JaKeGA asked to furnish monthly progress report
Project to be completed by December 2021
JAMMU, Oct 12: Finally, Governor’s Administration has paid required seriousness towards much-needed digitization of Civil Secretariat record by sanctioning an amount of Rs 10 crore and fixing deadline of December 2021 for the completion of the project. Moreover, Jammu and Kashmir e-Governance Agency (JaKeGA) has been directed to furnish monthly progress report both financial as well as physical to the Information Technology Department for placement before the Chief Secretary.
EXCELSIOR on September 17, 2019 had exclusively highlighted continuous slackness on the part of the Government in implementing the decision regarding digitization of record of all the departments in the Civil Secretariat.
It was also reported that despite numerous directions from the Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam while chairing the Committee of Secretaries meetings no serious attempts were being made to kick-start the project, which otherwise will go a long way in curtailing huge expenditure on transportation of files during Bi-Annual Darbar Move and obviate the chances of wear and tear.
Moreover, it was highlighted that most of the departments were reluctant to cooperate with the Information Technology Department by not timely furnishing the formal consent for being considered in the first phase of the digitization exercise.
Finally, Governor’s Administration has initiated steps towards digitization of record of the Civil Secretariat by sanctioning an amount of Rs 10 crore and assigning the task to Jammu and Kashmir e-Governance Agency.
“In exercise of powers vested under Section 5.7(1) in the book of Financial Powers, the Administrative Approval is accorded to the scheme titled ‘Digitization of office record of Civil Secretariat at a cost of Rs 5 crore and its execution through JaKeGA during the financial year 2019-20”, read Government Order No.30-ITD of 2019 the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR.
By way of another order No.31-ITD of 2019, the Government has granted an amount of Rs 5 crore for utilization during 2020-21 financial year. In this way, the Government has sanctioned a total of Rs 10 crore for utilization during current and next financial year and the project is targeted to be completed by December 2021.
The Jammu and Kashmir e-Governance Agency has been asked to implement the project in accordance with the norms fixed by the Government of India. “The funds shall be provided to JaKeGA for implementation/execution of project in a time bound manner”, read the instructions issued by the Government. It has been made clear by the Government that these funds shall not be available for re-appropriation/diversion at any level.
The Chief Executive Officer of JaKeGA has been explicitly told to furnish the monthly progress report both financial as well as physical to the Information Technology Department whose Administrative Secretary will keep Chief Secretary updated after regular intervals.
JaKeGA has also been directed to go for asset mapping with proper geo-tagging for preparation of asset inventory. “The Agency shall provide Utilization Certificates of the project to the Accountant General, J&K as well as to Information Technology Department”, read the instructions.
It is pertinent to mention here that record of all the departments in the Civil Secretariat is moved from Jammu to Srinagar and vice-versa twice every year and this exercise incurs considerable expenditure and also results in slowing down of work surrounding the period of move.
The process also results in wear and tear of paper documents and loss and with a view to ameliorating the situation digitization of record has become imperative.
“In the first phase, JaKeGA has decided to carry out digitization of Floriculture, Horticulture, Information Technology and its own record”, sources said, adding “all the Administrative Secretaries have already been asked by the Government to nominate Nodal Officers for the digitization exercise”.
It is worthwhile to mention here that the necessity of digitization of record was felt following devastating fire in a portion of the Civil Secretariat at Srinagar in the month of July 2013 in which official record of six departments and service books of over 300 employees suffered extensive damage. However, only deliberations were held in the official meetings on digitization of record but without any practical step in this regard.
The concerned authorities of the Government were again caught napping in September 2014 when official record of several departments suffered extensive damage due to flooding of Civil Secretariat at Srinagar.