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What is the difference between genius and stupidity? Genius has limits. - Albert Einstein.
Of Sense & Sensibility18/10/03

Computers in an office do not

computerisation make

IT - The Problem

Click click ... oooh ... click click *BEEP* waaah ! That does indeed seem to be all that "computerisation" seems to be doing in Mizoram. IT Vision doesn't seem to be a very solid concept, considering the shortsightedness of a government that wants to implement an electronic nightmare, taking computerisation to be what a ten-year old would fathom it to be. Yes, there are indeed, computers involved here. And ? So ? (Yaaawn!) As a matter of fact, the Government has purchased a whole smorgasbord of computing devices (bigger YAWN still !). Say, do you happen to have an e-mail number yet ? I could then send you a message from anywhere (heed - no computing devices required). Give me a break. The Government can conjure up more creative ways to throw away money. Computers in an office do not computerisation make.

The Government does indeed follow a strict policy of decentralisation - even in regard to computers. So much so, that you can still see peons carrying floppies to other departments of the same building, leave aside other buildings. Information Technology or Ignorant Theorisation ? You decide. IT, two very cute letters of the English alphabet indeed, yet exponentially difficult to fathom as a concept. The government has initiative but falls short in application by the width of a pod of ginger. So you end up with the biggest, baddest ( did I mention zippiest ) computer suppliable by the government in your office, with only the tlangval LDC able to do little more than "chat-up" a cyber-chhas just a building away. Everything can be done at the click of a mouse, so they say. So after hours on the phone with technical support and another two months of training, you learn that you need only to point and click. Point where ? Click what ? Soon you'll even be looking for the "ANY" key that beguiles most.

IT - The Solution

Aha, where were we ? Oh ! yes, IT ! I could still argue that dumping this entire IT hogwash is probably the best solution, but it does indeed have its merits. So each of the various governmental departments are now stuck with computers that can't be returned. On a more positive note, the computers have been purchased, but besides basic office software and the HCF, i.e. the Windows OS, nothing much has been done in the field of pooling all these computers into a huge governmental network - which is just a suggestion. This could indeed save time, which equates money and endows efficiency. To be more blunt (at the risk of slapping the "IT Vision" policy in the face), how about a secure governmental intranet (which for the uninitiated, is basically a private computer network) beneath a public network (read internet) to cut costs. So basically, instead of a hundred offices with a hundred dial-up connections, you'd have the same officers and workers sharing a common gateway to the net. The resulting interaction could work wonders for departmental efficiency.

Computers need operators, most of the time and the same applies for networks. The resulting employment generated is possibly the only merit the "IT Vision" can boast of. However, as I stated before, there could have been a more cost-effective solution to provide employment. Whatever that could have been done the right wat has indeed been twisted in bureaucratic circles, if not rectangles and triangles. From the above suggestions, which are only suggestions and, if nonsense gets the better of common sense, shall remain suggestions. Hopefully this is a step in helping the government help itself shape up.

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