Punjab to cast IT net to catch all records
THE Punjab government is formulating a policy of placing all records of the government on a common IT network. The policy is the brainchild of Adesh Pratap Singh Kairon, minister of information technology. “We want to bring everything that needs to be done to computerise a department into the policy, which will encompass all the departments. This will include purchasing of computers, servers, servicing and maintenance of software and hardware. All the departments need to have access to the systems that will help bring in better governance,” says Mr Kairon. The larger scheme of things seems to be trying to make the state government paper-free, though the government thinks there is a long way to go before achieving that. The government has plans to set up recovery sites and backup systems in non-seismic zones to ensure security of data and make the systems insulated from hackers. After computerising land records, the government wants to create a common internal framework accessible to all departments. It is proposed to automate the back-end processes across the government hierarchy and digitise legacy data to enable the departments to give online services to the citizens. The focus would initially be on the departments, which have intensive manpower applications, such as personnel and recruitment. Now, the IT department is interacting with different departments and cabinet ministers to give a concrete shape to the policy. The policy would work in tandem with the government’s e-governance plans. “The Punjab government is in the process of finalising its e-governance plan, which would be based on an overall Government Enterprise Architectural Plan (GEAP). The GEAP would have a business portfolio framework, information portfolio framework, application portfolio framework and technology portfolio framework,” says RK Verma, director, IT department. The government would make full use of the core infrastructure of the State Data Centre, State-wide Area Network and the Common Service Centres to implement e-governance projects. All applications and data would be hosted in the State Data Centre and would be accessed by various departments through the Statewide Area Network. The public would have access to the citizen services through a single point entry portal.