New Delhi: Amid ever-increasing cases of coronavirus in the country and the economy going through an unprecedented recession, the Centre has come up with an interesting directive as it has told all ministries and departments to halt the printing of calendars, diaries, schedulers and other printed materials and asked them to publish them online in digital format.

An official statement said on Wednesday that all public sector units and state-run banks also have been directed to go digital in terms of these regularly printed materials.

The Finance Ministry cited global best practices and the adoption of digital technologies to increase productivity to back the move.

“Given the prevailing circumstances in which the world is increasingly moving towards adopting digital force-multipliers for productivity, the Government of India has decided to follow this best practice,” it said in a statement.

“There is to be no activity towards printing wall calendars, desktop calendars, diaries and other such material for use in the coming year by any Ministries/Departments/PSUs/PSBs and all other organs of the government,” added the ministry statement.

It noted that there is to be a concerted effort towards incorporating innovative methods in such matters. Using technological innovations for planning, scheduling and forecasting is well known to be economical, efficient and effective, added the statement.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his governance model have always seen technology as an enabler. Integrating technology into our work is in line with his vision,” it said.

Further, post the directive, coffee table books too won’t be published by the ministries and government departments and enterprises.

The ministry directed that innovative digital and online solutions, which will achieve the “same result” as physical calendars or diaries, are to be prioritised and to be put into practice.

The decision comes at a time when physical formats of documents and other paper materials are being replaced by the digital format as the world is moving towards a no or lesser contact trend amid the pandemic.

Further, the move also gains significance as the Indian economy is going through an unprecedented slowdown and on Monday the country reported a 23.9 per cent contraction in its GDP for the April-June quarter.

Such moves may help towards plugging unwarranted expenses of the government, when its expenditure and borrowings have surged and are likely to increase further to support the economy.

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Indo-Asian News Service or IANS is a private Indian news agency. The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service

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