Secretary, Department of Information Technology,
Government of Madhya Pradesh
“MP was the first state to put cyber treasury in place whereby citizens can avail the facility by making anytime, anywhere tax/fee payments”
Madhya Pradesh plans to set up a total of 9,232 Common Services Centres (CSCs), by when can we expect all these CSCs to be functional?
The Common Service Centre (CSC) project is being implemented in full earnest. Approximately 1,200 CSCs have already become operational. The salient point of this project in Madhya Pradesh (MP) is that we have already developed Government-to-Citizen (G2C) www.canvas-mponline.gov.in which is mandated to provide e-Governance services to the citizens. This will definitely help in making CSCs viable. Five partners from the Public Private Partnership (PPP) have been selected to implement the project in different areas of the state. As per the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed with PPP partners, CSCs are to become fully functional by March 2009. However, because of the model code of conduct additional time is being sought by
The Madhya Pradesh State Wide Area Network (MPSWAN) project for which the bidding is slated to be completed by December 2008. How do you plan to address the issue of last mile connectivity through this project?
The project envisages connecting all block headquarters to the state capital through districts and divisional Head Quarters (HQs). All block Head Quarters, Tehsil HQs and District HQs are being connected to the State HQ through optical fiber network. In each Block/Tehsil/District HQ the necessary equipments will be installed, one Point of Presence (POP) is also being established. The work of establishing POPs is on the verge of completion. The offices will be horizontally connected to these POPs through wireless or wired line connections. A minimum bandwidth of 2 Mbps shall be provided at each Block HQ which will be scaleable in future.
The connectivity to the end-user is based on either one or more of the standard technologies like leased circuits, radio frequency dial-up circuits or using appropriate ethernet ports for the individual offices. Tulip IT is implementing the MPSWAN. Service provider will ensure uptime of SWAN and service levels. The horizontal connectivity to various departments and offices will be provided via copper/optical cables and broadband wireless radio on unlicensed band, depending on the feasibility. It is expected that 75 percent of the horizontal connectivity shall be provided through wireless. In Madhya Pradesh, a cost effective broadband connectivity to deal with the challenge of the last mile wireless technology is also being worked out.
How do you plan to utilise funds relesed by DIT for State Data Centres?
State Data Centres (SDCs) is an important Information Technology (IT) initiative under National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), of Government of India. Madhya Pradesh Government has also adopted the project and its implementation has been initiated. All Projects categorised under Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) including other e-Governance projects of the state will be hosted at SDC. This will ensure better delivery of government services to citizens.
In Madhya Pradesh, PricewaterHouse Coopers has been appointed as the consultant. The Detailed Project Report (DPR) has been prepared, submitted and approved by Government of India (GOI) with a total project outlay of INR 54 crore for selection of private partner, who will be responsible for installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance of SDC.
Accordingly, the Department of Information Technology, Government of Madhya Pradesh (GoMP) has started the process of implementation of the project. The project SDC is being implemented in Bhopal for storing the data and applications of the various government departments. The tender process for construction of building work has been completed. The building plan has been made with complete security system in place which will not only prevent unauthorized access but also have the facility to detect fire and intrusion. The building will have provision for 100 percent power backup and will be connected to Madhya Pradesh State Wide Area Network (MPSWAN). The SDC will enable easy access to common data of the state in safe and secured manner. It will also eliminate the need for setting up of individual data centres. We will issue the tenders to Public Private Partnership (PPP) partner to set up SDC after a couple of months so that the two processes of construction of building and installation of SDC are synchronized and the whole project is completed by July 2009.
Once the building is in place we plan to make this SDC a central server where all e-Governance projects will find a place and delivery of citizen service will become faster, safer and reachable.
State Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) are been given serious focus now. What is your agenda in this regard?
In Madhya Pradesh we are focussing on Mission Mode Projects (MMPs). Accordingly, we have developed the Roadmap for e-Governance in the state. Madhya Pradesh Agency for Promotion of Information Technology (MAP_IT), a state owned society, has been made as the nodal agency for implementation of the project. Consultant for implementation of MMP has been identified and an MOU has been signed for carrying out the computerisation work of MMP. Presently we are working on several projects like: Jail, Health, Forest, upgradation of Commercial Tax, Police and Cooperatives.
Computerisation in Madhya Pradesh has achieved many feats. Do you think the benefits have started percolating to the citizens?
In Madhya Pradesh, major departments like Land Records, Transport, Commercial Taxes, Treasury and Accounts, Mandi have been computerised and this has naturally benefited the citizens. We believe that e-Governance or computerisation is crucial for bringing in efficiency, transparency and 24×7 availability to the governance.
This results in increased satisfaction level of the citizens who are the end customer to the services provided by the government departments. To my knowledge, MP was the first state to put cyber treasury in place. Citizens can avail the facility by making anytime, anywhere tax/fee payments. MPOnline is the portal to provide citizen centric services. At present approximately 700 kiosks are providing these services.
We have taken a decision to converge Common Service Centres (CSC) project with Madhya Pradesh Online (MPOnline). At present the major services provided by the portal are online payment of electricity bills, water tax and filling of forms online. Computerisation of Transport Department has really made tremendous impact on the way the business is transacted in Transport Department. People can pay tax online. The registration of the vehicle can be done at the dealer point. Thus one does not really have to go to the office of the Regional Transport Officer (RTO) physically.
Fire Alarm Alert System of the Forest Department is a very innovative project worth mentioning here. The satellite senses the fire and alerts the officer in-charge of the area where the fire has started. The response time has come down to a few hours compared to a few days earlier. This is definitely saving a lot of natural wealth.
There are a lot of private players in e-Governance projects in your state. How has been your experience with the Public Private Partnerships (PPP) so far?
The experience of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) is good in MP. Most of the projects have been implemented in the PPP mode. In our policy we have categorically stated to promote PPP as a philosophy and have attempted to implement in the e-Governance projects accordingly.
We are following the philosophy on PPP not only in the infrastructure projects like Common Service Centres (CSCs) and State Wide Area Network (SWAN). Moreover, our various projects like e-Tendering, computerisation of Transport Department, Madhya Pradesh Online (MPOnline) are also in the PPP mode.
What are the other e-Governance projects in the pipeline for the year 2009?
We want to achieve full convergence of CSC and MPOnline. We are also working at state portal, ICT in school education, roll out of e-Districts, upgradation of treasury and commercial taxes networks, Jail, Health, Forest, and Police Departments computerisation.