The Department of IT, Government of Goa, has several initiatives under it which are aimed at building a strong IT infrastructure in the State, says Ravi Jha, Director, Department ofInformation Technology , Government of Goa, in conversation with Poulami Chakraborty of Elets News Network (ENN).
“The Goa State Data Centre is operational since March 2008 and is hosted with 47 e-governance applications, 75 web-based applications, 135 e-services applications .”
Give us a brief about the Department of Information Technology, Government of Goa.
The Department of Information Technology (DolT), Government of Goa, was set up in 1999, with the aim of promoting and developing IT industry in the State in a planned manner. The vision was to keep pace with the rapidly growing IT industry of the country and yielding suitable IT programmes for the common man.
DoIT wanted to empower Goa citizens digitally so that they can avail several services online without even visiting any government office.
DoIT has initiated various projects with the help of the State Government to benefit the citizens of Goa.
What are the various projects that DoIT Goa has undertaken to ensure a better IT infrastructure in the State?
The Department of IT, Government of Goa, has several initiatives under it, which are aimed at building a strong IT infrastructure in the State. The Department of Information Technology, Government of Goa is also focussed in bringing best e-governance initiatives in the State under the National e-Governance Plan. We are planning to introduce State Data Centre (SDC), State Wide Area Network, State Service Delivery Gateways and Citizen-Centric Services. The State Government has also recently launched several citizen-centric services, which is a landmark initiative to bridge the gap between the citizens and government, by ensuring seamless end-to-end service being ensured.
What new projects have you launched to build IT infrastructure in the State?
During the past few years, the State has ensured optimum ground work and will soon bear the fruits. Two proposed IT parks are supposed to be set up in Chimbel and Tuem over the period of three-five years. The State Government has a vision to make Goa the IT hub, as it envisages more collaboration with the multinational companies to increase the prospect of the State. There are 2,000 professionals in IT sector who scout for jobs annually. Lack of job opportunities force them to cross the border, while many try for Government jobs. The upcoming IT parks in Goa will be set up soon, creating more and more job opportunities in the State. Apart from this, the State is also planning to bring in last mile connectivity and Wi-Fi connectivity in every household which will ensure that the State has high digital literacy.
“The Wi-Fi connectivity is to be provided in view of the Cyberstudent Scheme wherein the Government of Goa has provided e- tablets to the students of class VI and VII. Surveillance solution shall help in monitoring the school premises, thereby, increasing the security of the school.”
What are the IT challenges for Goa?
Goa as a State is very well connected and strategically placed. The citizens residing in the State are well-educated.
But being a small region, it has its own limitation and we are working on improving them.
What is the idea behind State Data Centres?
The State Data Centre (SDC) is envisioned as the ‘shared, reliable and secure infrastructure services centre’ for hosting and managing the e-governance applications of Government of Goa and its constituent departments. The Goa State Data Centre is operational since March 2008 and is hosted with 47 e-governance applications, 75 web based applications, 135 e-services applications along with other Government applications such as State Service Delivery Gateway (SSDG), Mobile Service Delivery Platform (MSDP), SMS Gateway (e SMS) etc. The project is maintained and operated by external agency (Data Centre Operator).
There is a recurring cost involved for the operations and maintenance which is being paid in the form of quarterly guaranteed return. There is also a projected cost for the upgradation, operation and maintenance of SDC. A third party audit agency will be selected for the project for a period of two years.
The Goa Government has recently announced Wi-Fi solutions for schools and educational institutions in the State, what is the idea behind this move?
The Wi-Fi connectivity is to be provided in view of the “Cyberstudent Scheme” wherein the Government of Goa has provided e- tablets to the students of class VI and VII. Subjectwise e-contents for standard V to VIII have also been provided. Wi-Fi connectivity is required in the schools so that the students along with teachers can access the data from the server and upgrade the e-content on their tablets and also to access information in the educational domain. Surveillance solution shall help in monitoring the school premises, thereby, increasing the security of the school.