December 2014

Innovations & Initiatives in e-Governance

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R ChandrashekharR Chandrashekhar, President, NASSCOM
All of us have seen the journey of e-Governance in India from different angles, different snapshots and different perspectives — be it from the perspective of particular state, particular ministry or a particular slice of time when we happened to associate with it. We have made considerable progress with respect to e-Governance but not significant enough; it is nowhere near in terms of what is needed and what people require and for that matter what the government has been aspiring for. The scale and speed, what the PM often mentions, is the next big challenge in e-Governance. We know many things are possible; we need not look just at the technology and solution but also the process for the deployment of technology.

R O Sunil BabuR O Sunil Babu, Regional Passport Officer, Cochin
Passport Seva project was initiated with an aim to provide a citizen service with smile at his doorsteps. Passport Seva is a PPP project in collaboration with Tata Consultancy Services. People who have got their passports before 2010 and those who are getting them now can experience the huge difference in the improved system. With new passport delivery system, a person hardly requires more than 60 minutes in a passport office. With the new passport system, police verification is not necessary, as it is instructed to the Indian Postal Department officials to deliver the passport only at the postal address given on the envelope.

Rajesh AggarwalRajesh Aggarwal, Principal Secretary, IT, Govt of Maharashtra
Entire Digital India platform is talking about new technologies, ease of access to broadband and wifi. The focus is more on the use of the Cloud first. All the major programmes are being centralised and put on the Cloud. Every scheme and programme has to be digital first. I have published a paper on meeting the demand and supply gap by different methods and technologies. e-Tendering, first in -first out, lottery and merit are the methods through which selections are made in various government services. And the methods have been successfully implemented using mobile, Cloud and computerisation.

Dr Ashok DalwaiDr Ashok Dalwai, Deputy Director General, UIDAI, Tech Centre, Bangalore
Aadhaar is not directly related to any application for e-Governance activities. A number of applications have been showcased as a platform to help and understand what is happening all around in the e-Governance sphere. But unlike other applications, Aadhaar provides a platform to make life hassle-free for the citizens. Today in India, the services are not obliged to be provided only by the government, as many services nowadays are offered by the private sector as well. Aadhaar-enabled solutions provide ease to individuals to carry out businesses in simpler and easier manner. The ease of business, however, for both individuals and companies happens when services are effective and efficient, and that can be provided only by technology. Technology doesn’t discriminate between people; it is always neutral. There is a critical need of neutral technology that doesn’t discriminate between faces and is efficient and fast, and Aadhaar provides platform for such an environment.

Tripurari SharanTripurari Sharan, Principal Secretary-IT, Government of Bihar
Recently, many steps have been taken to boost IT development in the state of Bihar, which was quite late in taking steps in the field of e-Governance, and yet, Bihar has been successful in inviting investments in the information technology sector to a great extent and we have also worked tirelessly towards it despite the handicaps faced by us. There are many MIS projects and treasury-related services where e-Governance can be introduced, but the real challenge is to integrate them into one comprehensive unit and run alongside the Right to Service Platform. The focus is towards State Services Delivery Gateway. When fully functional, it will enable a citizen to get information about services from 52 departments through a single portal.

Shagufta ParveenShagufta Parveen, Chairperson, Jammu & Kashmir Services Selection Board
Natural, geographical, social and environment problems make Jammu and Kashmir different from the rest of India. In J&K, the government is the biggest job provider and we faced a great challenge of filling up 25,000 government posts lying vacant for many years. To counter this, we categorised the posts on educational basis and conducted examinations against the vacancies. The entire evaluation work was done on computers. From the next session, we would be inviting applications online and will provide an ID number to every candidate for getting the entire information online.

Manish KumarManish Kumar, Head- Central Government, Wipro Infotech
During implementation of any project in India, we always get so much to learn from the surfacing problems, mainly on account of the huge diversity. At the end of the day, it is heartening to see that despite of all the diversity and differences, projects like Passport Seva Kendra sees the light of the day. However, in running these projects successfully, some best practices need to be adopted and it is necessary that those practices are documented and approved. For the successful implementation of projects like e-Governance, leaders, people in the government as well as those who implement them at the ground level need to be trained in best practices and standards.

Nagendran SundarajanNagendran Sundarajan, Executive Vice President, MertiTrac
The important component in a test is its development and delivery. For a test development, setting up a series of questions is not enough; test’s validity and reliability is also important. The validity test is similar to a driving test where a person is judged by one’s driving skills in addition to a written test. Technology helps construct a relevant test. Computer-based test delivery, which also brings simulationbased tests, is one of the methods used for selecting the right candidate.

Vivekanand VenugopalVivekanand Venugopal, Vice President & General Manager, Hitachi Data Systems
Hitachi’s practice of focusing on the social and economic transformation in and through each of its projects is carried forward in the governance projects. We provide integrated power systems, transport systems, health equipment and integrated healthcare solutions, and have been doing this for many years. The question, however, remains whether the government will be able to use the data and information that is already there. In the last 12 months, we have helped government at the Centre as well as in states leverage on their e-Governance projects, through the managed use of data and information.

Prashant ChaudharyPrashant Chaudhary, Sr Director, Sales – Government, CA Technologies
Application of economics is making a very relevant impact on the environment around us. If you look at the numbers, it is not office applications but applications for various government services that lead over others. In India, the Internet penetration is quite low, but mobile penetration is high, and therefore, the government is focussing on mobile governance in a big way. Applications are on mobile, Cloud and in data centres. Our role as a service provider is to ensure that all applications function properly and effectively.

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