JK Has To Wait Few More Yrs For IT Deptt: Minister

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Srinagar – Even after the chief minister, Omar Abdullah termed e-governance necessary to bring transparency in the administration the Jammu and Kashmir government Tuesday said that it was not in a position to set up a time frame for setting up the IT Department here.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a 5-day Intra-University Youth Festival, “Sonzal-2012 at the University of Kashmir, minister for Information and Technology, Aga Syed Ruhullah in a candid admission told the Kashmir Observer that the state government cannot set up a time frame to announce the full-fledged IT department. He however hastened to add that a process to connect state electronically has been set in motion.

“Unless and until we won’t connect the state at Tehsil level or at the district level, we won’t be able to deliver the services electronically,” Ruhullah said.

“IT department being a full-fledged department is altogether a different question. I understand we have to set a base for that and luckily our chief minister also understands the importance of IT sector, so we are in a process of having a full-fledged department,” he said.

Asked, why government failed to draw a draft for establishing the IT department for the state, he said, “We need to have different policies in place. And we need to take various other departments into confidence. Government is in touch with Finance Department and the Planning Department for the purpose,” he said adding “Hopefully in couple of years we should have a directorate dedicated to the IT.”

He said that his ministry has taken up the various projects that would help Jammu and Kashmir to go ‘digital’.

“To have the infrastructure for e-governance in place, we have taken up various projects like SWAN, STG etc,” he said.

‘Some of the these projects are almost complete and SWAN I think would be complete by next year and after that we would be able to provide e-governance services to the citizens of this state,’ he added.

Meanwhile, the minister disclosed that Kashmir would have its first ever IT Park soon.

 “We have acquired the land for the IT Park from the Revenue Department. The work to set up the Park has already begun. In next month or so, we are holding an expo where we have invited various multinational companies (MNC’s) to set up their base in Kashmir,” the minister said.

Earlier, In his key note address on the youth festival, the minister termed the youth as an embodiment of innovation and creativity, saying that extra-curricular activities were an essential component of the education process, for preparing the students to effectively face future challenges.

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