UP Moves Up eGovernance Ladder
Where there’s will, there’s a way. With both population size and the geographical expanse exceeding those of many countries on the world map, the Government of Uttar Pradesh has gone all out to bridge the gap between the government and the governed through technology, writes Nirmal Anshu Ranjan of Elets News Network (ENN)
Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in the country, accounting for about 17 percent of the country’s population, is also the fourth-largest state in terms of size — covering nearly 9 percent of India’s geographical area. With 75 districts and nearly 1 lakh villages, the state is also larger than many countries in the world.
Given the enormous size of the land accommodating this huge population, governance becomes a herculean task, more so because no one size fits all. Reaching facilities and delivering citizen services remains a complex issue. It calls for the need to offer customised solutions to cater to different sections of the society residing under dissimilar circumstances.
In this context, technology-aided eGovernance tools come handy to bridge the gap between the government and the governed. In fact, information technology is a key enabler in economic development and improving the quality of citizen’s life. IT tools are being used to achieve the UP Government’s vision of creating an ‘e’-enabled society, effectively contributing to the social and economic development of the State. The State Government is using IT to make administration quick, responsive, transparent, hassle-free and accessible.
eGovernance in UP
The UP Government has emerged as a leading State in establishment of core eGovernance infrastructure projects such as State Wide Area Network (SWAN), State Data Centre (SDC), Common Service Centre, State Portal and other projects such as e-District, e-Village etc., to provide smart governance to its citizens.
Innovative, constructive and result-oriented decisions and the increasing use of ICT tools as facilitator for governance have tremendously benefitted the masses throwing up over 13.57 crore e-transactions in 2014 alone. State is taking various initiatives for making a digitally empowered UP with a vision to transform both the State and India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
In order to realise the Vision, the State is focusing on various areas that include:
- Electronic delivery of citizen-centric services through Common Service Centres (CSCs) as well as directly through Internet
- Robust eGovernance infrastructure
- Government process reengineering
- Paperless offices
- Transparency & accountability at every stage
- Capacity building
|e-Village: Citizen Services at Village Level|
In a major initiative to provide citizen centric services over the counter to the citizens, the Information Technology and Electronics Department of the Government of Uttar Pradesh has introduced e-Village scheme. The pilot version of the scheme is selecting at least one village of every district of the State.
|As per the plan, for issuing Domicile Certificate, the data pertaining to the particular village shall be digitised and approved by the official concerned of the state government and eventually the certificate shall be handed over to the applicant then and there. This scheme also aims to strengthen other government programmes involving public health, school attendance, public distribution system, agriculture-related schemes, etc.|
|The objective of e-Village is to provide smart, citizencentric, ethical, efficient and effective governance facilitated by technology. The initiative involves universal and non-discriminatory delivery of government services to citizens and improved efficiency, transparency and accountability for the government. The initiative features transformed government-citizen interface at all levels of administration, along with a shared governance model.|
|The project brings in strict adherence to citizen charter time limits and ushers in a whole new paradigm of over-the-counter services to ostensibly work flow services through massive porting and bulk signing of databases.|
|The kiosks are run by self-employed youth in the remote corners of the state who besides eking their livelihood provide a decentralised self-governance backbone to the administrative system.|
Major eGovernance Initiatives State Data Centre (SDC)
The State Data Centre is one of the core infrastructure projects implemented by the State. It is a centralised reservoir for data, information and services (central infrastructure to build central repository of information/data) for various departments of the Government of Uttar Pradesh. SDC is operational since 6th August 2012. Various State Departments such as Basic Education, Home (Police) Commercial Tax and Urban Development etc., have been hosted in the SDC. 42 Servers under e-District State-Wide Rollout Project have been Cloud-enabled in SDC. For achieving more efficiency and cost-effectiveness, the State is in the process of implementing SDC 2.0. It will assist the State departments by the provision of data/infrastructure as a service without any procurement process.
State Wide Area Network (SWAN)
UP-SWAN is one of the major core infrastructure projects in which a network of 885 nodes connecting all the blocks, tehsils and districts to the state capital has been established. It provides Voice, Data and Video connectivity for the backend process to improve delivery of services to the citizens. Now the State is planning to convert all sites into optical fibre cable up to the block level and increase the current bandwidth from 2mbps to 10mbps up to district level.
e-Delivery of Citizen Services
To create a system where there is no physical interface between citizens and government office and all service deliveries are at the doorsteps of common man with the help of ICT, 26 citizen centric services of eight State departments are being provided. More than 3.70 crore e-transactions have happened through electronic delivery. Facility to provide services to the citizens directly through internet without visiting the CSCs has also been developed, for which government order has also been issued. Now the State has planned to increase at least 90 more government services to be provided through Common Service Centres very shortly.
Common Service Centre (CSC)
In order to make provision of delivery of various government services (e.g. Caste, Income, Domicile, Birth/Death certificates, Khatauni etc.) at the doorsteps of the citizens, a total of 17,909 Common Service Centres (CSCs) are being set up in the rural areas of the State. As on date, more than 14,500 CSCs are operational.
Other Major Initiatives eDistrict
eDistrict project, implemented as pilot in six districts (Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Sultanpur, Raebareilly, Sitapur and Gorakhpur) is now being rolled out in the remaining districts of the State. Under the state-wide rollout, eGovernance cell/computer labs are being established in each district headquarters with 14 computers, each Tehsil with four computers, each Block with three computers and concerned departments with two computers each. Laptops are being provided to each SDM and Tehsildar for improving efficiency by enabling complete automated system. District eGovernance Societies (DeGS) have been constituted in each district. Also, e-District Managers have been hired in the districts to provide support in implementation of e-District project. All the necessary activities for Go-Live of the Project in 35 districts have been completed. The project has gone live in 21 districts apart from six pilot districts.
State has fixed a target to build the IT capacities of 40,000 officials under eDistrict’s state-wide rollout. More than 19,000 officials have been trained in 34 districts out of the target of training of 20,038 officials, while 19,320 officials are to be trained in the rest of 34 districts by 31st March 2015. Apart from this, various eGovernance awareness workshops and training programmes were organised in the State in the year 2013-14.
|Effective Policing Through CCTNS|
|The Uttar Pradesh Government has deployed the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems to create a comprehensive and integrated system for enhancing efficiency and effectiveness of policing in the State|
|The Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems or CCTNS is a Mission Mode Project under the National eGovernance Plan (NeGP) of the Government of India. CCTNS in UP aims at creating a comprehensive and integrated system for enhancing efficiency and effectiveness of policing through adoption of the principle of eGovernance and creation of a nationwide networking infrastructure for evolution of IT-enabled state-of-the-art tracking system around investigation of crime and detection of criminals.|
|An allocation of Rs 114 crore has been made for CCTNS project in UP by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). An MoU between UP Police and software developing agency NIIT was signed in 2012. Ernst & Young has been appointed as the State Project Monitoring Unit responsible for monitoring and management of the initiative on behalf of the UP Police Technical Services, the nodal agency for the project in the state.|
|Achievements of the Project
Under the CCTNS project, approximately 2,487 locations of police throughout the State have been automated including higher offices in police hierarchy, e.g. Circles, Sub-Divisions, Districts, Ranges, Zones, Police Headquarters and SCRB, including scientific and technical organisations having databases required for providing assistance and information for investigation and other purposes, e.g. finger print bureaux, forensic labs etc. Last 10 years of crime data is also being digitised.
Hardware, including computers, furniture and diesel generator sets, among other items, have been provided at over 1,500 Thanas. Over 12,000 police personnel trained in CAS RBT were evaluated by a third party assessment agency over a period of two months in nine training schools and colleges all over UP. Over 4,700 and 500 UP Police personnel passed in the training assessment by TPA in CAS Role Based and Troubleshooting Training, respectively. They have now been deployed in districts. The rest would be retrained by the system integrator.
Over 300 Change Management Workshops have been successfully conducted in the state to build appreciation of change management across the stakeholder groups.A CCTNS UP video was also released to educate and involve all audience groups to build understanding and ownership of the CCTNS project.
409 handholding staff members have been deployed at circle offices in 75 districts to ensure smooth functioning of CCTNS at the ground level. Over 18 lakh crime data have been digitised till date to bring the vision of “Paperless Police” even closer. Over 39,000 IIF Form – 1 and over 2,300 IIF Form – 2 have been generated till date in the state using CAS. Over 599 police stations are connected to the State Data Centre using CCTNS CAS for generating FIR and allied documents.
Lokvani project was started to work as a public grievances redressal facilitation system in the urban areas. The project uses the existing cyber cafes / computer training institutes and even the telephone PCOs, duly upgraded with required equipment, as licenced Lokvani kiosks. After the launch of State Portal on 1st August 2012, Lokvani kiosks are delivering all the 26 government services including Income, Caste and Domicile Certificates to the citizens in the urban area. The project is implemented through an autonomous society called Lokvani Society. More than 3,000 Lokvani Centres have been established in the urban areas in the State so far. Lokvani has won the Golden Icon Award at the 9th National eGovernance Conference 2006.
Nivesh Mitra (Investment Friend)
Nivesh Mitra is a single window system for entrepreneurs willing to set up industry in the State. The portal has facility for online submission and updating of all forms by the applicants desirous of setting up an enterprise in UP and facilitates faster and time-bound issuance of various approvals by the government.
All the complaints received on Tehsil Divas in all the 312 Tehsils are computerised. Tehsil Divas online service is available on portal http://tehsildivas.up.nic.in. Offline version is also in place where data entry of the complaints of the citizens is done and uploaded on the server. Both Lokvani and Tehsil Divas systems are integrated. Approximately, 32 Lakh applications have been registered through Tehsil Divas, out of which 31.3 lakh applications have been disposed of at a disposal rate of above 98.48 percent.
Modernisation of the Revenue Sector has been a top priority of the State Government, as it is the key to fiscal management and development of rural and urban infrastructure. All the major activities and constituents of the Finance Department, viz. budget preparation, allotment and control, Treasury Directorate and district treasuries, pension, pay, GPF etc., have been computerised. A dedicated service—Koshvani—has also been initiated.
Koshvani (http://koshvani.up.nic.in) is one-stop Finance Portal of the State where data received from all district treasuries is updated on real-time basis
- Expenditure and Budget Allotments and their grants can be viewed from Koshvani
- m Payment receipts/ transaction details of more than 6,000 Drawing and Disbursement Officers across the State can be viewed.
Computerisation of treasuries has been done through creation of anytime, anywhere web-site http://uptreasuries.up.nic.in and an application software ITSANIC. Website has the distinction of being the first official treasury website of the country and is updated directly from the district treasuries. It is used by the government officials, planners, economists and researchers.
- Online budget verification & cheque generation system
- Personal ledger accounting, remittance accounting (CCL/DCL) and receipt accounting up to system level
- Pension disbursement, inventory of stamps and valuables, pay bill preparation and voucher level compilation for the entire state
- Certified by the Indian Standards Organisation (ISO)
Uttar Pradesh is one of the first states in the country to prepare a fully digitised state budget. All the calculations for Annual Budget, the corresponding Supplementary Budget or Vote-on-Account are done through application software both in English and Hindi. The software is also used for pre-budget and post budget analyses, year-wise comparative analysis, and generation and printing books of budget. The budget is available on the website http:// upbudget.up.nic.in.
Land Record Computerisation (Bhulekh)
Bhulekh is one of the most important eGovernance applications that has transformed the process of maintenance of land records information and automated delivery of Record of Rights to the farmers. The manual system has been discontinued and the IT-based electronic delivery system has been implemented in all the 312 Tehsils impacting more than 25 million landowners across 1 lakh villages and 100 million plot holdings. It is one of the largest-ever rolled out IT projects in the State to benefit the common masses.
|Samajwadi Pension Yojana|
|The Uttar Pradesh Government has launched ‘Samajwadi Pension Yojana’, which will benefit about 40 lakh rural families living below poverty line. The new pension scheme will replace the Rani Laxmibai Pension Yojana, which will be phased out gradually. The new pension scheme was launched by the State Government in 2013-14 and, at present, there are about 25 lakh beneficiaries.|
|As per the new scheme|
- The beneficiaries would be entitled to a monthly pension of Rs 500 in 2014-15. The pension amount may to be raised by Rs 50 per year in the subsequent financial years if certain conditions are fulfilled. The maximum pension limit will be Rs. 750 per month.
- Compulsory education for children in the age group of 6 to 14 years with at least 70% attendance in school.
- To get a pension hike of `50, the beneficiary has to fulfill a few conditions, viz., to make adult members in the family literate, immunisation and regular health check-up of children, etc. The performance would be reviewed at the end of the next fiscal.
However, families whose members are getting any other pension, viz., Old Age Pension, own a motorised vehicle, income tax payee, government employee or employed in a private firm, are ineligible for getting benefits under the scheme.
Land Registry (Prerna)
Land Registry (Prerna) or Property Evaluation & Registration Application is one stop citizen-centric electronic solution for all kind of property registration. It has knowledge base of all the legislation, procedures with respect to deed registration and functions as a single window system for e-services like – market value assistance to the public in general and farmers in particular, on demand generation of encumbrance certificate, on-the-spot registration, electronic storage of deeds, endorsement and printing of generated photographs of Index Registers, etc. The project has been implemented in 147 Sub-Registrar Offices in 75 districts.
Online Pension Disbursement System
The Online Pension Disbursement System (old age, widow, handicap etc.) has benefitted more than 45 lakh pensioners of the State.
Uttar Pradesh is one of the pioneer states in the country to have used IT-based initiative for electronic transfer of scholarships that would benefit more than 4.2 crore children of the OBC, SC, ST, Minority and General categories. A complete web-based portal (http://scholarship.up.nic.in) has been designed to house all this data and dynamically link it with the banks for facilitating online disbursement of scholarships. The project has also helped the government in saving more than Rs. 700 crore by minimising frauds and misappropriations.
The vision of e-Suvidha is to eventually bring all the G2C, G2B and B2C services within the purview of e-Suvidha project so as to obviate the need for citizens and business people to visit government offices except for specialised and complex services. Citizens can avail any service from any of the e-Suvidha Service Centres across any counter without any jurisdictional limit.
The following services are presently being offered at e-Suvidha:
- Electricity Bill Payment Service
- Payment of Water Tax for Jal Sansthan
- Payment of House Tax for Nagar Nigam
- Payment of Housing Loan Installments for LDA
- Railway Ticketing Service
- BSNL Bill Payments / CellOne Services
The e-Procurement system has been implemented in the State and a State portal http://etender.up.nic.in has been developed. The departments have been given the option to publish their tenders on e-Tender portal. The highlights are:
- Envisioned as an end-to-end solution – right from indenting to final award of contract
- Till now, more than 12,860 tenders have been published through the e-Procurement system
- Tender processing time reduced from 180 days to 45 days.
- Cost savings in the tender processing up to 40 percent
Sugarcane Information System (SIS)
Sugarcane Information System (SIS) of Sugarcane Department, Uttar Pradesh, is the largest rural information technology platform in the country providing a comprehensive solution to all the needs of sugarcane farmers. Around 29 lakh farmers and their families’ livelihood activities thrive on sugarcane production, and there are 125 sugar mills, in total, operating in the state. SIS was conferred with a gold award in 15th National Conference on eGovernance 2011-12 in citizen-centric service delivery category.
- The system brought transparency to the sugar millfarmer interactions
- It curtailed involvement of sugarcane mafia in the procurement process
- Farmers can interact using three mediums — website, SMS and IVRS
- Digitisation of Ration Cards
Digitisation of Ration Cards and SMS-based PDS movement of food grains is an important initiative, which requires massive efforts in data collection and compilation. Currently, details of ration card holders of more than 5.5 crore families belonging to BPL, Antyodaya and APL categories is available on the Internet.
Transport Computerisation (Vahan & Sarathi)
The project “Vahan” is running successfully at 72 Regional Transport Offices (RTO)/Assistant RTOs in all the districts of the State. The Transport Commissioner’s Office in Lucknow has also undergone massive computerisation drive. The project has automated all major activities of the Transport Department, viz., vehicle registration, permit issuance, enforcement and taxation activities, etc.
Government Process Reengineering (GPR)
As part of the Government Process Reengineering, the State has made a provision of acceptance of Self Declaration Form instead of affidavit, along with the application form, for applying for government services of various departments. Apart from this, various activities have been undertaken to facilitate the citizens with easy and transparent process of service delivery.
To provide government services over the counter to the villagers, e-Village scheme has been launched. Under this scheme, one village in each district of the State is being selected and the scheme implemented there as pilot. Various services such as Income Certificate, Caste Certificate and Domicile Certificate, among others, can be provided through Common Service Centres over the counter after implementation of this scheme.
Virtual IT Cadre
In order to provide Guidance and Leadership to the State departments in implementation of IT/e-Governance initiatives, the State is in the process of setting up Virtual IT Cadre equipped with officers specialised in Information Technology. In the initial phase, officers at the level of Special Secretary and Joint Secretary having required IT skill set and interest in IT are being planned to be deputed in the cadre.
To bring transparency in the Govt functioning and enhance the capacity of departments of the State, the Secretariats are being made paperless. For this, e-Office software is being implemented in the Departments. This software has been implemented in IT & Electronics department in the initial phase.
Mobile-based apps are being used to help both citizens and the government. The major objective is to avoid duplication of effort and cost, ensuring easy availability of certified applications at one place. For effective electronic delivery of 26 government services, mobile App UPOne has been developed. It facilitates the government and citizens in tracking/enquiring status of various applications submitted, checking the authenticity of certificates issued to citizens.