The ‘Oomen Chandy Show’ is a hit, as Chief Minister puts live webcam in his office In an environment where news of corruption in high places – mostly political – has angered lay Indians for weeks now, the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Kerala, decided to make a gesture towards transparency: he put two live web cams ( connected to his web page) in his chamber in the adjacent office shared by his staff – albeit with the sound muted. Will this combat corruption? Reactions have generally been positive and the site has seen a huge increase in hits – especially after a story in the New York Times. We bring you the story courtesy our media partner Kerala IT News – as well as links to other media coverage.
By Anil Philip
Editor, Kerala IT News
You can now check online what the Chief Minister of Kerala, Shri Oommen Chandy is doing, provided he is in his official chamber. And if he is not there, you can see what’s happening in the CM’s office at the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram. The live webcasting of the CM’s office was launched today. The CM’s office works 24x7 on all the days.
The official website of the Chief Minister was also launched on the occasion. As part of the 100 day programme of the UDF Government, which came into power in May 2011, the Chief Minister had announced a slew of e-governance initiatives including live webcasting from his office to increase transparency in governance. It’s an achievement for the government that this initiative has been implemented within 28 days of his announcement.
Interacting with the media, the CM said, “It is a priority of this government to make its functioning transparent. We will carefully attend all the petitions that we receive on the website.” He also added that details about the assets of the Ministers would be uploaded on the CM’s website and this would be updated every year. A toll free number for people to call the CM’s office would be introduced soon.
The weekly Cabinet briefing from the PR Chamber is also expected to go live on the website from next week. There are also plans for live webcasting of CM’s programmes in Trivandrum city. The webcasting has been implemented by C-DiT. Two surveillance cameras, one each in the CM’s chamber and office and a dedicated internet connection from BSNL is being used for this purpose.
During 2004-06, in his previous tenure as Kerala’s Chief Minister, Shri Oommen Chandy had initiated live webcasting from his office but it was discontinued when the LDF came into power in 2006 and V S Achuthanandan became the CM.
Kerala IT News story http://keralaitnews.com/e-governance/118-e-governance/2612-kerala-cm-office-live-webcasting
Link to Kerala CM’s web page ( with webcam): http://www.keralacm.gov.in/
The Hindu: 24x7 webcast of Chief Minister's office http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2150247.ece
New York Times: Transparent Government, via Webcams in India http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/18/business/global/in-india-an-official-puts-a-webcam-in-office.html?_r=2
Mint: A new anti-corruption device. The thought that the cameras will in any way reduce corruption is ludicrous
Khaleej Times: Catch Kerala CM at work
live on Internet ( by T K Devasia) http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/July/international_July45.xml§ion=international&col=
Digital Trends.com: Public web office cam helps Indian govt stay honest http://www.digitaltrends.com/international/public-webcam-helps-indian-government-office-stay-honest/
Indian Express/ IBN: Showing now, Chandy office silent movie http://ibnlive.in.com/news/showing-now-chandy-office-silent-movie/164465-60-116.html
July 23 2011