Maharashtra: Paperwork makes way for WhatsApp, email in govt offices

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Written by Sandeep A Ashar | Mumbai | Published: June 6, 2020 2:40:01 am

coronavirus in maharashtra, uddhav thackeray, maharashtra work from home, maharashtra office work, maharashtra goverment offices work from home, maharashtra govt files sent through whatas app, indian express news On Friday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led general administration department issued new work-from-home protocols for its employees and several offices. (File)

With work-from-home becoming the new normal, the Maharashtra government has now shifted most of its daily business to virtual platforms.

On Friday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led general administration department issued new work-from-home protocols for its employees and several offices. Under the new rules, the departments have been asked to get bulk of the official work processed from home through emails and WhatsApp messages.

A senior official, however, clarified that “classified papers and files” cannot be processed from home.

The new rules even permit transfer and approval of files through emails. All head of the departments have been asked to obtain official and alternate email Ids and WhatsApp numbers of all employees. When a new file or a proposal is generated on email, all departments, desks and officials related to it will have to be kept in the loop, the rules added.

The IT department has been tasked with ensuring logistical support to employees working from home. Officials said that it has also been tasked with ensuring that files are protected against malware and malicious content. The government has already issued instructions asking departments to avoid too many one-on-one meetings.

With the state being at the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic, most government buildings are functioning with just a skeletal strength of staff. Departments have been asked to stagger work hours and rosters to ensure a minimal number of employees at their offices.

Maharashtra has so far reported 80,229 cases and 2,849 deaths. In Mumbai and other red zones, government offices have been allowed to call only 15 per cent of their staff to work on rotational basis.

The National Informatics Centre (NIC) e-office platform is being used extensively to transfer files and streamline workflow.
In the past, the public sector has caught flak for being slow in adopting a work culture involving less paper work. A senior government official said that the pandemic has virtually forced a digital shift.

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