Thiruvananthapuram

Corporation strives for a complete shift to e-governance

The Thiruvananthapuram city Corporation is planning to revamp its digital infrastructure and train all staff members for a complete shift to e-governance.

A recent audit of digital equipment in the Corporation office found that only 20% of the required number of equipment are available currently and many of the computers and servers are outdated.

In manual mode

Even some services which were shifted to digital mode are done partially in manual mode at times. The civic body is planning to purchase 403 new computers and seven servers, and provide training to close to 60% of staff, as part of a ₹3.52-crore project to ensure a shift to complete e-governance at all levels of the civic body within 2-3 years.

As per an audit of digital infrastructure carried out at the Corporation recently, 13 out of a total of 31 servers at the Corporation are outdated and need immediate replacement. As many as 327 of the computers here are up to seven years old, and need replacement. Out of 22 entry-level servers, five need replacement and two more should be added. New networks and wiring are also needed.

As for the implementation of e-governance at the Corporation, much of the file work is still happening manually, although some services are available online through the Information Kerala Mission's software. Due to this, the old problems of 'missing files' persist. The Corporation will be required to digitalise its entire database soon as part of providing various services through the State government's citizen portal, with which the services of all the departments, including the Local Self Government department, is being integrated.

Proficiency in computing

In a survey among the employees on proficiency in computing, only 20% were found to have the knowledge to effectively use the systems, while 60% have just the bare minimum knowledge for adequate work. Another 20% did not have much proficiency in handling computers. To address this, the Corporation has planned training for all employees at the Human Resource Employment and Development Centre (HREDC) attached to the Corporation.

Currently, birth/death registrations, marriage registrations and trade licences are the services that have been shifted completely online. However, the payment of property tax and professional tax are not fully online yet. The property tax database, in which discrepancies had cropped up leading to a major controversy related to tax payment at the Corporation, has now been cleaned up. But the database in some zonal offices have still not been fully digitised. Due to the absence of a complete professional tax database, with details of all employees in all professional organisations and commercial establishments within the local body, the Corporation is unable to raise demand to those who do not pay professional taxes. The cleaning up and strengthening of the database will also be a major priority for the Corporation.


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Printable version | Jun 21, 2022 12:16:04 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/corporation-strives-for-a-complete-shift-to-e-governance/article65454189.ece