Now, it will be ‘virtual’ meetings with officials

S. Rajendran

Rs. 177-cr. project to be launched on Monday

The system has been put through rigorous tests over the past two months

Officers in the districts to be linked by Internet Protocol phones

Bangalore: Administration in Karnataka will go hi-tech from Monday with the Department of e-Governance all set to launch the Karnataka State Wide Area Network (KSWAN), which is a part of the National e-Governance programme. Karnataka will join the select band of three States — Gujarat, Goa and Tamil Nadu — which have implemented e-Governance at all levels of administration.

Virtual meetings will form part of the programme, and decision-making can be done in a jiffy unlike the present system of every decision requiring a file to be built up and officers expected to express their views in the form of notings before it reaches the decision-making authority, be it the Principal Secretary of the department concerned or the Ministers, including the Chief Minister.

The launch of the new system also means the Government meeting the expectations of the people with speed and more transparency and accountability which will also serve in checking corruption and inordinate delays. The project is a joint venture of the State and the Union Government.

The new system has been put through a rigorous test over the past two months with Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa holding video conferences with the district authorities virtually every other day to monitor the implementation of the flood relief works.

On Monday, the Chief Minister will launch the facility from his chambers in the Vidhana Soudha while Governor H.R. Bhardwaj will deliver the inaugural address from his office in the Raj Bhavan. The audience will comprise all senior officials of the State Government, including the Deputy Commissioners in the districts and the tahsildars in the taluks.

Principal Secretary, Department of e-Governance, M.N. Vidyashankar told The Hindu that the Rs. 177-crore project implemented in the State uses one of the latest technology by virtue of which even if the Internet service to a taluk or a district fails from Bangalore, it can be routed through another district or taluk given the “multi-point loop system”.

Further, all senior officials and the officers in the district administration will be linked by Internet Protocol (IP) phones which will mean that they can be in direct touch instead of the present telecommunication system which is routed through personal assistants.

The major departments and offices of the Government which have been linked via the Wide Area Network are 176 taluk offices , 203 Bhoomi offices, 216 treasuries, 213 urban local bodies, 270 offices of the sub-registrars and other officials of the Department of Stamps and Registrations, 52 RTA Offices and 15 check-posts of the Transport Department, 245 offices of the Public Works Department, including the offices of all assistant executive engineers, 159 courts, including the Karnataka High Court and district courts, 29 prisons, including the Bangalore central prison, apart from nearly 500 other offices of the Departments of Food and Civil Supplies, Energy, Health and Family Welfare, etc.

New system

Mr. Vidyashankar said the new system would ensure a highly reliable, robust and secure communication corridor at all levels. It will provide a “plug and connect” environment for all government offices at very little cost.

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