Functioning of SLA to turn paperless soon with digitization

Gangtok, 02 Nov (IPR): The functioning of the State Legislative Assembly could soon turn paperless and important data available on a digital platform. Officers and staff of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly and concerned departments of the State Government are undergoing an orientation workshop on “NATIONAL e-VIDHAN APPLICATION (NeVA)” here at the Assembly Secretariat. The two-day workshop has been organized by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Government of India with support and coordination from Sikkim Legislative Assembly Secretariat and National Informatics Centre (NIC), Gangtok. The workshop was inaugurated this morning by Speaker, Sikkim Legislative Assembly, Mr K.N. Rai.

“In this age of Artificial Intelligence and digital overreach, the NeVA project of the Government of India is a welcome initiative. It is imperative that we switch to the digital way of life and paperless functioning and thus this workshop I believe will take us a step ahead in that direction,” said Mr Rai after digitally inaugurating the two-day workshop.

He shared that the SLA had already realized a few years ago about the need to go digital and had consistently corresponded with the concerned Ministries in the Government of India. He shared that the journey was not easy but expressed hope that this workshop will help realize the vision. He urged the resource persons from the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, GOI, to impart effective training through the course of the workshop. He called upon the participants to make the most of the opportunity and learn every detail of NeVA.

The Speaker further stated that with the support from the Ministry, the SLA will soon adopt paperless functioning and all the data and proceedings of the Assembly Sessions will be carried out digitally. He said that the initiative will not only reduce the cost of stationery and other paraphernalia but will also contribute to the preservation of the environment by not using paper.

Secretary, SLA, Mr L.M. Pradhan, in his address said that the two-daylong workshop had been organized to equip the officers and staff the Assembly Secretariat and concerned departments to transition into digital mode of functioning. He shared that digitization had always been a part of the scheme of things of the SLA and substantial progress had already been made. He added that the Assembly Secretariat had over the years strengthened its IT Cell with technically sound manpower with added support from NIC Gangtok.

He thanked the visiting team of experts from the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, New Delhi to facilitate the workshop. He also expressed his gratitude to Secretary, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs for organizing the workshop in Sikkim and for continued support.

Earlier, Technical Director, NIC Gangtok, Mr D.K. Basnet, made a brief presentation on the technical features of the NeVA. He explained that NeVA is a common digital platform with the tagline – One Nation One Application, accessible through a common website and mobile application for all the States Legislatures and the Parliament. He stated that the aim of the project is to make the functioning of SLAs more participative, responsive, transparent, productive and more accountable to the public. It is an environment-friendly initiative aimed to digitize and make available State Legislature documents, including debates, speeches, committee reports, notices and questions on the internet.

He added that with the implementation of NeVA in the State Legislatures, the entire function of the Assembly will be carried out digitally. Questions and E-papers will be laid on the floor of the House and accessed by Hon’ble Members using multi-purpose touch screens. The functioning of the Committees of the Assembly will also be paperless. He also explained the role of NIC in facilitating the process of digitization.

The technical sessions were facilitated by NeVA Manager, Mr Sameer Varshney, and NeVA Coordinator, Ms Priyanka Barthwal, both representing the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Government of India. The two resource persons imparted hands-on training on aspects such as Master Data Entry, Question Module, and List of Business Module. The participants were also given a live demonstration on NeVA which was followed by experience sharing on NeVA and group discussion.

The workshop had the presence and participation of Deputy Speaker, SLA, Mr Sonam Gyatso Lepcha, Secretary, Law Department, State Informatics Officer, NIC Gangtok, and officers from Home Department, Law Department and IT Department of the Government of Sikkim.

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