GUWAHATI: The State government has long been talking of e-governance and e-file, but nothing tangible has been done towards that end as yet.
For a reality check, this reporter visited the website of the Chief Minister – cm.assam.gov.in.
Similar online visits to those of other departments exposed the poorly managed departmental websites in Assam.
The Chief Minister's 'Speech Gallery' on this website shows that his speech was last updated on July 26, 2018. What is more, there are neither photos nor videos of the Chief Minister in the 'Video and Photo Galleries' on the mentioned website.
The situation of other departments of the State government is no different. The websites of the departments feed a visitor only old and outdated information, as they aren't updated. Besides the common phrase that flashes on the computer screen is 'This page is under process'. Some of the departmental websites update only transfers and postings of employees.
The situation of e-file is even worse. To say the least, it hasn't taken off as yet. The very purpose for introduction of e-file was to make movement of office files smooth and hassle-free, but that purpose isn't being served in various State government offices.
When asked on the pathetic plight of e-governance and e-file in the State, an official of the Directorate of Information Technology, Electronic and Communication (DITEC) said, "The State government laid stress on e-governance and e-file in 2017. Websites of various departments were opened under the NIC (National Informatics Centre). We did ask each of the departments in the State to update their websites regularly. We also hold meetings with senior officers of various departments twice or thrice a year for regular update of websites, but to no avail.
"Our department has only e-files. We don't have any file in other formats since 2019. We did it in just two months but the personnel concerned of the other departments say that it takes time to upload bulky manual files to e-files."
The official pointed out, "Before making the e-file system a reality, we stressed on 'FTS' (File Tracking System). In this system, the registration numbers of files are computerized, besides mentioning the tables that each such file will have to move. The movement of the file on various tables will be shown on the computer screen.
"This can help a visitor to locate his/her file on the computer screen without having to physically visit the personnel manning the tables.
"However, the departments haven't been able to make this system workable as yet. We expect this system to be operational by the end of this year."
One may well guess as to what is the situation of e-governance and e-file in the districts.