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Dispur’s word-action gap exposed

Assam government’s official website misinforming internet users!

Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, May 1: The digital India claim by Dispur and the ground reality seems seriously out of sync. This is essentially a yardstick that clearly shows the wide gap between what Dispur says and does.
State Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal expanded his Council of Ministers on April 26, 2018, immediately followed by the shuffling of portfolios. However, the Assam Government’s official website continues to feed the public with wrong information. This reporter, who paid visits to the State Government’s main official website – assam.gov.in – and the websites of the individual departments has found that they are still loaded with a whole lot of old information that are factually not correct now. Does not this instance suffice what the digital situation in Assam exactly is?
This reporter has found that the State government’s official website still shows Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s Council of Ministers as an 11-member one. The website also misinforms internet users on the portfolios currently held by ministers. This reporter has also found that many provisions given in the website like ‘government department’ do not give internet users correct/latest information. This visit to the official website of the State Government has let this reporter know in no uncertain terms that Dispur bothers the least to keep its official websites updated to disseminate correct information to internet users and others. The ideal system that should have been followed is – the official website of the State Government should have updated the new Council of Ministers soon after their oath-taking, if need be, without portfolios. The portfolios should have been updated in the website as soon as they were announced.
Sonowal expanded his Council of Ministers on April 26, 2018. However, the government did not feel like updating that vital information in its official website. The Chief Minister allocated portfolios in the same evening, but the government opted not to update that information in its official website.
When asked sources in the State government said that the official website of the government could not be updated as there were four official holidays since April 28, 2018.  Even a layman will term this statement on the part of official sources as a ‘lame excuse’ as April 27, 2018 was not a holiday. The task of updating the official website of the State government is a matter of minutes, not of hours. No internet user would be lenient to such lame statements on the part of government sources that due to four consecutive official holidays the government website could be updated. If anything, such statements only reek of unprofessionalism.
The cases of individual departments’ websites are no different. When visited the website of the Environment and Forest Department of Assam still shows Pramila Rani Brahma as the State Environment and Forest Minister. 
However, the official website of the Chief Minister – cm.assam.in – has been updated with the new Council of Ministers. A question arises here is – if the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) could get it done despite four consecutive official holidays since April 28, 2018 after the expansion of the his Council of Ministers by the Chief Minister what prevented the officials at the helm of affairs of the State Government’s official website from following suit?

About the author

Ankur Kalita