The development of technology has flourished in recent years. Thanks to globalization, the internet and digitalization in particular, have made a significant impact in the field of information and communication. Its arrival has changed our way of life from all points of view whether it is at home, at work, or at leisure. It has made the world smaller in size, more efficient and often more affordable.
In view of this, Government of Punjab has taken an initiative in using digital technology under Right to Service Act (RTS), 2011 which has led to effectual governance of the state.To ensure timely delivery of public services to its citizens, Punjab government has announced the bringing of 206 public services within the scope of the RTS Act. The Act includes 32 services in home department, 30 of health, 28 of local government, 14 of electricity, 12 of revenue, 14 of agricultural, 9 of social security and transport, 8 of technical education and many more.
Punjab has set the stage for this revolution which involves offering most of its services online. The use of IT infrastructure in its offices and direct connections with WAN and LAN have been established in many departments of the government sector. Punjab has made provisions of giving IT training to 9,000 officers under e-district projects, out of which 1700 officers have been imparted with the training and 7000 people will receive it in the next two months. More than 900 officers are connected with LAN till date. These officers would be further linked with Sewa Kendras.
It has been disclosed that, in total there are 2147 Sewa Kendras out of which the ones in Ludhiana (195), Amritsar (152), Jalandhar (141), Gurdaspur (144) and Bhatinda (126) are under construction and several others have already been constructed. Issues related to NOC’s, BSNL connectivity,data digitalization, training of government officials and connectivity of field offices were raised, discussed and asked to be resolved as soon as possible.With the enactment of e-district project, backend automation of about 200 services will be accomplished across Punjab. Under the SSDG project, 8 pension related services are accessible online on Punjab State Portal for its citizens.
Apart from the training, IT infrastructure including 2500 new computer systems, printers, scanners and 800 new broadband connections have been provided in the government offices. Digitalization has led to effective and efficient management of all official work and has helped in supervising all pending work. The backend pendency of citizen service applications in Suwidha Centers for services has been reduced from 1.09 lakh in June 2014 to just 1071 by January 2015. Along with this, digital signatures have been provided to 800 officers so that they can give online approvals.
Punjab has come up with a digital locker system for its officers’ convenience to store and access the documents of all the citizens on the cloud storage system which involves a login id and password for each individual.
A delegation from Afghanistan, consisting of 49 civil services officers and professors of public administration from different universities visited Chandigarh looking forward to strengthening their public administration education. These scholars appreciated Punjab Government’s commitment to provide its citizens with all the required services under the Punjab Right to Service Act, 2011.
The whole new system aims at unburdening the government employees of heavy and chaotic manual file work besides updating their skills and efficiency. This process will hasten the response to citizens’ requests as well as help in saving the environment by reducing paper work.