Rio inaugurates automated library and training room
All valuable documents will be available at the click of a button by the first quarter of FY 2021-2022
Kohima, Feb. 9 (EMN): Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Tuesday stated that one of the most remarkable developments that happened in the last quarter of the 20th century was information and communications technology (ICT), and termed the evolution of democracy as “the most preferred and accepted system of governance across the world” as another equally remarkable development.
He said this during the inauguration of the automated library and training room of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) in Kohima on February 9.
The immediate impact of developments in ICT is information explosion and the resultant evolution of an information-driven world order, Rio said.
“Information came to be seen as the greatest source of power in the world. This is all the more so for people involved in managing public affairs, especially for people’s representatives,” he said. “Today, we have to be computer literate, otherwise, we will be handicapped using internet, IT gadgets and technology,” he added.
Stating that “parliamentarians, as leaders of society, are the agents of change” in a parliamentary democracy, he said the crucial input that goes into the formulation of policies and any effective legislation is the “quantum and the quality of knowledge on which such policy or legislation is based”.
“Helping the evolution of a well-informed legislature therefore, becomes the primary responsibility of an Assembly Secretariat Library,” he said.
“It is important to bear in mind that a well-informed legislature can help bring about an informed population which is the greatest asset for a democracy. Equally important is to recognise that a team of learned officials are essential to help create a learned body of legislators,” he added.
“The quality of service provided by the library plays an important role here. Traditionally, a library is seen as a source of information. But today, the concept of library itself has changed radically. A modern library is not just a collection of books, products and services but also a gateway to outside sources and the world,” he shared.
The chief minister went on to say that “an advanced computer with internet connectivity can provide us access to more information than what a traditional library without such connectivity could do earlier”.
Internet, in fact, acts as a global library to everyone including the parliamentarians, he said. However, “what is needed is not information per se, but the right information, presented in an accessible form and provided in a timely manner,” he maintained.
The vision for a good library for the legislators, therefore, should be to transform itself into a professional, knowledge-based, technologically updated institution, providing quality service to the legislators, he stated.
Meanwhile, Rio shared that another area that warrants serious attention is providing quality training periodically to human resources, be it for the government functionaries or persons working in other fields of human activities.
Stating that the world is increasingly beginning to recognise its importance today, it is “only through quality training would the functionaries expand their knowledge-base, updating themselves with the latest developments in their field of activity”, he said. He added that “effective training is an investment for both the individual and the organisation”.
He said that all human activities suffered very badly due to the pandemic and “most of the regular training activities for the officers of the government had to be suspended because of that”. However, many training establishments, which focused on lecture room session, have come up with new modules of online training these days, but such distant-learning facilities cannot be availed without proper infrastructure, he added.
“It is in that context that the imperative of setting up a state-of-the-art modem training room assumes importance. It is commendable that our Assembly Secretariat also has risen to the challenge and developed an excellent facility within its premises to help the honourable members and its officers avail the benefit of long-distance training programmes,” Rio said.
NLA Speaker lauded
The chief minister acknowledged the speaker of NLA, Sharingain Longkumer, who “has made a good beginning with his initiative to automate the library and to create the much-needed infrastructure for training”, while congratulating him for his thoughtful endeavours in this direction.
Longkumer stated that the world has progressed by quantum leaps and along with it the challenges of governance to adapt to changing times.
“Nagaland cannot escape to be a part of the integrated global village,” he said, adding that the “global village must yearn to understand Nagaland and Nagaland must yearn to be integrated into the global village”.
The NLA speaker said that setting up of the modern facilities was a milestone in the chapter of the Assembly Secretariat as “it takes its first step to be integrated and encapsulated in a technology-driven society”.
He informed that the NLA library houses a huge collection of books and precious records starting from the days of the interim period. “The need for safekeeping of such important documents, at the same time, enabling easier handling and access has become paramount,” he said.
Longkumer said that in the current digitisation and automation process, all the proceedings of the House starting from the interim period were digitised and archived in a digital repository and the process can be scalable for digitising other records too.
“After the digital revamping process, publications of ‘who is who’ can be presented in the globally accepted Wiki format now,” he said.
He went on to inform that he had requested a copy of all archaic documents from the Art and Culture department and those precious and valuable documents have also been digitised and kept safe. “All these will now be available for all of you at the click of a button from the comfort of your home and office by the first quarter of financial year 2021-2022,” he informed.
The Speaker also informed that with the inauguration of the training room, NLA members and officers will now have the opportunity to interact and train on the use of their own customised applications by trainers and resource persons from the Parliament.
“These two achievements have opened the opportunity for NLA to expeditiously implement complete digitisation and integration of the entire Assembly Secretariat,” he said, adding: “The dream of paperless Assembly proceedings begins today as a prelude to the comprehensive implementation of e- vidhan.”
Also speaking on the occasion, the deputy chief minister, Y Patton, said the availability the new facilities at Secretariat is ‘an added feature on the cap of the state government and its Legislative Assembly and also an asset that is really the need of the hour’.
He expressed optimism that the automated library and training room will go a long way in facilitating all the responsible people within and outside the Assembly Secretariat while urging all stakeholders to make good use of the facility.
Neiba Kronu, minister for Planning and Coordination, Land Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs, also lauded the initiative of the Speaker who, according to him, brought necessary changes in the Assembly. Stating that more programmes are in the pipeline, he assured that the department of Parlimentary Affairs would extend all possible help in the beautification and development of the Assembly.