Uttarakhand is one of the fastest growing hill state in the country. This is thanks to the massive growth in capital investments arising from a conducive industrial policy and generous tax benefits. It is divided into two broad regions—Garhwal and Kumaon. The state has 13 districts, 49 sub-divisions, 95 development blocks, 15,638 villages and 86 urban settlements. The gross state domestic product (GSDP) has increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.32 per cent during 2004-05 to 2014-15. The state won a total of seven SKOCH Order-of-Merit, out of which, four were bagged in e-Governance, two in Finance and one in the Transport category.
Commencing a detailing of the achievements, we take up the e-Governance category first. The National Informatics Centre, Uttarakhand has been the primary agency behind most of the work in transformative governance done in the state and therefore it is small wonder that various projects that won the Order-of-Merit have been implemented by NIC. These are SAMADHAN, Core Registration System (CRS), Web Portal Management Framework and Rajbhavan Secretariat Computerisation Project – Uttarakhand. The Samadhan project was an auto-escalation enabled Public Grievance Redressal (PGR) Portal for the Uttarakhand State. The system has been designed in such a way that a registered grievance is automatically escalated to the next level in the administrative hierarchy in case action is not taken by the concerned officer within the prescribed time period. The CRS applications suite is devoted to take care of the entire registration process, inclusive of necessary report generation and property valuation.
In the Finance category, where the state won two Order-of-Merit, the National Informatics Centre, Uttarakhand won a Merit for the Uttarakhand Excise Management System project and L N Pant, Director Treasury, National Informatics Centre, Uttarakhand was bestowed the Order-of-Merit for the Core Treasury System (CTS). The concept of Core Treasury System is unique because it not only uses ICT for its deployment but also business process reengineering of the treasury functioning so as to provide transparent, prompt, objective and hassle-free services. All 86 Treasuries/Sub Treasuries are connected to the Finance Data Centre through SWAN and an alternate connectivity is provided through VSATs.
Finally, in the Transport category, the Uttarakhand Transport Corporation (UTC) was felicitated for its work on the Uttarakhand Transport Corporation Fleet Management System (UTCFMS). The objective here was to track the working and performance of all the regions, depots, stores, workshops and fleet of buses from data available online and take preventive action for better performance of UTC.
In order to ensure that the policy making in the state and its implementation is aligned to the needs of various stakeholders, it is necessary to adopt a consultative approach while making and adopting policies. e-Governance has to be given an impetus for statewide coverage and access to information, redressal of grievances and online transactions. An increased participation of local bodies in project conceptualisation, implementation and advocacy is also what we can hope to see in the coming days. Increased transparency in the government system for people to perceive it as responsive administration and access to all schemes and programmes of the government by the disadvantaged sections should definitely get Uttarakhand to the top level in performance.
The state offers a wide range of benefits in terms of interest incentives, financial assistance, subsidies and concessions. The state has done exceedingly well in terms of economic growth since inception. However, this growth has been primarily driven by industry and within that largely manufacturing. The challenge of addressing regional disparities in growth remains.
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