Skip to main content

Why can't NRIs see the Gujarat govt website supposedly meant for them?

Neeraj Nanda
By Rajiv Shah 
In continuation of my previous blog, my friend in Melbourne, Neeraj Nanda, on reading it, tried to see if a Gujarat government site of the General Administration Department (GAD), which I opened sitting in Ahmedabad, is opening in Australia, too. Ironically, this site introduces itself as “Towards Smart Governance: Department’s main objectives lay strong foundations for citizens and fulfill their expectations and gain trust by finding measures through effective and responsive administration”.
The site, interestingly, has photographs of Gujarat chief secretary Anil Mukim, additional chief secretary (personnel) Kamal Dayani, and secretary (administrative reforms and training/non-resident Indians) Dhanjay Dwivedi, among others, in the right-hand panel. Despite the fact that the NRI secretary is one of the top three in the GAD list, my NRI friend failed to open the site!
Nanda phoned me up – of course on WhatApp – to tell me I was right. The Gujarat government sites were not opening. Editing South Asian Times from Melbourne, he sent me across a screenshot to confirm the message he got – that this site “can’t be reached” and that it is taking “too long to respond”. Nanda wondered, why was the state government – calling itself “smart” and a “model” for the rest of India – had “fire-walled” the its sites for countries other than India.
“We are interested in finding out what is happening in India, particularly in Gujarat, from where India’s Prime Minister and Home Minister hail, and if the state government does not wish showcase what it is doing, then what is the point?”, he asked. “Is it a technical glitch or are they afraid of the state government sites might perhaps be hacked? Don’t they have good software engineers to take care of the issue?”
I smiled, but didn’t respond. Even in 2016, when I first wrote a piece on the state government sites were not opening in countries other than India, I had approached Nanda to find out whether this was true for Australia, and he immediately responded saying, I was right. He agreed, things have not changed over the last five years, but wondered: “Why?”
I scratched my head, and decided to see if the state government’s propaganda site, Directorate of Information, was available elsewhere in the world. I put the site address in GeoPeeker, which tells me  which places in the world a particular site could be seen. Of the six spots that it scanned today, Singapore, Brazil, Virginia, California, Ireland and Australia, it could be opened only in Virginia, on the eastern coast of the USA.

Comments

TRENDING

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Billion vaccine doses? Devil is in details: 70% haven't got 2nd jab; numbers jacked up

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  India has reached the one billion Covid-19 vaccinations milestone. It is indeed a great news and a big salute to the less paid ordinary health-workers in interiors of India for this feat. The government wants all of India's 944 million adults to get vaccinated this year. Around three-quarters of adults in the country of 1.3 billion people have had one shot and around 30 percent are fully vaccinated, the government says.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Failure of 'trickle down theory' behind India's poor Global Hunger Index rating

By Dr Gian Singh*  On October 14, 2021, two organisations, Concern Worldwide (An Irish aid agency) and WeltHungerHilfe (a German organization that researches the problem of global hunger), jointly published the Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2021. These organizations have included 116 countries in the world hunger rankings.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Nehru legacy? GDP-centric growth has had 'no positive impact' on people's livelihood

By Dr Kamal Nayan Kabra*  Experience has shown that many counties adopt measures to go in for the growth of their GDP, basically in the existing framework, though also going in for, at the same time, new products and technologies and similar other changes. It is believed that by means of this process enough new job opportunities would emerge to meet the economy’s needs both in terms of numbers as also in terms of the requisite remuneration (wages) as also the supplies of the goods and services to maintain the economy on an even keel.

March opposes Sabarmati Ashram renovation: 'Mahatmaji had kept open for access to all'

Counterview Desk A Sevagram to Sabarmati march, which began on October 17 from Wardha (Maharashtra) and will end on October 24 in Ahmedabad (Gujarat), has demanded that the Sabarmati Ashram, the government should not impose "the fashion and glitz of a shallow modernity" at the cost of Rs 1,200 crore, in the name of renovating the Ashram founded by Gandhiji.

Conceived as infrastructure, western approach 'not fit' for building Indian cities

By Arjun Kumar* A recent webinar on Rethinking the City, organized by the Center for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS) at the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi, even as stating that Western concept of city cannot be applied on India, insisted, urban areas were conceived as infrastructure, disregarding the actual inhabitants who live in there. Those who participated in the webinar included Prof Pithamber Rao Polsani, Faculty and Dean, School of Advanced Studies and Research, Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design & Technology, and Tikender Singh Panwar, Former Deputy Mayor, Shimla and Visiting Senior Fellow, IMPRI. The session was initiated by Tikender Singh Panwar providing the context on the current state of city planning in India. He emphasized the need for more sustainable models in order improved urban habitation. Prof Pithamber Rao Polsani focused on two important factors that force us to rethink the city as a construct and a space of habita

As Afghan economy crumbles, West working out emergency plans for 'cash airlifts'

By MK Bhadrakumar*  The Taliban is getting many suitors lately. It is far from the “pariah” that the Biden Administration thought it was destined to be. During the past month alone, the Taliban received six suitors from the region and beyond offering courtship – the foreign minister of Qatar; the special envoys of Russia, China and Pakistan; the High representative of UK Prime Minister; and the foreign minister of Uzbekistan who visited Kabul on Thursday.