They will be able to utilise IT tools in administration

Information Technology is set to embrace village panchayats in Karnataka as the State government is ready with a plan to ensure that broadband connectivity is provided to all grassroots-level bodies.

Announcing this during his five-hour reply in the Legislative Assembly on the demand for grants to Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Department, Minister H.K. Patil said all village panchayats would be covered by broadband connectivity by March 15, 2015.

He said Bharat Broadband Network Ltd., a Government of India undertaking, had come forward to provide the facility. The Additional Chief Secretary of the State government had already held two rounds of consultations with the company on this.

Mr. Patil said broadband connectivity would help village panchayats, which are the grassroot-level administrative units, to provide effective services to people. According to him, it would help them utilise IT tools in their administration, especially in service delivery.

Pointing out that a majority of the services being offered in rural arrears are IT-enabled, he said such was the massive application of IT in rural services that it stood second in terms of use of IT.

Reiterating that a separate department would be carved out of the RDPR to focus exclusively on rural water supply and sanitation, he said the new department would come into existence either from August 15 or October 2.

On deputation

Expressing concern over officers from various departments using their influence to get deputation to the RDPR Department to work as executive officers (EO) for taluk panchayats, he said a notification would be issued soon, making it mandatory to ensure that the number of EOs who come from other departments does not exceed 20 per cent of the total number of such posts in the State.

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