Towards a paperless future

Paperless is the future and Manipur has adopted it now.

The recent launching of e-Office File Management System of the state government by the Chief Minister N Biren Singh is indeed a historic move towards transparency and to do away with the painstakingly slow file processing in government offices. It would not only bring transparency in governance, but would also ensure timely release of official files and help usher in a corruption-free governance. It is said, the first e-file for the State was moved on June 11 at 10.43 PM. Further, e-Office will be introduced in a phase-wise manner in all departments of the state government as well as in all the 16 districts of the state. It seems, at least 50 departments have adopted the new system in less than a month. They are expecting Manipur to become the first state in Northeast India to go fully digital. Major departments like Finance, Home, Health, Forest and Environment, GAD, DP, PWD, Water Resources among others have been on-boarded. Sources further said, a laptop policy is being drafted which will provide laptops to all the government officers guided by this policy. This will encourage government employees to work remotely during the travel and tour or work from home during possible pandemic-like situations.

Today in the information age, digital drives us forward and to say that future of government is paperless makes all sense. To realize a paperless office, automated processes is the key. E-office is a step forward towards paperless and automated administration. With an aim to significantly improve operational efficiency, bring transparency and better visibility in overall processes, a recent directive from Prime Minister’s Office to all ministers is to go paperless. And, this has set the pace for e-office implementation across government departments. E-office automates and transforms a diverse range of administrative processes. It transforms day-to-day government operations like managing end-to-end correspondences, handling RTI queries, building consolidated knowledge repository, scheduling meetings to facilitating audits. Due to the rapid rise of the internet and digitization, Governments all over the world are initiating steps to involve IT in all governmental processes. This is the concept of e-government. This is to ensure that the Govt. administration becomes a swifter and more transparent process. It also helps save huge costs. It makes the whole administrative process convenient, efficient, transparent, fully accountable and responsible.

Paperless is the future and Manipur has adopted it now. A lot the Government expenditure goes towards the cost of buying stationery for official purposes. Letters and written records consume a lot of stationery. However, replacing them with smartphones and the internet can save crores of rupees in expenses every year. In this system, citizens can access whichever information they want, whenever they want it, at the click of a mouse, or the touch of a finger. However, for this to work the Government has to ensure that all data as to be made public and uploaded to the Government information forums on the internet. Transparency directly links to accountability. Once the functions of the government are available, one can hold them accountable for their actions. We would like to say, N Biren Singh’s launching of e-Office is a move in the right direction towards good governance.

The new Chief Secretary seems to be very pro-active. We sincerely hope, he helps the Chief Minister in realising his other goals also.

First Published:Sept. 10, 2020, 6:21 a.m.