As reported by Varinder Bhatia in expressindia.com on 25 May 2008:
In tech-savvy age, UT dept is handicapped - ExpressIndia.Com

In tech-savvy age, UT dept is handicapped


Chandigarh, May 24 The departments are depending on postal, courier and hand-delivered mails

The ‘tech-savvy’ Chandigarh Administration is not actually what it claims to be’, The heads of more than 75 out of its 80 departments not even having an e-mail id even though crores of rupees have been spent on computers.

All that the ‘tech-savvy’ UT Administration’s departments are depending onpostal, courier and hand- delivered mails.

The facts came to light in the information given by as many as 80 departments of UT Administrati under the Right to Information Act. The information procured from various departments of UT Administration clearly say that though all the departments have computers and even provided internet connectivity, they neither have full-networking nor are making any use of the same.

Irony of the situation is that the Administration’s departments neither use these computers for receiving or sending information to general public, nor maintain any record of communication made through these computers.

Most of the departments, in reply to a question, replied that they never received any official e-mails from any outside agency. Even the ‘super-rich’ Chandigarh Housing Board, which is also the nodal agency for the ongoing multi-crore housing project in collaboration with Parsvnath, also has the same reply and maintained that “only postal/ courier/ hand delivered mails relating to this office, which are received in this office are properly recorded in the DAK receipt register”.

This is the state of city administration, when UT Administration talks of e-Governance as the most significant aspect of its Information Technology Policy. If one looks at the tall-claims made by the UT Administration a few years ago, this is what the Administration had planned to achieve till 2005 - “e-Governance is the most significant aspect of the I.T. Policy of Chandigarh Administration. The vision of the Administration is to create a knowledge-based society, wherein every citizen of Chandigarh shall be able to excess the benefits of IT by the year 2005. Information Technology is to be used as a medium for effective interaction between the Administration and the public so that exchange of information and access to government departments is speedy and easy, leading to a better quality of life.

As per Government of India guidelines, 1 to 3 per cent of each Department’s Budget is to be allocated for e-governance. The aim is to enable relevant information on a citizen’s portal which could be accessed either through the internet or through a chain of information centres by the public so that they are not required to visit government offices frequently”.

The vision of the Administration is to create a knowledge-based society, wherein every citizen of Chandigarh shall be able to excess the benefits of IT by the year 2005”.

However, with the present state of affairs, it could easily be assessed that how much on ground, the Chandigarh Administration has actually achieved when it comes to improving a “medium for effective interaction between the Administration and public”.


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