In today’s technology-run times, e-enabling a state helps it adopt the e-Governance model to deliver information and services efficiently, and that’s what NIC has been doing in Bihar, observes Rajesh Kumar Singh, State Informatics Officer, National Informatics Centre, Patna, in an interaction with Nirav Soni of Elets News Network (ENN)
What are the various activities of the National Informatics Centre (NIC) in Bihar?
NIC was set up in Bihar in 1988 and since then it has been assisting the State Government in Information Technology-related affairs. Earlier, it was mainly used to create IT awareness and spreading the IT culture. Later, we started computerisation in the government ecosystem to push forward the e-Governance agenda. We undertake design, development and deployment of e-Governance applications leading to transparency and efficiency in the government. We are also providing consultancy services and helping in application development for critical areas leading to better functioning of the government.
The Bihar unit of NIC is located at Patna and district level units spread over 38 districts of the State, and are connected through the National Informatics Centre Network (NICNET). Under NICNET, all the districts have 34 Mbps speed, while six districts are strengthened with additional 34 Mbps Railtel connectivity and 15 with 100 Mbps. Three other districts have been strengthened with additional 1 Gbps Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) connectivity. Another connectivity of 4Mbps has been extended to the Patna High Court. All Bhawans, viz. Raj Bhawan, High Court, Main Secretariat, New Secretariat and Nirman Bhawan, have been brought on WI-MAX connectivity.
E-Mail service of NIC has been widely used by the government officials of the State. Websites of various departments and organisations are hosted on http://gov.bih.nic. in/ and are helping the public at large in getting information and services in an efficient manner. ICT-led initiatives and developments using the infrastructure of NIC, e.g. NICNET, National Knowledge Network (NKN), State Data Centre (SDC), Video-Conferencing facility, Website development and maintenance support, emailing, Domain Name Registration, and GIS- and mobile-based application services are being utilised for G2G and G2C services.
NIC was mainly used to generate IT awareness and spreading the IT culture…later, we started computerisation in the government ecosystem to push forward the e-Governance agenda
Can you share with us the e-Governance projects implemented by NIC in Bihar?
Some of the ICT-led projects initiated and implemented by NIC in Bihar are i-BhuGoal, Vahan & Sarathi, e-Registration, Chanakya, e-Procurement, e-Gazette, ELECON, Bhu-Abhilekh, e-Panchayat Suit, Prison ERP, IVFRT MMP, NDAL, NADRS etc.
Recently, Geomatics Oriented Application Model, i-Bhu- Goal, has been effectively utilised for Bihar infrastructure mapping to enable efficient and transparent decision-making process. We have provided our support to many State Departments, like Social Welfare, Road Construction, Rural Development, Minor Irrigation, Water Resources, Election and others for application development. We have also provided support to projects like “Samvida”, for which we received Gold Award at the National e-Governance Conference held recently in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Similarly, we are working with the Transport Department for their project “VAHAN & SARTHI”. We are also providing technical support in e-counselling to Bihar Combined Entrance Examination Board.
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Lately, land survey work has started in Bihar and we are working in close collaboration with the department for computerisation of the entire process and the department’s plan to regenerate the maps of each land plotting. Not long ago, rollout of e-Panchayat MMP application in Bihar has ranked 3rd at the national level. We are also providing various facilities to the Food & Civil Supplies Department for their e-PDS Application. Similarly, we are working with several government agencies and Departments to make an effective use of e-Governance practices by making them e-enabled.
Please tell us about the “e-Chanakya” application.
e-Chanakya is a workflow-based solution for automation of university business processes related to the Registration and Pre- and Post-Examination modules. Registration Module includes Registration Form Data Entry, Registration Form Verification in workflow, Registration Number Allotment, and Generation of Registration Cards and Index Registers.
The Examination Module includes Examination Form Processing and Issuance of Examination Admit Card, Examination Form Entry, Examination Form Verification Roll Number Allotment, Generation and Printing of Admit Card including Examination Schedule, Generation of Attendance Sheet and Report for Examination Centres, Interface for filling Absent/Expelled Information Sheets, Marks Processing and Tabulation Register preparation, Interface for Marks-foil Entry, Verification Interface for Tabulator, Tabulation Register Printing facility, Mark-sheet printing facility and Certificate printing facility, etc.
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How is Bihar connected through NKN?
Under the National Knowledge Network (NKN) project, a total of 44 Institutions (30 under NKN and 14 under NMEICT – National Mission on Education through ICT) have been selected as NKN Edge link. Out of the 44 Edge links, 36 (23 NKN & 13 NMEICT) have been commissioned and are working now. Video-Conferencing services over NICNET in Bihar are successfully utilising QoS (Quality of Service) method for review, monitoring and capacity building programmes of the Government in Bihar. In fact, IIT-Patna has been using this network very effectively for e-learning through Video-Conferencing facility. Many faculties have started delivering online lectures from outside Patna through this network in an interactive fashion.
Land survey work has started in Bihar and we are working in close collaboration with the department for computerisation of the entire process and to regenerate the maps of each land plotting
How are you handling the issue of security against cyber threats?
Our NIC State Network operation centre is equipped with high-end security devices, i.e. firewall, Intrusion Protection System (IPS) and anti-virus for server/clients, etc. We have our central cyber security unit at New Delhi for monitoring vulnerability and reporting security-threats for necessary timely action. However, we advise our clients to conduct security audits for web-based applications, and local client/ server applications are advised to have physical security and necessary precautions. The best part of NIC is that we work with the departments for sustainability of the project. We provide them full support as and when required, and take necessary steps for proper working of the applications to deliver services. .