Place : Gandhinagar, Date :28-10-2010
I am extremely happy for today's award since it has supported my belief that we can do wonders by deploying the strength of social networking platforms- not only to remain closely in touch with people or to improve our delivery mechanisms, but also to make people actively participate in governance. It gives me satisfaction that over a period of time this portal has evolved as a strong platform for the citizens to have easy access to the highest office of the State. We receive hundreds of messages, tweets and other communication, many of them requiring our intervention for some or the other issues. We see to it that each message is read and each request attended to. I firmly believe that ‘People's voice is the key driver of a democracy and listening to that voice is the key test of Good Governance'.
E-Governance to me is ‘easy, effective and efficient governance'. It is quite heartening that the e-governance initiatives of Gujarat are being acknowledged and recognised in one or the other forums. Our ICT based grievance redress programme called SWAGAT has been recently recognised by the UN. The august audience here would be happy to know that my office received the UN Public service award for its contribution towards improving the effectiveness, efficiency and quality of public service. Gujarat is the only State in the country having provided broadband connectivity to all 13,695 Village Panchayats. We have been successfully providing e-services in a number of areas which include e-Dhara for computerized land records; e-gram, e-municipality and one-day governance for delivery of citizen centric services, just to mention a few.
I have been saying that the 21st century is the century of knowledge and hence it is the century of India. The knowledge treasured in Indian culture is impeccable and immense. We try to connect our people, mainly the young generation, to our roots and our legacy of knowledge through the Sanskrit and Hindi versions of the portal.
Let me also mention here another facet of networking. Friends, this portal is managed entirely by volunteers, that too staying in different parts of the world.
I take this opportunity to thank the forum for recognising our efforts. I also congratulate all our co-winners and nominees. I welcome all those who want to study our model and use the knowledge for the betterment of the society. To enable us deliver still better, your suggestions are most welcome. Let us all work together for betterment of the society by use of technology. Let us all strive for e-governed India.