The increased use of internet and smart phones has paved the way for three southern states Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to enhance IT investments in government projects.
As the Kerala state puts efforts to become the country’s first digitally literate state, it has established projects such as Akshaya Project, IT@School project, digital infrastructure availability, and State Data Centre and allied applications to make services easily available for the public.
According to P K Kunhalikutty, minister for Industries and IT, the Akshaya Project so far made e- literate 33 lakh out of nearly 75 lakhs households after launching in 2002. This means the Akshaya Project opened the doors of digital literacy to at least one member in each family.
Officials at Kerala Government, which is investing heavily in e-governance, says its IT@School initiative aims to make more than four lakh students graduating from schools every year a computer literate. The project, which was launched in 2002, has so far delivered more than 39 lakhs students with high level of computer literacy across the state.
E-services to the public
The state government has made substantial investment in IT to take initiatives such as e-office, e-district and mobile service delivery gateway to speed up service delivery.
Through the e-district program, the Kerala government intends to provide official services to citizens through Common Service Centers. Some of the services are also made available through online portal.
According to the Kerala State IT Mission website, the program utilizes backend computerization to e-enable the delivery of services and ensures transparency and uniform application of rules.
The project involves integrated and seamless delivery of services to public by automation, integration and incorporating Business Process Re-Engineering (BPR) where ever required.
According to an IT Mission report, certificate transactions increased 20 percent year-over-year in September through the e-district program. This took the total transaction number to 6.05 lakhs.
At the same time, there was an increase in service reach by 3 persons per 1,000 population as more than 15 people received services through e-District.
In the district-wise performance list, Kannur ranked first, followed by Palakkad. The capital city Thiruvananthapuram ranked the last indicating the need for improvement in the e-district performance.
Data from the IT Mission website showed that the state’s e-Procurement project has led to an increase of 57.48 percent in the number of e-Tenders in the financial year 2014-2015. Highest e-Tendering activities were seen in the third quarter of 2014-15 with the number at 8343.
However, there are concerns regarding the proper functioning of the websites and e-services.
Karnataka is in the forefront of Information Technology and its capital Bangalore is called as the IT capital of the nation. The IT policy, announced in 1997, has boosted IT industry growth in the state.
Increased computer literacy and the influence of Yuva.Com centers, capacity building in institutes of higher learning and setting up of International Institute of Information Technology at Bangalore and Hubli were also instrumental in helping the growth of the IT industry.
The Karnataka State Unit of the National Informatics Centre has deployed a project called BHOOMI, the land records management systems, investing heavily in IT infrastructure.
That was the first e-Governance project successfully implemented for the benefits of the common man, jointly by the Government of Karnataka and NIC.
It has been providing service to more than 70 lakh farmers of Karnataka since the last 4 years. The project used technologies such as VB, MS SQL Server, PKI and Bio-metrics.
In Karnataka, NIC also backs projects like Rural Digital Services (RDS), a project designed to bring the administration close to the common man and Sarathi and Vahan, which automates regional transport office transactions.
Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu Limited (ELCOT) runs projects such as e-Governance, e-Security, e-Waste, rural BPO and ICT. The state also has Common e-Service Center similar to that of Kerala.
The Tamil Nadu Government has taken measures to spread e-Governance throughout the state, covering all the sectors to providing hassle free, transparent and efficient service to the common man in both in urban and rural areas.
The NIC unit of Tamil Nadu has implemented a project named E – Karuvoolam, an automated Treasury bill passing system. Similar to that of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu have Vahan and Sarathi facility.