In tune with changing times of digital technologies and digital transformation, the Department of Information Technology, Himachal Pradesh has changed its name to the Department of Digital Technologies and Governance. The approval to this effect has been given by the Himachal Pradesh Cabinet recently. With this, Himachal Pradesh becomes the first state in India to have this nomenclature reflecting its commitment to transforming the state into a digitally advanced and modern state.
Dr. Abhishek Jain, Secretary, IT, Government of Himachal Pradesh stated that the Department of Information Technology was created in the year 1999 and was merged in the Department of Industries in the year 2002. The Department of Information Technology was delinked from the Industries Department & merged in Science & Technology Department along with Bio-Technology in the year 2004. The subjects of Bio-Technology and Science & Technology were delinked from IT Department on 13th April 2007 and an independent IT Department came into existence. However, with the changing times many of the things dealt with by the department had become obsolete and many new things had to be added.
He said that it was for the first time, a vision and mission statement of the Department has been formulated. In view of the rapid advancements in digital technologies, the role and responsibilities of the department have evolved beyond just information technology to include a broader range of digital technologies and governance-related activities.
The vision of the new Department of Digital Technologies and Governance is to achieve digital transformation of Himachal Pradesh involving advanced digital technologies, reliable data, and connectivity for effective governance and inclusive development aiming at digital transformation of Himachal Pradesh.
In view of the upcoming opportunities of the implementation of digital technologies in the various departments of the State Government, the four focus areas of the department are in the domains of digital technologies, Digital Infrastructure and Data Governance, Digital Transformation for inclusive development and IT Investment and Industry Promotion. These further include developing and implementing policies for digital technologies, tele-communications, e-Governance, electronics, cyber-security, promoting emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, drones and drone-based services, machine learning, cloud computing, IoT, blockchain, and big data analytics. It includes integration and implementation of Geographical Information System (GIS) technology for effective mapping, data management, and analysis for various government departments and organizations, promotion of investment in the Information Technology and Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) sector, including emerging technologies and take steps to foster such investments.
The revised rules of business include fostering collaboration and partnerships between academia, industry, and government to promote research and development in emerging digital technologies, development, management and up-gradation of digital infrastructure in the state including State Data Centre, State Wide Area Network and other core digital infrastructure.
It also includes assistance to telecom service providers in implementing and upgrading telecommunication infrastructure to provide high-speed internet connectivity and better communication services to the citizens and government organizations, ensuring digital infrastructure accessibility and affordability for all citizens, including those in remote areas.
Dr. Jain stated that under the new nomenclature, the department of IT would function in a more professional manner to reap the benefits of digital transformation by associating all stakeholders and enabling the benefits of digital technologies to the people of the State.