Itanagar, Aug 13 (FN Agency) Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Friday launched the State Wide Area Network (SWAN) which will provide secure digital connectivity to all district headquarters and local administrative centres across the state. The launching ceremony, held live digitally in virtual mode on the SWAN platform for the first time, was joined by 17 district administrations and 98 block level administrations. Under this scheme, digital connectivity is being provided between the State headquarters and Block level administrative centres via District and Sub-Divisional headquarters, in a vertical hierarchical structure with a minimum bandwidth capacity of two Mbps per link. A Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Govt of India funded scheme, Arunachal SWAN (ArSWAN) envisages to establish 184 SWAN point of presence (PoPs) in the state. The 184 sites include one state headquarter, 17 district headquarters and 166 block and horizontal offices.
Addressing the occasion, Khandu termed the launch as a historic step towards e-governance based on transparency and accountability. “Geographically we may be far away but digitally we are now next to each other,” he said. Khandu urged Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, who also attended the program virtually from New Delhi, to extend the network to other unconnected districts created in recent years. He said as per the project only 17 districts were identified for inclusion under the scheme but in recent years few more districts were created for ease of administration, which also needs to be taken under the ambit of SWAN. Khandu also requested the Ministry to extend all possible assistance to the state’s department of Information Technology and Communications to functionalise all remaining PoPs in the state for seamless communication and digital governance. “SWAN is a reliable network for vertical and horizontal connectivity throughout the state through the means of video conferencing and IP telephone, which we must fully utilise for delivering service to the people at the shortest possible time,” he said.
Interacting live with Deputy Commissioners (DCs) of remote districts like Kra Dadi and Longding, which was not possible in earlier video conferences due to poor connectivity, Khandu said the newly launched network would now facilitate seamless and uninterrupted communication between the state headquarter and district headquarters. As the district headquarters will be further connected with sub-divisional and block headquarters, he said now the DCs can be in direct touch with their subordinate officers through video conferencing and IP telephone governance would become cost effective and prompt. Khandu urged the DCs to maximise on the newly acquired digital connectivity not only for ease of governance but also in delivering speedy service to the rural populace. “It will reduce the cost of communication between government departments at different locations and will provide secure network infrastructure to enable electronic transfer of sensitive data, payments etc,” he pointed.
On the occasion, Khandu also interacted with few Additional Deputy Commissioners (ADCs), Sub-Divisional Officers (SDOs) and Circle Officers (COs) over IP telephone service, one of the connectivity services under SWAN, where video-conferencing is not possible. The launching program was also attended by Chairman, State Council for IT and e-Governance, Doni Nich, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, among others.