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e-Projects to Pave Way for Digital Punjab: H S Khandola

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H S Khandola, Special Secretary-cum- Director Department of Governance Reforms Government of Punjab

Projects like e-District and e-Office ensure seamless connectivity to the citizens of Punjab. H S Khandola, Special Secretary-cum- Director, Department of Governance Reforms, Government of Punjab, informs Priya Yadav of Elets News Network (ENN), how these schemes are making citizens’ lives easier.

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How has the State Government been focusing on linking districts?

There has been a lot of focus on implementing the eDistrict project, directly undertaken by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Government of India. The same is being implemented by the Department of Governance Reforms on their behalf. The project eDistrict envisages integrated and seamless delivery of citizen services by district administration through automation of workflow, backend computerisation, and data digitisation across participating departments. The initiative has provisions for seamless integration of various situated at district, sub division, tehsil and block level for providing services to the citizens through a common delivery interface. SUWIDHA centres and Gram SUWIDHA Kendras would be the primary front end channels. In Punjab, eDistrict project has been implemented in two pilot districts of Kapurthala and SBS Nagar with total outlay of Rs. 600 lakhs. All the 47 services under the scope of project have been made live in both the pilot districts and more than 2.3 lakh citizen requests have been processed electronically since 2012. Punjab has been given four awards so far for implementation of this project.

In Punjab, e-District project has been implemented in two pilot districts of Kapurthala and SBS Nagar with total outlay of Rs 600 lakh. All the 47 services under the scope of project have been made live in both the pilot districts and more than 2.3 lakh citizen requests have been processed electronically since 2012

Punjab has been taking steps to set up State Data Centres. What is the current status?

State Data Centre (SDC) is a project by the Government of India meant for keeping a repository of computing infrastructure, applications and data bases in a secure environment. It was approved by DeitY in 2006-07 and the physical space and basic amenities for setting up SDC is State Government’s responsibility. Currently, the State Government is in the process of identifying the agency to set up a SDC in Mohali.

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How has been the progress on eOffice project?

The project eOce is one on which there is a lot of emphasis and it envisages transforming conventional government oces into more ecient and transparent eOces, eliminating huge amounts of paper work. We have decided to computerise all the branches of deputy commissioners and the oces of divisional commissioners. National Informatics Centre (NIC) Punjab has been given the responsibility of implementation of the eOce software. NIC Punjab has already completed the assessment of computing infrastructure of various eld oces of the State and has submitted the techno-commercial proposal of Rs. 41.70 crores. The Mansa district has been selected as a pilot district for the implementation of eOce Project.

Read Also : Digital Punjab at Work

How have Sewa Kendras facilitated lives of the people in villages?

The State Government is setting up ‘Sewa Kendras’ kiosks in villages across the State to reach out to common man and enable easy and direct communication with them. Common Service Centre (CSC) or Sewa Kendras is one of the core ICT-enabled initiatives of the Central Government under its National eGovernance Plan. The Sewa Kendras scheme is predicted to be a bottom-up model for delivery of content, services, information and knowledge to people and organisations for achieving rapid socio-economic change in rural and urban areas of Punjab. To make life more comfortable, the State Government aims to establish and operate 2,174 rural CSCs under the State’s brand name ‘Gram Suwidha Kendra’ in rural, as well as urban areas. These Sewa Kendras have been set up in 10 separate zones to provide transparent, time-bound and a“ordable Government to Citizen (G2C) services at the rate of one centre per a cluster of six villages.

Also Read: Digital Punjab

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