Under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister Raman Singh, Chhattisgarh has taken rapid strides to bridge the digital divide in the state.

When Chhattisgarh came into existence in 2000, it had the image that the Western world had of India at the time of Independence—a place marked by forests and backwardness. However, by 2016, Chhattisgarh found its place among leading states implementing large-scale digital projects in India.

A perfect example of digital empowerment helping to bring change is Palnar village in remote Dantewada district of Bastar. Following the demonetisation announcement, Palnar village became the first cashless village of Chhattisgarh. This shows how a far-flung village in the state is capable of taking lead in any development process.

The state government very well understands the importance of “digital inclusion” and hence has decided to provide smartphones to about 55 lakh citizens of Chhattisgarh. A special scheme “Suchna Kranti Yojana” (SKY) was approved for this purpose by the state Cabinet on 23 August 2017.

The state government is also already running the Chhattisgarh Online information system for Citizen Empowerment (CHOiCE). It is a one-stop window integrated with other government departments like the Municipality, District Collectorate, Urban Development Authority, Regional Transport Office, Panchayat, Rural Development and Social Welfare Department, Public Welfare Department, and others. CHOiCE agents appointed by district collectors concerned work as notary and an extension of government office as per the Chhattisgarh Citizen Service (Electronic Governance) Rule, 2003.

Another ambitious project of the state government toward digital empowerment of common people is “Bastar Net”. It will create a digital highway for strengthening mobile and internet connectivity across Left Wing Extremism affected Bastar division of state which comprises Kanker, Kondagaon, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Bastar, Sukma and Dantewada.

Under “BastarNet”, a massive 836 km long optical fibre cable (OFC) backbone is being laid to boost the communication system in Bastar. The network is based on Multiprotocol Label Switching (IP-MPLS) reliant oriented service network to cater to end-to-end services delivery and shall deploy the “ring topology” mechanism to ensure uninterrupted mobile and internet connectivity through alternative routes. Access to service or data on correct time is another decisive factor that keeps a technology relevant. This could be the thought behind the Student Life Cycle Management System (SLCM), another major project. SLCM is a web-based software designed to manage and optimise the entire students’ lifecycle. It has been extensively tested, evaluated and selected by the Chhattisgarh Infotech Promotion Society (CHiPS) through a government procurement process. The application will be hosted in the State Data Centre, which is managed by CHiPS and will be available to all state-sponsored universities, affiliated colleges, and to students studying in colleges of the respective universities/colleges of Chhattisgarh.

It automates and integrates various core processes like admission, academics, examination, placement and alumni management, while working in a stand-alone fashion. In addition to these, the management information system along with the dashboard feature offers data from all such processes in the form of condensed, logically structured reports for efficient governance of universities.

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