Strengthen e-PDS

January 4, 2017 0 Comments EDITORIAL 333 Views
Strengthen e-PDS

Government will introduce and implement e-PDS, a food distribution system that seemingly has many merits over the traditional one in use. The implementation of e-PDS as a novel idea to bring reforms in the public distribution system is welcome, but the minister seems to underrate the state of affairs in various government bodies. To begin with, Internet connectivity in the state is not a sure thing. The minister must be reminded of days and months in last several months when the government itself had imposed restrictions on internet citing “law and order” problem. Even if the availability of internet is guaranteed, the minister does not seem to be aware of the overall reach and penetration in the state. The state government is in fact not only lagging behind but also limping when it comes to integration of modern and advanced technologies to improve public services. Consider the JK’s run for e-governance which can still be argued as a great idea. For small exercises people have to visit government offices and Secretariat, and sometimes travel from one capital to another. After all these years government offices are yet to get rid of paperwork and old school work culture. Digitization of records is another sham with valuable records still being at greater risk to damage. Despite drawing huge criticism, there is still not a word of assurance on land records that were supposed to be digitized. Perhaps the minister has forgotten the recent humiliation when it was found that JK’s official website presented two law ministers. There are more examples that lay bare the state of affairs in the state on ‘e-matters’. Government departments are supposed to have a Public Information Officer and the officer has to be visible and accessible. This information has to be on the official websites of all departments. In practice, it does not seem to be so. Even official websites are so poorly made and managed that departments look light years away from the digital world. The galvanic e-PDS against this backdrop looks pallid. Also, technology or any development model cannot be simply replicated in the state.

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