Chief Minister

NEW IDENTITY FOR LAND OF SAND ‘N’ SURFING

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Laxmikant Yashwani Parsekar

June Issue

e-services in Goa started with just three departments in 2011 – Department of Tourism, Directorate of Panchayats and Commercial Taxes Department – and now they are there across the departments of the State Government. And, all this has been made possible with extensive digitisation of records across the board, says Priya Yadav of Elets News Network (ENN)

It has long been known as the land of surfing, sunshine and parties – but country’s most popular tourist destination is fast gaining another identity: backed by a strong governmental support and innovative strategies, Goa has taken a leap into the future and emerged as a State with one of the most effective eGovernance mechanisms in place.

This new identity has turned the country’s most cosmopolitan State from a most-sought-after tourism hub into a technology hub. It is fast taking the shape of a start-ups’ paradise for young entrepreneurs and a favourite investment destination for giant business houses, alike.

It is not just the sun kissed beaches, with their flock of international tourists that are giving Goa all the fame now. A quiet revolution that began in the dusty corridors of power a decade ago has finally borne fruit, and Goa is now being acknowledged as one of the most e-ready states, with Info Tech Corporation of Goa Ltd recently bagging national prize for successful implementation of the “state-wide e-tendering solution with e-payment integration” under the category “e-Governance in Public Procurement”. Making initiatives successful is its Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, who has, since he assumed office a year ago, tirelessly worked towards governance reforms and kept Information & Communication Technology initiatives in the forefront. Buoyed by the change in the government’s approach, big business houses, along with young entrepreneurs, have made a beeline to the State of sand and sunshine.

State’s various agencies, like the municipal corporation of the city of Panaji, have already gone paperless, with most of the government services being rendered online since last year. The government has classified the eGovernance processes into several sections, including administration, RTI, legal, library, document management, time management, GPS survey, government schemes, inventory management projects, solid waste management, payment gateways, technical sections – all of which have been given a timeline for final execution.

It’s not just the sun-kissed beaches, with their flock of international tourists that are giving Goa all the fame now. A quiet revolution that began in the dusty corridors of power a decade ago has finally borne fruit, and Goa is now being acknowledged as one of the most e-ready states

What began with launching of e-services in three departments in 2011 – Department of Tourism, Directorate of Panchayats and Commercial Taxes Department – has panned out to all the departments of the State Government. And, all this has been made possible with extensive digitisation of records across the board.

Goa has shown a keenness for a project to trace the owners of unclaimed vehicles lying in police stations, besides replicating Suraksha Setu project, under which 604 CCTV cameras, connected to a control room through a 200-kmlong underground optical fibre network, have been installed at 113 strategic locations, leading to a reduction in crime rate by a third.

Coupled with the determination of the Chief Minister is the initiative of the country’s incumbent Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar, who has brought international attention to the State of sand and sundowners, as Def Expo as well as the Aero Expo, traditionally held in Delhi and Bengaluru, have been brought here. The former Portugese colony’s fate is being reshaped as government is taking initiatives to ensure economic prosperity in the State, along with providing complete security to the citizens and the industry that will take the State amongst the top performers in the country.

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