The J&K Government has issued recommendations to its officials and departments asking them to avoid private email service providers and rely on the online mailing service provided by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) citing safety and security measures.
“The use of emails in government offices is growing drastically and the information is instantly required to be disseminated between various organisations on day-to-day basis as it is the fastest means of communication,” read the state government circular, issued by its information technology department.
“For this purpose, various private email accounts are also being used (like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and Rediffmail) by many government officials. However, in order to ensure safe and secure access to government information and data, it is strongly recommended that all government departments and offices use NIC email,” the circular stated.
The NIC, which was established in 1976 and has emerged as a ‘prime builder’ of e-government and e-governance applications, is the implementing agency of central government’s email policy and is mandated to provide email accounts to the government officials.
The circular also stated that nodal officers, no less than the rank equivalent to the grade of Under Secretary, should be designated in each department and office to ensure implementation of the Union Government’s email policy. It said the policy should be followed by “all officials with no exception”.
The 16-page email policy of the Central government orders that the online mailing service provided by the NIC should be used for official communications by all organisations. The policy, however, exempts organisations, including those dealing with national security, that currently have their own independent mail servers which are hosted in the country.
The use of Internet in J&K has increased considerably over the last decade after mobile phone communication was launched in the state in 2003.