One of the most anticipated conferences on e-governance in the country, the 9th International Conference on e-Governance (ICEG-2012) was held on the 29th and 30th of December 2012 at SCMS-Cochin. Despite the festive season, subject experts from various parts of the globe like Dr. Waltraut Ritter (Research Director, Knowledge Enterprises, Hong Kong), Ms. Chandana Unnithan, Deakin University, Australia, and Dr. MP Gupta, Professor & Chair-Information Systems & E-governance, IIT Delhi shared their thoughts at ICEG-2012. More than 30 shortlisted Papers and case studies on various aspects of e-governance were presented over 5 plenary sessions.
Welcoming the luminaries during the inaugural session Dr. V. Raman Nair, Director, SCMS-Cochin, presented a fairly incisive study of the current state of e-governance in India, and why e-governance was absolutely essential to balance out the lopsided growth story of the country. The stage was then set for Major General (Retired) Dr. R.K.Bagga, Chairman, CSI SIG e-governance, to present the macro view at the national level. Dr. V.P. Joy, Principal Secretary – Finance, Government of Kerala, thereafter discussed how e-governance was panning out in the home state. The inaugural session also saw eminent speakers like Mr. Satish Babu, President, Computer Society of India, Dr. MP Gupta, Professor & Chair-Information Systems & E-governance, IIT Delhi, and Ms. Chandana Unnithan, School of Information Systems, Deakin University, Australia bring their expert opinion to the table.
The Keynote session had Ms.. Neeta Verma (Senior Technical Director, Data centre & Web services Div, NIC) opine on ‘Open Government Data: A New Opportunity to Serve the Citizens’, while Mr. Anand Parthasarathy (MD, Online India Tech Pvt. Ltd.) dwelt upon ‘Citizen Services in an Internet Age: Harnessing the mobile edge.’
The three plenary sessions were organised around the subjects of ‘e-Governance & Inclusive Growth’ and ‘e-Governance – Implementation Issues and Challenges’. Papers were presented on topics ranging from ‘Uses OF VoIP IN E-Governance’, to ‘Access and Awareness of Mobile Market Information Services for market linkages among farmers in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu’, ‘Open Government Data – more than 80 formats’, ‘Survey on Various Initiatives and Challenges of Mobile based Public Services in India’, and ‘A GIS Based e-Governance Solution for School Mapping and Educational Micro-Planning – a Case Study of the State of Maharashtra’.
The evening of Day 1 (29th December 2012) provided the distinguished delegates at the 9th ICEG at SCMS-Cochin with some delightful retreat from the hectic brainstorming of the day.. The PGDM students of SCMS-Cochin enacted the rich cultural heritage of Kerala through a dance and drama show. “I cherish your great hospitality for which Kerala will be very special in my memory,” said Dr. M P Gupta from IIT Delhi, echoing the sentiments of the luminaries at the conference. “I am most impressed by Gayatri (who anchored the show) and her team for putting up this splendid cultural program. I have found a positive environment in SCMS-Cochin, and happiness all around.”
On the final day of ICEG-2012 a special two-and-a-half hour session was organised to sum up the ‘Best Practices in e-Governance’. This session was truly a ‘special’ one for the students of SCMS-Cochin, with distinguished academicians, industry practitioners, and government officers actively brainstorming to come up with issues, solutions and applications of e-governance that could work in the Indian context. Apart from Dr. Waltraut, Dr. Ajit Babu, Dr. Biju Soman, and Dr. K Jayakumar(Joint Secretary CSIR/DSIR, Ministry of Science and Technology) left no stones unturned to plant the seeds of a better e-governance structure in minds of the audience at SCMS-Cochin.
“I would like to thank SCMS-Cochin for organising and executing ICEG 2012 so well,” said Ms. Chandana Unnithan, a subject expert from Deakin University, Australia. “You were meticulous, patient and timely. Especially Dr. Sengottuvelu and all the student community who supported this event – the cultural program was fantastic. My personal congratulations to the singing team and the dance team — they were very creative.”
“The Conference has been successful in giving an overview of e-governance and related areas to the audience through keynote addresses and various special sessions,” pointed out Dr. V. Raman Nair, Director, SCMS-Cochin. “It had some good research presentations by young research scholars in its plenary sessions.”
Keeping in mind the growing importance of e-Governance, SCMS-Cochin is undoubtedly opening up avenues for its students through exposure to global thoughts and efforts in this domain.