“IT enhancing ease of living in Uttarakhand”

Dr. Ashish Kumar Srivastava

With a conducive policy framework, Uttarakhand is one of the leading states encouraging Information Technology. The state has various polices aligned to the Government of India, enabling innovation and transformation across key sectors. Highlighting this, Dr. Ashish Kumar Srivastava, Additional Secretary (Information Technology), Government of Uttarakhand spoke at the Elets India Transformation Summit.

Dr. Ashish Kumar Srivastava, Additional Secretary (Information Technology), Government of Uttarakhand presented insights on how the state government is leveraging technology to strengthen governance and service delivery at the Elets India Transformation Summit.

Delivering the keynote address, Srivastava invited the industry experts to explore investment opportunities in order to enhance service delivery in the state. “The state is focusing on improving the ease of doing business,” he said.

Citing that India is now a global leader in e-governance initiatives around the world, he said, “The state government is also undertaking various initiatives to improve the ease of living. IT is playing a significant role in this regard, as reaching every citizen would not have been possible manually.”

To encourage e-governance, the state government has launched an online service portal – Apni Sarkar. Through the portal, people are able to avail various services like securing, caste certificate, income certificate, birth and death certificate, employment registration, old age pension, etc. while sitting at home. “Most of the IT interventions are aimed at improving ease of living,” he said.

Srivastava further highlighted how the state government is embracing tech-driven innovation in operation. “We are using eCabinet/ eMantrimandal to conduct cabinet meetings electronically and in online mode,” he said, adding that 95 per cent of files are being disposed of digitally by the state departments.

Uttarakhand is at the forefront of encouraging new technology in the state. The state government has set up the Drone Application & Research Centre (DARC) to promote research and development in drone technology. “DARC is a joint initiative of Information Technology Development Agency (ITDA) and the Government of Uttarakhand to give a boost to drone technology,” he remarked.

Moreover, the state is using a Blockchain- based asset management system in hospitals. “All medical colleges are on the same platform,” he further said.

The state government is also emphasising on open data exchange. “We are planning to digitise all data being generated by the government and make it easily accessible to all departments, he said.

Srivastava further elaborated on how challenges transformed into opportunities during the COVID pandemic. “The pandemic accelerated and encouraged the use of digital platforms. Now, everyone is open to IT intervention,” he said.

However, due to growing digital penetration, cyber hygiene has become challenging today, he added.

In his concluding remark, he emphasised on adoption of more citizen-friendly digital platforms to enhance public service delivery. “Process is evolving and IT will deliver the best of the things and services to citizens,” he said.