Plan change for corporation on laptops

Deviating from its earlier plan, the city corporation has decided to go for an open tender for purchasing laptops and tablets for councillors as part of the e-governance programme.

The local self government department, with the assistance of Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project (KSUDP), has initiated steps to float the tender. Earlier, the corporation’s plan was to purchase laptops from the government-owned unit KELTRON, but the state level empowered committee, which approved the proposal, directed the civic body to go for an open tender.

“When the proposal was submitted for the approval of the state level empowered committee chaired by the minister for local self-government, it recommended an open tender, a specification for the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-assisted KSUDP projects. Private companies as well as KELTRON can participate in the tender.

Earlier, the corporation decided to purchase computers from KELTRON to avoid any future complaints regarding the deal,” said sources at the IT department of the corporation.

The computers will be purchased using the ‘capacity building’ fund of the KSUDP, which funds the e-governance programme. The cost for the purchase of laptops is estimated at Rs 25 lakh.

Intensive training will be given to the people’s representatives in handling the computer. The basic awareness training programme, including the use of internet and sending/receiving mail, will be given by KELTRON.

The next level of training in software will be given by Tata Consultancy Services, the agency entrusted for implementing e-governance programme, informed the civic administrator.

However, there are apprehensions as to whether all the councillors are tech-savvy enough to effectively use the advanced equipment. Once the programme is implemented, agendas of committee meetings and council meetings and other important data will be sent to the staff and councillors by e-mail.

Meanwhile, TCS has almost completed the works to launch the e-governance project in the city corporation.

Civic body chiefs to get laptops

The state government has decided to distribute laptops with internet connection to the heads of all civic bodies.

Panchayat presidents, municipal chairpersons and corporation mayors will get laptops as part of the implementation of e-governance programme and the double entry accounting system developed by Information Kerala Mission in all local bodies in the state.

In the recent meeting of the State Development Committee (SDC), presidents of district panchayats and chiefs of other local bodies urged the chief minister to take an early decision for providing laptops.

“Many of the local body presidents lag behind in technical knowledge and are computer illiterate. It is high time to equip them with computers,” said Eldhose Kunnappally, Ernakulam district panchayat president, who raised the demand in the SDC meet.

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