By Rupesh Dutta
The distant Baltic tion of Estonia was among the first in the world to put the governments’s entire citizen-centric services online. Now, the Northeastern state of galand is attempting to replicate this to not only improve governce but also to emerge as the IT hub of the region.
“The e-Governce initiatives taken by the Department of Information Technology and Communication (IT&C) of galand is a forward-looking strategy and the recent award to galand as a top performer in e-governce by the Computer Society of India is a great move towards the state’s objectives,” said Liia Hanni, Adviser to the Estonian President and part of the country’s delegation to the just-concluded second e-ga Summit in state capital Kohima.
Hailing galand for being a top performer on e-governce in the Northeastern region, Estonia, during the summit, also extended technical support to help the state better its e-Governce initiatives.
Estonian delegates explained the many areas in which government officials, apart from the people, can be trained to further promote e-Governce — the only way to ease existing, hassling and cumbersome procedures and simultaneously usher in transparency and accountability.
Among the benefits will be e-tendering, better tracking of the increasing cyber crimes in the state, better monitoring of revenue collection and, most importantly, the elimition of touts that exist for each and every government procedure.
Thus, the perception of galand — till now known for its decades-long separatist conflict — will not only change for the outside world but will also project the state as a potential IT hub by inviting MNCs to set up operations there.
(For the record, Estonia’s e-governce systems were put in place during the Soviet era and refined when the country joined the European Union after the collapse of the USSR.)
According to official records, galand is the only state in the entire country to have portals of all the departments of the state government.
E-Governce “also ensures cost-effective public service delivery to the citizens. galand is witnessing a paradigm shift in governce and all other spheres of life and information technology and electronic media is ebling knowledge-led economy,” said Paiwang Konyak, galand’s Minister for IT&C, adding that the initiative is playing a key role in transforming galand into a modern state by improving transparency and efficiency.
At the e-ga summit, a brainchild of galand’s Telecom Secretary and Commissioner K.D. Vizo, every year experts from various areas like engineers, legislators, police and media meet to encourage the spirit of innovation and use of technology for positive change in society, with the target audience comprising students, entrepreneurs, NGOs, government departments and industry professiols.
Vizo is also of the opinion that to improve internet connectivity in galand, the government can opt for a High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) — that can be operated from an unmanned airship or a balloon for wider internet connectivity at a cheaper cost than incurred through other means.
Surely, galand is the state to watch! (IANS)
(Rupesh Dutta can be contacted at Rupesh.firstname.lastname@example.org)