Uttarakhand govt employees soon

Uttarakhand state government employees and pensioners will be provided with health smart cards, under a scheme that will cover two lakh employees for cashless treatment. The facility will be available in the listed government and private hospitals across the country.

The health smart card scheme will save government employees from the hassle  of arranging for cash in an emergency. Till now, the process required them to pay for their medical expenses in cash and apply for reimbursement later.

DJB to have new water billing system

Delhi Jal Board, with a view to plug the gaps of a legacy billing system, will go for new water billing system through IT major Tata Consultancy Services. This was decided in a meeting of senior DJB officials, presided by Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit.

The new billing system will be Web-based and allow citizens to pay their bills online.

The monitoring and tracking of water tankers will also be computerised, by  installation of Global Positioning Systems on the tankers. This will help ensure timely delivery and supply of water through tankers, as a penalty would be  levied in case of a lapse in service. DJB has also decided to involve private  sector in installation and maintenance of water meters in select areas, to begin  with.

Agriculture
Punjab mulls online payment option for farmers

Punjab government has implemented an online payment system for farmers and commission agents for food grains procured from farmers by various agencies. While Punjab Foodgrains Corporation (Pungrain) and Food Corporation of India (FCI) have already implemented the e-payment system, the Punjab State Civil Supplies Corporation is expected to go live with the  system in the next season.

The state government has directed that commission agents are to get the payment within 48 hours of procurement. While the state Food and Civil supplies Department has tied up with all major nationalised and private sector banks and the government is expecting complete coverage of e-payment for commission agents by the next fiscal year.

Finance
J&K goes for integrated treasury management

The Jammu & Kashmir government has chalked out a `27 crore plan for computerising of state treasuries. The first phase of implementation slated for the current fiscal will cover eleven treasuries, including six in Kashmir and five in Jammu division.

The development of a new treasury software— Integrated Financial Management System—is being done by the state unit of National Informatics Centre.

Security
Assam police to get CCTns training labs

Assam police has floated a tender for supply, installation, networking and commissioning of IT hardware for setting up 33 of Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) training labs in the state.

The initiative is aimed at modernising the state police force by training them on use of state-of-the-art criminal tracking tools and technologies. The training is also expected to equip select state police personnel for the implementation of CCTNS in the state. Once completed, it will help the police counter organised crime in the state, which has been on the rise.

The state government has also constituted an eight member team including police, intelligence officers, special branch sleuths and National Informatics  Commission (NIC) for creating awareness of benefits of ICT and developmentof basic computer skills, sources added. “This is part of the national project and once it starts functioning it would help our police and intelligence officers to tackle the crime and criminals in more efficient way,” a senior Assam Police official said. The state has witnessed spurt in organised crimes being committed by criminals with interstate links and the state government is optimistic that with the roll out of the nation-wide CCTNS project, police officers would be able to track criminals who take shelter in other states after committing the crimes in Assam.



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