Punjab, the land of five rivers, has since ages been known as the ‘food bowl’ of the country and popular for its diverse range of cuisine and culture. However, with the Central Government acknowledging the State as the one leading in eGovernance and asking the rest of the states to emulate its model, Punjab has also come to be known as a State that ensures its citizens access various government services in a hassle-free manner.
In fact, a silent revolution of sorts has been sweeping the Punjab administration, making it tech-savvy, citizen-centric, advanced and effective in its day-to-day governance. Today, the State Government is offering a number of services through electronic mode of service delivery. It has launched many ICT-led initiatives, which reach significant benefits to both citizens and businesses, and also bring transparency and efficiency in the government functioning.
Currently, the focus of all the departments is on backend digitisation, which includes providing computing infrastructure in the field offices, connectivity through Punjab State Wide Area Network, data digitisation, capacity building, et al. Moving beyond mere digitisation of documents in the name of eGovernance, the State is about changing people’s mindset, procedures and the way the government functions.
The framework for eGovernance in Punjab was laid out in 2002. Ever since, it went on to effectively implement eGovernance in fields such as Education, Health, Food and Civil Supplies, which have together translated into an enviable rate of the State’s GDP growth. With continuous improvements throughout its e-journey in various phases — starting from informative to interactive to transactional to transformational, Punjab has come a long way. In other words, the State is all geared up to make its eGovernance mission a success by aligning with the Government of India’s ambitious “Digital India” programme.
With a view to showcasing its achievements and its unique initiatives, Elets Technomedia, in association with the Government of Punjab, is organising “ePunjab Summit 2016” in Chandigarh on February 26. The Summit will see State’s policymakers, senior government officials from Punjab and outside, and experts in eGovernance converging on one platform to deliberate, discuss and suggest the path for better governance, not just for the State but for the country at large. The meet will also feature various enlightening sessions on Digital India, Smart Cities, eGovernance and mGovernance, Financial Inclusion, Make in India, IT in Education, IT in Health, etc.
We hope this Special Issue of the magazine brings you an over-all view of eGovernance as unfolding in Punjab and elsewhere in the country.