The Government departments are yet to adhere to the instructions issued by the Governor NN Vohra on February 6 wherein departments were asked to put the required information on official websites sans any delay. The obsolete content at various government offices continue to dominate the scenes with up-to-date information apparently becoming a distant dream. The Governor on February 6 had noted that for the effective functioning of the RTI Act considerable improvement shall need to be brought about in the maintenance of records in the public offices and to replace the traditional secrecy with openness, and transparency except in matters which need to remain undisclosed in the national interest. He observed that we may see considerable reduction in the number of RTI applications which are being received by the public authorities if Section 4 of RTI Act is implemented and the public authorities suo moto disclose information by putting up the same on their websites. The state government had taken a major initiative about 12 years back to implement e-governance in all the government departments, Public Sector Undertakings (PSU)s and other organisation under the centrally sponsored scheme. Most of the support is provided by National Informatics Centre (NIC), which is a premier institution of the Government of India, established in 1976. Respective departments have to maintain the infrastructure which includes the software content. But ironically, there is little being done on ground to provide information to the general masses about the functioning of the departments as their websites continue to host the content which is either insignificant or obsolete. By surfing through the government websites in the state, one could hardly find few websites wherefrom a netizen could gather the information of some sought; the rest of the government websites either hail their respective departments or eulogise their history and background. Furthermore, what is more surprising is that the government departments are yet to follow the instructions issued by the governor less than a week ago. Websites of SMC, UEED do not provide any details about the status of birth and death certificates. Similar is the tale of other vital departments which have a direct public dealing like CAPD and others. There are further no complaint registration portals of various vital government departments wherein a common man could register the grievance and would know the status of the complaint. In this age of digitisation, JK has only handful of the government websites like GAD and the finance department which host the information on almost daily basis. Rest are inspired by the primitive era. It remains to be seem what measures would be taken by the Raj Bhavan to make the dream of digital India in JK come true.
2015 Kashmir Despatch