Technology as Homonym in Manifesto
In linguistics, a homonym is a set of words that share the same spelling and pronunciation but have different meanings. In Indian politics, Technology spawns homonym.
To Congress led UPA Technology means ‘Corruption’. Truck loads of paper and ink have been wasted on writing about 2G and other scams. Hence I won’t get into it.
While to BJP and its Prime ministerial candidate Technology means ‘Transparency’. We live in an age in which technology contributes to development, growth. Technology is power. The superiority that technology enjoys shapes our developmental priorities. Following are few examples of the same from the state of Gujarat.
Gujarat State Wide Area Network (GSWAN) is an advanced communication infrastructure which works towards improving administrative effectiveness and efficiency and brings reliability and accountability to the overall system of Government-to-Government (G2G) functioning. It offers a wide range of ICT services since 2001. It facilitates uninterrupted and easy IP based Video-conferencing between various Government of Gujarat offices. Today, Gujarat provides a large pool of bandwidth which can facilitate future requirement of service on demand. GSWAN connects all 26 Districts, 225 Talukas ultimately interconnecting more than 3200 GoG offices through a secure digital communication.
GSWAN intranet provides secure access to various applications such as – Public Distribution System(PDS), Garvi (Registration of Documents), Land Record Information System (E-dhara), Electoral Roll Management System (ERMS), e-Mamta, IWDMS-Integrated Workflow & Document Management System, IFMS-Integrated Financial Management System, HMIS-Hospital Management & Information System, GSBTM-Guj State Bio-Tech Mission, GAD-General Administration Dept., XPLORA – Entry Card Swipe, Agriculture Soil Health Card Application, SWAGAT – Grievances Redressal to Hon’ble CM, Commodity Price Monitoring, Agriculture Census Gujarat, Ration Card, Intra FOREST, RoR at Village, Janseva, Development Support Agency – Tribal, Media Response System, City Survey – Gujarat, Jantry – Land Registration, Gujarat Information Commission, Directorate of Animal Husbandry, FDCA – Foods & Drugs Controller Administration, & Drugs Manufacturing License Allocation, Directorate of Pension & Provident Funds etc.
GSWAN hosts more than 260 different departmental websites which gives access to information to common citizens. Moreover, applications like ATVT hosted on GSWAN has ultimately led to generation of revenue worth Rs. 3,75,80,720 till date, gARVI (Automation of Administration of Registration, Valuation & Indexing in Gujarat) has generated Rs. 8652.31 Crore till date, eDhara has recorded 10.7 Crore Transactions (5-10/- per transaction) through GSWAN.
In a nutshell, GSWAN has not only created a role model for connectivity and efficient management of Asia’s one of the largest Government network but also given business model to earn revenue for the Government. Considering all such growth, Government of India has also recommended bandwidth enhancement to all states stating Gujarat as the Role Model. Some examples are as follows:
1. Land Record Information System and RoR at Village: There are 225 Servers installed at Block level, which are connected to 25 District Servers. There are 98 Lac land records, which are computerized. The District Server data has been uploaded to the State Data Centre at Gandhinagar. There are around 400 to 500 (average) daily transactions observed at each block location. People get well-printed copies of their land holding documents. Tampering with revenue records have been minimised. People get the copy of Record of Right (7/12) and Account of land holding (8a) at the Taluka level. Farmer Book is printed. It reduces litigation and helps in expediting litigation process.
2. SWAGAT (State Wide Attention on Grievances by Application of Technology): SWAGAT is a combination of digital management and WAN technology to overcome the above said problems. It makes the travel of the grievance instant and the system below is sensitized and held accountable. Grievances are categorized into: Policy matters, First timers and Long pending Cases. All three categories of grievances will be displayed in the same manner to all connected functionaries through the bilingual web based application. Hon. CM takes up such grievances, District wise, in presence of the applicant and asks the concerned District functionary on video conferencing about the reasons of pendency on the 4th Thursday of every month. Approach is to resolve the grievance then and there. This application runs on GSWAN extending connectivity to Hon. CM Office: all the Secretaries, all the District Collectors / DDOs / S.Ps. and Head of Departments.
3. e-Gram (Vishwa Gram)Village Panchayats of Gujarat State (under District Panchayat):The e-Gram is based on surveys carried out on each individual family of a village, which contains detailed information of each member of a family. This is used to provide many certificates such as Income, Caste, Domicile, Character, and Farmer etc. to citizens. Also, the database of property of each family is maintained to provide necessary certificate and to use in panchayat for property tax collection. Conversion of this system into e-GPIR (Gram Panchayat Internal Register) is underway on so that a single e-GramPanchayat system can be deployed and be in use across all Gram Panchayats
One sarpanch puts it in perspective when he says “Internet access gives us a feeling of being one with the rest of the state.” The implications of this development are truly extraordinary. Every village will now have access to a globalised economy.
4. WHO – Integrated Disease Surveillance (Health Department): NIC has developed IDS for Department of health and World Health Organisation. For 16 identified diseases, data of new cases and deaths are collected weekly at Remote Units, Corporation Hospitals and Medical Colleges (Hospitals attached to it). Data on weekly basis is entered at the district level and transferred to Central server at Gandhinagar for analysis.
5. e-PRIMA (Panchayati Raj Institutes – Maintenance of Accounts) Panchayat Department: It captures data of Opening & closing balance of PRIs, works carried out in PRIs under particular schemes, Income & expenditure, closing balance, financial progress of funds received from CFC, State Govt , Own fund etc.
Contrast the use of technology by BJP/Narendra Modi to the use of technology by Congress/UPA. Congress/UPA uses the technology not only to make man redundant by transferring cash into his/her bank but also to exploit possibilities for corruption.
This mind set reflects in the manifesto of both the parties as well. For checking corruption BJP says ‘e-governance to minimize discretion’, Congress says ‘enact laws’; and we all know what ‘law’ promotes. The manifesto clearly explains the future as seen by Congress and BJP.
Sandeep Singh, www.swastik.net.in