The ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation (HUPA) has started interacting with state representatives through video conferencing, saving time and reducing the money that the states would otherwise spend on its officials' travel expenses.
Even through video conferencing facilities have been around for a while, they were seldom used in the past. Instead, 2-3 officials from each state would travel to Delhi for coordination meetings of the ministry's various schemes.
A senior ministry official said that the online meetings have helped in better understanding of difficulties and glitches that states face. Each state's feedback is individually noted, giving a clear picture of the ground situation. "Earlier, all states' representatives were called to Delhi. In the process, not all could get adequate representation. With video conferencing, all states have an exclusive half an hour slot," he said.
So far, HUPA has held online meetings via video conferencing with Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Rajasthan. Meetings with officials from Assam, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Haryana are scheduled for later this week.