Digital transformation requires changes, to both processes and IT systems that are more challenging to implement in the public sector than in the private sector. In a conversation with Dataquest, Smt. Kiran Soni Gupta, Department of Youth Affairs and Sports, talks on how digitization of Government Departments play a significant role in propelling the digital drive in the country.
Digital India is a flagship initiative of the government. This initiative is not only beneficial for private sector but it also helps public sector to achieve massive savings through digitization. However, this requires organizational transformation, which the government finds hard to implement. Although a lot of focus and emphasis is being channeled in its direction as many government departments are trying and many have already given green signal for e-offices and e-governance. Many of them are also in the process of doing so.
Kiran Soni shares, “Our ministry is also in the process of implementing e-governance. I think digital India is transforming our lives; not only official lives but personal lives as well. When you observe the economy, you will come across the speed at which now the communication is taking place. It plays a very important role. The faster the communication, the more it acts as an accelerating agent for the economic growth. Therefore, in government also, e-governance and Digital India is truly aiding decision making”.
The speed of communication and people getting connected to one another is undoubtedly doubling by the second. The speed at which e-mails are received, how people get connected to the whole world through social media, whether it Facebook or Twitter, it has transformed lives and made the world a much smaller place. Likewise, when we talk about Digital India, particularly in government space, the movement of information and files can become much faster and ultimately help in taking decisions.
While decisions have to be taken by somebody in person, use of technology surely eases up the process. If a decision has to be taken with all the data available in front of the person, one can sit at comfort and transmit the whole information without any fuss. Everything is available in easy to reach compact format, then it is easier to work upon.
Digitization bridging the connectivity gap
Digitization has immensely changed the whole concept of communication. Now if you don’t use tech then people might judge you as backward. If you do not respond to a mail in a couple of hours then it is taken as rude behavior, people feel bad about that. At times you forget, at times your inbox is flooded with the sixty mails that you’ve received in past few hours then it is not always possible to respond to each and every mail instantly. It takes time but then that is the expectation of the people that once the information has reached then you are supposed to respond. The same is with physical files when you have received the file, one must take a call on it.
“I think Digital India is helping the government as well and probably in times to come, ministries at all levels will become digital. I think it will be a great move. Even digitizing old records is a huge step ahead. Each department is trying at its own level. Now it has percolated to the lowest level. Many of our departments have also taken a call that any new file which is being started from now on will be digital. Simultaneously, there is an effort to convert the already existing files into digitized format, into a paperless mode. We had success of Digital India when we computerized our land records. Nobody could think all the land records in our country could be transformed in such a way. So many issues related to that were faced by us. I recall when we started our service, this process was ongoing. I used to go and check how much digitization has been done. Compared to that time, now the whole deal has become so much easier.” says Kiran.
Digitizing old records does makes life simpler. You get an access to follow up the file, you are aware where it is pending, with whom it is pending and why it is pending; so you don’t have to unnecessarily run behind people for work to get done. Everything is simplified. One may not need even half of the people as the whole government becomes digitized. It is a fact that when computerization took pace in India, people thought there will be greater unemployment and they will be out of job.
Now that was not the case, rather more jobs were created as you have to create efficiency in the system. If one job can be done by one person then we don’t need five people doing the same work. People need to put in better skill training depending on their ability and make the best use of their resources that are available.
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