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E-governance can ensure transparency: US Consul

Posted on Jun 21 2014 | IBNS

Kolkata, June 21 : The democracies of the United States and India striving for transparency in governance can bank on e-governance to achieve it, said US Consul General in Kolkata Helen LaFave here on Friday.

Indus Institute of Information Management in collaboration with the American Center Kolkata organized an interactive session on "E-Governance in India and the Global Scenario" that stressed on modification of Government process, change management and security of information.

Speaking at the session, US Consul General Helen LaFave said: "The democracies of the United States and India are always striving for transparency in governance."

She asserted the importance of e-governance and its broader implications for a possible key to more accessible governance.

LaFave said stem education- which is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, is another area of importance where the Indo-US relation has come in handy for the Global Community.

Soumyabrata Das, a senior representative of Indus Institute of Information Management thanked the American Center for joining hands with them on such a massive project. He talked about the various ways they plan to develop and publicize e-governance in different states.

"National University of Juridical Sciences will be offering a post-graduate diploma course on e-governance in order to train individuals in this field," he informed.

Piyush Gupta, Vice-President of National Institute for Smart Governance, narrated story of the birth e-governance in India in 2002. The National E-Governance plan received the cabinet approval in 2006.

Next in line was a video presentation which showed the need for e-governance. It also showed the success of the various e-governance projects that have been implemented so far in states like Karnataka, Chandigarh, Andhra Pradesh and so on.

A powerpoint presentation by Gupta summed up the entire plan of action. A common service delivery outlet that would provide service from all departments of the Government to the common man is something that is being planned to set up in every locality of the country.

Such outlets would provide services at low and affordable costs and guarantee a fixed time period within which the service would be provided to the applicant. Then there was a slide on Mission Mode Projects that are being implemented at both Central and State levels.

The four pillars of the National E-Governance Plan are a State Wide Area Network, a State Data Centre, a State Service Delivery Gateway and the Common Service Centres. Each state would have a common call centre. A common payment gateway would also be established by the Central Government.

"Online real time transactions would be possible once the entire plan is implemented," said Gupta.

"It would not only provide transparency of procedures for the public but also open up data in public domains" he added.

Within the next five years each and every state is expected to implement the plan in full flow.

Ashok Patnaik , additional Chief Secretary and Member of West Bengal State Administrative Tribunal, briefly highlighted the contrast in the needs of the modern commoner from that of the ancient one and in that context stated the need for e-governance.

The session was moderated by Joanne Joria, Director of the American Center.

(Reporting by Avra Biswas)

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