Digital Jharkhand on Fast Track: Umesh Prasad Sah

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Umesh Prasad Sah, Director- DoIT, Government of Jharkhand

Umesh Prasad
Sah, Director- DoIT, Government of Jharkhand

He has been assigned by the Government of Jharkhand to implement IT projects at the grass root level. Umesh Prasad Sah, Director- DoIT, Government of Jharkhand, in a candid interview with Gautam Debroy of Elets News Networks (ENN) disclosed some of the major strategies of the department of IT for connecting urban and rural Jharkhand through e-way

What is your take on the road shows being initiated by your government?

Actually the main intention of all these road shows is to understand the investors and also try to get them understood the huge resources and potentials present in Jharkhand. We are also trying to take the investors along with us in the road towards development. These road shows are a curtain raiser for the Global Investors Summit scheduled to take place in the month of February at Ranchi.
Assemble of all domestic and foreign investors under one platform will also give us the opportunity to get them understood the potential of investments in Jharkhand. We are at the learning stage, so I believe this type of road shows will create understandings amongst all the stake holders.

Share with us some of the significant projects being implemented by the IT department.

There are several important projects which have been implemented by the IT department. We are also in a process to computerize all the departmental works. Government budget is Rs 40,000 crore and out of which Rs 20,000 crore is being invested on roads, drinking water and all other necessary things. As of now, the whole process of tendering, work orders etc are being done manually, so there is no proper tracking.

In this process, the work has not been tracked and on the other side the contractor has also not been paid on time. So, within a very short span of time, we are going to computerize all the departmental works. More so, every payment will be made through GIS. So, as soon as the work is generated, the tender will be raised and the contractor will be given the assignment and their payment will also be done quickly.
In this way all the stake holders will be benefited and all delay in the work process and even any wrong intention could be prevented.

Digital Jharkhand on Fast TrackJharkhand is going paperless. What is your take on it?

We are trying to do our work paperless. In fact, tender has already been raised in this connection. Within next six to nine months every departments will be paperless. We are not going into legacy data, we are going to work paperless in the way of e-office.    Side by side all the data will be computerized and it will be uploaded in the system.

What are your major challenges?

Frankly speaking, there are three to four major challenges. One of them is connectivity. If we want to implement all the work seamlessly in Jharkhand, you need connectivity.

Second is power. To implement eGovernance projects in schools even in the rural areas, we need power.
The third major challenge is skill or the digital knowledge. So, the government is working on all these three issues differently. The department of IT is implementing fibre broadband connectivity upto to the village panchayat level. Power department is working on electricity. Well, the IT department is also working on digital literacy. Not only to the users, we are also trying to give training to our staffs on digital literacy.

Digital Jharkhand on Fast TrackInternet connectivity in city areas too of Jharkhand is not up to the mark. What is your opinion on that?

Yes it is true to some extent. It is majorly due to the widening of roads.    In the process of placing culverts, making better drainage system, the optical fiber of the concerned network is getting damaged. So, government of Jharkhand has discussed with TRAI and very soon we are coming with a common doc policy. In this, government will prepare doc for the optical fibre at a very high depth and all the operators will run their optical fibre through that process.

How will you connect the villages and rural Jharkhand digitally?

Under the bharat net project, we are going to implement optical fibre network upto the gram panchayat level and from gram panchayats to the government offices. And in the village, we are also planning rural wifi system.

The government of Jharkhand has already selected two districts Bokaro and Ramgarh for rural wifi. This rural wifi will be very cost affective. And this will help the rural people to get properly connected.

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