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National Conference on e-Governance begins at Shillong

Union DoNER Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and other dignitaries at the 22nd National Conference on e-Governance, being held in Shillong, on Thursday. – UB Photos
 SHILLONG, Aug 8 - Union minister Jitendra Singh today said that the Centre has done away with over 1,500 obsolete rules and regulations, making the functioning of the Government more efficient and citizen-friendly.

Addressing the inaugural session of the 22nd National Conference on e-Governance here, Singh said that the Centre did away with the need to certify documents by government officials, a legacy of the British empire. “By doing this, the Government demonstrated the resolve that it trusted the youth of India,” Singh, the Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office, said.

The two-day conference is being held here on August 8 and 9, in a first for the North Eastern region to organise the knowledge-sharing event.

Singh, who inaugurated the event, proposed that the conference adopts a ‘Shillong Declaration on e-Governance’ so that the important takeaways from the sessions may be referred to and developed upon, in the future. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma presided over the event as the chief guest. It is being attended by senior government officers from across India, researchers and eminent personalities from the IT industry.

Highlighting the importance of the citizen-centric approach in service delivery, Singh said that after the NDA Government assumed in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged departments to move beyond the Vigyan Bhawan.

“The Prime Minister has defined e-governance as easy, effective, economical and environmental-friendly governance. The ease of governance will only be possible by minimum government and maximum governance,” he said, adding that the Government of India has been focusing on this aspect, especially in the remotest corners of the country.

The minister said that the Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System, the grievance redress portal of the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, is witnessing a significant jump in citizen complaints from what it was five years earlier.

“This is not because people are not happy with the Government, but it is the faith that the people repose in the efficient grievance redressal mechanism. The increase in efficiency of the Government can be analysed by comparing figures of disposal of grievances which have gone up to over 95 per cent,” Singh said.

Singh, who holds the independent change of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), said it has constantly engaged itself with promoting e-governance initiatives that are being taken up by the North Eastern states.

The minister said that for making digital literacy universal, the Government has taken key initiatives such as Aadhaar and Jan Dhan Yojana, and laid down the target completion by 2022, the 75th year of India’s Independence.

Addressing the conference, Chief Minister Sangma said it is not the best technology that matters, but it is how best the available technology is applied for the larger good of the masses. Sangma also talked about the challenges of digital connectivity in the North East, especially Meghalaya.

“Effective decision making depends upon the quality of data collected. It is a very important aspect of good governance. The kind of impact it can have at the grassroots is immense,” he said.

Sangma said that technology is being used in Meghalaya for creating a database of expectant mothers, details of health infrastructure available and using that effectively to increase institutional deliveries in the State, without incurring a huge cost.

“This has gone a long way in improving the figures of maternal mortality rates in the State,” he added. – PTI

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