In Orissa NREGA Payments Through Smart Card
Under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) around 2,000 workers in Orissa have been collecting their wages from their local post offices using smart cards in the past two months. Launched on December 1, 2008 at Baunspal in Orissa’s Dhenkanal district, the project piloted by the Department of Posts, with the active involvement of Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Jyotiraditya Scindia, will very soon cover around 25 villages and service 6,000 workers under NREGA.
The number of accounts opened under NREGA with post offices has already crossed the two crore mark. As on December 31, 2008, post offices across the country had disbursed INR 3,422 crore under NREGA.
e-Auction of Tea Failed to Take-off in Kolkata
Kolkata’s project on e-auction of tea has failed to take-off due technical glitches, lack of space and difficulty in allowing proxy bidders. The e-auction of tea in Kolkata which was to start from January 27, 2009, was carried out but only manually on January 27 and 28, 2009.
This new e-auction system, an INR 18-crore project, has been redesigned by the National Stock Exchange’s IT department. According to tea traders, the major bottleneck in the e-auction of tea is that it would not only translate into an escalation of costs but the process would also become slower than the manual auctions.
e-Procurement For Railways
The e-procurement system of the railways was inaugurated recently. The e-procurement platform to East Coast Railway (ECoR) has been provided by Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS). The east coast railway stores department purchases around INR 750 crore materials every year. The new system will bring in benefits in terms of cost savings due to improved competition, improved internal efficiency, the procurement cycle will be further compressed by around 30 days.
First e-Court of India launched
The first model e-Court in the country has been launched by the Gujarat High Court recently. It has started functioning on a pilot basis at the Ahmedabad City Civil and Sessions Court, providing tamper proof authentic audio-video recording of proceedings with multi-point video conferencing facilities linking the courtroom, central jail, the police commissioner’s office and the Forensic Science Laboratory. The under-trials lodged in the central jail could be virtually presented before the court through video conferencing. This project is an initiative of the central government and was set up with technical support from the Technology, Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), the Centre for Advanced Computing and National Informatics Centre.
Railways Processes 3,712 tenders in 5 months
The e-Procurement system of the Indian Railways has processed over 3,712 e-Tenders in the last five months. This Railways’ e-Procurement website launched around August-September 2008, has over 1,737 e-Tenders which are currently uploaded (yet to be opened), 1,778 e-Tenders have already been opened and over 197 purchase orders have been issued in last five-six months. Over 1,800 vendors, who are (potential) suppliers, have registered themselves on the website. Indian Railways procures goods valued at about INR 16,500 crore annually and this excludes procurement of another INR 5,000-odd crore.
Single UID for all Indians by Early 2010
An Empowered Group of Ministers (EGOM) headed by the External Affairs Minister, Pranab Mukherji has approved the establishment of a Unique Identity Authority for all residents of the country. The UID Authority will be set up under the Planning Commission. This UID Authority will formulate a detailed proposal covering the full cost of implementation and for the full contingent of staff needed and place it before the Cabinet for its approval. The UID is expected to become available by early 2010.
ICT Makes Crime Records Available at your Fingertips
Delhi Police has come up with a high-tech way to keep a tab on criminals. Delhi Police is in process of installing 171 Automated Fingerprint and Palmprint Identification Systems (AFPIS) in all police stations in the Capital as well as in other important places including the five district courts and 11 district headquarters. The system, a web-based software running on Linux, will enable cops to access existing police records to instantly identify an arrested accused. Biometric system providers are of the view that a complete AFPIS unit will cost around INR 20 lakh while a basic unit will come for around INR 10 lakh.
e-Governance Adoption by GUVNL
Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) is fast adopting the IT solutions software towards becoming e-Governed. This software will increase GUVNL’s operational efficiency, transparency, and improve its customer service. This e-Urja project is an integrated solution and aims to share a centralised database with all users. The project is being implemented by GUVNL and all its subsidiary companies – Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Limited, the Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation Limited and four distribution companies. With this software in place human resources, payrolls, e-Procurement, accounting, budget, and other departments will all be served by the same database through a single entry point. The project will also eliminate corruption to a large extent as every applicant will have a unique login Id.
Cyberoam, India“There is an urgent need to redefine the concept of national security secrets and moving beyond protection of the defense industry and public sector”
What do you feel about IT security compliance in India?
In the US, securing your network against attacks is not only good practice but is also mandated by laws such as Sarbannes-Oxley (SOX), PCI-DSS, HIPAA, GLBA and more. All these regulations require detailed reporting and an audit trail to show that you have indeed complied with the letter of the law.
India’s current IT Act doesn’t have the scope and vision to ensure a granular degree of control over electronic data covering various industries. Complying with these and other regulations is often complicated, time-consuming, and costly. Cyberoam helps to minimise these headaches by providing the consolidation of all required perimeter security tools into one unified platform to protect the network and guarantee the integrity of data.
What are international IT security trends that can be readily adopted in India and will it make a difference?
The nature of worldwide data, information pilferage and economic intelligence gathering through the use of Internet has redefined security needs and strategies to combat growing threats. In one recent case, a company, a major player in power and utilities, was sabotaged and its critical information assets compromised by its very own security vendor – a foreign security company – something that highlights the vulnerability of networks, especially those of a nation whose information security needs are manifold. There is an urgent need to redefine the concept of national security secrets and moving beyond protection of the defense industry and public sector to include even the entire private sector through compliance regulation. Setting up a Central Nodal Agency and Accreditation for Cyber-Security Solutions along the lines of. National Security Agency in USA and other Approval and Certification bodies for Security Solutions is crucial. It should be made mandatory for security product to be indigenous, especially in importantly identified centres like HQ and R&D in India The need to choose deployment of security solution that integrates identity of a user as important criteria in providing protection.
How are you addressing the security landscape of the country?
Cyberoam is an Identity-based UTM appliance that takes security to a level closer to human intelligence by weaving identity controls in its features that can trace user movement in the network, not only till the IP address of a machine which is the traditional approach in the industry but till the actual user itself. This gives a completely transparent view over the network as to ‘who is doing what’ in the network. It, thus, gives an unprecedented degree of control over the users and enables taking both preventive and remedial actions in real time for achieving one of the most comprehensive protections possible, against internal and user-targeted threats.
Currently, what are the products that you are offering to the government vertical?
With the rise in e-Governance across India and the establishment of State Data Centres that meet the information requirements of the citizens, threats to the government vertical has risen manifold. With the arrival of the e-Governance era, information like taxation, land records and more while available easily and readily to the citizens stands vulnerable to attackers. Securing the data centres and other repositories of information, thus preventing confidential data leakage, controlling access to inappropriate sites, complete visibility into the network so as to know who is doing what in it, and monitoring and control of user behavior hold the key to future security. Cyberoam is a unique security solution that fulfills these security needs with a unique and highly granular approach through its identity-based technology.
Are you in discussion with any state government for offering your solutions
Yes, Cyberoam is in discussion with certain government institutions for securing their huge and heterogeneous networks and data centres. More over, Cyberoam is already securing many government networks with critical data and information assets.
A K Goyal is the new Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs. He is 1977 batch CSS officer.