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“Greater public awareness about e-Governance is necessary for providing corruption-free and more efficient administration. Besides adequately training and equipping government officials with the knowledge of computers, it is also essential to enhance awareness among people about this,” said Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, India while inaugurating the 10th National e-Governance Conference at Vidhan Sabha Bhawan premises in the capital city of Bhopal. The 2-day conference, which began from February 2, provided knowledgesharing platform for policy makers, practitioners, industry leaders and academicians to deliberate, interact and develop an actionable strategy for bringing in transparency and good governance.

The conference showcased various e-Governance initiatives from all over the country, and also familiarised the Government sector with the latest technologies and techniques being adopted by different Governments. The conference, which had the theme ‘Enabling Government to Accelerate Transformation’, was organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Government of India (GoI); Department of Information Technology, GoI; and, Department of Information Technology, Government of Madhya Pradesh.

Among the dignitaries who attended the conference included Suresh Pachouri, Union Minister of State for Administration reforms and Personnel; Kailash Vijayvargiya, Minister of IT & PWD (Public Works Department), Madhya Pradesh; Rakesh Sahni, Chief Secretary, Government of Madhya Pradesh; R. Chandrashekhar, Additional Secretary, Department of Information Technology, Government of India (GoI); Rahul Sarin, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Personnel; and, Padamveer Singh, Principal Secretary, IT & PWD, Government of Madhya Pradesh. The conference saw the impressive participation of some 1350 delegates.

In his inaugural address, the Chief Minister stressed that e-Democracy is necessary for e- Governance. “e-Governance needs not only computers but also necessary infrastructure including power. Language is a critical issue involved in e-Democracy, and English continues to remain a hurdle in rural areas. Earlier, most of the government websites were in English. Directives have now been issued to make them bilingual. The deliberations of the 10th National e-Governance Conference would go a long way in resolving the various issues concerning e-Governance,” Chouhan said.

The E-readiness Assessment Report on the status of e-Governance was released by the Union Minister of State Suresh Pachouri. Speaking on the occasion, Pachouri said that the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi should be credited with ushering in the computer era in India. The challenge now is to ensure that maximum benefit should reach the rural masses in remote corners of the country. Raising concerns, Pachouri asked, “Are we applying e-Governance to the areas and sectors where conventional systems still cause a considerable amount of inconvenience to the citizens? Are we addressing the services that are most relevant to the common man, such as agriculture, healthcare and education services as well as the full spectrum of services provided by gram panchayats and municipalities? How long will it take for us to tap the potential that ICT has shown in transforming police and judicial services elsewhere in the world?” Pachouri exhorted the gathering to realise the potential benefits of ICT that extend far beyond just improvement in the delivery of government services.

He said, “If these technologies become widely available and affordable by the vast majority of our citizens, their impact would not remain limited to the services that are provided by the Government. These technologies can help people engaged in every sector to handle their current work in a better manner, bring them new jobs and business opportunities, improve their ability to reach larger markets, forge better linkages, provide them more effective mechanisms of commerce and lead to higher incomes and prosperity.” On the occasion, Pachouri also presented 14 awards for outstanding contribution in five sectors of Information Technology.

e-Governance needs not only computers but also necessary infrastructure including power. Language is a critical issue involved in e- Democracy, and English continues to remain a hurdle in rural areas. Earlier, most of the government websites were in English. Directives have now been issued to make them bilingual.

In his speech R. Chandra Shekhar disclosed that along with the National e-Governance Programme (NeGP) the Government of India has sanctioned 27 Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) to provide services and facilites to the people with the cooperation of State Governments and local bodies. The people would start benefiting from these by March 2008. “The departments of Central and State Governments are being linked to block level through broadband service of Internet. Under this, IT centres would be set up in rural areas and every centre would cover three villages to provide different services and information to the people,” Chandra Shekhar said.

Five Plenary sessions were organised during the 2-day conference. During the Plenary Session 1 on ‘e-Readiness & Rollout’, e-readiness report for 2005 with key data was presented. The session also deliberated on the emphasis on standardisation of process and data, need for adoption of shared services model by States, need for adoption of packaged solutions for rapid and stable implementation of e-Governance projects, importance of PPP model in e-Governance, replication of successful e-Governance projects and adoption of best practices, stability and reusability of the solution, need for change management, need for adoption of open standards etc. Other Plenary sessions included ‘People and Process’, ‘Resource Mobilisation’, ‘Community Participation’ and ‘Integrated Rural Service Delivery’.

10th NatioNal e-GoverNaNce awards
excellence in Government Process re-engineering

• Golden Icon – Online Student Management System: Government of NCT of Delhi
• Silver Icon – eKhazana: Science & Technology Department, Finance Department & NIC Bihar,Government of Bihar
• Bronze Icon – Double Entry Accounting Information System: Himachal Pradesh Institute of Public Administration

exemplary Horizontal transfer of ict based Best Practice
• Golden Icon – Integrated Treasuries Computerisation Project (ITCP): Directorate of Treasuries & Accounts, Government of Madhya Pradesh
• Silver Icon – SAARTHI & VAHAN: Department of IT & Department of Transport, Government of Punjab

outstanding Performance in citizen-centric service delivery
• Golden Icon – Citizen Facilitation Centres: Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation
• Silver Icon – Computer Aided Learning: Government of NCT of Delhi
• Bronze Icon – e Mitra: Government of Rajasthan

exemplary Usage of ict by PSUS
• Golden Icon – File Monitoring System (FMS) & Barcode Solutions: Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited
• Silver Icon – Medical Cards & Referral Slips Software: National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC)
• Bronze Icon – Delivery of Customer Services through Single Window Falcom: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, Karnataka

Best Government website
• Golden Icon – Incredible India: Ministry of Tourism, Government of India [] • Silver Icon – National Portal of India: National Informatics Centre, Headquarters [] • Bronze Icon – Orissa Primary education Programme Authority []

special Mention innovative technology Usage in e-Governance
• Litigation Information Tracking and Evaluation System (LITES): Department of Information Technology & Communication, Government of Rajasthan

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