August 2008

IT Empowered MCD

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IT enabled MCD serves as a catalyst for enabling more effective governance by enhancing efficiency, providing transparency, allowing for citizen's participation, providing better access to services, creating a wider access to information, effective decision making by the officials and an improved service delivery mechanism.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), an autonomous body, is the second biggest civic body of the world. It organises civic services for nearly 94% of geographic area of Delhi. 97% of the population of Delhi resides within the jurisdiction of MCD. Recognising the importance and need of Information Technology (IT) in all spheres of civic services, MCD initiated IT application in the civic body. In 2002, IT Department was established with a mission to ensure enterprise wide implementation of current standards in IT.

MCD provides a range of  services to more than 15 million of citizens residing within its jurisdiction. Therefore, the civic body focuses on the use of IT in the services provided to people. The best example is the health department which collaborated with IT Department and took a pioneering step in application of IT in different fields of health care administration and tried to improve the operational efficiency and better productivity of the units. Implementation of IT in health department is being organised by the Bureau of Health Intelligence.

The experiences gained by civic body in application of IT to health sector are worth sharing as we feel that there is tremendous potential for using our experiences by other civic bodies in India in delivery of more effective health services.

Areas of Digitisation and their Benefits

The various areas in which digitisation has been accomplished are:-

  1. Registration of Birth and Death (RBD): This was the first area to be digitised by  health department. Registration of birth and death occurring in the jurisdiction of MCD is being done by the health department. Municipal health officer is designated as the Additional Chief Registrar, MCD. OIVS (heads Bureau of Health intelligence and assist Chief Registrar), is the Additional Chief Registrar and DHO (assists Deputy MHO in day to day work and office administration) of each zone are designated Registrar. The sub-registrars posted at each zonal Citizen Service Bureau (CSB) are authorised to issue birth and death certificate in their zone.

     Since January 1971 the registration of birth and death for the Union Territory of Delhi is carried out as per the provision of Registration of Births and Deaths (RBD) Act, 1969. The average number of registration of birth and death per year is 3,25,000 (approximately). The computerisation of birth and death registration system in MCD commenced from 19th February 2003.
  2. Digitisation of Records: The Central Record Room, inaugurated on 6th May 2005, preserves all the birth and death records from 1879 to 1990. The records from 1991- 2008 are in the zones. The health department has started digitisation of records of birth and death through outsourcing and has completely digitised all records up to 1998. These records have been up-loaded to the MCD website and act as a back up for preservation.
  3. The Online Institutional Registration (OLIR) scheme was implemented on  Ist January 2004. In this scheme all the MCD hospitals and most of the government and private hospitals/institutions were empaneled and provided user ID and password. Today, nearly 400 hospitals have been empaneled with the MCD for online institutional registration of birth and death.

     Computerisation of RBD has helped in providing quality services, and has facilitated quick search and ability to handle large volume of data. It has also helped in generating reports and in developing transparency by reducing response time through simplification of the procedure.
  4. Registration and Renewal of Health Trade License: Issue and renewal of health trade licenses has also been computerised. The health trade records from all zones have been digitised and have been uploaded in the MCD website. All the DHOs have been provided Management Information Scheme (MIS) reports in their login.
  5. Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (NDSS): A unique web based software has been developed and implemented for effective disease surveillance of notifiable communicable diseases. This surveillance system is useful in quick identification of patient and in organising immediate remedial measures in the locality. All 400 empaneled hospitals in 12 zones of MCD are availing this facility.
  6. Computerisation of MCD Hospitals and Development of Hospital  Information System (HIS): An agreement was signed with WIPRO Health Care Ltd. on 14.10.2004. The activities involved training of all staff in computer basics and software, installation of LAN, software procurement, desktop, server, printers etc. were initiated in 2005. In 2008, HIS has successfully been implemented at all six hospitals of MCD. Swami Dayanand hospital was selected as a pilot hospital for HIS implementation. In the remaining hospitals HIS was implemented in a phased manner.

     This has helped in improving the quality of patient's care, nursing productivity, communication, and in developing a common clinical database, with faster and easy access to information and better hospital management. Besides, it also allows for sharing of information on investigations and treatment of the patient  between hospitals.
  7. Implementation of e-Tendering Process: The health department started implementation of e-Tendering process in 2005. All concerned officials have been provided desktops, adequate training and digital signatures for floating tenders online. The procedure provides transparency, removes bias and ensures timely procurement.
  8. Citizen Relationship and Grievances Management System (CRGMS): Online redressal of citizen grievances is operational in the health department w.e.f (With Immediate Effect) from 2007.
  9. Website for MCD: Information on different activities organised by health department is given in the home page of MCD (http://mcdonline.gov.in/) in the form of FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), citizen guide etc. with the aim of improving services to the citizens by introducing electronic capabilities and practices so as to reduce cost, increase efficiency and ensure transparency as also to foster quality and accountability of services rendered. This along with the RTI Act 2005 has reinforced the thrust for an informed and participatory citizens for efficient e-Governance.
  10. Linking of Immunisation with Birth Records: LIBRE, an IT project for linking immunisation with birth registration was commissioned on 9th April 2008.  In  this,  32  maternity homes of MCD have been provided with a software which will enable them to know the exact immunisation status of the child, it allows for tracking down of immunisation drop-outs and will be helpful in monitoring vaccine preventable diseases. It also allows identification of unregistered births and provides an interface for the parent to get their child registered. The additional benefit to the users is generation of Management Information System (MIS) reports for internal reporting and onward communication.
  11. e-Governance: The process of e-Governance in six major departments of MCD health, engineering, property tax, citizen services, HR (Human Resource)/personnel, finance and education has been initiated in 2008.

    e-Governance once implemented will transform the citizen services, provide access to information and enable their participation.
  12. Computerised Citizen Service Bureau: MCD started this unique path breaking IT initiative to deliver electronically its services to citizens of Delhi through a Citizen Service Bureaus (CSBs) set up in each zone. This serves as a single window port for the citizens to avail different services. These bureaus are run by a consortium of IT companies namely ECIL and Sark Systems Ltd. The services that have been offered in these citizen service bureaus are as follows:
  • Registration of births and deaths and issuing of certificates.
  • Accepting applications for all kinds of licences and issuing
    them once the approval is received from the concerned office.
  • Booking of parks for holding private functions.
  • Renewal of health trade licences.
  • Accepting all kinds of payments.

Challenges Faced: To re-engineer the existing services from manual
to a virtually electronic system has been an up-hill task. Implementation of these IT projects in health sector calls for:

  • e-Procurement: It involves installation of hardware and software for the offices/institutions, broad band connectivity.

e-Readiness: One of the most important factors for the successful implementation of projects is identification of a capable coordinator and training of the users
in software.

  • Sustenance Measures: Sustaining the IT initiatives comes with the financial implications of bearing a recurrent cost for maintaining the hardware installed, replacement/procurement of the additional hardware, software and security  measures and engagement of IT skilled manpower for ensuring smooth operationality of the IT enabled processes and the need to constantly review the system and improve it further.

It would be appropriate to mention the successful implementation of the birth and  death registration system in MCD. The success of MCD has prompted the RGI and UNICEF to recommend the replication of MCD model on registration of birth and death in other parts of the country.

Needless to say that today IT enabled MCD serves as a catalyst for enabling more effective governance by enhancing efficiency, providing transparency, allowing for citizen's participation, providing better access to services, creating a wider access to information, effective decision making by the officials and an improved service delivery mechanism.

Multi-Lingual Portal for the Marginalised Launched in India

The President, Pratibha Devisingh Patil, launched the Government's multi-lingual portal in New Delhi, which will provide information on strategic needs of the poor and the marginalised in local languages.

The portal titled 'India Development Gateway,'
http://www.indg.in/, will connect rural communities for sharing and accessing information in sectors such as – Agriculture, Rural Energy, Education, Health and e-Governance.

The services are available in the following languages – Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and English. It is stated that the service will be extended to more sectors and more languages very soon. The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) in association with the e-Governance division of the Department of Information Technology, Government of India has executed the initiative.

Government of India Launches e-Passport

The Government of India plans to issue e-Passports to diplomats from August 2008 and to the citizens from the September 2010 onwards.

The biometric passports was presented first to President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Vice-President Hamid Ansari.

Globally, 41 countries have incorporated e-Passports in the country, and India is now the new entrant in the list.

Speaking on the initiative, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee stated that “Around 80,000 e-Passports would be issued by 2010,”

The e-Passports would consist of an electronic chip containing all relevant personal data of the holder. This would simplify the procedures of immigration to a large extent. The Central Passport Organisation, New Delhi, India Security Press, Nashik, and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur are the main organisations behind the biometric passports.

Pratibha Patil said that, “I call upon the Central Passport Organisation to take steps to upgrade their resources according to international standards. It will make the passport more secure,” She also commented that, security is a major issue in the e-Passport scheme.

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