Thursday, May 26, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
IAS officer cleans school toilet
On Thursday afternoon, a rare sight met the eyes of students of Government Girls' Secondary School — a senior IAS officer cleaning their school's toilet. Faridabad Deputy Commissioner Praveen Kumar, a senior IAS officer, literally cleaned the toilet of the school situated in Old Faridabad.The deputy commissioner had conducted the inspection of the city's oldest school in the morning. Over 3,000 students study in the school.At the school, some of the students told him that the school had just one sweeper to clean the toilets. He also came to know that "a few students had fallen unconscious on Wednesday due to the scorching heat".The officer promised the schoolchildren that he will be back around 1.30pm. He kept his word and came to the school. He also advised the students that they should change their mindsets and focus on doing things themselves.And he did it by giving his own example — he entered one of the toilets and started cleaning it. It took the officer nearly 20 minutes to clean the toilet thoroughly, leaving dumbstruck the school principal, teachers and students."We could not believe that the deputy commissioner cleaned the toilet of our school," said Praveen Kaushik, the school's principal."He has set an example and it will have positive a impact on the students," he added."There is absolutely nothing wrong in a cleaning toilet of the school," Kumar told Hindustan Times. "I took this step as we shy away from doing things which we can do ourselves.""I am sure the students will now clean the toilet themselves as there is only one sweeper," Kumar said. The DC also ordered that facilities in the school be revamped so that students do not have to suffer.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Speeding up government
The Electronic Service Delivery Bill, 2011, which aims at delivering all public services to citizens in the electronic mode, is a welcome piece of legislation. By eliminating paperwork on a massive scale, the new measure can cut the red tape and corruption that notoriously plague governance in the country. The draft Bill published by the Ministry of Information Technology at its website is similar to the Right to Information Act, 2005 in that it incorporates a complaints mechanism and prescribes penalties for failure to comply with the provisions. Importantly, it sets a five-year deadline for all public services to make the online transition, with a further concession of three years in some cases. What people can expect in the new dispensation is electronic submission of forms and applications, issue or grant of any licence, permit, certificate, sanction or approval, and receipt or payment of money. No time must be lost in enacting the law, given India's poor record of delivery of citizen services. Moreover, services now facing severe bottlenecks, such as passports, should be prioritised for electronic processing. The draft provisions make it incumbent on the central and State governments to publish a list within six months of the date of enactment, and they would do well to pick the worst-performing departments for inclusion first.
India badly needs a major initiative on electronic service delivery and e-governance. That it has done little to use Information and Communications Technology to help citizens is evident from its 119th rank among 192 countries in the United Nations E-Government Development Index 2010. Although there is no standardised measure of e-governance, the indicators used by the U.N. — online service availability, telecom infrastructure, and human capital — suggest that India is below the world average for the composite index. This underscores the need to get the electronic service delivery law in place urgently and to enforce it seriously. The experience with the RTI Act indicates that public support for modernisation will overwhelm any resistance from vested interests. What must be noted, however, is the continued failure of many government departments to disclose information pro-actively on the Internet, as laid down under the RTI Act. Successful e-government requires that citizens get maximum information, and are able to conduct online transactions and participate in decision-making. All this calls for wide access to online services in the form of kiosks and special centres. Rising India must make progress on each of these metrics, if it hopes to leave its colonial baggage of red tape behind.
Original link here
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Professor Subhash Bhatnagar an authority on e-governance gives his comments on the ESD Bill in his blog here http://www.subhashbhatnagar.org/2011/05/electronic-service-delivery-bill-2011.html