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Topic Name: Internet based Government services - Expectations of citizens from the State Departments

HP Web Site Discussion Forum Public Views !

To minimize the differences in efficiency and work culture of government and private sector, I have following main suggestions in mind that will require an order from the highest authority to every office or institution for delivering best services to citizen, who finance these institutions and employees salary.
1. Establishing a computer cell in each office to provide necessary back up to the institution's needs.
2. Communications through e-mails should be entertained in every office as this is the only transparent and efficient mode of communication all over the world. Computer cell in each office can disseminate e-mails to the different sections of institution until everyone gets computers and training.
3. Computer cell can also provide batch wise training to all the employees, daily for one or two hours.
4. There should be a set format for all general office orders, circulars etc. to avoid typing/ checking them again and again. Necessary forms should be available on the website of that institution.
5. Outdated centralized diary and dispatch should replaced by maintaining such a record at section or individual level, accountable for that communication. For each small order, the head should not centralize the powers with him/ her but distribute them among the section heads.
6. Each office must install a round the clock fax facility, which should not be connected to any phone. Otherwise, people have to dial again and again and asking for fax tone. This will help in reducing the malpractices in official communications and can be substituted easily by the e-mails in long run.
7. In a phased manner, the design of each office should be made on the pattern of private sector. It will not only give a hygienic look to each personal cabin, work station, but will reduce the gossip of work shirkers that continues throughout the day.

Mr. Rakesh Sharma is exactly right in his views. A lot of time is wasted in compiling of information. The computerisation in Govt. offices is must. Though the computerisation of offices is in progress but not being done in a systematic manner. No proper training is being imparted to the officials. The employees must be trained according to their nature of work. The office setup must be made like there in private sector as Mr. Sharma has said. Head of the branches must be there in the same room with cabins made for each category. So that he/she may keep a watch on the employees. The use of stationary must be reduced by making more and more use of E-Mails, where the filing is easy too. This will also reduce the citizen-employees conflict too. All the necessary forms, instructions and guidelines must be online. In offices a lot of time is wasted in looking for papers in the files. Sometimes it takes weeks to locate a necessary paper. All the officers should be trained first, otherwise they are likely to be misguided by the subordinates. Hope the suggestions will be given a serious thought at the top level.

This is a very good platform created by the Government for discussions on any of the given topic. In the present topic, all Departments should be connected with website right from State Headquarters to Panchayat level and trained computer operators should be put on services with good pay scales on regular basis.The cadre must be created separate for them in the State and their promotion channel and service rules be notified from the Personal or Finance or General Administration Department.

I do not live in himachal, but for this discussion, I would like to share my view too. Since government is overlooking upon the issue. Neither their vaccancies nor their recent ammendments is being published on Net. So I think it is time for reformation and their perspective view of thought must change.

There are many considerations and potential implications of implementing and designing e-governance, including commitment of the government and its citizens. Impacts on economic social and political factors and disturbances to the status quo in these areas. In countries such as the United Kingdom there is interest in using electronic governance to re-engage citizens with the political process. In particular this has taken the form of experiments with electronic voting aiming to increase voter turnout by making voting easy. The United Kingdom Electoral Commission has undertaken several pilots. Though concern has been expressed about the potential for fraud with some electronic voting methods. Firstly there is a wish to mainstream e-governance, so that best use of technology is integrated into all public sector activity rather than seen as a special interest. Secondly many administrators recognise the importance of linking e-governance to wider public sector change programmes. Thirdly the phrase e-governance is itself particularly useful in motivating a change programme.

I feel that our Himachal Government is very much interested to implement the E-governance in phased manner. The official Web site (www.himachal.gov.in) is very good site, which provide so many types of information to our citizens. But there is a question of awareness to get the benefit of this internet based technology. Most of the people of Himachal Pradesh are not aware of computers and computer technology today. So my suggestion is to provide the computer training at panchyat level and some community centre should be provided with the computer infrastructure, So that poeple can get benifit of it. In case of employees, they should be trained in all respect to give the basic input to computer for E-governance. Basic infrastruture like Server, Radio Link, Lease line, Broadband and experienced technical staff is required to maintain it. In this way we can save the time of our employee, our citizen, paper cost etc. and provide transparent system to our citizens.

The Himachal is a hilly state and travelling from distant districts to State head quarters is very difficult. I would like to suggest that all the transfer and posting orders of the employees, whenever they are released from secteriat or concerned department, may be hosted on the Himachal Government website on same day so that employees have not to rush to sectariat just to get copy of the order. They can download the same from the site, this will save lakhs of rupees and precious man hours. The second suggestion is regarding medical officers, all MLR should have email address and mobile no. of the doctor, and then summons can be sent by both email and sms. The medical officer may confirm by sms or email.

This is a very good platform created by the Government for discussions on any of the given topic. In the present topic, all Departments should be connected with website right from State Headquarters to Panchayat level and trained computer operators should be put on services.

It is a welcome step from the Government and its commitment to solve the masses problems with in no time, but giving these services should be taken as time bound. We do get response from the portal of the Government in time, but action ordered to the concerned Department is hardly implemented at lower level or at executing Department level. It is matter of great concern, because these type of internet based Governance services are provided to ease out the difficulties of common masses.

We are living in IT world. If we see developed nations then we come to know that we are lagging so behind. Making all the Government Departments IT enabled is the demand of today. Every citizen wants transparency and fast and timely services from Government Departments. This can be achieved only by using internet and other IT based services like different IT tools and customised software. Government has to make access of each facility as simple as possible. More and more information should be available on websites of Government Departments.

Expectations of citizens from State Departments are to be viewed by putting yourself in to the place of normal citzen, of a State where topology is hard and life is very hard due to low ecomomic quotient. Cost of transpotation is also comparitevily high. Highlighting the red areas where different officials take the advantages of their official postion. Promt service, updation of data-base to make out information for citizens on regular basis can solve the problems up to an extent.

This is excellent start by the government. I have a doubt, most people live in village. Will they be able to take benefit of this modern technololgy. One good thing is that it will save time and efforts of people. I am highly impressed. Still long way to go.

This is a very good attempt on part of Government. Government Departments should also develop mechanism to answer public queries on RTI and other policies. Public should be aware of different programmes being run by Government Departments in public interest through websites etc. And the Departments should address public queries about problems in implementing different Government pilicies through websites etc.

The Government of Himachal Pradesh has taken an commendable initiative to put all the notifications, rules, acts and office memorandums relating to finance, personnel and other departments on Internet. Some departments have accomplished the work of providing the information through internet, which are of utmost use for the general public. But a lot of work in this direction is yet to be done by most of the departments which may please be got done at the earliest. This information preferably be from the last 10-15 years. When any person sends his request by e-mail to the various functionaries for the redressal of his/ her grievances. The requests are sent to the concerned departments. But the department in turn, not send the action taken. It will be apprciateable if the action taken is informed to the concerned person by the same mode.

This is good step by the Government of H.P. Using technology is time saving and efficient tool.

Keeping the problem of rural people of HP, it is better to introduce one web page in HP Results section regarding all types of test detail such as AIPMT, HPPMT, GNM, Pharma etc., so that information may be provided, and rural people and students can get benafit of it.

This is good step by the Govt. of Himachal Pradesh to use Information Technology for development of the State. Govt. wish to complete the works and projects in time bound manner, but in all Govt. Departments, there are no experts to operate computers and associated software properly. To solve this problem, firstly Govt. would have to appoint the Computer Operators in every Govt. Department. In previous year Govt. decided to train the Employees of Departments through HIPA by giving them six days training, but this is very less time to learn about the vast technological field. So it is first step for the Govt. of Himachal Pradesh to appoint the Computer Operators in every department. This may enables works and projects to complete in time bound manner and also citizens to get information quickly.

Make all the Employees responsible for the work/job assigned to them. Take time bound output. Ensure discipline in offices. Avoid the practice of saluting to the politician on their visit to field. Only the concerned local head of Department should report for the output/achievement, and make the nation progressive.

I am satisfied with the services offered by HP Government, with the help of Information Technology. I filed two complaints and action was taken next day. So I am really satisfied. There should be time frame to address these complaints. No doubt, at present very less people are using the internet service, but for us it is very very helpful.

Internet based Government services are an excellent idea which can be golden era in the history of H.P. Government, if done in this way. Ministerial staff is responsible to provide the internet based services. But the most of the staff is only Matriculate. Government should provide computer training to them and grant study leave. After training refresher courses shold be organised to improve the skills of employees. Employees having computer qualification and higher qualification, should get edge over other employees for promotion. Government should also appoint persons having computer qualification for such posts. E_mail service is very economic and postal charges can be reduced up to 90 percent, if government departments have expert computer assistants.

I came across this topic and found it interesting, so I would like to share my views regarding e-governance. We are living in the age, which is fast moving towards globalisation. The technology which is new today, becomes obsolete tomorrow. E-governance is a very good idea. This will help people to raise their concerns from anywhere regardless of time and place.

I am impressed with the public response in this regard. Though I have been writing in this column for the first time, suggestions are excellent. Primarily one Nodal agency should be set up at State level followed by District level and sub-division level to look into the matter of implementation of internet based Government services. Though the home page is well designed and maintained but most of the links to the Departmental web sites are out-dated. No body has bothored to update the web site. We can only make people realize the importance of internet, if we provide update information at the earliest. If people get the information earlier than print media or postal media, the importance of internet services be realized. We should think over it.

All offices of public dealing should be connected with computer and internet facilities. Therefore public can receive all information regarding their works/grievances without filing application in RTI cell.

Very very commendable effort to communicate. This is the only media which will excell the other media in existence in coming times. But one flaw, what do we forsee is that the people of HP reside in remote areas, so it is necessary to provide infrastructure to them including education extention of computers to their places.

Efforts of Himachal Pradesh Government are indeed commendable taking into the fact that rest of state Governments are struggling with E-Governance. This effort provided the information which was not easily available to citizens before. But I think more things can be added to the department web sites. It looks like that web sites provides excess information on political leaders, rules of departments, pay-scales of employees and other information which is just for knowledge. Just take the example of website hppanchayat.nic.in. This site explains about powers, functions, rules, statistics, reservations, acts etc. But it never tells how a citizen can obtain a birth, death or marriage certificate from PRIs. It never tells that how a citizen can get a certificate which is required to get a new gas connection/telephone connection/new bank account. Also Complaint Cell info tells about the phone numbers which are common in a single office, this looks like redundant things. If you call this office for information/complaints, they will not have any clue about the problem. It will be great to have information which is helpful to citizens in their day today activities.

I entirely agree with the view all Govt. offices may ponder over Information Technology and try to make changes in working. People of the State at end be benefited. E-Governance must be made habit in offices.

Government effort for bringing in transparency and accountability in public offices by adopting measures like E-Samadhan deserve full appreciation. But this will bring fruitful results only if our official communication system, which still rely on ordinary posts, is improved. The highly complex social set up in our state, leaves much scope for developing snags in normal behaviours. As such, the vested interests may conceal such communications after putting dispatch numbers. In inter-departmental communication, the scope of such a malpractice is present at the receiving end, by not entering the letter in diary. Such fraudulent practices can not be handled even with the RTI Act, as the ordinary letter is shown dispatched but lost in between. The blame can be easily put on the postal department for handing ordinary letters. Hence, people are left with no other option, but to waste their time and energy in obliging the concerned staff. The time has come to substitute it by modern time saving and efficient modes of communications. The rates of speed posts and couriers are very competitive now. The government can even bargain for fewer rates as was done with BSNL CUG plan for government employees. Such basic changes will not only bring transparency and accountability in the system, but will take the whole society out of the official web, thereby releasing much of the energy for the development of State.

Internet based Government services is a new chapter added to the rich heritage of Himachal, a small hilly State which has always been a leading State in introducing innovative system of Governance. Himachal is well literate State and the Government has introduced IT with well equiped IT labs having Internet and Intranet facilities. Consequently the young people who have been utilising these services regularly expect every information regarding different subjects and declarations of Government on their finger tips. They also expect that general information and the information of specific use in the field of agriculture, forestry and horticulture so that maximum use of the services of Government could be utilized.

A french delegation came to shimla in the late eighties or early nineties. They reminded us that we do not have a bus stand in shimla (summer capital of the earstwhile britishers). Now turn around to 2009, we need to be reminded that without Information and Communication Technology in the power blessed State, we will be groping in papers for the next ten years. I have a strong belief that we can not change the system overnight. It will take at least [I repeat at least] 5 years to make the employees or for that matter citizens computer savvy. Remember, [i] We do not have power cuts which all other States in the Country have during the day. [ii] We have a strong communication system in the State. [iii] We have a wonderful network of roads compared to other hilly States. [iv] We need a frame work(PLAN) acceptable to all on how to make the citizens computer literate AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE. [v] We need expert trainers. [vi] Last but not the least we need funds. Hopefully some departments may go paperless by 2020.

I agree with the views expressed above that computerization of office information to be done in a good manner. In offices most of staff members depend upon computer operators, that is very bad. If all staff members are trained to work on computers, then work can be done easily and fast mode.

I feel instead of so long procedure of RTI, the first phase should be information on internet. The querry should be first raised on Internet site of Himachal Govt. If some one is not satisfied then he should go for RTI. For example, I want to know from which date new VAT rates promised in budget are applicable or when the Governor signed the budget. There is no source of this information. RTI is not right place to raise such small querry. Himachal Govt. is also lacking in e-revenue record. There should be webs site for revenue record.

I read all the comments and suggesting some ideas like every department, field office, should be computerised. Training to existing staff is not sufficient, Government should appoint young persons, who are graduate or post graduate in computers, so they can do better work on job as compared to those who are getting just seven days or one month training for doing public work. I would like to add that, office environment conditions must be hygenic and may be achieved through mutual cooperation of all officers and officials working at a place.

It is a good step on the part of the Government, but neither the staff is fully trained nor sufficient resources provided in terms of number of computers in the Government offices, data back up external devices (so that in case of failure of online computer storage devices, valuable data may be restored). Websites are not updated,they carry information which is 3 or 4 months old, trained staff should be employed to update websites on line. It should be mandatory for the officers and official to have laptop (may be they purchase or Govt. provides or give interest free loan). Local area network should be established in the offices as is in banks. In nut shell either no computerisation in the offices or full computerisation with with trained manpower. All departments should get their software developed and put them in operation.

This is a start in the right direction by the Government of Himachal Pradesh. I have my doubts regarding the number of people who will be using this as a medium where they can voice their concerns. Our bureaucratic system is such, which believes in moving the files rather than prompt concern of problems. Most people live in villages. Will they be able to take benefit of this modern technology. One good thing is that it will save time and efforts of people, incase they make use of this technology. I am impressed but not to that extent and still it has a long way to go.

This is a very good platform created by the Government for discussions on any of the given topic. I am satisfied with the services offered by HP Government, with the help of Information Technology. I filed two complaints and action was taken next day. So I am really satisfied. There should be time frame to address these complaints. No doubt, at present very less people are using the internet service, but for us it is very helpful.

I would like to suggest that revenue records such as Jamabandi and field book should be uploaded on HP website. This will be a great welfare measure of the Government.