Friday, June 19, 2009

My Take: Be a netizen and help making e-civil service a reality

AS THE world is getting flat thanks to the IT revolution pioneered by a few countries including India, why should Indian civil servants shy away from making themselves equipped with GenNext tools of the virtual world? Why can’t Indian bureaucrats use the online platforms more often to interact with citizens who are fast becoming netizens? In fact, I am inspired to write his comment after I read an article by D C Misra, former chairman of Task Force for IT policy for Delhi in a national newspaper a few days ago. Mr Mishra very rightly pointed out in his article how after the outstanding success in e-commerce in railway reservation among others and e-banking, there is no reason why 24x7 online public service delivery, or in other words e-civil service, will remain a distant dream in India. Already, smaller European cities have begun introducing online interaction platforms between government city managers and ordinary citizens. And believe it or not, some of the Indian IT companies including Infosys Technologies have been trail blazers in making them equipped for future. I may not like to name anyone, but many of our top bureaucrats can’t even check their e-mails, and are heavily dependant on their private secretaries to type out simple notes. Mr Mishra further pointed out in his article that the central issue in governance today is the yawning gap between the state and citizens. Yes, it’s the age of Facebook and Twitter, and not of anachronistic one-way traffic from government to citizens! As all officers above the rank of deputy secretary are now eligible to carry an official laptop, according to the recent DoPT circular, let’s start it right away. If you are not a netizen yourself, you would always be a stumbling block, knowingly or unknowingly, in creating e-civil service across the country.

Babus In Demand Nominations are invited from all India Group A services officers of deputy secretary or director level for filling up four posts of joint development commissioners for the newly created Special Economic Zones under the ministry of commerce at Mandals (Andhra Pradesh), Navi Mumbai (Maharashtra) and Bharuch & Surat (Gujarat). The department of personnel and training (DoPT) has recently sent a message to all chief secretaries to recommend names of suitable candidates. Two HC Judges transferred Justice Uma Nath Singh, Judge of the Punjab & Haryana High Court has been transferred as a Judge of the Allahabad High Court with effect from 1st July, 2009. Similarly, Justice Sushil Harkauli, Judge of the Allahabad High Court has been transferred as a Judge of the Jharkhand High Court and is directed him to assume charge of the new office on or before 1st July, 2009.

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