Skip to main content

Gujarat govt "firewalls" top sites ending gujarat.gov.in for outside India, "fears" of Russian, Chinese spammers

By Rajiv Shah
Is Gujarat government not interested in non-resident Indian (NRI) supporters to officially know what’s happening in Gujarat, propagated as India’s model state? Facts have come light suggesting that the state’s information technology (IT) establishment has firewalled several Gujarat government websites’ access worldwide, except India, for security reasons.
A top Gujarat government insider confirms, this is the handiwork of a decision taken on state websites. He says, "Just checked. For some foolish reason or rank stupidity all sites with gujarat.gov.in have been denied access to outside India. Instead of taking preventive protective action, a ham-handed approach is used. I am amused and startled... In this age!"
It all began when someone from Gujarat, who is now in US, tried accessing the state finance department site, http://financedepartment.gujarat.gov.in/, on the day the state budget was presented in the state assembly, February 23. “I was shocked”, the NRI said. “For two days I tried to access the site, but failed. I tried it on different browsers – Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer – but failed.”
He adds, “Then, I tried to open three other sites, two of the industries department sites -- http://www.imd-gujarat.gov.in/ and http://ic.gujarat.gov.in/ -- and one of the NRI department, http://nri.gujarat.gov.in/, but could not access them.”
An NRI based in Melbourne, Australia, found that none of the above sites could be accessed, also finding it “really strange.” Editing South Asia Times, Neeraj Nanda says, the sites are “redirecting” but thereafter “nothing happens” on Chrome, while Internet Explorer just says, “the page cannot be found.”
A Gujarati NRI based in US, a software engineer, after using available site tools, told Counterview that, the Gujarat government’s official website -- http://www.gswan.gov.in/ -- could be accessed; but the moment on goes to http://www.gswan.gov.in/SitePages/Government-Sites.aspx for accessing the sites of respective state departments, the ones with the "gujarat.gov.in" tag did not work.
He checked four sites on https://www.site24x7.com/ -- of industries and mines, industries commission, NRI and general administration department (GAD) sites.
“I find it really strange. While I could easily open www.gujaratindia.com, the state government portal, those with the tag gujarat.gov.in could not be accessed. I do not know the reason, though the problem appears to be with the state IT service providers”, he says (click HERE  for one of the results).
Roshan Shah
He wonders, “Is this accidental? They should solve this problem. People do want to know from the state government sites about what is happening in the Gujarat government.”
A software engineer in Ahmedabad, Pratik Sinha, told Counterview, after using “different tools” to find out which sites open where, “Except in India, the gujarat.gov.in sites are “not available anywhere in the world.” Currently, he is investigating what could be the “real reason.”
A computer engineer and NRI, who is now in Ahmedabad, Roshan Shah, suspects that the state government “may have done IP blocking” in order to “filter traffic only local to India.” Also a well-known political activist, he strongly believes, “This prevents from spammers, usually Russian and Chinese spammers, seeking to hack website.”
Shah says, “They should have used better technology and firewalls and have better tools to detect and prevent this spamming”, suspecting, “They may not have competency and 24x7 support in place. Perhaps, to them, NRIs/NRGs are not wanted.”
Calling this “lame, very lame”, Shah comments, “We call ourselves democracy but act like a dictator. If an investor wants to invest in Gujarat and wants to get info from government sites, he gets none. No wonder Vibrant Gujarat is going every single day for a big toss.”
Pointing towards how Gujarat has long claimed to have the best internet network anywhere in India, with global outreach, Roshan wonders, “who decides which site goes global and which local, and what is the logic”, adding, after all, it is “all public money on the basis of which these sites are created.”

Comments

TRENDING

132 Gujarat citizens, including IIM-A faculty, others declare solidarity with Kashmiris

Counterview Desk
A week after it was floated, 132 activists, academics, students, artists and other concerned citizens of Gujarat, backed by 118 living in different parts of India and the world, have signed a "solidarity letter" supporting the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), who, it claims, have been silenced and held captive in their own land. The signatories include faculty members and scholars of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A).

Amit Shah 'wrong': Lack of transparency characterized bank frauds, NPAs, jobs data

Counterview Desk
India's senior RTI activists Nikhil Dey, Anjali Bhardwaj, Venktesh Nayak, Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Pankti Jog and Pradip Pradhan, who are attached with the National Campaign for Peoples' Right to Information (NCPRI), have said that Union home minister Amit Shah's claim that the Government of India is committed to transparency stands in sharp contrast to its actual actions.

Bharat Ratna nominee ‘joined hands’ with British masters to 'crush' Quit India

By Shamsul Islam*
The Quit India Movement (QIM), also known as ‘August Kranti' (August Revolution), was a nation-wide Civil Disobedience Movement for which a call was given on August 7, 1942 by the Bombay session of the All-India Congress Committee. It was to begin on August 9 as per Gandhi's call to 'Do or Die' in his Quit India speech delivered in Bombay at the Gowalia Tank Maidan on August 8. Since then August 9 is celebrated as August Kranti Divas.

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…