We are encouraging departments to own and implement the projects : K Ratna Prabha, Government of Andhra Pradesh

K  Ratna Prabha
Principal Secretary, IT, Department of IT,
Government of Andhra Pradesh

K Ratna Prabha, Principal Secretary, IT, Department of IT, Government of Andhra Pradesh (AP), is a 1981 batch IAS officer of Karnataka cadre. Calling IT promotion and e-Governance as two eyes of the IT and Communications Department, she describes that the state of AP has created opportunities and successes in both the areas. In her current tenure, the Department is concentrating on tier 2 cities for creation of infrastructure and providing attractive incentives. In an interview with Pratap Vikram Singh of eGov, she illustrates Andhra Pradesh’s IT vision and also the challenges that could impede the IT initiatives and plans in the coming years.

What are the critical success factors for e-Governance implementation? How do you plan to address these factors in your strategy?

Ownership, simplicity, minimum business process re-engineering (BPR), value to the end user, right selection of technology partners, and perfect combination of products with proper SLAs are the factors for success of an e-Governance project. We are now encouraging the departments to own and implement the projects. The design has been made simple and BPR is kept to minimum so that the end user does not feel any major challenge.

The functionality is made such that end users themselves will able to feel comfortable and be able to perform with efficiency. IT is projected as a tool, not as a transformation mechanism. Besides, we follow the open tender process for the selection of the technology partner. The SLA is part of the tender and the technical committee examines the solution suitability during the tender process. 

In spite of a lot of hype, there is still a gap in IT awareness and usage in government departments. How do you plan to address this?

The government has already taken up the CIO program to create IT awareness among domain officers of line departments. We are also planning IT awareness workshops for both political executives and administrative executives under Capacity Building program of NeGP. 

Further, a Dy. CIO program is planned for level 3 and level 4 officers of departments to assist in project implementations.

Andhra Pradesh has been a pioneer in ICT initiatives but there are many other states that have made great efforts in the past two to three years to catch up with AP. How do you plan to maintain the leadership position that AP has?

We are working on ICT policy 2010-2015 wherein an e-Governance advisory panel is being proposed that will oversee development of globally benchmarked competencies in e-Governance using ICT.

We are defining an e-Government interoperability framework with a similar IT architecture for all departments. This process will enforce data standards as mandatory for interoperability to achieve vertical and horizontal integration.