A Long Way Before Jammu And Kashmir Becomes A Hub Of IT

A Long Way Before Jammu And Kashmir Becomes A Hub Of IT

23 May 2013
The Economic Times


Srinagar: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said Jammu and Kashmir has to travel many miles to catch up race with other states in the field of Information Technology and Electronics. 'Though with the restoration of peace we have come a long way, we have to go a long way to make the state a hub of IT and Electronics,' Omar said inaugurating the two-day 'Knowledge Exchange Conference Srinagar' on e-governance theme here. He said despite being ideally located and potentially rich for these sectors, the continuous law and order situation and disturbance in the state for over two decades has hampered the growth of IT and Electronics severally. Reiterating his government's firm resolve to take the state to new heights, Omar said during the last four years many new initiatives have been introduced to make e-governance rule the roost and upgrade service delivery making it prompt, transparent and hassle-free by introducing IT measures. Omar said he wants to improve and universalise healthcare and educational facilities across the state by utilising up-to-date and modern IT and technological interventions. 'In the given situation we are in the state presenting mosaic of geographical diversities, climatic vagaries, remoteness of areas, difficult terrains and poor accessibility, the use of IT to reach out people for attending their welfare and development requirements is the need of the hour,' he said. Recognising the requirement, he said, measures have been initiated to march ahead on road to e-governance. He referred to the measures of e-tendering, e-procurement and launch of web portals in various public service departments for public benefit. The Chief Minister added that services and solutions from various departments are being put on-line for general public facility. Omar said he has asked the Information Technology Department to move ahead in digitalising land records and making revenue papers available to the people electronically. 'I have also asked them to introduce IT initiatives in other departments including education and health, making communication technology focal point in the development process,' he said, adding CISCO can be roped in to prepare pilot projects in this regard. He said like Border Area Development Programme, other flagship and public importance programme needed to be brought under the ambit of IT to ensure transparency, regular monitoring and meaningful implementation. Highlighting the potential of the state to produce low volume-high value products in IT and Electronic sectors, the Chief Minister said the talent of youth and facilities made available by the government for growth of MSMEs should be dovetailed to make necessary headway in this field. Referring to bi-annual darbar move, an age-old practice, under which the government functions six months each in the twin capitals of Jammu and Srinagar, Omar said the unique difficulties owing to shifting of offices could be removed by introducing e-governance in the offices making them paperless. The Chief Minister said that he has been told in a high-level meeting he chaired today that the Higher Education Department will be going paperless by the next six months period putting all its functions on e-governance mode. 'I will be keenly watching the success of this pilot project so that other departments would be asked to follow suit,' he said.