The Uttarakhand Government has been consistently working on improving the connectivity in the State for better citizen services and attracting investment. N Ravi Shankar, Chief Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand, in an interaction with Manish Arora of Elets News Network (ENN), talks about the various initiatives undertaken by him to provide better citizen services in the State
What are the key technology initiatives undertaken by you in the State?
The Government of Uttarakhand has been working very hard on the ‘Digital India’ Programme. We have tried to bring highspeed optical fibre connectivity of 100 mbps to Haridwar district, and it is the first place in the State to get that. I am happy to mention that one gram panchayat in Bahadarabad has already been connected under the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) programme of the Government of India.
We also intend to connect all the 330 Gram Panchayats of Haridwar under the NOFN programme. With this level of connectivity, we wish to bring more and more latest technologies to Haridwar.
Uttarakhand being one of the prominent tourism destinations of India, how has technology been employed for promotion of tourism across the State?
We are using technology in many ways for tourism promotion. We will soon have mobile services coverage in all the remote and hilly areas across Uttarakhand, so that tourists do not face the problem of connectivity in the State. We are also trying to ensure that information of weather conditions is provided to the tourists easily through mobile applications. People would be advised on weather over phones as well.
How important are the mobile services these days?
eGovernance and mGovernance are important tools of administration. Use of technology needs to be promoted in the State, so that the information is transmitted to the right person in the right way. In order to ease the process, we have young teams who are tech-savvy. I advise them to use the technology confidently and they use all the communication tools like Whatsapp and instant messengers.
Uttarakhand is using technology in many ways for tourism promotion. We will soon have mobile services coverage across Uttarakhand, so that tourists do not face the problem of connectivity in the State
Tell us about the mobile network connectivity in Uttarakhand.
Frankly speaking, most of the areas in our State are deprived of mobile network connectivity. The Telecom Department has also been requested to cover the deficit areas within the State through their universal service application mechanism. We hope the way they are doing it in the Northeast and some Naxal affected areas, they will do it for the Himalayan states, too.
How do you attract IT companies to the State for better growth and business?
We want small IT companies in the State, which can motivate people for entrepreneurship. This would help the State grow its economy and also generate employment for the youth of Uttarakhand.