INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY POLICY FOR HIMACHAL PRADESH

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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY POLICY FOR  HIMACHAL PRADESH:-

Recognising the enormous potential of IT, the Himachal Pradesh Government has chalked out a multi-pronged strategy to herald the benefits of this technology for its citizens and for the State as a whole. Accordingly, the State Government has created an IT friendly environment for integrated participation by all in the development process of the new digital economy. This journey into the information age has brought improvement in the quality of every aspect of human life, emergence of a competitive society and a vibrant economy of new age technologies through transparent governing systems, sound infrastructure and skilled human resources.  With the above objectives in mind, the State Govt. had engaged NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Service Companies) to suggest the IT Vision 2010 for the State for the new millennium. The present policy is largely based on NASSCOM study and the outcome of various deliberations held thereon with Industry, Academia and different Government Departments. The changes made in IT Policy (including updation of progress made on various fronts in the field of IT) till date since its promulgation in the year 2001 have also been incorporated in this document.

HIMACHAL PRADESH AS AN IT DESTINATION:-

The aspirations of the IT policy of Himachal Pradesh are based on 6 E’s i.e. Education,

Employment, Entrepreneurship, Electronic Governance, Economy and Equality. Thus the

objectives are as follows:

Investment in IT Sector: To encourage and accelerate the investments and growth in

IT hardware, software, training, IT enabled services, telecom, e-commerce and related

sectors in the State.

IT in Education: Encourage the use of Information Technology in schools, colleges and

educational institutions in the state of Himachal Pradesh, so as to enable students to

improve their skills, knowledge and job prospects and enable them to obtain employment

in this sunrise industry. (Note: Hundreds of middle, high and senior secondary schools

have already been computerised and computer aided learning is being provided besides

imparting basic skills in operating computers).

IT in Industry: To use IT effectively in industries especially where the State has

competitive advantages, for making such industries more global and help them to generate

additional revenues; to diversify the local industries into being web-enabled and attract IT

companies from elsewhere in the country and the world.

E-Governance: To use IT in the process of Government functioning to bring about

Simple, Moral, Accountable, Responsive and Transparent (SMART) governance to its

citizens.

IT for Social Equity: To utilize the power of Information Technology in the overall

goal of improving healthcare; empowering women, rural & tribal communities as well as

economically weaker sections of society. The ultimate aim is to enhance social equity and

justice.

IT for Employment: To use Information Technology for generating additional

employment for the new digital economy and governance.

IT Infrastructure: To provide adequate infrastructure in the state, so that the IT sector

can flourish and also to facilitate citizens of the state to use IT for a better quality of life.

Localization: To facilitate localization of software, so that benefits of IT could percolate

not only in the English language, but also in Hindi.

E-Tourism: To use IT for heralding world class E-Tourism in the State.

Venture Capital and Incubation Engine: To unleash the Himachal Pradesh

incubation engine thereby promoting entrepreneurship, increasing foreign exchange

earning and increasing IT’s contribution to the State GDP.

 

E-GOVERNANCE:-

  • Each Government Department of Himachal Pradesh has prepared IT Plan in consultation with IT Department. These plans address the extent of computerisation of its core activities, with special reference to its Citizen Interface, need for hardware and software resources, manpower requirement and training of employees.
  • The entire Secretariat workplace is connected through OFC and CAT 6 / 5e backbone. Internet facility is provided to all the users in the Secretariat.
  • All Districts/Departments and tribal sub-divisions in the State have video conferencing facilities. Video conferences by Chief Minister, Chief Secretary, and Departmental Secretaries and Heads give an important tool for periodic review for administration besides saving of money.
  • The existing training centres for Government employees, at the State and District headquarters, are being further strengthened for imparting appropriate training in IT. HIPA and DOEACC are also providing training to the State Government employees.
  • Capacity Building Project initiated by the Government of India is being used enhancing the capacity of SeMT and PeMT besides fine tuning IT road map for different departments and for suggesting ways for process re-engineering.
  • Knowledge of word processing is compulsory for the category of steno-typists after 2001. For the employees already in service, suitable training modules are prepared and training imparted accordingly. The passing of the test in computer proficiency of a specified level is made mandatory, for some selective cadres to begin with, for confirmation and promotion. In the Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) of government employees for whom computer knowledge is prescribed as a pre-requisite at the entry stage, a column is being introduced regarding contribution to ‘IT utilization’ in the department/organization.
  • All major IT projects have adopted English as the medium. However, for administration to be effective and for the benefits of computerisation to reach the common man, Hindi is being rapidly adopted as the medium. The Government is systematically promoting the local language initiative for information dissemination and for extension of citizen services.
  • The creation of data warehouses, having local content, is encouraged in each District. These centres provide government information to citizens through websites. Rapid progress is being to gradually move towards the concept of Data Centres. Standardisation of data structures among various departments is also being done.
  • Priority areas with maximum citizen interface have been taken up for eGovernance. It is the endeavour of the State Government to provide all services under a single roof down to the tehsil level in the first instance and then to village level. transparency, efficiency, objectivity, accountability and speed that can help overcome unbridled discretion and corruption by providing improved services in a time bound manner.
  • High priority e-Governance services being provided and proposed to be provided in Himachal Pradesh include:
  • Rural Services such as land records and registration of deeds.
  • Police services such as FIR registration and networking of all the police stations for crime monitoring.
  • Social services such as family pension, old age pension, etc.
  • Ration cards, Different types of certificates (such as Birth Certificate, Death Certificate, Caste/Tribe certificate etc.), Driving license, Registration of vehicles, Deposit of Token Tax etc.
  • Employment exchange registration, employment opportunities, examination results, hospitals / beds availability, road transport time tables, Government notifications, Government schemes, etc.
  • Agriculture/Horticulture sector- providing the information about Mandi rates in respect of identified commodities in important Mandis.
  • Utility services such as payment of all kinds of bills under a single roof.
  • Electronic Filing of sales tax returns (already made available), networking of barriers (achieved fully), state excise duty, house tax, property tax, road tax, etc.
  • Application processing for setting up industries and other business establishments.
  • Online processing of bills in treasuries.
  • Facilities to the farmers and villagers who make queries about latest techniques, advice for their problems, new technologies etc. from a group of experts pertaining to fields of agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, health, fisheries etc.
  • Better dissemination of information through web portal and online status of applications submitted online or through post or by hand.
  • Updated and latest information regarding public distribution system, list of beneficiaries under different programmes, information regarding government grants given to PRIs and urban local bodies.
  • Reduction in response time in addressing grievances by the concerned departments.
  • Web enabled access to data bases of different departments for providing ‘uncertified copies’ of records.
  • Hospital Management Information System is being currently implemented in IG Medical College, Shimla. It will be gradually implemented in all the major hospitals in the State.
  • The Tax Departments of the Government are fully computerised. Various offices of the tax departments are interconnected to allow flow of information. The staff of the tax departments is trained in the use of information technology to increase tax collections, reduce delays and improve productivity. All assesses are allowed the facility of filing their returns electronically.
  • All departments have established websites which have been put under a unified portal i.e. State Government website. Departments, where databases are already established have upgraded the same to provide dynamic information and use their sites as platforms for Government to Citizen interface.
  • Electronic Kiosks and Public Tele Information Centres: The Government is setting up of Public Tele Information Centres PTICs on the lines of public telephone booths to serve the information needs of the citizens and also to provide employment to a large number of educated youth.
  • In the long run, citizens must have unique identification card – the citizen ID. It would require a statutory enactment as well as amendments in many other laws to integrate the citizen database. Necessary statutory and non-statutory systems are being established for registration of Himachal Pradesh citizens and issue them a multi-purpose card, on basis of which a citizen can receive a number of services, such as birth and death certificates, caste certificates, driving license, passport, ration card, personal income tax, property registration, electoral roll etc.

Cyber laws: Himachal Pradesh is committed to ensuring that the overall local regime is in consonance with the requirements of transactions and interactions in the electronic medium. The State Government shall examine all the state level legislations and statutes so as to ensure the necessary harmonization, with the above objective in mind. The overall objective is to provide a transparent, simple and enforceable set of laws, which shall facilitate e-business and all other IT enabled activities.

As recommended in the IT Action Plan of Central Government, the State Government has stablished framework contracts with the leading and reputed IT Services vendors so as to avail a wide range of IT consultancy, specialist services and IT products at lower cost and with a shortened procurement cycle. To minimize the technological obsolescence factor and to avoid the large upfront expenditure and expenses on maintenance, procurement of computer hardware can also be done through leasing.

The Government has taken initiative to establish an Inter-State IT exchange panel. Regular seminars and conferences shall be conducted where interaction with the officers of other States as well as private sector will take place.

Himachal State Wide Area Network (HIMSWAN):-

With the launch of Himachal Pradesh State Wide Area Network (HIMSWAN) on 5th Feb, 2008 , Himachal Pradesh became the first State in the country to launch State Wide Area Network under National e-Governance Programme. The State entered an era of Hi-tech connectivity down to the level of tehsils, sub-tehsils, blocks and even Panchayats.

Himachal State Wide Area Network (HIMSWAN) project is a revolutionary step towards enhancing good governance. By setting up HIMSWAN, the State Government intends to modernize the communication infrastructure in the State to create a state of the art and reliable network for G2C, G2E, G2B and G2G interfaces. The Project is aimed at providing HIMSWAN link to Government Offices and Integrated Community Service Centres at State, District, Sub-Divisional, Tehsil and Block headquarters in Himachal Pradesh. The first phase of this project has been completed.  Under this project (HIMSWAN-I) a Local Area Network has been established in HP Secretariat with the provision of 600 nodes with an ultimate target criterion of atleast 1 PC for 3 officials. For this purpose a LAN with provision for 620 nodes has been established. Rs.1.55 crores has been spent during the completion of first phase. The network has successfully started functioning and Referencing Monitoring System has been implemented on this network. This network has also been connected to Internet. This network will be useful in saving lots of energy and resources. This state of the art network in H.P. Secretariat will be useful for all the officials for sharing the resources and data. The drafts for approval may move up the administrative hierarchy on the LAN, so that precious time and resources are not wasted in duplication of effort. Scanners, printers, CD writers etc. also can to be shared across the network. Big documents will be stored on the PC instead of taking print outs of even relatively useless pages. So besides making “less paper” functioning of Govt., this LAN will cater to implementation of various applications like REFNIC and many more. This will only improve efficiency. The Secretariat has to largely depend on the Directorates for data. The Directorates, in turn, have to rely on their field offices for these inputs. Therefore, this Local Area Network of the Secretariat should expand to become a Wide Area Network for the entire State in the phase-II. Then the instantaneous, accurate and updated information will be retrieved in the prescribed format. Presently, the requisite data is received after a couple of months when it has already become outdated. The IT Department is committed to have this Wide Area Network in place at the earliest. The HIMSWAN-II project proposal has been approved by the Ministry of IT, Govt. of India. MIT GoI has sanctioned Rs 50 crores and released first instalment of Rs 10 Crores. In this project HP Secretariat, Departments, District, Sub-divisional and tehsil offices will be linked with one another for immediate availability of data for queries and reports.

Concept of LokMitra Kendra :-

E-Governance is the application of Information-Technology in the processes of Government functioning to ensure the highest standard of services to the citizens by providing instant access to selected Government information, and interfaces for communicating with the various government functionaries, wherever and whenever they need it. The Government of Himachal Pradesh is committed to provide the general public, especially living in distant rural areas of the State, with the benefits of   Using Information Technology (IT) in Governance  at their doorstep. Since the Internet has proved its potential as a powerful and effective means of disseminating information, it is here that the importance of having good government web-enabled interfaces comes into light. The Web-enabled Government-Citizen Interface, named LokMitra is one such step of the Himachal Pradesh State Government in that direction, in order to make people aware of government policies and programmes, and also providing an interface to interact with various government functionaries and solicit their active and direct contribution in the process of governance. The National Informatics Centre, Himachal Pradesh State Unit, also identified as the E-Governance Wing by the State Government in its Information Technology Policy-2001, is designing & developing necessary software and implementing the project.

Objectives:-

  • The project envisages various direct/indirect social as well as economic benefits to the rural masses:
  • Better dissemination of government information at the remotest corner, resulting in better awareness among rural masses about various Govt. Schemes and bringing in transparency.
  • Saving in time & cost of people visiting District headquarters time and again for getting information, lodging complaints & inquiring their status etc.
  • Reduction in response time by the concerned departments and increase in their accountability to people of the State.
  • Virtual Extension Counters for the Government, by way of using these Centres for getting the departmental Data entered and transmitted from time to time.
  • A platform for the people to interact with each other on areas of mutual interests e.g. matrimonial, sales/purchases etc.
  • Additional income opportunities from Citizen Information Centres by using them for General Training, Word Processing and Data Entry jobs, and extending Internet Access.
  • Employment generation by opening up of Citizen Information Centres throughout the State in the private sector.
  • Facilitating the growth of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) throughout the State.

 

Aryabhatta Geo-Informatics Space Application Centre (AGISAC):-

Objectives:

The following objectives were envisaged for the State Centre:

  • To facilitate decentralized planning and decision making.
  • To facilitate Monitoring and Evaluation of Government Schemes & Programmes.
  • To set up integrated natural resources data management system.
  • To provide services/consultancy based on specific user needs in the field of Remote Sensing and GIS.
  • To provide wider usage of geo-spatial applications through simultaneous support systems/ software.
  • To promote the use of SATCOM networks for distant interactive training and education in the State.

Services:-

Geo-Informatics

AGiSAC shall endeavour for conceptualization, creation and organization of multi-purpose common digital database for sectoral/integrated decision support systems.

Remote Sensing

For Inventorization, Mapping, Developmental Planning and Monitoring of Natural & Man-made Resources.

Global Navigation Satellite System

For Location based services, Geo-referencing, Engineering Application and Research.

Cartography

For Thematic Mapping and Value added maps.

Photogrammetry

For creation of Digital Elevation Models, Terrain   Characteristics & Resource Planning.

Software Development

For wider usage of Geo-spatial applications, Decision Support Systems (Desktop as well as Web based).

Mapping services

Mapping services to the Governments and Non-Governments Organizations [/lockercat] for planning, documentation and other purposes. Mapping services for Environment Impact Assessment  (EIA) and  Environment Management Plan (EMP). Mapping solutions to the Governments and Non-Governments Organizations for the purpose of EIA and EMP preparation and  implementation monitoring.

 

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