–PITB helping departments build and host websites for free
LAHORE: The websites of almost 200 government departments have been developed and each of them has detailed information of the concerned department in line with the Right to Know Act, Pakistan Today has learnt.
As per the details, the developed websites are of the provincial departments, attached departments, autonomous bodies, district departments, special institutions and other government departments. There are almost 42 major departments the websites of which have been completed by Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB), including Agriculture, Irrigation, Excise and Taxation, Energy, Cooperatives, Social Welfare and Women Development of Punjab.
The websites of the attached departments include those of Agriculture, Health, Irrigation, Home, Human Rights and Minorities Affairs, Higher Education, Forestry Wildlife and Fisheries, Food, Finance, Excise and Taxation, Environment Protection, Energy, Livestock, Planning and Development and others while that of the autonomous bodies include Punjab Seed Corporation, Punjab Privatisation Board, Punjab Cooperative Board for Liquidation, Punjab Revenue Authority and Higher Education to name a few.
It was further learnt that the websites of various schools and colleges of Punjab have also been developed which include Queen Mary College, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Government College of Science Wahdat Road, Government Gordon College Rawalpindi, University of Punjab, University of Sargodha and others.
Similarly, a district level portal has been developed which includes the information, history and other important details of 30 districts. These districts include Lahore, Khanewal, Khushhab, Okara, Narowal, Mianwali, Gujranwala, Sialkot and other districts of Punjab. Websites of special institutions have also been developed, including that of the Aitchison College, Lahore High Court, Punjab Pension Fund, Bank of Punjab and others.
The websites have been developed free of cost by PITB and a web portal named Punjab Portal has also been designed through which all these websites can be accessed. The information on these websites has been provided keeping in view the Right to Know Act and all relevant information required by any individual is available.
Sources informed Pakistan Today that several government departments were spending millions for the development of their websites whereas some had no websites and so lacked web presence. They further added that many of the departments were working effectively but could not showcase their work and activities through a properly maintained website.
They were of the view that many government departments lacked the capability of in-house servers for web hosting and due to shared servers most of the websites had inactive links or other technical issues. They also said that the main task was not website development, and running as well as its upgradation was more important for which PITB should take measures.
PITB Chairman Dr Umar Saif told Pakistan Today that the board had covered all major departments of Punjab. “We write a letter to the Implementation and Coordination Wing of Punjab on the behalf of PITB and they communicate to all the major departments of Punjab about the development and hosting of websites,” he said while informing this scribe of the procedure.
“The development and hosting of the website are done by PITB and this is an ongoing process where the departments are coordinating with our teams on a daily basis. We are developing websites using the latest formats and several departments whose websites are outdated have also been informed to get them revamped by PITB.”