E-governance still a distant dream in Jammu & Kashmir

Srinagar, Mar 21: Electronic governance or e-governance is the application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for delivering government services, exchange of information, communication transactions, integration of various stand-alone systems and services between government-to-citizen (G2C), government-to-business (G2B), government-to-government (G2G) , government-to-employees (G2E) as well as back-office processes and interactions within the entire government framework.
As we live in the world of internet e-governance is now the thrust area. In Jammu and Kashmir state some ten years back the bugle was sounded that e-governance is going to be ushered all around, but despite much talk, nothing is seen on the ground. Majority of the websites of the government departments are hardly updated regularly and do not contain much fruitful information for the masses.
 E-governance is a right initiative to ensure prompt service delivery. It is also needed to bring transparency and responsiveness in the administration to attend the needs of people on development count.
Pertinently, through e-governance, government services will be made available to citizens in a convenient, efficient and transparent manner. The three main target groups that can be distinguished in governance concepts are government, citizens and businesses/interest groups. In e-governance, there are no distinct boundaries.
On the other hand, experts have time and again stated that e-governance will remove red-tapism and bring a “revolutionary turnaround” in the system, but the implementation part of e-governance in the state is still laggard.
JK Tourism website is quite slow and lagging impressive character, the all-important R&B Website looks quite stale,  Most of the university websites are quite slow for students liking and contain limited information. The Handicrafts sector all important for Kashmir but the website of Handicrafts is not updated regularly.
While talking to the Kashmir News Bureau,  DrSheikh Ghulam Rasool, Chairman J&K RTI Movement stated – “e-governance claims of the government are nowhere visible on the ground, as we are still lagging far behind. Just last year we conducted a study with Commonwealth group and found that out of 280 government websites a majority of them are unimpressive and not updated regularly. We have called in letter and spirit the implementation of RTI Act section 4 (1 ) (a) which calls for digitalization of all records of public authority and would have reduced the RTI Flow by 85 percent. Despite the clear orders by the high court and our pleas before Chief Information Commission we are yet to see much headway in this regard and thus overall e-governance still remains  a distant dream for all of us in the state.” (KNB)
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