Over one crore pages of files relating to the Jammu and Kashmir government that would be physically carted in trucks to winter capital Jammu or summer capital Srinagar every six months during the Durbar Move, will now be made available through the e-office portal.
This and other measures to ensure smooth functioning of the J&K governance system are on the anvil as teams of senior Central government officials visit Srinagar to meet Jammu and Kashmir government officials, ahead of October 31 when the official bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories takes place.
The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is moving fast to bring about a complete integration of the Jammu and Kashmir administration into the central loop, following the August 5 abrogation of Article 370 that gave special status to the state, but which had kept it far away from the development processes and citizen benefits that the rest of the country was getting.
Several central government teams have visited J&K over the past few weeks, from the Cattle and Dairy Development Department, the Fisheries Department, Youth and Sports Affairs, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
The fast-paced moves are also required as Srinagar will see the hosting of a three-day global investors summit from October 12. With faster integration of the J&K governance into the e-office portal, the trade and industry bodies would also be keen to invest in the state, as all its policies would fit into what is there for the rest of the country.
The government’s focus is on bringing in more private investment into the state and how to simplify the process.
The famed Durbar move of the J&K government would see hundreds of labourers manually load boxes containing the paper files onto state-run trucks, that would move on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway amid tight security. Besides costing the state exchequer crores of rupees every time, it would also see the administration shutting down for a few days.
With all the one crore pages of files being moved to the highly secure e-office system, all the administration work would be accessible to officials anywhere, and at anytime.
The one crore file records are to be digitized through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) programmes that “read” the images and convert them to text documents which can be easily searched, copied, edited, or used for computational text analysis methods.
Digitisation would also help the government push Aadhaar enrolment in J&K, especially in the Valley, in order to bring in government subsidies and other welfare schemes to the people.
While a Tourism Ministry team visited Ladakh, a team from the Power Ministry is set to visit the state soon.
Jammu and Kashmir has 65 government departments, one of the biggest in the country, and employs a mammoth seven lakh people. Training programmes for the various J&K departments have been firmed up, including at the senior level, to integrate their work with that of the rest of the country. The training programmes would be overseen by the central government officials.
With digitisation and training workshops conducted for the various departments, including women and child development, health, education, and welfare and planning, the government outreach to the citizens across J&K is expected to get a major fillip.