Covid has changed a lot. It has prompted people and governments to adapt new norms and that too very quickly. Put in the right perspective, it has forced every institution, be it government, businesses, or educational bodies, to fundamentally rethink the manner in which they deliver services and goods to society.
In contemporary times, the old norms of lesser transactions have actually become the norms with business-travel being resorted only when absolutely necessary and it is going to stay for quite some time to come.
The impact of the pandemic has already been pronounced on public services and times warrants a balanced approach to maintaining the quality of service delivery whilst reinvigorating the economy and protecting the livelihoods of people, especially those at the bottom of the pyramid.
There is migration of a good share of governance instruments and public service delivery offerings to digital channels and it looks all set to become reality with the advent of time, given the agility and ingenuity with which most people have taken to digital delivery of services, goods and information, more so on the mobile phone. People inured to queues at utility offices, some even dingy, to pay routine bills find this a major leap. Digital platforms providing goods and services, including online education, have grown vigorously during the pandemic.
Even before covid-19 cast its shadow, there was a push to digitize land records in J&K to establish ownership and minimize conflicts. The process has been going on for quite some time now. Of late, the government has been trying to have the comprehensive digitalization of the land records, ostensibly for quick settlement of various works apart from making the entire process of accessing such records by the people hassle free. Once completed, it would also make settlements transparent within a reasonable timeframe.
Those who are at work to carry out the important task have to do scanning of a lot of documents and carry out the digitization process at the same time. The government needs to maintain accuracy.
Overall, there are still a plethora of shortcomings and a long time to go for complete transformation to digitization. At the same time the government must continue to strengthen measures on use of technology to create open, participatory public systems that people consider trustworthy. The administration must achieve a reliable system of digital welfare. In the meantime, the government should continue to work to have high-speed internet connectivity available in J&K and that too reliable at all times.