Tamil Nadu Steps into Digitisation to Boost Interaction Between the Government and Industrial Sector

Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister MK Stalin launched e-Munnetram and IT Nanban on 22nd October 2021 to boost interaction between the government and the industrial sector. e-Munnetram is a web portal that provides the status of about 200 major infrastructure projects costing more than Rs. 1 lakh crore, and IT Nanban is an interactive platform to engage with the information technology industry. Tamil Nadu is a south Indian state speaking one of the oldest surviving languages in the world. 

The ‘e-Munnetram’ portal captures vital details such as the agreement date, start date, cost estimates, project progress (on both financial and physical parameters every month), location & GIS layers and photographs of the site periodically. The portal also allows department heads to update regular progress and flag critical issues and causes for delay. 

IT Nanban enables all IT and ITES companies in Tamil Nadu to interact with the state government and contribute to policymaking. The Information Technology department will use the company information to design policies and schemes with the highest impact and coverage. It will become an easy and transparent medium for the IT and ITES businesses to participate and improve governance directly, increasing the ease of doing business in Tamil Nadu.  

Meanwhile, the Union of IT & ITES Employees (UNITE) has lashed out against IT Nanban calling it unfair. They accused the IT Nanban portal as Nanban (friend) of employers and not employees and the civil society. UNITE alleges that the portal acts as the single window system between the 1% of the industry and the government. The digitisation process currently addresses only the employers’ needs ignoring the workforce. It enables only a section of society to take part in the policymaking revolving around IT. It is discriminatory and against the economic and social justice principles, says the press statement released by the Union. 

The CM has also released two Tamil computing software packages - Keezhadi and Tamizhi - developed by the Tamil Virtual Academy. The ‘Keezhadi - Tamizhinaiya Keyboard’ will function with Tamil’99 keyboard, phonetic keyboard and old typewriter keyboard. ‘Tamizhi - Tamizhinaiya Unicode Converter’ will convert text, file, and folder typed in Vanavil and other fonts in doc, docx, rtf, xls, xlsx, ods ppt, and pptx formats and they can be downloaded from www.tamilvu.org for free.