Syllabus subtopic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
News: Very soon, Cabinet meetings in Uttarakhand government will go “green” as no paper will be used for the meeting; even confidential documents of the Cabinet will be circulated to the Chief Minister, the chief secretary, and the concerned departmental heads through email only.
Prelims and Mains focus: about the recent move by UK govt, e-governance and its benefits, challenges and achievements so far
The Gopan department, which looks after affairs of the state Cabinet, has been working on “e-cabinet” project on a war footing so that the next Cabinet meeting could be so.
According to an estimate of the Gopan department, around 20,000 sheets of papers are used for each Cabinet meeting. On average, more than 15 matters are put up for discussion in every meeting. Each such proposal takes up more than 10-15 pages,and more than 20 sets of each proposal are prepared for distribution. After the meeting, a Cabinet note of each agenda is sent out. E-Cabinet meeting of the future will save this waste of paper.
A secure Local Area Network (LAN) is being developed and laying of cables is underway to connect the Cabinet room with a section of Gopan department from where Cabinet notes will be circulated.
At present, copies of the agenda are delivered at a minister’s office or residence a day before the meeting and often they are not able to study it in advance , especially if they are out of town. But this will soon change.
How will the process go through?
Every minister will be provided with a screen-touch laptop with certain specifications. Agenda of the meeting will be sent to each minister via a virtual private network (VPN) and a message will be sent on their mobile phone informing them about the delivery of the agenda. Ministers- who will also be provided individual login and password- will be able to study the agenda any place any time. During Cabinet meet too, they will read the agenda on laptop only.
After the meeting, minutes of the meeting and the Cabinet note will be sent to the concerned persons through the same network via e-mail and an SMS will also be sent for information.
Training of ministers and their private secretaries and other concerned officials has already been done.