President Pranab Mukherjee declared Kerala as the first digital state of the country on Saturday, announcing the state’s ability to put all of its work, including public dealing, online.
“Happy to know that now ordinary citizen can use internet to avail government and private services in a secure manner. With broadband connectivity in every gram panchayat, the state has emerged truly digital,” he said in Kozhikkode, north Kerala.
The southern state boasts of many firsts in the human development index and the digitalisation is expected to make administrative work more transparent and efficient.
The President said growth of internet and smart phone penetration transformed the state into a knowledge –based economy. “It is heartening to note Kerala has 600 e-governance applications covering almost all departments. They are also being made available on mobile platform,” he said. The state has more than 32 million mobile phone connections.
E-governance initiatives have begun in many parts of the country especially to end problems of corruption and delays. In Kerala, for instance, motor vehicles and land registration departments see the most corruption. Both will move to a systems-based functioning.
“Instead of going to the office now office will come to him,” said a senior officer of the IT department. More than 3,000 offices in the state have already turned digital.
The President also launched a digital empowerment campaign aimed at bridging the divide by 2020.
For this, services of Student Police Cadets (SPCs) will be used. As part of the campaign 40,000 student police cadets will train 10 lakh people in panchayats and remote areas of the state. Tablets will be provided to these cadets and a committee will monitor their training sessions on real-time basis.