Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream of a 'Digital India' is moving towards its goal with quick pace, with another state enjoying the perks of adopting digital systems.
The 'Digital India' programme in Himachal Pradesh is changing the face of the hill state. Starting from health care system, education, online business to the electronic Vidhan system of the state assembly has completely changed the face of the state.
The push to 'Digital India' campaign has yielded a result in Himachal Pradesh as the government has been offering many services online.
Keeping in mind the topographical factor hampering people's work, the online services in the state are enabling the people in saving their time and money.
Himachal is also offering the digital revenue record service.
Anyone in or outside Himachal can access some of the revenue records online. The Central Government has emerged as a great help to accomplish the target of digitising revenue records in the state.
Besides this, the Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission would soon offer service of online examination. The government has approved Rs. 5.24 crore for the good governance project.
The Himachal state Assembly was the first in the country to go online and shun majority of paperwork during the session. The assembly has three sessions in a year and the entire functioning from submitting a question to answers, everything is now taking place online.
Many other assemblies are now trying to replicate the same.
Along with this, the government under various projects of automation has been providing scores of services. Post demonetization, the Centre promoted cashless transactions.
Think tank of the Central Government- NITI Aayog gave Rs. five lakh to every district to ensure cashless transactions.
Some of the district headquarters had already opted for this while the rest went cashless after the Centre's push.
The Centre also organised two 'Digidhan' Fairs in Shimla and Kullu to promote the cashless system. On the suggestion of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central Government, the Himachal Government has installed Point of Sale (POS) machines in fair price shops.
However the PoS machines are installed under a pilot project, but soon entire fair price shops (over 4,000) would be covered providing villagers with a facility to go cashless.
As compared to overall internet penetration in the country 28 percent, northern state Himachal has better points 43 percent. Almost every third person in Himachal is connected to the internet.
However, the difficult terrains are the main hurdle to which rural folks want the government to concentrate on. The government run- Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is the largest telecom service provider in Himachal Pradesh but the poor network quality is a big hurdle.
The people have opted for many services on their phones but internet connectivity is a big issue not only in tribal areas but in urban areas as well.
Lara Tsering of Kaza in tribal Lahaul and Spiti said the ATM is out of order for a long time. "The government offer services online which is a good step. We live in tribal areas and it is not possible to travel so frequently. But poor mobile, internet network play the spoilsport," he said.
The BSNL has decided to install 600 more towers in Himachal Pradesh to overcome the poor connectivity problems.
Principal Secretary Information Technology (IT) to Government of Himachal Pradesh J. C. Sharma said there are many projects initiated by the Centre as well as the state.