God’s own country is on its verge of yet another title; the state is heading to be the ‘first digital state’ in Digital India as the work on high-speed internet infrastructure nears completion and most of the government services come online. The Kerala IT Mission has prepared a report on the progress of the digital Kerala project to the Minister of information Technology, P.K. Kunhalikutty.
The next cabinet meeting is expected to take a decision on announcing this landmark achievement. The state, however, is facing stiff competition from Goa to be the first digital state. Though the smaller state had an advantage in making internet and internet-based services universal, it lags Kerala in providing government services online.
Inorder to ensure high-speed internet in all panchayats, work on the National Optical Fibre Network will be finished this month in the state. Idukki has won the race and declared to be the first district in the country to finish work on the project.
The second cloud service in India was advocated by the government by shifting its State Data Centre in Technopark completely to the cloud, doing away with separate servers for each of the government departments. The government is moving beyond e-governance to m-governance. Preparations are in full steam to allow citizens to access government services through their mobile phones.
A simple app being developed by the IT Mission would help citizens access a slew of government services through mobile phones. From paying electricity bills to collecting birth-death certificates, everything can be done through phones. The main advantage is that app is designed to help even those without a smart phone.
The Information Technology Department has started a project to set up wi-fi hot spots in each local self-government bodies. As many as 100 panchayats will become wi-fi within a month in the first stage of the project.
IT@School is already on the job of covering more than 5,000 government schools in the state with wi-fi technology. The state is also proudly leading the digital race with a digital textbook project run by IT@School and a digital locker system to help citizens store their digital documents in the cloud.