Shimla: Trying to go completely paperless, Himachal Pradesh Assembly has turned into a classroom for legislators, with MLAs of all ages taking lessons in computer.
Himachal Assembly, which celebrated its golden jubilee last year, launched an ambitious e-vidhan project to automate the processes involved in the functioning of Assembly secretariat, including working of various House committees and has targeted to go online from the monsoon session, Secretary (Vidhan Sabha) SS Verma said.
The training of MLAs, staff, nodal officers of the government and mediapersons is underway to make them conversant with the e-vidhan software modules, he said.
An e-vidhan wing and a high-tech training centre with 16 work stations has been set up where ministers and MLAs, including octogenarian Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, Irrigation and Public Health Minister Vidya Stokes (86) and others taking training, Sharma said.
The Chief Minister, who will officially inaugurate the project on August 4 on the 108th birth anniversary of the state`s first chief minister YS Parmar, said, "It is never too late for learning and running fingers on computer as it is exciting."
The e-Vidhan wing also includes a NIC centre for which Rs 84.75 lakh has been provided, Sharma said.
Substantial work during the monsoon session may be automated by on-line commissioning of papers between the government and the Assembly and the papers laid in the House by using "touch screens" on the tables of members, but complete automation may take some more time as all the persons concerned have to be proficient in the use of e-vidhan software, he said.
The project would not only make the Assembly "paperless", but would also be a major environment-friendly initiative, reducing paper usage, eliminating redundant processes, improving efficiency, facilitating auto-compilation of reports and queries and providing data instantly, he said.
As per the statistics worked out by Assembly secretariat, the number of papers used between Assembly and the government is approximately 5.08 crore and not using it would save 6,096 trees and Rs 15 crore.
The secretariat had sent a detailed project report to the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India (DEITY), in 2010-11 and an MoU was signed with National Informatics Centre Services Inc (NICSI), he said.
The amount sanctioned for the project by the DEITY was Rs 8.12 crore and first installment of Rs 4.06 crore had been received by NICSI, which provides IT solutions to government organisations, he said.