The ICT industry will empower government agencies to provide speedy and accurate benefits through the platform of Aadhaar, while Internet of Things (IoT) will help India prepare better for disaster management, according to a white paper released by a top IT body.
The Manufacturers’ Association of Information Technology (MAIT) recently unveiled two white papers—“Aadhaar Enablement: A Framework for Citizen-Centric Services” and “IoT for Effective Disaster Management”. The first white paper aims to create awareness and appreciation about the potential use and application of IoT for different aspect of disaster management, while the other outlines how to deploy an Aadhaar authentication framework. Using a facility like, e-sign, the government can move towards a phased improvement in administrative processes, people’s experience of public service delivery and achievement of larger human development objectives.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, NITI Aayog Member Dr VK Sarswat, MAIT President Debjani Ghosh and other senior government official were present on the occasion. It was for the first time that the government and the Industry came together to unveil twin white papers.
Addressing the gathering, Rijiu said, “Information technology has played a key role in changing the face of our country and landmark initiatives like Digital India are encouraging us to push the boundaries of innovation. I am happy that industry bodies such as MAIT have taken the lead in helping the government devise plans and suggest ways to most effectively deploy ICT tools to mitigate the effects of disasters and improve effectiveness of service delivery for the government’s social welfare schemes.”
According to MAIT President Ghosh, “For realising the Digital India vision, we need to recognise and leverage the potential of emerging technologies, such as IoT in disaster management, to avoid or minimise the negative impact of unforeseen events on citizens’ lives and the economy. IoT is equally relevant for public transportation, government supply chain management and centrally-managed citizen information repositories, such as the one created for Aadhaar, where connected devices can enable efficient, timely and targeted delivery of government healthcare and educational services to citizens.”
The white paper states that Aadhaar initiative has already covered 99 crore people or 83 per cent of the country’s population. Aadhaar enablement allows for tracking the service delivery process end-to-end, potable service delivery, access to relevant MIS and empowerment of the beneficiaries and improve accountability and vigilance. This system can transform the relationship between citizens and the government. It will create an opportunity for the government to engage much more deeply with the citizens and significantly enhance the quality of its service delivery.
As per recent reports, following introduction of Aadhaar in various welfare schemes and enabling Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), in the last two years alone, the government has made an estimated saving of Rs.27,000 crore, which includes government schemes like PAHAL (for LPG cooking gas) and payment of wages under MGNREGS. In 2015-16, fund transfers worth Rs.61,000 crore were made through DBT to over 30 crore beneficiaries – of which Rs.25,000 crore was in the form of MGNREGS wages and Rs.21,000 crore in PAHAL.
The other white paper on IoT in disaster management recommends a ‘Seven-point Action Plan’ to shift from a ‘relief and recovery’ model to ‘risk and vulnerability assessment’ model, and address key issues and challenges related to management of natural and manmade disasters. In this hyper-connected era, IoT plays an important role by interconnecting intelligent devices for the purpose of sharing information. It also provides early warnings through sensor-based technology, thereby creating innovative and effective systems for disaster management. This paper also highlights the importance of real-time information management for effective preparation, planning, response and mitigation of disasters.
“By seamlessly integrating cloud, analytics and mobility solutions with IoT deployments and the Aadhaar database, the ICT industry can play the role of a trusted partner to the government in achieving the country’s development goals,” underlined Ghosh.