Computers cut paperwork in Orissa

Tuesday, 24 February 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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BHUBANESWAR: Instead of ploughing through reams of paper, officials in the Orissa secretariat have only to press a few keys to get their job done - thanks to the growing stress on IT skills.

The facility of local area network (LAN) with Intranet applications has all but done away with cumbersome paperwork in the secretariat here.

Carried out over three phases, the facility covers a sizable number of officials.

Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has created a separate IT department and instructed officials to become IT literate.

LAN became operational about eight months ago. The first phase covered 22 ministers, 10 secretaries and 20 senior officials. In the second phase, 100 officials were connected.

"We launched the third phase last week and have already covered 180 officials," said an official of the state's IT department.

"Most senior officials and decision makers, including ministers, secretaries, and additional secretaries, were provided with computers two years ago," said an official. The LAN connections came later.

This has enabled officials to get information on a wide range of subjects.

"For example, an official wanting to know about a government decision taken last week would earlier have to write a letter to the department concerned and obtain an official order or the copy of the state gazette to get the information. He is now accessing it using LAN," said IT secretary Asit Tripathy.

"The Intranet application is completely in-house and no outsider can access that," Tripathy told IANS.

However, a state government website gives access to tenders or employment forms, for instance, to the public.

Officials who don't have the facility yet will soon have it.

"Earlier, I used to send more than a dozen letters to various departments seeking different information and guidelines. Now I don't have to," an official said.

Source: IANS
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