WB gram panchayats steer ahead in eGovernance

CIOL Bureau
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KOLKATA, INDIA: In order to enable effective governance through PC penetration within the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (RD & PR) institutions, the West Bengal government has successfully completed its eGovernance project by deploying AMD Athlon X2 dual-core processor based desktops.


The deployment covers all 210 gram panchayats across 19 districts of the state to primarily bridge the digital divide and further socio-economic opportunities for its citizens.

Initiated by the PR and RD departments of the West Bengal government, the project was completed in association with National Informatics Centre, Kolkata unit and the Centre for Development of Advance Computing (CDAC), Kolkata. In addition, the project realized community action in all development initiatives in the rural sector by utilizing Central/State sector programs.

Dr. Subir Roy, state information officer, National Informatics Center, West Bengal unit, said, "We wanted a dependable technology partner for this project, so that we could implement a robust, performance oriented and scalable solution. Our objectives have been met with AMD as our technology partner. Bringing in AMD helped us contain the deployment costs within the same investment envelope, and thereby reaching the benefits to a larger section of population."


A. B. Saha, executive director, CDAC, said, "The aim of eGovernance projects is to bring about a positive change in the development of rural areas. Our software such as the Gram Panchayat Management System (GPMS) is designed to provide effective and decentralized governance and elevate the standards of rural areas. In addition, AMD was a natural choice due to its robust architecture and reliability.

According to Ranjit Kumar Maiti, joint secretary, PR & RD and Head, Computerization Cell, West Bengal State Rural Development Agency, "With AMD's help, we were able to implement a cost effective, innovative and standardized technology solution, which was extremely manageable and scalable. As a consequence, the PR&RD department was able to quickly and economically produce the required output, allowing us to provide higher quality services to our citizens."

Speaking at the event, Ian Williams, corporate vice president, Asia Pacific Region, AMD said, "The PR & RD departments of West Bengal is one of the progressive departments in the country which endeavors to effectively leverage the benefits of ICT. Moreover, we at AMD completely support this cause of integrating technology into the public management framework in order to bring the benefits of ICT in rural areas."

Ramkumar Subramanian, AMD India's VP, sales & marketing said, "The bulk of the Indian population resides in rural areas. The potential of technology lies in its ability to connect a vast network of individuals across vast geographies at relatively low costs. We are very happy to have managed the Government's expectations by delivering superior technology to meet their needs."

The project involved expansion of existing PC infrastructure to ensure that software such as the GPMS, Integrated Fund Monitoring and Accounting System (IFMAS) and Rural Household Survey (RHS) could be installed and accessed quickly and efficiently by all Panchayati Raj institutions. A key mandate for this undertaking was to ensure that the planned infrastructure should not be impacted by rural environment conditions such as dust and power irregularities.