Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Connecting the Government with citizens at all levels

Connecting the Government with citizens at all levels

Special Correspondent
Chief Minister Yeddyurappa launches Karnataka State Wide-Area Network
— Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

Effective services: Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and Home Minister V.S. Acharya holding a videoconference with Governor H.R. Bhardwaj at the launch of KSWAN at the Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore on Monday.
Bangalore: The Government on Monday launched the Karnataka State Wide-Area Network (KSWAN), which is part of the national e-governance programme, to establish a State Information Highway connecting the government from the State level to the taluk-level administration.

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa launched the project. He said the mission of the project was to have a “connected government” that would transform the way the government interacted with its citizens.

The main objective of the project was to establish a reliable, robust and secure communication corridor at all levels of the government — State, district and taluk. It would help the Government to take quick decisions and deliver services effectively and efficiently, he said.

The Chief Minister, who had videoconference with Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, said KSWAN would provide data, voice and video services across the State.

E-governance administration would be introduced at the offices of the deputy commissioners of Dakshina Kannada and Shimoga on a pilot basis. It would be extended to other districts in phases, Mr. Yeddyurappa said.

Mr. Bhardwaj, who delivered the inaugural address from his office in the Raj Bhavan, congratulated the State Government for successfully launching the project.

KSWAN has established connectivity for 2,300 government offices spread across the State, covering 70 departments. Additionally, occasional user groups can get connected to KSWAN through dial up. Major departments connected through this facility are 176 taluk offices; 203 Bhoomi offices; 216 treasuries; 213 urban local bodies; 270 offices of the sub-registrar and other officials of the Department of Stamps and Registrations; 52 RTA offices and 15 checkposts of the Transport Department; 245 offices of the Public Works Department, including offices of all assistant executive engineers; 159 courts, including the Karnataka High Court and district courts; 29 prisons, including the Bangalore Central Prison; 30 Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI) offices; and offices of the departments of Agriculture, Food and Civil Supplies, Energy, Health and Family Welfare.

With this, the Karnataka has joined Gujarat, Goa and Tamil Nadu in the implementation of e-governance at all levels of the administration.

Principal Secretary, Department of e-governance, M.N. Vidyashankar said the system also helped the Government to deliver services with speed and better transparency and accountability, which would serve in checking corruption and delay.

Each connected office will be given Internet Protocol (IP) phones, through which users can dial and speak to all offices connected to KSWAN free of cost. Facilities have been created to provide videoconferencing services, connecting State headquarters to all districts. The system would help each department to hold review meetings with officials at the district and taluk levels.

All districts and district prisons are connected by video link to enable trial of prisoners through videoconferencing. It also enables deputy commissioners/district officials to have videoconference with officials of other districts. Minister for Information Technology Katta Subramanya Naidu, Transport Minister R. Ashok, Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath and principal secretaries and secretaries of other departments were present.

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