Editorial

Building Safe, Secure and Comfortable Society

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ICT, particularly on mobile platforms, is recognised as a critical tool in health, education, governance, media, farming, and in response to natural disasters. But it is the researchers in the field of defence who have innovated some of the most landmark ICT systems. The ARPAnet (Advanced Research Projects Agency Networks) from which the modern Internet began its journey in the late 1960s was started with a completely military objective.

During the last two decades leading ICT companies have sold goods and services to defence organisations enabling them to dramatically improve their surveillance and intelligence capabilities. Instead of iron, it is sensors based on advanced microchips that symbolise the new sinews of war. But similar microchips also find their way in many civilian devices.

In this issue of eGov we are putting the spotlight on the role that ICT is playing in defence and security. Hardly anyone will argue against the critical need of using latest technology to enhance the capabilities of our defence forces. But when it comes to managing the security of our public or privately owned online systems, there exists a range of opinion on how to accomplish this goal. We need to enhance the security, and we also need to maintain the efficiency of the one-click one-touch system.

To present a complete picture of the existing security scenario we have collated views from the defence, government establishments and from the leading private players. What makes the current issue of eGov stand out is the comprehensive interaction that we have fostered with government departments and the Public Sector Units. While the private ICT companies help us in building an efficient, interconnected, and transparent world, it is the government entities that have the ultimate responsibility of keeping systems secure.

The discussions on security scenario that we started in the February issue of the magazine have continued through the March issue and finally led us to the engrossing discussion on issues of public safety, security and disaster management at the SecureIT (http://secureit.eletsonline.com/) conference on 1st March 2012.

Inspired by the large strides that Maharashtra has made in fostering digitally inclusive society, we have chosen Mumbai as the venue for the eMaharashtra 2012 (http://emaharashtra.eletsonline.com/) in April. The eMaharashtra is part of our plan to focus on the public sector units and private players on state level, so that we don’t miss out on local issues. In our opinion a better understanding of issues of national and international ramifications is only possible when we start engaging at local and grassroots levels.

We look forward to having your feedback for March issue of eGov.

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