Digital State

Published at November 07, 2017 02:30 AM 0Comment(s)1130views


Digital State

Information Technology has completely changed the way people live. With fast and improvised communication channels available, a lot of time and efforts have been saved. Not only at individual level, but at the highest level of governance the endless possibilities thrown open by the latest technologies have made the job of those governing the state easier. Governments have been endorsing the use of latest technologies to connect to people, to put in place efficient redressal systems, to store and retrieve easily all essential data that is of import in public services, to coordinate and plan, and so on. In J&K however, the government is yet to upgrade itself and make use of the available technologies to make governance far better than it is now. Be it networking, communication, presentation, planning, sharing data on real time basis – J&K government falls behind by an extended measure. All we have heard from the government is catchwords like e-Governance and digitization of records, which have more theoretical bearing than real world application. Computers are still seen as magic boxes in departments which are unreliable because those handling them can hardly handle them. Paperwork is still preferred by employees to avoid gate-crashing in domains where both competence and common sense fail. There is something very wrong with the entire recruitment and selection process which is why lackeys make it to government offices. The government may not reckon it, but the departments are aware of it. Embarrassing situations like when a government employee working on a computer can’t even give a print command properly could still have been prevented by staff trainings. But the way training exercises have been conducted, it is like vacation with pay and all travel benefits. The face of the departments is their official websites. Small time vendors have better than most of them. Beyond state level, the issue has been raised and buried as NIC (National Informatics Centre) itself has proved incompetent. Social media and networking sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are officially used in numerous states across the world. In J&K barring some legislators who rather believe in individual promotion, the alternate media is considered mere fun and recreation. Surprisingly the political parties have their own handles and they do put them to use. Then comes the issue of valuable data. It has been seen that departments prefer data on paper than in the form of hard or soft computer copies. On paper it is easy to tamper records than on hard and soft computer copies. There is a reason that government, bureaucracy in particular, has been resisting technology and sabotaging any effort to digitize the records. And the reason may be that they are not happy with the transparency that technology brings.

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