Thursday, March 31, 2005

ideas for a (techno)logical state

in the age where much has been bandied about india's superiorITy, so much that americans are against state governments in the US are using indian IT firms to computerise their departments, isnt it rather sad that the Indian govt itself is still run on paper ? here then is my e-governance solution for a nation that as a whole will soon be suffering silicosis brought on by the number of microprocessors around.

most technology experts recommend easier user-inteface designs , while knowing they'll have to find new jobs if someone comes up with one that is perfect. But thats not going to happen now is it? my iBhavan ("i" is the new "e" folks, get used to it) will not be the most user-friendly but what it will do is to make the government and its workings appear easier to the public . Another expert claim regarding the rapid e-conversion is that the new technology should not infringe on the regular working of any organization. To that effect paper-pushing will now take the new moniker of file-pushing. If an official wants to send a file or folder to another using iBhavan, he will send it via e-mail to the peon. The peon who will be busy watching streaming video of the cricket match will then take a look at the file, notice the lack of gossip in it, save it on the desktop and proceed to chat with peons from other departments. Any attempt by novice peons to instantly forward the message to the receiving official will cause the inherent delay mechanism to kick-in which will display a series of dialog boxes through which the peon must click till its time for the file to be delivered. lunch and tea will obviously be ordered online but anyone wanting to do so must still (mis)use the peon for doing so.

anyone who wants to file a petition, pay a bill etc will still need to take the overcrowded bus, hang on to dear life and walk the miles of office corridors to get to the correct government office. The reason for this is that iBhavan is designed to be a highly secure system, hence the terminals you can access iBhavan from will be located right next to or inside the office you want work done at. Obviously there are only 5 terminals and a hundred others waiting in line. Once you get to machine, wipe the beedi stains of the keyboard and close the browser windows flashing "Brittany naked photos" , you'll be presented with the chat window and a list of the officials you can chat with. You'd think we would've made it easier for you by enabling u to directly chat with the "babu". Think again. Regardless of the messenger handle you click on, all clicks will lead to the peon , who not surprisingly is not listed on that screen. You quickly glean that the officer will chat with you only if the right buttons are pushed on the peon's interface. With a sigh , you proceed to supply the peon with a couple of passwords to a porn site and a folder full of the latest hindi mp3s that you'd brought along in a jump drive. With a "What no item number videos? " retort and a couple of expletives, the peon adds you to his conference with the officer and scoots to serve the next chat window. so far so good. the officer asks you for your files, you upload them at once to him. After a wait, the officer comes back online :
Officer :"Your files are not of the right format"
You : "But i followed every rule on the iBhavan website, every comma is right where it should be and i even bought an anti-virus software to make sure it was clean"
Officer : "All that is fine but you havent used MS Word as we recommended.."
You : "I used Staroffice and I am very sure its compatible with Word"
Officer : " LOL , we dont care if its compatible, dont you know we have a contract with Microsoft..go back and bring the file in the proper format"
With a poof , the window is gone and the next guy in line taps on your shoulder indicating you should take your cd-rom and leave.

So you see, iBhavan is the ultimate in e-governance . You wont miss a single thing from the old government office except the cheap quality paper forms. Its ideal for the next generation most of whom will either work in a tech company or in a call center. Don't worry about the tons of e-waste that will be caused by iBhavan, instead spare a thought to the millions of trees you will be saving because of my innovative system.

iBhavan is a un-copyrighted name owned by the author. Any attempt to duplicate this idea or use it as a template to improve anything about the government will result in loud guffawing and incessant laughter from the author


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