DIGITAL J&K-The e-Office Framework

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I see technology as a means to empower and as a tool that bridges the distance between hope and opportunity- Narendra Modi

By: M Ahmad

“Digital India” is an initiative of the Central Government of India introduced by the honourable   Prime Minster Mr. Narendra Modi, to see that services of government are made available to Indian people electronically.This is done by improving technological infrastructure and by increasing connectivity of internet therefore making India digitally stronger in the area of technology. It is designed to transform India into a global digitized place. This is done by improving digital sector of India with the help of skill enhancement and various other incentives to make India digitally empowered.

Now Jammu and Kashmir Government, in a significant move, has decided to go fully digital from Monday, January 16, 2023. Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta directed Commissioner Secretary, IT, to ensure that all Government services are only made available through online mode 16th onwards. He reiterated that no service shall remain offline and applicants need not visit any of the Government offices for availing of any services. He enjoined all the Administrative Secretaries to monitor that the services are being delivered online in a hassle-free manner. He asked to run campaigns so that ample awareness is created among the masses and conduct awareness programmes in educational institutions and at the Panchayat level. Over 400 services have already been offered in online mode across all the departments and many of them are integrated with the quality check and feedback-seeking mechanism. These services are also being onboarded on the digital portal of e-UNNAT, Service Plus and Digi Locker platforms for the ease and free access of the general public.

Keeping everything stored in a digital format, whether on computer drives, flash drives or in cloud-based systems, is cheaper than printing and storing it on paper. This eliminates the cost of shredding services for paperwork with sensitive information. There are a great many benefits to becoming a paperless office viz enhanced security, time savings, easy accessibility, improved customer service, better communication, environmentally friendly, efficient audits etc. But there are some disadvantages to a paperless office which still make businesses cautious, including: security risks and viruses, initial costs, difficulties digitalising existing documents, software maintenance, human inaccuracy, legal and compliance issues.

The growing significance of technology, digital empowerment, as well as financial inclusion, have become the key drivers of a country’s economic growth and development. The increasing penetration of smartphones, affordable data packs, and accessible digital services have all together contributed to ensuring digital empowerment in India. However, a lot more needs to be done for the rural segment of the country that still lacks complete access to the digital world. The main concerns of the paperless office can now be easily addressed: the space that piles of paper and cabinets take up in an office can seem like an obvious reason to go paperless, added to the daunting fact that each square metre of office space is becoming increasingly expensive. Space can be easily reduced with the use of offsite document storage. A move to offsite storage provides an opportunity for any business to reduce the amount of on-site paper that is cluttering up office space.The middlemen will be eradicated and thus ideas and complaints will reach the higher officials directly in much lesser time and the matters will be resolved and addressed by the right people at the right time.

In this world where everything is changing rapidly so the paperless office is acceptable and inevitable. Since almost every office work which can be done on paper can be done on a computer or say electronically. This system provides a secure and time-saving method of doing official work. By this we can send a large amount of data from one part of world another part will one click and almost all the office are using this. It reduces the chance of corruption that can be done on paper but by this, almost every one of the documents can be verified electronically. So this is system is good to accept. There are some issues relating to the working extent of this system it can be done with the help of internet and at least general knowledge of working on the computer a d in rural there is a lack of both the facilities. So, the government has to work on that issue.

The paperless office is a reality. But it is not possible in all cases because many times documents is necessary only in paper. Like properties documents and many other such documents.  Also we have to remember that J&K is not a developed UT. In the remote rural side, people have less idea about the use of digital work. Even there are many villages in the mountainous region, where electricity is not available till now. If we search in our developed society, we can get many people who are not serious about digital work.

We can’t make J&K digital only with those people who are aware and serious about it but we have to make all people aware about its use and efficiency. The vision of digital India is Huge. Digital India is a big step towards building a empowered nation. If this programme became successful, it will surely transform India by giving citizen of India access to multimedia information, content and services. There are a great number of opportunities of Digital India programme but we have to realize that the goal of Digital India is still far away since most of the population is facing challenges in implementation. It is very important that a focused persistent attention is being given to each and every pillar so that this programme will not end up in failure.

Paperless office initiative is good as it will help to curb pollution in Environment and corruption in the society. Govt should make completely apply paperless initiative and make awareness program about those who are not much aware of this.

In fact, as a citizen, we all should prepare our self mentally for this big change and should be ready to face challenges in implementing this programmer,only then it will be possible that vision of this programmer will become a reality.

(Writer M Ahmad is a regular writer for this newspaper and can be reached at [email protected])

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