Gujarat scores big on Digital India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious e-governance initiative 'Digital India' has a total outlay of Rs 1 lakh crore and it also aims to ensure that all villages in India have high speed Internet by 2019. Team Niti Central looks at all the buzz in India and around the globe on digital governance.

On Indian initiatives

As per a news report in The Economic Times Gujarat has recorded 100.3 e-transactions between January 1, 2013 and November 26, 2014 in standard services provided under State Government projects. The report also mentions, 'Gujarat is next to only the Central Government in terms of use of e-services for governance - Central Government projects recorded 185 crore e-transactions since January 2013. Agriculture (92 crore), common service centres (17 crore), judiciary (13 crore) and health (10 crore) contribute the maximum to Central Government e-transactions'.

The report quoted SJ Haider, secretary, department of science and technology Gujarat,

'Over 500 services are available through e-governance in the State. The Government has also begun implementing 'mobile governance' across the State as an extended arm of e-governance.'

The Economic Times ran a news story by Sowmya Aji and Varun Aggarwal who talked about Karnataka app M-one to give access to 4,000 plus services to the citizens. The report mentions that,

'On December 8, President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate a one-of-its-kind mobile application, M-One, which will act as a single window to 637 services offered by the Government, both Central and State, but more importantly, link the consumer to 3,644 private services at one touch.'

Shashidhar KJ wrote for Medianama about tying up with Common Services Centres to launch an eKYC based job portal for rural India. The news report mentions that

'Through this portal, Village level entrepreneurs (VLEs) can help job seekers who have an Aadhaar number upload their resume and access the services of the Common Services Centres (CSC) for jobs. The website can be accessed at'

The drawback of the site, however, is that it does not support Indic languages and is available only in English at the moment.

Mayur Shetty for The Times of India quoted Rajesh Sud, CEO and MD, Max Life Insurance say that a digital platform could be extremely useful in selling low value policies.

'Where physical cost of reaching through a brick and mortar structure like an agency or a bank is expensive leveraging technology for the use of Common Service Centres (the outlets introduced by government under its National e-Governance Plan) is a good idea.'

On QUT mapping and tracking Twitter activity around the G-20 Summit 2014

The Conversation mentioned about the QUT Social Media Research Group (SMRG) turning its focus to mapping and tracking Twitter activity around the G-20 Summit 2014.

'The Mapping G20 project developed a gazetteer containing the coordinates of buildings, landmarks, precincts and streets in Brisbane’s declared summit zones to map #G20-related tweets'.

As per the data collected by QUT the most tweeted-about location on the Brisbane G20 Twitter map was the University of Queensland, where US president Barack Obama spoke to an audience of 1,000 on Saturday. The most retweeted tweet on the Brisbane G20 Twitter map came from Queensland premier Campbell Newman, who welcomed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Brisbane City Hall on Sunday.

On new digital developments across the globe

Proquest which is a global leader in digitising historical and aggregating peer-reviewed scholarly content across disciplines, with an unrivalled repository knowledge that dates from the 1400s now is enabling researchers to access a critical missing piece for understanding historic events with a first-ever complete, digital collection of Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations.

'When complete, the collection will encompass more than 79,000 executive orders, proclamations, directives and policy statements by American presidents from Washington to Obama, bringing together disparate content and making it easy to discover and work with.'

On nations embracing digital technology

National Journal mentioned about Canada welcoming Global Commission on Internet Governance and its chair Carl Bildt, former Swedish prime minister and foreign minister to Ottawa. Foreign Affairs Minister of Canada John Baird was quoted as saying,

'The Global Commission on Internet Governance comes at a critical time. The Internet has always been a game changer, with email, the World Wide Web and now, social media. It is also a powerful tool that enriches and empowers the lives of individuals, creates space for open dialogue and gives voice to the voiceless.'

Maclean's ran the joint commentary provided by Mr. Baird and Mr. Bildt which was covered by columnist Paul Wells. The joint commentary quotes Mr. Baird and Mr. Bildt say,

'In politics, we try to explain to people that, if you care about your taxes and the public services you use, you should get out and vote for the government you want. It’s the same principle for this. If you care about the day-to-day uses of the Internet, you should care about Internet governance.'

The Jakarta Post covered a news story by Purna Cita Nugraha and Andi Sparringa where they talk about President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo on the side-lines of the recent APEC Summit in Beijing conveying to President Barack Obama that Indonesia showed that Islam and democracy could coexist. Indonesian President is also quoted to say,

'The promotion of 'people’s democracy' will apparently be one of Indonesia's national priorities for the next five years. It implies that Indonesia must make effective democratic decisions and reintegrate constitutional democratic ideals into the practice of democracy in all aspects. Therefore, in today's sophisticated information age, 'e-democracy' is the appropriate and the new alternative tool to achieve such goals.'

David Bicknell for Government Computing wrote about Chi Onwurah MP, the Labour Shadow Minister for Digital Government, Cybersecurity and Social Enterprise, trying to set out how trust can be earned and deserved and how digital services can be brought to every citizen of the UK. Mr. Bicknell also mentions that,

'A digital government review team and advisory board has published a report to be considered by the Labour Party in defining its policies ahead of the General Election in six months’ time.'

Derek Du Preez for Diginomica talked about how the north London borough of Camden has made good headway in becoming a digital and agile organisation. CIO John Jackson of Camden Council is quoted in the report say,

'When you start with this journey, to get the organisation to move en-masse, the first thing that you have to do is align your overall strategy for business with your digital strategy. If the two do not align then you have a problem from day one.'

e Turbo News reported that to highlight industry best practices and spur innovation in the public sector, the State of Hawaii Office of Information Management and Technology (OIMT) will host the third consecutive Hawaii Digital Government Summit on December 16, 2014. The report quoted State Chief Information Officer (CIO) Keone Kali say,

'As we head into the implementation phase of our state's 12-year technology transformation plan, Hawaii residents and businesses can expect accelerated activity with improvements to public services, enhanced efficiency for state employees, and benefits to our state’s bottom line.'

Team Niti Central wraps up this week's Digital Media Roundup with a reality check from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) that puts India at a low 129 rank amongst 166 countries highlighting the long road ahead for Digital India.

Courtesy Niti Central



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