“Make all government services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets and ensure efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs to realize the basic needs of the common man.”
This is the commendable vision of National e-governance plan (NeGP), initiated by the Punjab government.
The department of Information Technology of the state, established the very innovative Punjab State Wide Area Network (PAWAN), under NeGP which provides vertical connectivity between various government offices, keeping in view the second phase of administrative reforms campaign. PAWAN connectivity with National Knowledge Network (NKN), is seen to be catalyzing 8 Mbps connectivity from the state headquarters to the district headquarters, in contrast to 2 Mbps from district headquarters to block headquarter.
193 Point-of-Presence (PoPs) have been connected to the project up to the block level, which means that there are 193 interface points between various communicating entities. The National Knowledge Network (NKN) connectivity, has catered 908 institutions for e-governance, out of which 22 institutes belong to Punjab.
The PAWAN Project has been following a 3 tier structure through Point-of-Presence, which comprises of:
- Tier I – State headquarters or State Network Centre
- Tier II – District headquarters or District Network Centre
- Tier III- Sub-divisional headquarters or Sub-divisional Network Centre and Block headquarters or Block Network Centre.
The electronic media has marshalled an Information Technology (IT) revolution in Punjab, which has opened doors to infinite numbers of avenues in the state. The PAWAN project was initiated with the motive to enable access to the central government applications through interconnectivity with National Informatics Centre (NIC), and other core services which include:
- Ideate the backbone network for, data, voice and video communications throughout the state.
- Recognize as an element of the core infrastructure and vehicle for effective implementation for supporting the e-governance initiatives undertaken by the government of Punjab.
Fortunately, the motives appear to be fulfilled at an extensive extent. There has been vertical connectivity across the state, which includes 20 districts, 56 Tehsils and 119 blocks. Whereas, scrutinizing the departmental level, horizontal connectivity is available in 374 offices. The users have mobile access to their mails on Punjab.gov.in within the PAWAN network. Like every other technology, Information Technology is also vulnerable to be abused. Owing to which, the technology criminals are expanding their horizons into electronic space. In order to cope up with the same, the Punjab government has taken various steps such as protecting the PAWAN mail server with Antivirus and Anti-spam software.
It is a healthy sign that standing at the threshold of PAWAN project, the Punjab government has put a halt to the cumbersome services of various departments and has even reduced the communication cost. To annex more delight to the arena, there is no need to replicate same infrastructure such as messaging software and licenses, Internet bandwidth etc. by different departments. Needless to say, the Punjab Government is creating a brawny backbone for the state with jolting projects like this.