As use of Information Technology spreads in the government, the IT Department is lining up a host of policies aimed at facilitating and regulating the process, IT Minister Poongothai Aladi Aruna informed the Assembly on Monday.

Replying to the debate on the demands for grants of her department, Dr. Poongothai said her department was working on information security policy, e-governance policy and e-waste policy. These would be unveiled soon.

As a first step, all departments would be asked to prepare a three-year e-governance plan with “clearly laid out steps on what will be achieved every year.”

The Minister explained that such a plan would include a roadmap, comprising software application development, required IT infrastructure, capacity building plan and process of re-engineering. Once this was in place, an e-governance news letter would be brought out to share the best practices.

An e-office application to help government departments process files at a better speed and to ensure effective and responsive governance was also on the cards. This is now being developed for use at the State Secretariat. A similar e-office application would be developed for district collectorates.

The Minister said that it was because most of the Tamil fonts, being used by the government, were in the proprietary domain that the growth of Tamil on the Internet had been restricted. To ensure widespread use of Tamil on the internet, Unicode would be made the standard for Tamil encoding. This would enable free fonts to be utilised by all government departments and the people would also be able to receive information on the internet and via e-mail.

Glossaries in Tamil, including those published by the International Academy for Internet Tamil, would be made available in the Wiktionary. The department also planned to hold online competitions in Tamil every year to promote Tamil content.

G2C services

The department proposes to use Common Service Centres better to deliver government to citizen services (G2C services). This had been re-named the People's Computer Centre and would be the front-end delivery points for government, private and social sector services. The aim was to make all government services accessible to the common man within the locality in a more efficient, transparent and reliable manner at affordable cost.