I ntegrated, collaborative, centralised enterprise application is the most needed one for the implementation of effective e-Governance solutions in India. The advent and spread of communication technologies has become enabler for carrying the government services to the citizens bridging the digital divide. The effective village level services aggregated at the district level using the state of art communication technology becomes a viable model having the data centre in the district. Thus a modern Collectorate using the state of technology can bridge the services of Collectorate and citizens who consume it. To provide quality services for citizens it is essential to empower the government employees to offer better and quality service. Recognising these needs, DC*Suite was designed and implemented using open source technologies at the Collectorate of Palakkad, Kerala.
DC* Suite is an integrated suite of ICT infrastructure and interoperable applications for the Collectorate having the data centre at the Collectorate with the scope for extending services to the grass root levels. The ICT infrastructure of DC*Suite comprises of the state of art physical infrastructure with a computer for each employee in a cubical, data center, academy hall, Video Conference hall, public conference hall and connectivity to all taluks and disaster recovery center at the Collector camp office. The integrated solution architecture of DC*Suite is designed as a workflow based File Management System. DC* Suite is aimed at bringing transparency and providing quality service to the citizens through various modes viz. Internet touch screen, IVRS, counters at taluks and Collectorate.
Fully computerized modern Collectorate was inaugurated by Honorable Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh on 26th October 2004 at Palakkad. The following facilities are inaugurated.
• DC* Suite District Data Centre
• DC* Suite Academic Centre
• DC* Suite Touch Screen Services
• DC* Suite IT modern Collectorate
• Video Conference facility at the Collectorate
• DC* Suite Open Source software for paperless office management
The key functional areas addressed by DC* Suite are
Court Case Management
Natural Calamity Management
Revenue Recovery Management
Natural Resource Management
Pay roll & Personnel Management
Elections and Electoral Analysis
Law and Order
In the last one year after the project was inaugurated, the project has met the following initial objectives:
• All the modules are integrated in one package
• Workflow model implemented
• Paperless office concept introduced
• Correspondence in local language
• Public grievance module implemented
• Revenue recovery module implemented
• Natural calamities module implemented
• Touch screen services started
e-Services layer is the front-end layer of DC* Suite which interacts with citizens and offer services to the citizens. There are several methods proposed in DC* Suite. The services are offered over touch screen kiosks, interactive voice response system, Internet and front-end counters. The first level proposal connects all taluks to the Collectorate and all other government departments through dial-up facility.
Middle layer is the Internet services layer, which offers lot of collaboration services and tools. E-mail, messaging, chat video conferencing, bullet in boards are few worth mentioning.
Back office layer is the key functional area comprising of all 21 functional modules with which the government staff will work and carry out the backend operations.
IT infrastructure layer comprising of the data center, terminal for each staff, academy hall, computer hall, VC hall etc.
The software is developed using Open Software Technologies LAMP. The applications, which are of public interest, will be given access through INTERNET, IVRS and Touch Screens based Kiosks using standard software and web interfaces. DC* Suite is developed in Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP(LAMP).
The project has made a good beginning in the e-Governance era reaching the grass root level. The data centre established in the Collectorate has to offer many more services to the citizens through Internet, counters, SMS, IVRS, touch screens etc. It is only question of time for the next phases of the project to get completed, reaching the villages and panchayats through the wired and wireless modes, which is going to make revolution in the country.