E-governance will be worth Rs 41,000 crore over the next six years

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Bhaskaruni Sudhakar is the delivery head of the s-governance practice at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). In a chat with Srinivasa Rao Dasari he discusses the growing segment and TCS' role in it
Could you detail the contribution of TCS to e-governance? TCS has successfully conceptualised, developed and implemented large and complex solutions for many government departments in India and abroad. To consolidate its experience in providing solutions to governments, TCS has created an s-governance (smart governance) practice. We were the first IT consultancy firm to set up a practice for governance, and have built up an experience base of 7,500 man-years over the past few years. The practice caters exclusively to the needs of governments in India and abroad. A few of the major frameworks done for various governments are: Improving the efficiency of a state secretariat's knowledge management and file processing system through SmartGov. It was the first project in India for improving the internal efficiencies of a state secretariat. Improving the supply chain efficiency of agricultural produce markets for rural farmers, and eliminating middle-men by setting up an online Rythu Bazaar through RythuNet. Developing software for the National Crime Records Bureau; Indian Air Force; Ministry of External Affairs; Indian Navy; Directorate of Land Records, Government of Karnataka; ordnance factories and head post offices. Providing consultancy services to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India; to the Income Tax administration of the department of revenue; for public finance reform and institutional strengthening, Government of Madhya Pradesh; and for sales tax policy and procedures for the sales tax commissioner, Government of Delhi. Executing overseas projects for the Inland Revenue Board, Government of Malaysia; Royal Jordan Air Force; Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Sultanate of Oman; Mauritius National Computing Board; and New Mexico's Department of Labour in the US. What kind of government departments have been covered so far? TCS has worked on a number of management consultancy and application development projects for various departments of Indian and foreign governments. At the state-level, we have done work for the secretariat, health department, commercial taxes department, water supply and sanitation department, irrigation department, sales tax commissioner's offices, and road transport corporations. At the central level we have done work for the finance ministry, National Stock Exchange, Stock Holding Corporation, MTNL, Accountant General's Office, Department of Post and Ministry of Communication. How many products and solutions has TCS developed for smart governance? We have developed quite a few projects. There is the SmartGov for improving internal efficiency, a portal for an integrated citizen services framework, SmartTax for value-added taxes and other taxation systems, RythuNet for connecting the agricultural produce market, and IFIS, which stands for integrated finance and information system. How big is the e-governance market in the country? E-governance is a growing market throughout the world. With more and more governments in India ready to spend on improving their efficiencies and processes, the total market here is about Rs 41,000 crore over the next six years. These figures include hardware. Since most of the investment goes into infrastructure and hardware, what are the margins in developing e-governance projects? The margins are very thin. Also, the projects are of long duration, with extended implementation cycles. In order to overcome these, it is imperative that we build replicable solutions/frameworks that would lead to a win-win situation for both governments and IT vendors. Recently, the AP government thought of allocating a share in e-governance projects to small and medium IT companies. The Hyderabad Software Exporters Association (HYSEA) also came out with a proposal in this regard. What is the current status? HYSEA is working with the AP government to chalk out a separate framework with the objective of giving small and medium enterprises (SMEs) more opportunities in e-governance projects. The state government had announced a weightage of 10 percent in specific e-governance projects for SMEs in its new ICT policy a few months ago.

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