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editorial

ICT and Safe State Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has become an essential element in making governments’ fit for the 21st century; providing trustworthy and qualitative services that are oriented to the needs of citizens and businesses. Increased violence by non-state actors, and the spur in extremism, terrorism and anarchism in countries across the globe, with clear intentions of undermining the faith of people on state authorities, indeed to the very concept of a democratic safe state itself, has alarmed the governments the world over to tighten their seat belts. Disastrous events, pandemics, environmental calamity, and terrorist attacks pose additional threats to public security. Much more alarming is the increasing terror attacks and loss of life due to them. There have been 2,929 terrorism-related deaths around the world since the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, as per the NBC News analysis of September 2004. The developed world is turning to technology and is using latest surveillance systems, situational modeling and visualisation software, chemical/biological detection monitors to counter terrorism. The recent 26/11 terrorists’ attack in Mumbai, India, has forced the Indian government and the private agencies to seriously consider improving the country’s homeland security apparatus. The situation is even more grim, given the fact that the terrorists today are extremely techno-savvy. Coupled with this, India has poor policing, poor intelligence, ill-equipped security agencies and weak criminal justice making it extremely difficult for any security agency to operate. Given this scenario, Government of India intends to spend USD 10 billion on India’s homeland security in the coming 2-3 years. Government has set up a National Investigation Agency to deal with cross- border terrorism. The top security agencies in India are leveraging the benefits of ICT for securing India. However, when it comes to policing, India just not lack in terms of technology but also in terms of transparency, reforms, standardised Police to People ratio and most importantly citizen centric governance. Even though the service delivery in the country is undergoing a complete transformation through eGovernment implementation, till date one finds it a big hassle to lodge an FIR, especially the uneducated and deprived sections of our society. Intelligence gathering and sharing are areas where ICT could be leveraged in a big manner. Recently, Ministry of Home Affairs has taken some steps while proposing projects like CCTNS and Natgrid, in this direction. Nevertheless, the readiness and usability of the infrastructure created through these projects, by the various government agencies, will be an issue. Its high time that the government take cognisance of these lacunae in public safety and security in the country and make India progress towards a true ‘Safe State’.

Dr. Ravi Gupta Editor-in-Chief Ravi.Gupta@egovonline.net President: Dr. M P Narayanan | Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Ravi Gupta Editorial Team: Dr. Prachi Shirur, Dr. Rajeshree Dutta Kumar, Shipra Sharma, Divya Chawla, Sheena Joseph, Yukti Pahwa, Sangeeta Ghosh De, Subir Dey, Dinoj Kumar Upadhyay, Pratap Vikram Singh, Gayatri Maheshwary, Saba Firdaus Sales & Marketing Team: Debabrata Ray (Mobile: +91-9899650692), Anaam Sharma, Arpan Dasgupta, Fahimul Haque, Bharat Kumar Jaiswal, Ankur Agarwal, Priya Saxena, Vishal Kumar, Gaurav (sales@elets.in) Subscription & Circulation: Lipika Dutta (Mobile: +91-9871481708), Manoj Kumar, Gunjan Singh (subscription@elets.in) Graphic Design Team: Bishwajeet Kumar Singh, Om Prakash Thakur, Shyam Kishore Web Development Team: Zia Salahuddin, Amit Pal, Sandhya Giri, Anil Kumar IT Team: Mukesh Sharma, Devendra Singh | Events: Vicky Kalra Editorial & Marketing Correspondence: egov - G-4 Sector 39, NOIDA 201301, India, Phone: +91 120 2502181-85, Fax: +91 120 2500060, Email: info@egovonline.net egov is published by Elets Technomedia Pvt. Ltd in technical collaboration with Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS). Owner, Publisher, Printer: Ravi Gupta, Printed at Vinayak Print Media, D-320, Sector - 10 Noida, U.P. and published from 710 Vasto Mahagun Manor, F-30, Sector - 50 Noida, UP Editor: Ravi Gupta

egov

march 2010

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eGov-March-2010-[5]-Editorial-ICT and Safe State