To prevent the leak of sensitive information following the recent corporate espionage scandal, the Centre has issued stringent guidelines to different departments/ministries that also make security screening of personnel outsourced from elsewhere mandatory and avoiding doing confidential work on computers linked to the Internet.
The guidelines, that have been issued in the past but made more stringent this time, ban the use of external memory devices to the USB drives on official computers. The MHA revised these guidelines after the leak of classified data from the petroleum and natural gas ministry, among some others.
All department and section heads have been asked to designate computers on which confidential work will be done. The guidelines were circulated to all ministries on June 30. The HRD ministry, for example, has a large number of staff recruited through outsourcing, and has been directed to be extra vigilant.
3 e-Governance initiatives to be launched under Digital India
Tracking down a file in a government office can often be a nerve-racking experience for citizens.
But that nightmare will soon be a thing of the past, once the Department of Information Technology launches its latest e-Governance initiative.
The facility will be offered as a citizen interface feature of e-Office, an advanced file information system at present implemented in 21 departments.
Apart from files, tapals, and petitions, government orders and circulars can also be searched and viewed through the e-Office citizen interface.
Citizen interface The citizen interface feature will obviate the need for a citizen to visit a government office to check the status of a file, says K. Mohamed Y. Safirulla, Director, Kerala State IT Mission (KSITM).
Citizens can use any of the reference numbers, including file number, file computer number, receipt number, or petition number or even other fields such as subject or sender details to search for the current status, location, and pendency of the file.
The facility is one of the three e-governance initiatives to be launched as part of the Government of India’s Digital India programme.
Hosted on the URLwww.elearning.kerala. gov.in, the system enables sharing of training materials in different formats such as videos, slideshows, word documents, and PDF. Students can access educational resources any time of the day or night and from any place.
The third initiative to be launched is the e-KYC (Know Your Customer) authentication service, in which a citizen’s demographic data and photograph collected by the UIDAI are provided in the form of a digitally signed electronic format that can be verified using a biometric or OTP-based Aadhaar authentication. Minister for Information Technology P.K. Kunhalikutty is scheduled to launch the new initiatives at a function here on July 6.
P.K. Kunhalikutty is scheduled to launch the new initiatives on July 6.
ECONOMIC TIMES, JUL 02, 2015
Prime Minister's Office seeks PAs for administrative work
The Prime Minister's Office has sought postings of Personal Assistants (PAs), with knowledge of English language, to do various administrative works.
NEW DELHI: The Prime Minister's Office has sought postings of Personal Assistants (PAs), with knowledge of English language, to do various administrative works.
A panel of 20 PAs (English) has been requisitioned by the PMO. Accordingly, some of the officials have been shortlisted for posting in the cadre unit of Ministry of Home Affairs. They will be further posted in the PMO, an inter ministry communique by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.
These shortlisted PAs are working in Niti Aayog, Commerce Ministry, Corporate Affairs, Defence, Expenditure, Telecom, Information and Broadcasting and Education ministries, among others.
The concerned cadre units have been requested to furnish the details like bio-data, annual performance appraisal reports, gradings for last five years, vigilance clearance or integrity etc, in respect of these officers, the DoPT said.
ECONOMIC TIMES, JUL 02, 2015
DoPT accepts CIC panel push towards open, accountable government
By NIDHI SHARMA Govt needs to do away with a secrecy-dominated organisational approach and initiate an “open government”, a two-member panel formed by CIC has said.
NEW DELHI: The government needs to do away with a secrecy-dominated organisational approach and initiate an "open government", a two-member panel formed by the Central Information Commission has said in its report. The committee has recommended that each government department should declare open and negative lists of information and proactively publish updated information on websites.
The two-member committee, comprising former CIC AN Tiwari and former information commissioner MM Ansari, has submitted a critical 150-page report "Transparency Audit towards an Open and Accountable Government" to CIC and department of personnel and training (DoPT). The committee was formed last year and was mandated to see how government departments are faring in proactive disclosure of information, the quality of disclosure and how to conduct a third-party transparency audit of the government.
The committee's report, which was accepted by DoPTon Monday, says the proactive disclosure by departments under Section 4 of RTI Act is lacking. The committee has cited the example of National Data Sharing Accessibility Policy, which has a negative list.
The report says, "Possibly, time is now for all several transparency related initiatives to be brought under a common umbrella in the form of 'open government initiative', which should result in an unambiguous announcement by the government about its commitment to open government through transparency in all its functions, except those, which for specific reasons, must remain secret.
The Ministry of Railways has decided to grant automatic refund of confirmed/RAC e-tickets on account of cancellation of trains.
“There shall not be any requirement for cancellation/filing of ticket deposit receipt for refund of e-tickets in case of cancellation of trains. This will become effective very shortly,” a release from the Ministry said.
There have been a large number of train cancellations in recent months due to several incidents in a number of routes.
At present, automatic refunds are only available on wait-listed e-tickets.
“The new system of refund on cancellation of train done today, eliminates trouble faced by dear passengers. System upgradation already underway,” Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted.
RIGHT TO INFORMATION ECONOMIC TIMES, JUL 03, 2015
Department of Personnel and Training disclosing ‘incomplete’ information under RTI: Report
By NIDHI SHARMA The audit report says information being provided by DoPT is in a technical manner which “needs simplification from user’s perspective”.
NEW DELHI: The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the nodal department for Right to Information Act, is itself not disclosing information as laid down under the transparency law, an independent audit has found.
The third-party audit was conducted by the Indian Institute of Public Administration at DoPT's request. The audit, a copy of which has been seen by ET, says that the information being disclosed voluntarily by the department is "incomplete" and inadequate".
Under Section 4 of RTI Act, every government department and ministry is required to voluntarily disclose information regularly and update it periodically. DoPT itself Nidhi.Sharma laid down suo motu disclosure guidelines for all ministries and departments to follow.
However, according to the audit report, "The disclosure of 17 categories of information under Section 4 (1) (b) of the RTI Act is incomplete and partial. Information is not being updated regularly. Thus, updation of information is a major issue with proactive disclosure of information by DoPT as well. "
The audit report says information being provided by DoPT is in a technical manner which "needs simplification from user's perspective".
The transparency law also mandates that along with English, the information being disclosed should be in Hindi and one other vernacular language.
"But at present the information under proactive disclosure is mostly available in English," the report says.
The department has not even disclosed a list of the information that it has digitally disclosed and what is available in printed format. For the purpose of audit, the IIPA scrutinised the disclosure of information on the DoPT site, other published documents and interacted with the officials associated with the implementation of RTI.