Srinagar, August 5: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, while speaking on the occasion of ‘Corruption Free J&K Day’ appreciated the role of IT Department in addressing the challenge and bringing efficiency in the functioning of the government through 675 online services, bringing much needed accountability and transparency into it.
The event was attended by Commissioner Secretary Information and IT Departments, Prerna Puri; Director Information, Minga Sherpa; Joint Director, Information Headquarter, Naresh Kumar; Joint Director, Information Kashmir, Mohammad Aslam; Information Officers, besides other concerned officers.
During this event the Chief Secretary highlighted the role of IT tools in weeding out corruption. He maintained that technology is greatest enabler in creating an era of efficiency, fairness and equity for all.
While enumerating the advantages, he made out that the introduction of initiatives like BEAMS, Janbhagadari, Aapki Zameen Aapki Nigrani (AZAN), e-tendering and e-office has transformed the administration into more responsive, accessible and transparent system and has empowered the citizens of J&K by bringing in accountability and openness.
The Chief Secretary went on to elucidate that the financial discipline brought in by BEAMS has ensured that no work which does meet the criteria of e-tendering, Administrative Approval, Technology Sanction, and photographic evidence can be paid which has accelerated the completion of projects by 10 times. BEAMS has been the engine of change in J&K, drastically reducing arbitrariness and corruption. He mentioned that the cost of projects has reduced significantly due to competitiveness.
He stated that earlier contractors were moving from pillar to post to get their payments released. Now the process has been made hassle-free and they are able to see releases without running after officials.
He made out that the efficiency and timely disposal of official business has well been ensured by the introduction of e-Office in the UT. He said that this IT tool has brought in greater transparency in government functioning as the movement of each file can be tracked with time-series data analysis.
He also recalled that the ‘Janbhagadari’ portal and ‘Aapki Zameen Aapki Nigrani’ has put all the details of works or land records in public domain where thousands of people are accessing and evaluating these on daily basis. He called it the real empowerment where people have themselves been put on the driving seat.
The Chief Secretary observed that the system in J&K is transparent and efficient as never before. He made out that before 2019 there were hardly any G2C services offered online and now the number has galloped to 675 in a matter of less than two years.
He mentioned that in terms of the number of projects completed the UT has made phenomenal progress. He stated that earlier the number used to hover around 9000 which has grown to over 925000 works for the previous financial year. He noted that E-Compendiums of these works are made public and there is no complaint from public about any of these works.
He complimented the IT and Information Departments for serving the people by creating awareness among them. He observed that the role played by IT is historical and will go down in history as the one of the fundamental building blocks of corruption free J&K.
On the Occasion the Principal Secretary, IT, Prerna Puri informed him about all the initiatives the Department has taken to make the system more responsive and bring governance at the doorsteps of the people.
She revealed that from 35 online services in 2019 the number has reached to 675 currently. She made out that the feedback from public on Rapid Assessment System (RAS) is quite encouraging as 86% of it is positive. She also gave out that nearly 40 lakh messages have been sent to the public to give their feedback and more than one crore visits have been made till date to the AZAN portal providing insights about the people’s land records.
Earlier the Chief Secretary launched the new version of the Directorate of Information and Public Relations produced youth oriented Online program ‘Beats of J&K 2.0’. It aims at encouraging and facilitation of the local artists of Jammu and Kashmir to showcase their talent providing them a platform to grow and make a mark in their chosen fields of their musical interest.
On the occasion, the Chief Secretary advised the officers to provide due opportunity up to Block level so that the creativity and talent of youth gets a chance to flourish.
He called it the most useful platform which can be used by the youth of J&K to achieve success and realize their dreams. He felicitated the Department for coming up with this talent hunt program which can give vent to the hidden talent.
While giving description about this online program the Director Information, Minga Sherpa apprised the gathering that its first version was a grand success in which hundreds of artists across different languages and social backgrounds displayed their artistic abilities.
He expressed confidence that this program is going to add-on to the previous one and will encourage the young musical talents on a grand scale, thereby providing each of them the confidence to make it big in the fields of their interest.