Image by aranarth via FlickrLast 10 years have been years of technology in Himachal. If you look at Himachal of 90's, having a dish antenna to watch satellite channels, BSNL landline phone, computer and that too with a internet connection was a sort of privilege. Though Ramayana(Popular T.V. serial) had intensified people's desire of having a television set, yet non availability of signal was a major hurdle. Making a STD call still required a trunk booking.
Then started an era of technology evolution in Himachal. Then telecom minister Sukh Ram(Who is convicted in few cases) played a major role in this emergence of technology. His rural telephone scheme and tie up with Doordarshan to set up T.V. towers made it possible for people of Himachal to have a landline connection and a T.V. set even in remote areas.
There is no looking back for hill state since then. Now almost every part of Himachal has broadband connectivity, more than 5 GSM or CDMA mobile operators, DTH services or Cable network equipped with latest fiber optics, Cyber cafes, and bank ATMs . You should not surprise if you see Himachal Pradesh State Co-Operative bank providing online banking and ATM facility to its customers. Himachal is soon going to have IPTV, WiMAX, 3G and list goes on.
This technical advancement has helped in industrial growth of Himachal. Beside other industries, software industry has also flourished in state. Shimla, Baddi, Parwanoo and Dharmshala have software companies and freelancers who are doing well in the field of software development .
Today one can see exam results of Himachal Pradesh Board of school education or HP university online on their websites. Penetration of IT in the state can be seen from the fact that now there are number of full time websites and blogs writing round the clock about tourism and travel in Himachal, pahari songs, and news on Himachal Pardesh. Websites like Himvani.com and Himachal.us (both are N.G.O. initiative) not only provide latest news on Himachal but also run so many social campaigns.
E-GovernanceIT revolution is not limited to private sector but Govt. of Himachal Pradesh itself has gone Hi tech. Himachal Govt. recently won national awards for e-governance. Official website of the state government, www.himachal.nic.in, constructed and maintained by a team of the National Informatics Centre (NIC), has been adjudged as the “Best website” by editors of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Website Himachal.nic.in provides information related to vacancies in Himachal, gazetted notifications, pension related information. You can also send your complaints to Chief Minister from Himachal.nic.
Himachal Pradesh State Wide Area Network (HIMSWAN) project under National e-Governance Programme has been launched in the state to provide Hi-tech connectivity down to the level of tehsils, sub-tehsils, blocks and Panchayats with state headquarter shimla throught internet to introduce e governance throughout the state. Himachal Govt. in collaboration with GNG has started Gram Sugam Kendras(Common Service Centers (CSCs)) in each Panchayat. The scope of services that can be provided through CSC is not limited to State Government domain but also include services of Central Government Departments as also that of private/public sector organizations like LIC, BSNL, Mobile phone service providers, Internet Café and many more. In private domain, CSCs may provide services like Ticket Booking, Gram Haat, Tele-Medicine, Tele-education, Internet Access, Insurance, Cable TV etc.
Few good websites on Himachal: