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Haryana wins big at Digital India Awards for e-governance, Aarogya Setu gets jury honour

Tamil Nadu came second for its e-governance efforts, followed by UP and Bengal. The online event was attended by President Kovind, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, among others.

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New Delhi: Haryana has bested other states and union territories to grab the first position for its e-governance efforts at the Digital India Awards 2020 organised by the IT Ministry Wednesday.

The state won the ‘platinum award’ in the category for ‘Excellence in Digital Governance’. This award went to the state or UT showing “exemplary initiative” in setting up online government services for sectors like health, labour, finance, social justice and environment.

Haryana won the first place because it had fulfilled “Digital India’s vision” for a “paperless, and cashless service scheme delivery model”. 

This is the sixth edition of the Digital India Awards whose purpose is to encourage “digital transformation of government service delivery”, according to a PIB statement

Only central and state government entities, and ‘Indian Missions Abroad’ are eligible to win these awards.

The biennial event is conducted by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), an agency of the IT Ministry. The ceremony was held online and attended by President Ram Nath Kovind, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, IT secretary Ajay Sawhney, and NIC Director General Dr Neeta Verma. 

“Technological advances are often termed as disruptions. But this year they helped us” in the midst of the Covid pandemic, said President Kovind.

At the event, minister Prasad appreciated how the IT sector responded to the pandemic in an “extraordinary manner”.

Verma said IIT-Delhi evaluated each nominated entity, and then a 10-member jury, headed by Sawhney, selected the winners.

Also read: Digital revolution has transformed landscape of financial inclusion in India — Amitabh Kant

Jury winner – Aarogya Setu

After Haryana, the ‘gold award’ or the second place in the ‘Excellence in Digital Governance’ category went to Tamil Nadu for its projects like online grievance portal, and digitising 100 police stations that created “deep rooted changes”. 

The ‘silver award’ or the third place went to two states — Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.

The 10-member jury’s Digital India award went to Covid-19 contact-tracing app ‘Aarogya Setu’ for being “one of India’s digital saviors during the pandemic”.

eOffice, a digital service to increase effectiveness and transparency of inter and intra-government processes, also bagged the jury award.

Other winners

The ‘Innovation in Pandemic’ category’s platinum award went to eSanjeevani National Telemedicine Service from the health ministry. This award recognises “innovative digital solution” that helped during the pandemic.

Another category was ‘Excellence in Digital Governance’ to assess digital services of central government entities. The platinum award in this category went to eCommittee Supreme Court of India, Department of Justice, which oversees digitisation of the judiciary.

‘Excellence in Digital Governance’ category where digital services of districts was assessed was won by the Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh for its website offering comprehensive information to citizens in both English and Hindi.

Other award categories were ‘Open Data Champion’ to assess which entity best releases data regularly to the public. It was won by the Health Sector Data on Open Government Data Platform.

The final category was ‘Exemplary Product’, which was won by Indian Ports Association under the Ministry of Shipping for creating a software that reduced the turn-around time of custom-related processes.

Also read: Look at the numbers: Why Digital India can’t afford internet shutdowns with slowing economy


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