CHIEF MINISTERíS SPEECH ON THE INAUGURATION OF MIZORAM STATE WIDE AREA NETWORK (SWAN) ON 19TH JUNE, 2012 (TUESDAY)
Hon’ble Minister for ICT Pu Zodintluanga, my esteemed colleagues, Chief Secretary, Mizoram, Joint Secretary, Dr. Rajendra Kumar and his colleagues from Ministry of Communication & IT Govt. of India, Senior Officers from different Departments of Government of Mizoram, ladies and gentlemen.
Mizoram is now among the 28 Indian States with SWAN, a proud moment for all of us ! In an era of rapid change and instant communication, one of the most important aspects of governance is the use of Information Technology to empower the people make life simpler and above all, make Government more accessible, open, transparent and corruption-free.
In recent years,Indiahas emerged as one of the world leaders in information and communication technology. However, owing to its huge population, access to basic communication is still beyond the reach of the common man in the remote areas. And North-East is one of those areas where the advances in ICT has yet to penetrate. For instance Mizoram, owing to our geographical isolation, has been slow in making use of Information Technology in governance.
Ironically enough, our only telecommunication service provider, that is BSNL, in Mizoram has not lived upto expectation. I am very sorry to say but their service leaves much to be desired.
Now with better technology such as Optical Fibre Cable Network on the anvil, we expect the service will improve. Unless this core issue is addressed, no amount of SWAN or LAN will mean anything to us.
I earnestly appeal to BSNL authorities to do their bit. The greater challenge for remote areas like Mizoram is connectivity, in the form of roads, rail, air and telecommunication. We need reliable, uninterrupted internet connectivity.
Now Government of India is keen to bring telecommunication to our doorstep, right up to the block and village levels. The moment this is achieved, the lot of the villages will see a marked improvement, economically and otherwise.
Coming to Mizoram, we are a small population – 10.9 lakh (1.09 million) only. Bringing telecommunication to each household should not be a problem. Above all the human capital is the most precious of all and in welfare state like India Government is duty-bound to see to people’s welfare and their economic development.
In order to bridge the digital divide and realize the ICT potential for inclusive socio-economic development of the state, the Government of Mizoram has taken a major step forward in implementing the State Wide Area Network. By setting up the regulatory framework to develop ICT skills among the populace. We can transform the lives of the rural populace.
I compliment the Minister, ICT and his dedicated team of officers for their achievement of this project.
The launch of SWAN will go a long way in bringing our rural people closer to Aizawl and other bigger towns of Mizoram. I urge upon the ICT Department and of course the service provider BSNL to leave no stone unturned in this endeavour. We has to deliver ! This is the biggest challenge before us.
With this few words, I hereby declare the launch of SWAN Mizoram for the benefit of every citizen of this state.