April 2007

GeBIZ

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Great progress has been made in the area of e-Procurement, which is an example of the PPP model in action. Online tenders are now a reality in India. Soon, the Government’s entire tendering process is expected to happen online. Spurred by the large, rapidly expanding potential of the e-Governance market, a host of IT solutions providers are jumping into the fray with an array of offerings.

E-Governance has become a key priority for India’s central and state Governments for the past few years. Intent on improving its interface with citizens and enhancing the delivery of services to ordinary people, the Government has been spending thousands of crores of rupees on e-Governance projects. Initially, e-Governance programmes in India were being implemented individually in various states, leading to regional imbalances in the development of e-Governance in the country.

As a solution, the Department of Information Technology (DIT) initiated an integrated approach, termed the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), for rolling out e-Governance uniformly across India. The NeGP includes 26 Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) and eight support components. The Mission Mode Projects are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2007. The Plan itself carries an allocation of a massive INR 23,000 crores for e-Governance projects. In addition, several Indian states have devoted large resources for eGovernance rollouts. In 2005-06 alone, IT spending by the Government increased 30 percent, to touch INR 6934 crores (USD 1.5 billion).

Clearly, these are a sign of the times. As e-Governance becomes serious business in India, a huge opportunity is emerging for IT solutions providers keen on addressing this segment. Increasingly, IT organisations are looking at solutions that fi t the requirements of e-Governance in an innovative, cost effective and productive manner. The Indian Government itself, is keen on building Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) to further the cause of e-Governance and create an infrastructure of private sector support for its projects.

A directive from the Prime Minister’s offi ce in January 2003 to a large number of ministries, in fact, asked them to buy services from the private sector for automation/e-Governance rollouts.

In line with this directive, various projects have been implemented by the Government of India and state governments in association with private players, primarily IT companies. The notable ones include the Bhoomi project of the Karnataka state government, MCA-21 of the Ministry of Company Affairs, the eCOP project of the Andhra Pradesh (AP) government, the e-Krishi Vipanan, a PPP in the area of agricultural marketing, among others.

Great progress has also been made in the area of e-Procurement, which again is an example of the PPP model in action. Online tenders are now a reality in India. Soon, the Government’s entire tendering process is expected to happen online.

Spurred by the large, rapidly expanding potential of the e-Governance market, a host of IT solutions providers are jumping into the fray with an array of offerings. NIIT Technologies, a leading global IT corporation has been building its credentials in the Government market, and more recently in the Indian e-Governance space.

The company has been providing several cutting-edge solutions to demanding Government customers like the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force). It has also created GIS solutions for several departments in the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Government of Andhra Pradesh. Very recently, the company inked a strategic contract with Singapore’s Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), to cement the partnership between the two organisations and support e-Governance initiatives being unveiled in that country.

As part of the contract, DSTA will be outsourcing the development and maintenance support of its Government Electronic Business portal (GeBIZ) to NIIT Technologies. GeBIZ, developed by DSTA, was successfully implemented for Singapore’s government agencies in 2000. The GeBIZ portal (www.gebiz.gov.sg), is a one-stop e-Business site which facilitates trading between government organisations and their local and overseas suppliers, on an “anytime, anywhere” basis.

Currently, around 150 government agencies, representing approximately 15,000 users, upload their quotation requests and tenders on GeBIZ. Around 20,000 suppliers use GeBIZ to submit their bids online and undertake transactions with various Government entities. The fully electronic process has resulted in signifi cant time and cost savings for its users.

NIIT Technologies will be productising the application and marketing the solution to other Governments in South Asia, Middle East and Central Europe. It is this solution that NIIT Technologies is also keenly positioning in the Indian market.

Currently, the processes for tendering and bid assessment used by the Government are inappropriate and pose a challenge. NIIT Technologies’ e-Procurement solution is expected to revolutionise the system using which the Government makes its crucial purchases, and create a smooth interface between Government departments and their suppliers.

Going forward, NIIT Technologies will be actively marketing GeBIZ in India, targeting the solution at the central and state Governments in the process of unveiling crucial e-Governance plans.

Website: http://www.gebiz.gov.sg/
Started: Year 2000
Current Status: around 150 government agencies, representing approximately 15,000 users, upload their quotation requests and tenders on GeBIZ.

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