Of Digital India & missing updates in andaman.gov.in

Report by: 
RP SHARMA
Port Blair
18 Nov 2018

What does Digital India campaign mean? Digital India is a campaign launched by the Government of India to ensure the government services are made available to citizens electronically by improved online infrastructure and by increasing Internet connectivity or by making the country digitally empowered in the field of technology. But the Andaman and Nicobar Island’s most privileged website, hit by millions of people across the country and abroad, is lacking the attention of almost all the departments of the territory. The website, www.andaman.gov.in, which hosts exclusive information about these islands and the activities carried out by various wings of the UT Administration, is haunted by lack of efforts from the Departmental Heads. Vital links like the Information and Publicity releases, Shipping schedules, updates on implementation of several government schemes etc are not updated consistently for the surfers, who eagerly log on to these website for seeking pertinent information. Moreover, domain spaces provided to almost all the government organizations including the official mouthpiece of the UT Administration by the National Informatics Centre here are not updated with information pertaining to their activities leaving millions of keen surfers discontented with inappropriate information.
However, there are certain Central Government agencies, which still continue to update their websites to highlight their feats. The website of the Zoological Survey of India, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Regional Centre claims discovery of over 500 species including scleractinian, corals, echinoderms, gorgonids, sponges, ascidians, opisthobranchs, polyclads, fishes gastropods, butterflies and moths identified from Andaman and Nicobar Islands, setting up of National Coral Reef Research Institute to monitor health of corals and coral associated faunal communities, leading research in the Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve (GNBR) towards the recognition of GNBR under UNESCO, conducting status survey on Schedule-IV gastropod Trochus niloticus in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and recommending the Union Government to delist the species from scheduled category as their wild population increased considerably and conducting studies EIA studies for construction of marine jetties in Katchal and Teresa Islands in Nicobar.
But the portal still mentions that the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago comprises of 572 islands extending around 912 km in Bay of Bengal. “These islands were once a part of the Asian mainland but got detached some 100 million years ago during the Upper Mesozoic Period due to geological upheaval. The chain of these islands are in fact the camel backs of the submerged mountain ranges projecting above the sea level running north to south between 6°45′ N and 13°30′ N latitudes and 90°20'E and 93°56′E longitudes. Andaman Islands are separated from Nicobar by a 160 km. wide channel known as Ten Degree Channel,” says one page of the website.
“The official website is indeed an online gateway to these islands and concerned agencies should ensure regulator updation of their data. Shipping schedules, Citizen Helpdesk, The Daily Telegrams, forms and various departmental links are some links which are accessed by a number of users every day. It is very disappointing to note that such an important website is not maintained properly and relevant content are not being updated. Almost all the departments of the administration don’t bother to update their web pages with up to date information of their activities and these pages contain very old data which was probably hosted at the time of origination of these departmental websites,” said a number of EOI readers when asked about the website.