The Ministry of Information Technology plans to set up an agency to fast-track the implemention of National e-Governance plan, or NeGP, by coordinating efforts, providing resources and building a specialised team that would help the states execute their part in the plan. Currently, the ministry runs the NeGP project through the programme management unit and a committee to give it a direction.
NeGP comprises 27 mission mode projects in Indian states and 10 programmes including those related to land records, ministry of corporate affairs, the income tax and central excise departments, as also some 113,000 common service centres, or CSCs, statewide area networks, or SWANs, and state data centres across India. The plan has been repeatedly delayed since it was flagged off in March 2006. Thus, there is a felt need for creating a national agency, with a dedicated professional team, which can put together all the components of the NeGP.
The agency would be on the lines of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, which runs the information management function for Singapore government. It is responsible for planning, managing and implementing information technology projects, and oversees tech standards, policies, guidelines and procedures.
The ministry is still to decide on the structure of proposed agency – whether it will be a registered firm or a society, and whether it will hire people from within the government or outside – by discussing it with the ministry of finance. The proposed agency could benefit the NeGP project and help build a strong skill-set of people responsible for it, says an analyst.