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ESSAY WRITING--Government spending 1 lakh crore to change governance through technology,

AHMEDABAD: Sam Pitroda, adviser to the Prime Minister on Public Information and Infrastructure, today said the Centre was spending Rs 1 lakh crore to bring in a "second-generation revolution" in governance. 

"Our governance system is obsolete and requires drastic change. If we do not change it, we cannot manage future delivery system for people," Pitroda said. 

"What we are doing is planting seeds now. In mid-eighties we planted seeds for the first-generation telecom revolution when there were just 20 lakh phones and people had to wait for 10 years to get a landline connection. Now we are a country with 900 millionmobile phones

"In the second generation revolution what we are doing is transforming governance, education, health and many other things with the use of internet and web," he said. 

Pitroda, who was here to take part in a private function, outlined what Dr Manmohan Singh's government was doing to bring in change in the governance. 

"This is the only government in the world which is spending Rs 1 lakh crore to implement various schemes for second-generation revolution in telecom sector which will drastically change how we govern our country," Pitroda said. 

"We have established a National Knowledge Network, under which all the research institutes, colleges, space programmes will be linked, so that there is a massive collaboration in research. Research is the key to future success," Pitroda said. 

"We have decided to connect 250 thousand panchayats of the country with optical fiber network in the next 18 months. It will change delivery of education, health, food service, NREGA (Mahamta Gandhi-National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) in the rural areas," he said. 

"The UID project which is being implemented under Nandan Nilekani aims at providing a number to every Indian, and that number will be linked to his entire life," Pitroda said. 

"They have distributed 20 crore UIDs by now, and another 65 crore will be given by December end," he added. 

"In the same way we are running a National GIS program. Till now 30 different departments of the government used to have 30 different maps of India. But now all of them have agreed to have one map of India. The GIS map of India which is being developed through satellite will have where the road is, where the taluka boundaries are, where the village well is located," he said. 

"The UID will identify each citizen, while the National GIS programme will identify each and every space in the country. Once this is done, it will change the face of India," Pitroda said. 

"We have taken up computerisation of each and every file of the government. Instructions have been given by the Prime Minister's office to every department to put up their files online, but it is taking some time as all the government officers are afraid," Pitroda said. 

"This step will democratise information, help seekers of RTI and also decrease corruption," Pitroda said. 

"Another important thing that we have taken up is that of computerising all the courts, as 32 million court cases are pending and it takes 15 years for a person to get justice. 

"While computerising the courts we realised that they cannot become online until we computerise all prisons and all police stations of the country and we have taken up that also," Pitroda said. 

"What we are doing is an enormous task, but it will create a platform to deliver good governance in the country where we have a very huge population. It will take some time. Once you get this platform you will have to innovate to deliver better governance, better education, health and other services to the people," Pitroda said. 

In a reply to a question on Gujarat missing the bus on the IT revolution, Pitorda said, "Everybody knows that it has happened. It has happened as Gujarat do not have good education (system) like in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh".
ESSAY WRITING--Government spending 1 lakh crore to change governance through technology, Reviewed by sambasivan srinivasan on 7:44:00 PM Rating: 5

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