Parliament’s decision to adopt a paperless agenda, which will work to eliminate wasteful paperwork in many government offices, is one of the most exciting news headlines in Hindi, according to Dainik Bhaskar. The government began its initiative on November 26, when the winter session of Parliament opened, and intends to be entirely paperless by the end of March, 2016. Here’s a more in-depth look at some of the changes, as well as the improvements that going paperless will bring to Parliament.
What Will Be Changing?
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has promised that at least 90 percent of government transactions will soon take place electronically, eliminating the need for receipts from individuals and businesses.
The Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY) is currently working on converting transactions handled by various government agencies to electronic options, including an online interface that will allow for processing of payments that will not require paper receipts.
The government is also working on paying out social benefits to economically challenged citizens. Instead of cash payments and cheques, the payments will be electronically transmitted to bank accounts, and recipients will be encouraged to transact business electronically to cut down on paper receipts and statements.
As many as 46 government departments have already set up generic portals for electronic payment and the processing of online, rather than paper forms. DEITY will be launching those portals shortly, and is working on setting up similar systems for another 30 departments.
Parliament Is Entirely Paperless
The huge numbers of annual reports and question papers are now a thing of the past in Parliament. Corridors will no longer be filled with boxes and bundles of paper, with most of what was once printed on paper now uploaded to Parliament’s Web site.
MPs are being encouraged to purchase iPads and other tablets; the cost of which will be reimbursed to them as part of their expense allotments.
Wi-Fi and Messaging Systems Will Be Updated
In addition to the absence of paper reports, the parliamentary WiFi system is in the process of being upgraded, including in the MP residences. The DEITY is hopeful that 4G services will be up and running in the near future.
The online messaging system has also been improved, allowing MPs and their staffs to cease using paper to send messages. MPs will also be given mail IDs to further simplify the transition.
In order to prepare for the paperless transition, MPs have been engaged in training sessions for quite some time. The Bureau of Parliamentary Studies and Training has been working to familiarize MPs with the new, updated features of the Parliamentary Web site as well as other sites they will be using.
Further, it is thought that a paperless Parliament is less of a security risk without all the bundles and boxes of paper clogging up hallways and staircases.
The DEITY will soon be working with mobile payment providers and smaller banks to further this project, ensuring that the Reserve Bank of India will approve all participants.
By Simranjit Kohli