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Empty coffers a stumbling block to IT growth in Madhya Pradesh

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DQW Bureau
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The ambitious program involving the extensive use of IT in making government answerable to the people has run into difficult weather because of the empty pockets of the state government. Thus, there are enough indicators pointing to a less than satisfactory achievement of set targets in the field of IT in the state for the period 2003-2008, though attempts are being made to inch up to these targets within the limited budgetary support that the government can muster. A reliable source in the IT department in the Government said that the road to achieving a decentralized and IT-oriented information system is still very long and fraught with problems, but even then, Madhya Pradesh has made remarkable progress in implementing e-governance in the state. 

An example of this can be the quick division of personnel during the bifurcation of the state into Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh, while the same has still to become a reality in states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. This is also related to the rapid progress that the state is making in computerizing its various departments. Sources said those efforts to make government offices, as a paperless office is not due to the sole effort of IT Department only. The State Treasury, the MP State Transport Corporation, Mandi and various departments like the Agriculture Department have per force had to move towards computerization of their various functions. 

The path to e-governance will only open up if all the concerned departments at all levels are totally computerized, as it is not possible to implement e-governance at the Mantralaya in isolation. This is why the Directorate will have to be computerized before the Mantralaya is. 

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Anurag Shrivastava, Deputy Secretary, IT at the Mantralaya said that e-governance has a larger connotation and links government to government, government to industry, government to employees and government to people directly. 

The recommendations made by the State Task Force on IT under the leadership of Professor Yashpal were itself adopted by the Government as its IT Policy and it was stated that by the end of the financial year 2003, the state to become a power in IT, would set up a far-sighted and effective policy framework that will lead ultimately to a more transparent and responsive administrative system in the state. It was also decided to make available at least one Internet connection for every 100 people in the state The Madhya Pradesh Agency for Promotion of Information Technology (MAP-IT) was also set up to promote IT in the state. The Government gave a grant of Rs 20 lakh to MAP-IT in 1999-2000, Rs 20 lakh in 200-2001 and Rs 42 lakh in 2001-2002. Recently, MAP-IT has also entered into collaboration with Microsoft. 

Aditya Malviya


(CNS)

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