Amit Shah is set to create his first northeast visit next month after taking over as Union Home Minister, more focus is put on the land-locked region where connectivity problems have hampered growth.

On September 8, Shah will chair the North Eastern Council (NEC) meeting in Guwahati to assess the progress and status of ongoing and upcoming development initiatives. With the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasizing the growth of this region in a large manner, infrastructure projects and telecommunications connectivity were set to get a large fillip.

At an e-governance conference held previously this month in Shillong, Meghalaya, the first such conference held in the northeast, bad telecommunications connectivity was identified as one of the significant drawbacks in implementing e-governance initiatives and delivering citizens ‘ services. In his speech at the opening of the meeting, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma emphasized telecommunications connectivity.

The deliberations at the 22nd National Conference on E-Governance (NCeG) were directed at giving a large boost to Modi’s idea of offering a One Government experience and facilitating the knowledge of people by implementing multiple e-Governance initiatives in a timely manner. The meeting saw the Northeast Circle of Telecom Department hold a lecture on the region’s continuing initiatives. Several of the projects that had not moved, or need greater supervision and timely implementation were identified for special focus.

The conference was organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), in association with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), and the Meghalaya government. The conference also looked at capacity building, skill development and job creation.

Representatives of 32 business houses, including Wipro, HP and KPMG, that were invited to the conference, met members of the North Eastern Council (NEC) to seek advice on how to expand their ventures in the region. “They sought advice on the investments opportunities available and the subsidy schemes,” a source told IANS.

The meeting saw 15 state officials presenting effective e-governance projects, including enhancing the scheme of government grievance. The Meghalaya government identified the launch of the Meghalaya Enterprise Architecture (MeghEA) gateway through a popular e-platform to deliver citizen-centred facilities.

In January this year, the MeghEA was launched as a pilot project, as part of the India Enterprise Architecture (IndEA) — a single-window digitisation solution to provide cashless, paperless and faceless services.

The Electronic Sector Skill Council highlighted that there are 50,000 jobs for digital technicians available in the current year. It was also highlighted that it would take at least six months to train a digital technician.

“Fifty-thousand digital technicians can be recruited by telecom companies in the next six months,” the source added.

In consultation with the multiple stakeholders, the 10-point Shillong Declaration, which included improving e-governance, exchanging best practices, creating a common software system, is to be enacted by the central government. The Shillong Declaration is being circulated to all states for follow-up action. Periodic meetings would be held by the DARPG and Ministry of IT during which the sectors would be identified for follow-up action.

“With regard to the 50,000 job openings as data technicians, the Electronic Sector Skill Council would move quickly to open the skill centres as it takes time to train so many people,” the source added.