January 2013

The Key Lies in Uniformity and Consolidation

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“We need to bring smarter systems to manage growing needs of city infrastructure projects and assets. We need systems which not just manage the data but apply analysis on this data as well,” says SoftTech Engineers Founder Chairman & CEO Vijay Gupta

What changes and improvements did you notice on e-Governance front in the year 2012?

ICT has provided governments around the world with a cost-effective channel for enabling good governance. The major change I see today is that the government leadership team has acknowledged that e-Governance is perhaps the only way to bring transparent and efficient service delivery mechanism to citizens. IT literacy has shown a marked improvement over the years. Resistance to IT solutions has decreased considerably and government employees no longer see such solutions as a threat to their jobs. We also observe that government officers exhibit a lot of professionalism in evaluating the solutions.

SoftTech has introduced products that can bring efficiency to two core services–Building Plan Permits (AutoDCR) and Infrastructure Works Procurement Process (PWIMS). AutoDCR is a unique solution for automation of building plan approval. It reads CAD drawings and maps them to the development control regulations to produce a deviation/approval report. PWIMS has been accepted by many PWDs and works organisations like MIDC to address and automate their entire Infrastructure.

What policy reforms are you looking forward to in 2013 for the e-Governance sector to be more successful?

The most important thing for successful e-Governance project implementation is change management. The officials should be  motivated enough to provide new services to the citizens. There is no lack of talent among government officials, but they need to be motivated. They should be rewarded in the form of cash or credit for taking e-Governance initiatives. This will change their attitude.

With respect to our specific area of building plan approval, we need to have some reforms in terms of defining uniform procedure throughout the organisation. We need to bring smarter systems to manage growing needs of city infrastructure projects and assets. It is well known that government departments are working with less number of efficient manpower. We need systems which not just manage the data but apply analysis on this data as well.

What are the areas in which your company will engage more with the government for ICT initiatives this year?

SoftTech has strong expertise in government organisations dealing with implementations of civil infrastructure projects.  e-Governance has been our core strength over the past decade. We have partnered with global giants like IBM, Microsoft and Autodesk to bring the best-of-the-breed solutions for the government agencies. In 2013, we will be providing business intelligence and business process automation solutions on top of our offerings which will help senior officers in getting deep insight into the operations. We are at different levels of discussions with various ULBs for deploying Intelligent Operations Centre (IOC) which is the next generation service approach for smarter cities.

What expectations do you have from the government for your specific sector in which SofTech is present?

Coming up with a comprehensive building regulation bylaws in line with practical need of the city and a very clear documentation on  how these should be interpreted is a basic need. The rules should be simplified considering the current and expected growth of the city.

We should have seamless connectivity of land records and revenue records to building permission department to avoid malpractices. The process of providing permit for building construction needs to be re-engineered considering era of digital age. It is necessary that entire approval process is simplified for consultants and architects.

They should not approach various departments within the same organisation for different NOCs needed by different departments like drainage, fire, water supply, etc. The approach should be Single Window Clearance for all such NOCs.

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