Meghalaya Governor RS Mooshahary on Friday said e-governance "cannot create impact" in states across the north east region without developing stable telecommunications networks.
"We have to make the inaccessible areas of the northeast accessible. Unless a stable telecommunications network can be developed, e-governance cannot create impact," he said while addressing an e-governance consultative workshop - Citizen Centric e-Government -- aimed at making government services easier accessibility to the citizen and ensuring efficiency, transparency and reliability.
Mooshahary exhorted all stakeholders to use technology as agent of progress and to "embrace change."
Lamenting that poor connectivity is hampering growth, the Governor said that the usual response he gets with regards to the absence of a stable telecommunication network was highly "unsatisfactory."
Every time I was told that the "poor connectivity is due to some cut or an ongoing construction," Mooshahary said, adding that the attitude has to change.
According to him, governance either gets stuck in the status quo or should embrace change.
Terming technology as a tool for progress, he said he believed that the IT industry is here "to redeem us from that state even as he"called for active participation from the citizens who are the biggest stakeholders in the process.
"The information technology industry gives us hope that we will be able to fulfill responsibilities," he said adding that, at present, if the process is delayed, people do not accept it.
Elaborating on the importance of technology in people’s lives now-a-days, Mooshahary said, "We need support of technology in a diverse and huge country like India."
Referring to the need for reforming the delivery of services, he said, "We are aware that failure of delivery of service in every aspect leads to frustration, corruption and acceptance of things that continue unchanged, time and again."
In his keynote address, Chief Secretary W M S Pariat said the "core IT infrastructure is already in place."
He said Meghalaya has done better than most state governments in the region and even comparable to some of the top states in other parts of the country.
Giving an overview of the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), Rajendra Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), said that the NeGP was launched (in 2006) with an aim to make all government services available to the common man in his locality through common service delivery outlets in order to ensure efficiency, transparency and reliability.
On the status of NeGP, he said although the core infrastructure is uneven is some states, it should be in place in most states by the end of 2012-13. In terms of human resource, he said, state e-mission teams are in place in all states and union territories.
Speaking about the proposed Electronic Delivery of Services Bill, 2011 he said that it would make it compulsory for various Government departments to deliver most of the services to citizens electronically. The objective was to create competitive, accountable, across the counter and single window service delivery for public services.
D P Wahlang, Commissioner cum Secretary, Meghalaya Department of IT said, "The NeGP aims to provide the best of services to the common man. It is a centralized initiative with decentralized implementation."
He said that a proposal is in the pipeline to give basic ICT training to rural citizens in the form of internet, emailing, word processing and spreadsheet. "An agreement in this regard will be shortly signed," he added.
During the day-long workshop, the Meghalaya Government showcased IT solutions implemented in various departments.
The workshop was organised by the DietY and the Department of Information Technology, Government of Meghalaya, in association with NASSCOM.
This consultative meet is the 17th in a series of 50 workshops being organized in all State Capitals and UTs across India, to amplify the mission and message of the National e-Governance Plan: "Public Services Closer Home".