DQW Bureau
07 Oct 2004

From computerizing the various government departments in the state, the move
today is to connect all these departments, so that there is more efficient
transfer of data. State Wide Area Network (SWAN) is the next big step that the
individual states in India are undertaking. This was disclosed by the
dignitaries of various state government at Connect 2004, the annual ICT show of
Tamil Nadu.

Government of Tamil Nadu minister of state for law and IT D Jayakumar in his
inaugural address announced that the Tamil Nadu SWAN would be installed
throughout the state at a cost of nearly Rs 100 crore.

Similarly, the Karnataka government is also planning a SWAN for the state at
an estimated cost of Rs 170 crore.

Additionally, the state is working at BangaloreOne, a citizen centric portal,
where all the public utilities will function under one roof. The WAN planned for
the state would extend upto the taluk level, where there would be WAN control
rooms at the state headquarters, all district headquarters and all taluk
headquarters. The net-work would provide audio (Internet phone), video and data
as well.

Government of West Bengal IT department principal secretary GD Gautama also
stressed on the need for integrating all the government services on a common
platform to be accessed by the citizens. He was speaking at the panel discussion
on 'e-Governance Opportunities in States'.

Towards this program, the government is launching the West Bengal State Wide
Area Network (WBSWAN) to con-nect the state headquarters with the district
headquarters in the first phase.

"We plan to extend WBS-WAN upto the Gram Panchayat level," added
Gautama. Besi-des the government is also planning for a G2C

Kerala was the first state to set up a software park way in 1986. But
somewhere down the line it lost the focus, "being an innovator doesn't
always make you a leader," opined Govern-ment of Kerala deputy secre-tary-IT
Anand Singh.

As far as e-governance is concerned, the state is moving slow, to learn from
others experience. Accordingly, it has also realized the potential of setting
the state network to reach out to the residents of the state.

"We are setting up network connecting district head-quarters to the
blocks in each district, by merging with the Akshaya e-kendrams,"
delinea-ted Singh. Akshya, is an e-literacy campaign started in Malapurram
district in Kerala, where the government had set nearly 600 e-kendrams (centers)
for promoting e-literacy. Today, nearly 400 Akshaya e-kendrams are transformed
into IT related enterprises. The government intends to set up nearly 6,000
centers through out the state at a capex of Rs 180 crore.

Pondicherry IT director V Prithviraj too shared the state's plan for
setting up Pondicherry State WAN (PSWAN), where all the applications will be
hosted out of a data center and will be accessed through a WAN.

Andhra Pradesh, which already has started working on this initiative, is
looking at providing broadband connecti-vity to villages, at a total capex of Rs
600 crore, informed And-hra Pradesh Technology Servi-ces MD Randeep Sudan.
"If this network is set, it will supp-ort all government application, where
we can pump in a whole lot of information. It will be an information society per
se," he added.

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