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Governance: Building a Digital India

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DQI Bureau
New Update

Chandigarh Property Records Go Online



The Chandigarh Estate Office has uploaded record of 2,973,3000

properties-residential, commercial, and institutional-on its website www.sampada.in.

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The estate office claims that this would help people get

information about any property at the click of a mouse-from the date of

allotment and the date of possession to the description of property, the

execution of deed, the details of installments paid, and the ground rent.

Besides, it would also provide information on transactions of the property,

resumed proceedings, if any, and details of ownership rights. In the next phase

the department also plans to upload details pertaining to rehabilitation

colonies and rehri markets by January 2006. 

DQ'S VIEW: While computerization of property record-commercial,

residential, and institutional-brings in more efficiency in the system, the

initiative taken by Chandigarh Estate Office takes the service delivery one step

further. Availability of all such information on the website would not only go a

long way in cutting through the red tape, it would also make sure that anomalies

if any are identified immediately.

As a next step, the estate office should look towards

communicating small amounts of precise information or reminders about the

installments, property tax, and other payment dues through SMS. As pointed out

in one of the articles in this issue, the rapid growth of cell phones offers an

immediate alternate to the conventional 'computer-Internet' road to e-Gov.

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Kerala Expands e-Literacy Program



Riding high on its success of Akshaya project in Malappuram district, the

Kerala government is embarking on an ambitious plan to expand its e-literacy

program to seven more districts.

Under the program, IT training institutes would be entrusted

with the task of training 5,000 entrepreneurs, who in turn would impart training

to nearly 35 lakh families through 1,329 Akshaya e-Kendras.

The state has also chalked out plans of rolling out Internet for

the Masses program in Malappuram soon. The program aims at providing 10-hour

training to one lakh people on the use of e-mail, chat and other aspects of the

Internet through Akshaya e-Kendras in the district. While the state government

will contribute Rs 100 towards the training, the trainee is expected to pay Rs

40.

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DQ'S VIEW: While, 'the hole in the wall' experiment, along

with acceptability of ATMs and SMS in the country, has clearly demonstrated that

people can acquire skills if they find a use for it, the Kerala government's

initiative to create an 'e-literate' state somehow seems to have missed out

on the point. What is more important than imparting training is the imaginative

use of ICT for development and information sharing. The state should first

identify the kind of content that is needed by the common citizen and work

towards strengthening internal processes to deliver the same. A satisfied 'citizen

customer' would go a long way in creating the pull for others to use the

system and learn, rather than thousands of e-literate but dissatisfied citizens.

A good idea would be to create interactive websites that would provide

information on the development needs and the available resources, till

village level. It should also be able to gather information from the grassroots

level on their need, which can be used by respective departments for planning

developmental projects.

Delhi Hospitals to be Interlinked



The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has decided to interlink its six

hospitals in the city through a wide area network. According to reports, the

Hospital Information System being planned will enable high-speed data transfer,

including patients' X-ray reports from one hospital to another.

This, the MCD claims, would help minimize inconvenience to

patients, and also promote better bed and drug inventory management. The trial

run for the Rs 2.5 crore-project has already begun at the Swami Dayanand

Hospital in East Delhi and the MCD expects the system to be up and running in

six hospitals by October 2006.

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Besides helping the hospitals keep track of a patient's case

history and enabling them to evaluate referred cases from other hospitals in a

more effective way, the system would also help patients seek appointments with

specialist doctors through the Internet.

DQ'S VIEW: This is indeed a laudable effort that would

help strengthen the state's commitment to provide good health to citizens. It

may be recalled that the World Health Assembly in its meeting held in May 2005

had adopted a resolution encouraging more work on e-health. The Delhi government's

initiative would complement the Government of India's initiatives in creating

a health surveillance system in the country.

However, all efforts could go off track if the most important

component of the system, the doctors, do not get hooked on to e-health. A recent

seminar organized on the topic in Amritsar clearly indicated that doctors were

weakest link in the chain of e-health in the country.

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Indian Language Computing Has Arrived!



In its bid to promote PC usage in the second- and third-tier cities, the DIT

has provided its language tool software free to various hardware vendors for

bundling with their products.

According to reports, Indian computer manufacturers-HCL

Technologies, Acer, Zenith, and Sahara-will now ship all their PCs with the

language tools developed by CDAC.

According to IT Secretary, Brijesh Kumar the initiative will

ensure that December onwards users will have an option to use the computer not

just in English but also in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

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DQ'S VIEW: Finally, there seems to be some action

happening to make language software popular in the country. Bundling of language

software tool at no additional cost will not only help increase acceptability of

PCs in the country, it would also open the door of language content that has so

far been eluding the nation. A good initiative would be to follow in the Chinese

government's footsteps-of making it mandatory for all software vendors

shipping their products in India to give a minimum of one language support. The

four Indian vendors also need to be lauded for their initiative in this space.

Hope the MNC vendors also follow suit.

Shubhendu Parth

MCD Field Offices to Get Laptops

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If you thought MPs, MLAs and Councilors were the only ones

entitled to laptops, hold on. In its bid to bring about a radical change in the

civic body's approach towards dealing with people's problems, the Municipal

Corporation of Delhi is mulling over the idea of giving laptops to its field

offices to provide them with easy access to information.

The proposal aims at using information technology (read laptops)

to bridge the gap between the public and MCD's field officers in order to

ensure effective complaint redress mechanism in the civic body. According to

reports, the MCD is considering providing laptops in nearly 400 field offices to

assistant engineers, junior engineers and inspectors so that they can have

access to all complaints made online. This, the MCD believes, will help in

effective redressal of civic problems and make officials more accountable.

DQ'S VIEW: This is a classic example of putting the

cart before the horse. What is more important is process reengineering and the

need to create a system of accountability audit, without which all efforts of

putting up' boxes' in the field offices, or elsewhere, would only lead to

another era of hardware pile up. Besides, it's also important to understand

that the efficiency in government-to-citizen (G-2-C) services does not lie in

creating websites or service centers, or issuing a fancy gadget. An efficient

G-2-C service delivery is the direct result of improvement in the

government-to-government (G-2G) transactions and processes-with or without the

use of IT. It's also important that awareness is created amongst officials to

make sure they actually use the system, unlike the Councilors.

MCD Field Offices to Get Laptops

If you thought MPs, MLAs and Councilors were the only ones

entitled to laptops, hold on. In its bid to bring about a radical change in the

civic body's approach towards dealing with people's problems, the Municipal

Corporation of Delhi is mulling over the idea of giving laptops to its field

offices to provide them with easy access to information.

The proposal aims at using information technology (read laptops)

to bridge the gap between the public and MCD's field officers in order to

ensure effective complaint redress mechanism in the civic body. According to

reports, the MCD is considering providing laptops in nearly 400 field offices to

assistant engineers, junior engineers and inspectors so that they can have

access to all complaints made online. This, the MCD believes, will help in

effective redressal of civic problems and make officials more accountable.

DQ'S VIEW: This is a classic example of putting the

cart before the horse. What is more important is process reengineering and the

need to create a system of accountability audit, without which all efforts of

putting up' boxes' in the field offices, or elsewhere, would only lead to

another era of hardware pile up. Besides, it's also important to understand

that the efficiency in government-to-citizen (G-2-C) services does not lie in

creating websites or service centers, or issuing a fancy gadget. An efficient

G-2-C service delivery is the direct result of improvement in the

government-to-government (G-2G) transactions and processes-with or without the

use of IT. It's also important that awareness is created amongst officials to

make sure they actually use the system, unlike the Councilors.

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