IT use can bring transparency: Sibal

04 Oct,2011

By A Correspondent

“Increased use of information technology will bring about transparency and accountability in the system,” minister for communications and information technology Kapil Sibal has said. Mr Sibal, inaugurating the 8th Assocham International Summit on e-Governance, added that the government would introduce the Electronic Services Delivery Bill in the next session of Parliament. This Bill is aimed at making public services available in only electronic mode in all State and Central government departments over the next five years.

The scope of human intervention must be reduced with information and telecommunication technologies playing a lead role to curb corruption in public life and ensure good governance across the country, Mr Sibal added.

He said that though the government is working on a new law to deal with the menace of corruption, only mass adoption of technologies for e-governance and m-governance can improve the quality and speed of public services delivered to citizens in urban and rural areas.

“Much of the talk of corruption that we have had in the recent past will be dealt with through the initiative of IT. What we need to do is to ensure that the scope of human interface – which is the scope of all corruption – is excluded. IT should play an important role in finding solutions and we are in the process of doing it,” said Mr Sibal.

By 2014, every gram panchayat in the country will be connected with fibre optic cables and the last mile connectivity will be with wireless broadband. The true empowerment of people is possible when government services are made available at the doorstep of every citizen – be it for tax returns, insurance premiums, banking operations or payment of e-bills, he remarked.

Mr Dilip Modi, president of Assocham (The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India), said digital inclusion is the critical pillar of the chamber’s agenda of making inclusive transformation happen.

 

“E-governance can bridge the gap between deficits and surpluses in rural and urban India. With six lakh villages in the country, land records need to be digitised. We are quite bullish on the internet’s potential to provide fair transparent governance structures,” said Mr Modi.

Mr Umang Das, chairman of the Assocham National e-Governance Council, said the concept offers a unique opportunity to move away from piecemeal reforms to an era of institutionalised transparency.

India has 73 million internet subscribers and the figure is poised to grow to 275 million by 2015, according to Assocham.

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