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Why can't NRIs see the Gujarat govt website supposedly meant for them?

Neeraj Nanda
In continuation of my previous blog, my friend in Melbourne, Neeraj Nanda, on reading it, tried to see if a Gujarat government site of the General Administration Department (GAD), which I opened sitting in Ahmedabad, is opening in Australia, too. Ironically, this site introduces itself as “Towards Smart Governance: Department’s main objectives lay strong foundations for citizens and fulfill their expectations and gain trust by finding measures through effective and responsive administration”.
The site, interestingly, has photographs of Gujarat chief secretary Anil Mukim, additional chief secretary (personnel) Kamal Dayani, and secretary (administrative reforms and training/non-resident Indians) Dhanjay Dwivedi, among others, in the right-hand panel. Despite the fact that the NRI secretary is one of the top three in the GAD list, my NRI friend failed to open the site!
Nanda phoned me up – of course on WhatApp – to tell me I was right. The Gujarat government sites were not opening. Editing South Asian Times from Melbourne, he sent me across a screenshot to confirm the message he got – that this site “can’t be reached” and that it is taking “too long to respond”. Nanda wondered, why was the state government – calling itself “smart” and a “model” for the rest of India – had “fire-walled” the its sites for countries other than India.
“We are interested in finding out what is happening in India, particularly in Gujarat, from where India’s Prime Minister and Home Minister hail, and if the state government does not wish showcase what it is doing, then what is the point?”, he asked. “Is it a technical glitch or are they afraid of the state government sites might perhaps be hacked? Don’t they have good software engineers to take care of the issue?”
I smiled, but didn’t respond. Even in 2016, when I first wrote a piece on the state government sites were not opening in countries other than India, I had approached Nanda to find out whether this was true for Australia, and he immediately responded saying, I was right. He agreed, things have not changed over the last five years, but wondered: “Why?”
I scratched my head, and decided to see if the state government’s propaganda site, Directorate of Information, was available elsewhere in the world. I put the site address in GeoPeeker, which tells me  which places in the world a particular site could be seen. Of the six spots that it scanned today, Singapore, Brazil, Virginia, California, Ireland and Australia, it could be opened only in Virginia, on the eastern coast of the USA.

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