The e-Maharashtra 2012, a prestigious ICT and e-Governance event for the State government of Maharashtra, was held on 27 April 2012, at the Yashwantrao Chavan Pratishthan, Nariman Point, Mumbai. The event was attended by Ministers and Senior Executives from the State government, industry leaders, thought leaders, policy makers, academicians, researchers, technology vendors and other eminent delegates.
e-Maharashtra 2012 served as a vibrant platform for dialogues, debates and deliberations on the various avenues by which effective e-Governance can be brought to the state of Maharashtra. Effectively this event became a platform for seeing, feeling and understanding the future of e-Governance services in the state of Maharashtra and rest of the country.
During the event prestigious e-Maharashtra awards were also conferred on leading developers of solutions in e-Governance in various categories. The recipients of the awards were judged by an eminent panel of independent jury, who followed the basic criteria of recognising excellence and innovations in e-Governance space.
With the purpose of bringing in more awareness, e-readiness and familiarity to nominated solutions, the awards were given under another category of ‘Public choice’ (through online voting), other than ‘Jury choice’ award. There was overwhelming response for the online public poll – a whopping 22,775 votes were polled.
Putting spotlight on Maharashtra
The e-Maharashtra 2012 was organised by Centre for Science Development and Media Studies (CSDMS) and Elets Technomedia and was supported by the Department of IT, Government of Maharashtra. The event also had the support of UIDAI West region, and of associations like YASHADA, ISODA and TAIT. e-Maharashtra served the purpose of directingthe spotlight on the initiatives taken by various government departments in Maharashtra, for creating a better physical and virtual infrastructure. The fact that the solutions from ICT are leading to seminal improvements in the quality of life in the State’s towns and villages, became fully established through the presentations of many stakeholders.
Digital divide is slowly disappearing
In urban areas of the country many new technological systems have already taken root. Butin rural areas in general, technology is yet to make a substantive breakthrough. In that context Maharashtra has fared better than many other States in the country, in making the best aspects of modern technology available to its rural population.
The e-Maharashtra event introduced to many of us, a host of new e-Governance initiatives, that have been launched by various government departments in the rural areas. We also learned about the contributions that the private sector companies are making in the creation of cutting edge ICT infrastructure in rural areas.
Organisation of the mega event
Rated as one of most desired speaking opportunities for ministers, officials, CEOs, thought leaders and academicians, the e-Maharashtra event had inaugural speeches from:
• Shri Balasaheb Bhausaheb Thorat, Hon’ble Minister, Revenue and Khar Lands, Governmentof Maharashtra
• Shri Anil Deshmukh, Honb’le Minister, Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection, Government of Maharashtra
• Mse Fauzia T Khan, Honb’le State Minister, General Administration, Information and Publicity, Government of Maharashtra
• Shri Rajesh Tope, Honb’le Minister, Higher and Technical Education, Government of Maharashtra
• Shri J Satyanarayana, Secretary, Department of Information Technology, Government of India
Shri Rajesh Aggrawal, Secretary, IT, Government of Maharashtra, delivered the welcome address. The event was divided into different sessions, each one of which focussed on certain section of e-Governance in Maharashtra. The invigorating summits included those
that were on – Success Stories & Opportunities, ICT in Healthcare, ICT in Financial Inclusion, Taxation, Excise and Finance, ICT in Education: Moving Towards a Knowledge State and Urban Governance and Infrastructure The additional feature for the event was the ‘e-Maharashtra Expo’ that showcased a wide array of the latest technology, technology products and solutions, especially designed and developed for the government, businesses and end-users.