Governance has gone nearly paperless with more than 27 lakh e-files currently operational in the Central Secretariat of the Government of India while physical files have reduced to just about 10 lakh, said Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, on Friday."We may not have gone absolutely paperless but we have gone nearly paperless," Singh added while addressing the 24th national conference on e-governance which began in Hyderabad on Friday.Speaking about the efficiency of the Central Secretariat, he said, the government tried to reduce the journey time of files from nearly seven to eight levels."Our ultimate objective is to reduce it to three levels and we have already reached three to four levels. I think it's not difficult if we make use of online mode more optimally," Singh said.
"Covid-19 which came as a curse or adversity also carried some virtues," he added and congratulated government officials for converting adversity into a virtue by extending the digital governance concept across the country.The minister said it was gratifying that all throughout Covid-19 the work in the department of personnel and many other departments did not suffer for a single day."In fact we were working more than in non-Covid times because our colleagues were working even on holidays and weekends. It was no longer that 9 to 5 office hours conditioning of mind."He called for optimal use of the lessons learnt during the infection in the post-pandemic times.
"Now that we have learnt what we were made to learn during the pandemic, we could put it to right and optimum use in the post-pandemic times," he said, underlining the need for making use of the healthy supplementation of both offline and online mode.The minister said his ministry had now stepped into linking with Central Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System of the department of Administrative Reforms and that would be in keeping with the Prime Minister's call of 'One Nation, One Portal'."Anybody sitting anywhere can lodge a grievance. You don't have to wait for office hours. You can use the mobile app and lodge a complaint even in the middle of the night. You get links to departments across the country," he added.Singh said the linking has been done at the district level in Jammu and Kashmir and is now being done in Uttar Pradesh.He believed that the ultimate objective of good governance should be to bring in ease of living in the life of a common citizen. He appealed for making the system more citizen-centric and citizen-oriented with increased amount of transparency and accountability and increased emphasis on timelines.