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· Leveraging technology for state’s development and bridging digital divide: CM
Thiruvananthapuram, May 25: Marking a historic transformation in governance, Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan today made ‘Total e-Governance Kerala’ declaration as God’s Own Country became the first fully e-governed state where entire spectrum of government services are digitized making their delivery prompt, transparent and inclusive, besides fast-tracking the journey towards a knowledge society and economy with total e-literacy.
Making the ‘Total e-Governance Kerala’ declaration at a function at Nishagandhi Auditorium in the state capital, the Chief Minister said ushering in complete e-Governance does not merely mean creating a network of government offices and citizens but leveraging technology for the state’s development and empowering people by bridging the digital divide.
“By the term governance what the present government means is total commitment to fulfil the promises it made to the people. The government and governance are reaching out to the people more and more. The service delivery has been made people-oriented and corruption-free and public utilities have become people-friendly. These transformative changes have been felt by people in the last seven years,” the Chief Minister said.
“The government does not stop at what it has already achieved. Services should reach people, instead of people going in and out of government offices for obtaining services. This can be ensured by leveraging new technology, and, that exactly is what the government is focusing on,” Shri Vijayan said.
Kerala made a bold step by making access to Internet as a citizen’s right, which had happened in a country where Internet shutdowns are frequent. This was not kept as a hollow promise but had been acted upon on a mission-mode. The roll out of KFON (Kerala Fibre Optic Network) shortly will make access to Internet at affordable cost or free of cost, he said.
Listing out a number of pioneering initiatives made by the government to usher in e-Governance, the Chief Minister said a single-window portal called e-Sevanam has been created to deliver as many 900 services. The e-office system has already been implemented in government secretariat, district collectorates, commissionerates and directorates. The e-district project is another pro-people initiative. This will soon be extended to taluk-level offices. In panchayats, delivery of as many as 250 services has been made online.
Kerala also took a bold step by setting up the country’s first digital university and India’s first digital science park is getting ready at an estimated cost of Rs 1,500 crore. The local level interventions to promote digital literacy are also on. All these measures are aimed at taking e-Governance to its totality, the Chief Minister said.
Noting that the total e-Governance declaration coincided with the second anniversary of the Government, Shri Vijayan said the government has made the occasion into an opportunity to unveil a series of pro-people projects including the 100-day programme, instead of seeing it an occasion for just celebrations.
In his welcome address, Chief Secretary, Government of Kerala, Dr V P Joy said with Kerala becoming the first complete e-Governance state in the country, there won’t be any delay in providing services to people from government departments and offices. He said the changes resulting in from the implementation of e-Governance will reflect in all sections of society and it will be a decisive factor in the social progress.
Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department, Dr V Venu, was also present. Secretary Electronics and Information Technology, Dr Rathan U Kelkar IAS, proposed a vote of thanks.
Kerala State Information Technology Mission Director Ms Anukumari and Vice Chancellor, Kerala University of Digital Sciences Innovation and Technology, Dr Saji Gopinath also attended the function.
An exhibition featuring digitisation of service delivery by various government departments is going on at Kanakakkunnu. Entry to the exhibition, which will close on May 27, is free for the public.
Besides digitizing the delivery of government services to the people making them fast and transparent, total e-Governance ensures inclusion of all sections of the society, including the less-privileged and marginalized.
The technology-driven transition enables online delivery of a whole range of government services. The government has built a single window service delivery mechanism called e-Sevanam which integrates more than 800-plus government services online.
This unique achievement, which comes decades after Kerala became the first fully literate Indian state and began its quest to become a fully e-literate society, has been realised through a set of policy initiatives of the government to transform the state into a digitally empowered society.
The delivery of all vital services has already been digitised, covering all key domains including health, education, land revenue, documentation of properties, public distribution system and social security payouts.
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