The Jammu and Kashmir government has witnessed a spectacular success in its e-office operation after it digitised a total of 2,07,81,097 pages in mission mode and in record time which comprised of 350417 files from 37 departments across the administration.
For the first time ever in Jammu and Kashmir, no files have practically moved from with the secretariat. In eight weeks since its launch on April 15, 2021, over 1,79,408 dak or e-receipts have been digitised and moved to e-office apart from creating more than 15,536 e-files.
Earlier in April, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha had taken a decision to halt the Darbar move due to an increase in Covid-19 cases. “In view of sharply rising cases of Covid in J&K, the government has taken few important decisions ensuring safety of employees. Darbar Move deferred because of Covid. Secretariat to function in both #Srinagar & #Jammu. Office functioning not to be affected because of eOffice,” LG Manoj Sinha had tweeted in April.
Darbar Move is a system under which the J&K administration functions for six months from Jammu and six months from Srinagar. This system of governance was initiated by Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1872 to escape the harsh weather across the state.
The e-office project aims to support governance by ushering in more effective and transparent inter and intra-government processes. It is a workflow-based system that includes the features of existing manual handling of files in addition to more efficient electronic system and envisions a paperless office, with increased transparency, efficiency and accountability of the organisation.
Speaking to CNN-News18, J&K Government’s secretary to the General Administration Department (GAD) Manoj Kumar Dwivedi said, “Switching over to e-office from age-old system of manual files is a historical development leveraging modern technology for Jammu and Kashmir. This involved the herculean task of scanning about 20 million pages of files and putting in a system which allows tracking movement of files & receipts and their disposal. In the first phase, the entire secretariat of Jammu and Srinagar have been covered with e-office and now in the 2nd phase, in the next couple of months, all HoD Offices and Field Offices will be covered.”
“The advantages are naturally flowing now where instead of deploying 250-300 truckloads for shifting of the files every six months, this time hardly 3 to 4 truckloads were required. This is not only saving on the cost but also allows the neat and clean and hygienic system (essential during pandemic times) of maintenance of files which is far more transparent and efficient and in the long run, will improve the effectiveness of Government bringing in e-governance at all levels”, he further said.
In J&K the project has been implemented by the Jammu and Kashmir e-Governance Agency and the IT department with support of the Project Management Unit of NIC, in New Delhi.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration is looking at an overall change of management framework that essentially focuses on human, technical and infrastructural aspects which includes training and handholding of the users with a provision of gap infrastructure (computers, printers, scanners, digital signatures etc.,) and ensuring safety and retrieval of data in case of disaster or unforeseen event and seamless connectivity in offices, redundant bandwidth etc.
Aditya Raj Kaul is Contributing Editor, News18 group with more than a decade long experience in covering Conflict, Foreign Policy, and Internal Security. He can be reached at Aditya.Kaul@nw18.com