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Monday, June 09, 2014  
Technology for good governance: Konark hosts Orissa's first digital Panchayat
"Digital Panchayat is a flagship project of DEF and it is being implemented in 15 states in India with at least 50 Panchayats in each state to empower the Panchayats and its functionaries for a better and objective based functioning. In Odisha, Puri District has been identified to do the pilot Digital Panchayat center in Gop Block."
N A Shah Ansari
   

As a step ahead in the direction of technology application for good governance, Konark hosts Orissa's first digital Panchayat. Launched by Young India – a local NGO working for community development and Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF), the project aims at hosting independent web-portals for each of the 29 Gram Panchayats (GP) of Gop Block in Puri District to promote ICT (Information and Communication Technology) based governance system at the Gram Panchayat level. It’s first such initiative in the state of Orissa. It’s a joint initiative of Young India and DEF.

Digital Panchayat is a flagship project of DEF and is being implemented in 15 states in India with at least 50 Panchayats in each state to see how ICT and Internet based communication could improve functioning of the Panchayats by empowering of Panchayat functionaries. In Odisha, Puri District has been identified to do the pilot by launching a Digital Panchayat Centre in Gop Block to serve and facilitate good governance through people’s participation in all the Panchayats of this block. Young India is the local facilitation partner for this Digital Panchayat project.

The primary objective of the project is to create ICT and Internet awareness among Panchayats by tagging unique websites to each Panchayat and provide Digital Panchayat Center as resource centre for the functionaries and other people associated with Panchayat administration for various works. The initiative would also facilitate things among the functionaries like learning computers, connecting to Internet, updating their own website, updating with the Panchayati Raj laws, orders, guidelines and applications online. 

Each Digital Panchayat Center is supported by a volunteer provided by the local facilitation partner Young India. DEF expects that each and every Panchayat in India should have a Digital Panchayat Center to facilitate connectivity to the Panchayat functionaries and create an atmosphere of transparency, bottom up content generation and wide spread digital literacy at the grassroots level of PanchayatiRaj system to achieve good governance for the country.

The launching of digital panchayat bears enormous hope for people of the Block with Surendra Nath Nayak, Vice-Chairperson, State Planning Board, Sankarshan Parida, President-Zilla Parishad ,Puri, DEF Director Osama Manzar, Prof M.G. Bage from Sociology Department of Utkal University, Srimant Mishra, Block Development Officer, Gop announced it as a noble initiative to empower common people in the way of taking a role in the system of governance.

However, the Konark based 'Young India' has been using communication technology for community development since years with its community radio station 'Radio Namaskar' run by members of the community it targets at.

(N A Shah Ansari is the Chief Functionary of Young India and the Associate Editor of http://hotnhitnews.com)

       

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