Published On: Mon, Mar 23rd, 2015

IIIrd Web Ratna Awards to Include “Open Data Champion” Category

Web Ratna Awards

New Delhi: The Web Ratna Awards under the ambit of National Portal organized by National Informatics Centre (NIC) has emerged over the years as a credible platform to recognize the presence and work of various Government institutions across the country on the web. Web Ratna award instituted in year 2009 is one of kind award in India which has honored the works of different Government bodies on the web based platform.

Web Ratna Awards has also played a pivotal role in promoting the use of World Wide Web platform as an effective tool for e-Governance. At the same time it has also encouraged numerous departments to take up and replicate the successful innovations which have been recognized on this platform.

Since its inception the Web Ratna Awards has seen two editions, one in 2010 and the other in 2012. Following this NIC is all set to organize the third edition on March 25, 2015, where the Hon’ble Minister for Telecommunication & Information Technology, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad will grace the occasion and give away the awards. The Web Ratna Awards over the years have honored various government departments who have done exemplary work in categories like Citizen Centric Services, Public Participation Initiative, Outstanding Web Content, Innovative Use of Technology, Comprehensive Web Presence-Ministry/Department, and Comprehensive Web Presence-State/UT.

The prominent departments and institutions which have won this award over the years include Indian Railways, India Post, Gujarat Tourism, Indian Tsunami Early Warning System, Department of Economic Affairs, Rajya Sabha, VAHAN (Vehicle Registration & Permit System), Digital Diplomacy-Ministry of External Affairs, Bihar Public Grievance Redressal System, All India Radio, Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO), Tamil Nadu etc. under various categories.

In follow up to this in the third edition also various Government Departments will be evaluated in the above mentioned categories by a high level jury consisting of senior government officials, academia and industry experts. A new addition to the awards this year is the introduction of a new category known as ‘Open Data Champion’. In this departments which have been at the forefront of contributing data to Open Government Data (OGD) Portal India (data.gov.in) will be evaluated and recognized for their contribution towards the Open Data Initiative in India. This category of awards will look to uphold and recognize the values and principles of Open Government Data to invigorating more and more Government Ministries and Departments to publish their data in an open format for further value addition and application development, ultimately leading to informed decision making process and enhanced levels of public service delivery.

All in all the Web Ratna Awards in itself has created a benchmark for various Government Agencies in India enabling and encouraging them to strive for better utilization to promote innovation in the web space to add on to public delivery and efficient governance. In addition to this it is important to note that this has also created a healthy culture of competition pushing them to do better and add to the larger goal of promoting Web based e-Governance application. The idea of Web Ratna is one of the key components in the Digital India initiative, doing its bit to promote exchange of information and values which run key governance aspects on the World Wide Web platform ultimately leading to digitally empowered society and a knowledge based economy.

The awards aim not only to recognize the noteworthy and sustainable initiatives in the realm of web based application but also disseminate information about such initiatives for others to customize and replicate them. An endeavor like Web Ratna Awards under the ambit of National Portal and execution of NIC provides an ideal front to uphold the values of Digital India of which web based applications and solution for governance forms a key aspect. In the end one can say that Web Ratna Awards have contributed in a large way in paving the way for web based application in governance and will continue to do so by bringing in more innovative web solutions to the front.

The National Portal of India (india.gov.in) since its inception has come a long way in providing a simple and easy interface to vast repository of Government Information and services. The portal itself is a dynamic platform which enhances citizen engagement bringing them closer to the Governance process. The National Portal itself signifies and portrays the conviction of the Government to move towards Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based e-Governance initiatives, utilizing the World Wide Web platform to get the citizens closer to Government.

In India over the last decade or so, ICT has emerged as an effective tool to deliver services to the citizens at large. This initiative of the Government has received further impetus with the adoption of Digital India policy by the Government to further the reach of governance schemes using web based platform.

The National Informatics Centre (NIC) is the premier science & technology organization of India in informatics services and information-and-communication- technology (ICT) applications. NIC from the very beginning has been at the forefront of developing and sustaining web based solutions for the various Government bodies across the country. The role of NIC has been made more central further enhancing its scope with the initiation of Digital India. Therefore NIC on its part will continue to play major role in supporting the various organizations when it comes to development of web based solutions to further the cause of e-Governance and the ultimate goal of Digital India.

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