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Focus on IT benefits to remote rural areas

FOCUSSING ON making the benefits of e-governance reach the remote rural areas across the country, the 10th national conference on ?e-governance? scheduled to be held in the State capital on February 2-3, would have special discussion on common service centres (CSCs) in its ?Integrated Rural Service Delivery? session.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2007 16:09 IST

Special discussion on common service centres at IT national conference

FOCUSSING ON making the benefits of e-governance reach the remote rural areas across the country, the 10th national conference on ‘e-governance’ scheduled to be held in the State capital on February 2-3, would have special discussion on common service centres (CSCs) in its ‘Integrated Rural Service Delivery’ session.

Committed towards the benefit of the citizens, especially those in rural and remote areas, the Union Government has leveraged the advances in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). In view of it, it was decided to create a
network of access points termed as CSCs throughout the country as outlets for various services.

The draft framework brought out by the Department of Information Technology (DIT), Government of India, outlines the policy framework, strategy and contours of financial support of government for rapid proliferation of CSCs across the country. 

It is intended that this framework would create an enabling environment for establishment of 100,000 CSCs. Through the conference, the state would get to explore the opportunities in CSCs, as a partner in its implementation. 

“It’s going to be major initiative of the DIT through which the rural population could access the services offered by both the state and Central governments in sectors like agriculture, animal husbandry, citizen services, health, education, land & property, panchayat matters etc”, said Director (e-Governance), Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances, Government of India, Lekha Kumar to Hindustan Times.

She will be representing the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions – the initiator of the two-day IT conference here on the Vidhan Sabha premises.     

Talking on e-governance, Kumar described it as a new technology initiative with huge potential and the aim behind it is to translate governance into good governance. “It’s not just infusing technology, but to make the project citizen-centric and participatory”, she said.

Madhya Pradesh would be celebrating the tenth anniversary of the ‘e-governance’ conference. Every year, a state is given opportunity to host the national conference, as a part of Central Government’s e-governance initiative and to bring all the states in the fold. However, virtually a fear is reported to exist among some of the state governments in adopting e-governance initiative.

“It’s the fear of losing of power, as e-governance brings forth transparency and clarity in government functioning,” remarked a senior State Government official. The establishment of CSCs in remote rural areas is expected to help achieve equitable ICT growth in the country and help bridge the Digital Divide.

On the objective of the conference themed ‘Enabling government to accelerate transformation’, Kumar said it helps in drawing the roadmap on e-governance in the country and, the interactive sessions and exchange of views during the plenary sessions would be used as inputs.

“The final aim of the common service centre or citizen service centre initiative is to collect citizens’ views on various sectors online”, she added.

“It’s going to be learning experience for the State and sharing of experiences with other states would help us to improve upon and make our system error-free”, said additional secretary, IT, Anurag Shrivastava.

Quoting Nicholas Ponte, he said it is important to see whatever initiatives are taken in IT sector, the system should not get obsolete by the time of implementation and thereby becomes a liability. “Fast decisions and implementation of the same should be the bottom line”, he added.     
dghose@hindustantimes.com