August 19, 2016

High-tech and Our Life

My grandfather, U Ba Sein is 85-year-old pensioner who worked more than 3 decades with General Administration Department (GAD). Last week I paid a visit to my grandfather in order to pay homage to him during the Buddhist Lent period. Having offered him with foods and others suitable items for the retiree, I, as usual, was having conversation with him. He at one point said “My grandson, during our time in the Government service, we had no IT equipment nor any high-tech communication gadgets. We used hard copies, files, mechanical typewriters, postal services. But we managed all matters handled properly and performed our duties in good time and met the targets set. In this time nevertheless, new generation are so accustomed to IT, internet and it seems that all Government departments and all companies and entities are to cease their operation and services if they do not have internet, IT & web sites.” That is true. In our time not only the Government departments and companies, almost all individuals have at least one email account. In addition, people, old & young, are using Facebook, Twitter as well. Then internet based Viber, Tango, Skype and Pfingo provide voice, text, message, photos & videos communication from one person to another in any part of the world. In our country, too, thanks to the electronic Government systems developed lately, all kinds of public services are available to the public at a click of a computer mouse. People are so happy to get all services very efficiently without losing their time and effort. No need to quae, no hassle any more. For one instance, one can apply a passport on line, by downloading the forms from the official website of the concerned Government department. Fill up the form attach a soft copy recent photograph, pay the cost specified the concerned Government from the own bank account to department bank account and submit online. The concerned department will process and reply through online within 24 hours. You will receive your passport within 3 days by Government post right to your home. Likewise, we can buy air tickets, train and highway bus tickets, vessel tickets to any domestic destination as well as for air travel to any country in the world. In addition, agricultural and poultry farmers, traders can have access latest technologies, prices & market information, foreign exchange rates etc. on line to be able for then to be competitive worldwide.
Especially, national identification cards have been changed to the smart ID cards for all nationalities. Therefore everyone in our country with smart ID card has access to all online Government services efficiently, correctly and effortlessly. My grandfather U Ba Sein continued that “During old days, national identity card is pink color card with a photograph glued to it. If lost or damaged, it is very gruesome to reapply the ID card. I had also personal experience to have gone through the process. When I was assigned in Taungyi, Shan State, I lost my ID card, which was originally issued in my native town of Yay, Mon State. I had to reapply to get an ID card back, which took 3 to 4 months. Now a days, I have been told that to replace a smart ID card takes only 3 to 4 days since the concerned Government department has maintained a database for every person in the country. So it is no wonder everybody is currently happy to get that kind of efficient Government services, with peace of mind…….”. Having read an article in one online journal recently, I asked my grandfather a question about an issue which I did not understand fully. “Grand Pa, I read in online journal two days ago that some 25 years ago our country held a general election. Before the election-day there were a lot of confusion regarding incorrect names, ID numbers, father names, address etc. of the list of voters all over the country. The election commission had to correct, re-correct again and again, was that true, Grand Pa?” I asked. Then my grandfather explained that “That is true. By then people all over the country were very eager to cast votes to the political parties they liked. The lists of voters all over the country were incorrect and the commission had to reissue several times, I don’t remember how many times. But just compare with current time…….there is no need to prepare voter lists……anyone who live in the village or the quarter in any town or city, can come to the voting house on the election day to cast their votes with their smart ID cards only and the election authorities need to keep 2 to 3 computers to check online with population database maintained by Immigration Department nationwide. Your generation is very lucky. What a hassle free election and voting, my grandson! Ha HaHaHa …”. So I asked my last question to my grandfather “Exactly Grand Pa! You are also very knowledgeable and advanced minded. By the way Grand Pa, when was that election, with incorrect voter lists, took place in our country?”. Then immediately my grandfather raised his hands and shouted very loudly “That was in 2015!”My grandfather’svery loud voice shook and startled me, …….then I woke up from my daily nap after my lunch.


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