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Day 43 – Q 2. Why is it important for a civil servant to be technologically informed? Explain with the help of suitable examples. 

  • IASbaba
  • July 29, 2020
  • 0
Governance, GS 2, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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2. Why is it important for a civil servant to be technologically informed? Explain with the help of suitable examples. 

एक सिविल सेवक को तकनीकी रूप से सूचित रहना क्यों महत्वपूर्ण है? उपयुक्त उदाहरणों की सहायता से समझाएँ।

Demand of the question:

It expects students to write about the importance being technologically informed for civil servants with relative examples. 

Introduction:

Covid-19 pandemic has restricted the ability of the public and public institution to physically assemble and debate matters of national importance. Almost all of the government machinery and public & private institutions have been brought to halt due to lockdown and social distancing norms.

Body:

Digital Technology has become a toolkit for the civil service. The old ways of doing business were a barrier to unlock the full potential of the sector. Now digital technology within the civil service is providing a fast route to get jobs done fast and cost effective. 

Working remotely is the new normal and in this scenario. Technological empowerment becomes fundamental for a successful democracy. Hence, there arises the need for a civil servant to be technologically informed:

  • The advent of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has nurtured the swift emergence of a global Information Society that is changing the way people live, learn, work and communicate.
  • Efficiency: Technology has become a toolkit for the civil service. Now technology within the civil service is providing a fast route to get the job done fast and cost-effectively.  
  • For instance, Direct benefit Transfers main advantage is preventing any frauds. Therefore, the beneficiary receives  funds directly from the government. The beneficiary’s bank account will directly receive the money. With the help of the Aadhaar number, the identification of the beneficiary can be done better. It resulted in reducing corruption in the benefit transfer schemes.
  • Better communication: Technology has also been a significant player in improving communication within the civil service and between the civil servant and people. e.g. During COVID-19 pandemic, mostly all of the government machinery used cloud meeting tools to take the important decisions.
  • A better way to spread awareness: Since digital technology has the capacity to broadcast and reach up to billions of people, its wise use can help to spread necessary information guidelines up to the public. e.g. COVID-19 related important guidelines were broadcasted through hello tunes.
  • It also ensures transparency, accountability—while assuring quick and effective responsiveness of government. e.g. GPS tagging of MGNREGS work has resulted in addressing the loopholes and discrepancies of the MGNREGS work. It also ensured timely payment to the employed due to linking of Aadhar with bank account of  beneficiary.
  • With the use of technology rich heritage of art and architecture can also be preserved. e.g. Several organizations have attempted to use technology to salvage some of Syria’s heritage which was destroyed in amidst middle-east war. What this goes to show is that even destroyed heritage can be returned to us in some way.
  • The use of technology also helps to  improve the agricultural income in the region. e.g. A research based Soil health scheme helps the farmer to understand soil health indicators and associated descriptive terms. In turn helping him to decide what kind of crop can be taken, what kind of fertilizer be applied, etc.
  • Many of the e-governance initiatives ensure  effective public service delivery. e.g. Bhoomi Project (Karnataka): Online Delivery of Land Records.
  • e-Office: It aims at significantly improving the operational efficiency of the Government by transitioning to a “Less Paper Office”. Hence, technologies use in governance also benefits the environment. 

Though the civil servant needs to be technologically informed for the better delivery of services, there are some hurdles while implementing the schemes with help of technology.

  • As per Digital Empowerment Foundation, In India digital literacy is almost no-existent among more than 90% of India’s population. So, a scheme like Direct benefit transfer may not yield expected results due to digital illiteracy of the people.
  • There are very less or no awareness about how to use the technology to avail the benefits of government   promulgated schemes. 

Conclusion:

Over the years technology has changed the way of work in the governance. It ensured better delivery of services and effective implementation. Though technology seems to be a panacea for the delivery of services in governance, there are some lacunas which needs to be addressed. Hence, a technologically informed civil servant can bring a magnificent change in people’s lives while fulfilling his/her constitutional obligation.

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