Electronic Gazette

It is aptly said about welcoming changes and modifications for better results,”If we were meant to stay in one place, we would have roots instead of feet.” Moving to a new thing or a system might not seem like the most profound experience at first blush but it can symbolise life, mobility and relocating for proverbial ‘ moving with the times’. With this brief prelude, the non-serious attention towards promoting electronic version of an authorised legal document, e-Gazette by the UT Government of Jammu and Kashmir is beyond comprehension. It is so, looking to the fact that majority of the States and the Union Territories of the country have already introduced this version instead of continuing with the conventional printed form although there is no prescribed standard form in presentation, information structure, search criteria etc in making available Gazettes in the electronic format on the World Wide Web. Jammu and Kashmir Government must have some cogent reasons for that if it is not absolutely due to inadvertent neglect.
However, it is really a matter of appreciation on the part of the Union Territory of Ladakh for having virtually taken a lead in this exercise by entrusting the requisite roles and responsibilities to the concerned officers for putting in operation e-Gazette web application cum portal. The idea behind introduction of electronic Gazette is that physical paper copies of the Gazette get deteriorated with passage of time and due to faulty storing methods. Not only that, if a particular Gazette was required to be traced out for some reference etc, searching for it and retrieving the same from heaps of records is not only cumbersome but time consuming and at times even reported to be ”not traceable”. To overcome these types of difficulties , the online repository of Government orders, General Statutory Rules, Statutory Orders, Notifications, Resolutions, Acts , their parts – sections and sub sections are all created keeping in view the constraints of the old method of the same being made in a printed form.
The public must know all about the important contents of the Government Gazette, the same being a legal necessity and merits to be preserved which can best be done with the help of technology available and despite its need having long been felt in Jammu and Kashmir, the concerned authorities till date have paid no heed towards this end. It is despite the fact the Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs has, on umpteen times, laid stress on the efficacy and the requirement of the desired change in the making and shaping of the Government Gazette. However, in discharging the role of monitoring and enforcing the directives of the Law Department -the General Administration Department and the Department of Administrative Reforms, Inspection and Trainings have increasingly faltered. Necessary follow up measures, therefore, are required to be taken in the subject matter so that e-Gazette is made available including uploading the information in respect of some of the previous years.
The question is that when UT of Ladakh could do it successfully, what prevents Jammu and Kashmir from doing the same in order to bid adieu to the old system. Government, it needs to be underlined, needs to build the blue prints of the entire Gazette enterprise, define the vision and set the goals to be achieved. In this, the concerned stake holders and information architecture have to be identified. However, let it be hoped that the UT Government shall take immediate steps in a time bound manner in this respect, now that UT of Ladakh too having done it.