Meghalaya lack mobile towers especially vicinity of the International border

Shillong, August 09: Speaking at the inaugural session of the 22nd  National Conference on E-Governance, Meghalaya Chief Minister, Shri Conrad K. Sangma stated that connectivity is a real challenge to Meghalaya. This is the first time that a National Conference on e-Governance organized by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), in association with Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India and Meghalaya is being held in the North East.

The Chief Minister requested the UnionMinister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions etc, Dr. Jitendra Singh, who also participated in the inaugural session of the conference to look into the matter adding that most areas in Meghalaya lack mobile towers especially the border areas where mobile towers cannot be placed within a certain vicinity of the International border.

The Chief Minister stressed on the importance of data driven governance and its importance at the grass root level. He also cited success stories from the state itself about how technology was used to provide efficient services while improving the quality of life of citizens. In this regard he cited the example of South West Garo Hills in Meghalaya which had high Maternal Mortality Rate.

However, with the introduction of a innovative GPS based system to track pregnant mothers, institutional delivery increased and within only six months the mortality rate reduce to a drastic extent. He said that this was a perfect example of how technology can be used without additional funds for the benefit of the people. It is all a question of will power and motivation.

Similarly, the Chief Minister also highlighted other initiatives of the state such as the1917 i-Teams that is helping to connect farmers to the buyer while also providing transport as well as consultancy services. The examples of Meg-Era Entrepreneur of the Month Award, launch of Megha-MART for state entrepreneurs and the use of integrated management system for the State Water Policy were some of the many examples put forward by the CM to emphasized the need to take e-governance to the rural as well as the urban areas and whose benefits can be reaped by all. He also mentioned the need to think of innovative ways to make our village smart in terms of education, health, entrepreneurship. He also stressed on secretariat reforms while declaring the conference open.

Dr. Jitendra Singh congratulated the government of Meghalaya and the Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (ARPG ) Department for being able to bring in such a huge attendance of 535 delegates from 28 States and all Union Territories in this conference. He mentioned that since the induction of the government the ARPG has been able to expand its reach beyond the Vigyan Bhavan.

He also rued that the North East has not received the focus that it deserves and said that the government has been trying to take e-governance to the remotest part of North East India. He lauded the ARPG for developing a human friendly approach while citing the example of the pensioners Praman Patra. He said that citizen friendly governance is the vision of the present government.

He appreciated Meghalaya for being the only state in India to have a Water policy in place. Dr. Jitendra Singh also mentioned that India should be brought closer to the North East as there is so much to learn from this region. He also expressed that the central government is constructing hostels for North East students studying outside the state and one such hostel was constructed at JNU. He advised that the conference should formulate a ‘Shillong Declaration’ outlining the roadmap for e-Governance in India.

The conference seeks to provide a space for debating values and norms, standard setting, multi-stakeholder initiatives on specific issues of e-Governance like NeSDA, e-Office, One Nation – One Platform, India Enterprise Architecture, Digital Infrastructure and End-to-End Citizen Services all of which collectively improves the lives of Indian Citizens.

Further the conference will go a long way to developing the capacity of State Governments, providing a technology facilitation mechanism, enabled ranking,  mapping and measuring e-Governance Services and fulfil the vision of major secretariat reforms in Central and State Secretariat.

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