Playing IT Out Amid Nature

ravi-guptaKerala is one of the few states that boast of both Mother Nature’s bounty and an impeccable track record in adoption and promotion of Information Technology for the welfare of its people. On one hand, there are calm and tranquil backwaters surrounded by banana mangroves and majestic coconut trees beckoning nature lovers, while on the other, there are IT parks and SEZs standing as testimony to the State’s unsatiated thirst to stand out as an IT hub.

Presenting the Budget for fiscal 2016-17, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy announced an outlay of over Rs.482 crore for the IT sector, which would go towards establishing a ‘high technology business incubation centre’ at Kalamassery in Kochi and a ‘knowledge city’ near the Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram. Besides, he also talked of spending lavishly on further promoting eGovernance in the State. The government’s vision entails giving impetus to its economy and creating many more employment opportunities for the youth.

Over the years, the State Government has successfully implemented initiatives like e-District, e-Procurement, e-Office, Digital Literacy, Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), Citizens’ call centre, Service and Payroll Administrative Repository for Kerala (SPARK) and e-Mail Management System (EMS) through its nearly 400-odd portals and over 2,600 Akshaya centres to make the life of its people easier and government processes simpler. In short, Kerala is fast transforming itself into a digitally-empowered society — a ‘Digital State’ in every possible sense of the term.

From being the frontrunner in literacy levels to one adopting and deploying the very first innovations in eGovernance, mGovernance and now the growing charm of sGovernance, Kerala is living up to its credence of being God’s Own Country, technologically.

In line with its consistent endeavour to acknowledge and highlight the best IT practices and eGovernance achievements, Elets Technomedia, in association with the Department of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of Kerala, is organising ‘Digital India Knowledge Exchange Summit’ in the beach town of Kovalam on 19-20 February 2016.

The knowledge carnival will see senior Kerala functionaries, and government officials and other key movers and shakers in IT and eGovernance domains converging on one platform to share their experiences, put forth their recommendations and churn out the next and best course of action in the intertwined spheres for the good of people at large.

In the run-up to this grand Summit, eGov magazine interacted with some of the finest brains behind the IT-led governance in the State, which brought to fore some of the finer aspects of planning and priorities of governance in Kerala. We present those ‘nuggets of wisdom’ in the form of interviews.

We look forward to your valuable suggestions and continued patronage.