TAMIL NADU

Coimbatore rural development agency to turn paperless

Staff members of the District Rural Development Agency undergoing a training programme in Coimbatore.  

COIMBATORE, AUG. 21. In the next month or so, physical movement of files will trickle down to a minimum in the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) here. Work is on, under a scheme to make the DRDA paperless, to integrate all computers in the agency and ensure that every section has one. The software — KM-ATOM — is the same as the one used in Andhra Pradesh.

"All inward correspondence will be fed into the computer. Government orders will be scanned and preserved in their entirety. By a `paperless' office, we don't mean an office totally rid of paper. We will have to maintain records as a backup in case of any technical problem. But, henceforth, we will not have people carrying files from one section to another. Everything will be computerised so that we can check facts at a click of the mouse," says P. Jeyabalakrishnan, project officer, DRDA.

An official from the Andhra Pradesh Technology Services is training the office staff in use of computers. The training is role-based.

Tamper-proof

The software has an in-built system which ensures that a file is not tampered with at the previous level once it is forwarded to a senior officer. "We will also be able to monitor employee performance in terms of files processed and those pending," says Mr. Jeyabalakrishnan.

Once the system is put in place, administrative cost will come down, it is expected. "Then, surplus staff can be gainfully employed in other places where there are vacancies," he feels.

In the first phase, the DRDA will be fully computerised while in the second, panchayat unions will benefit. In the third, Internet centres will be set up in villages.

"That way, people can learn to correspond with us through e-mail," says the project officer.

How have the staff reacted to this move? "They have been very cooperative and are making an effort to learn," he adds.