With about 65 per cent Aadhaar coverage in the State and 100 per cent success rate of Jan-Dhan Yojana in some districts, Madhya Pradesh is moving firm towards realising the vision of ‘Digital India’, says M Selvendran, Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh State Electronics Development Corporation Ltd, in an interaction with Gautam Debroy of Elets News Network (ENN)
What are the major initiatives in Madhya Pradesh in terms of eGovernance?
There are several areas where our State has fared very well in terms of eGovernance. We have envisaged State Wide Area Network (SWAN) in order to get financial and social benefits of Information Technology. The project aims to provide bedrock of communication through voice, data and video, throughout the State and is an effective tool for implementation of eGovernance projects.
We have State Data Centre (SDC) for hosting and managing the eGovernance applications of the State, its constituent departments and various other organisations.
We also have State Service Delivery Gateway (SSDG) to fulfill the vision of providing easy and convenient services to the citizens through Common Service Centres (CSCs) and enabling the State Portal by implementing its key components.
Madhya Pradesh will soon have two Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMCs) in Bhopal and Jabalpur, which would serve twin purpose of creating world-class infrastructure and attracting investment in the Electronics Systems Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) sector. The EMC is also one of the major pillars for achieving the vision of “Digital India”.
Then, we have MPOnline Ltd to provide services to the citizens at their doorstep with special emphasis on the rural community, to minimise their visits to government offices. CM Helpline 181 is a one-stop call centre where you can tell about all your grievances.
So, do you feel that Madhya Pradesh is one of the better governed states?
Yes, it is, because the growth rate here is higher than the national average and many other developed states. We have proactive and citizen-centric governance. We focus on improved services delivery and governance. Further, we have implemented Public Services Guarantee Act.
What steps have been taken for an improved performance of the government?
With BSNL as primary and Reliance Communications as the secondary bandwidth providers, we bring redundancy in connectivity. We have also brought flexibility in the strategies for achieving last-mile connectivity. In addition to it, Samagra Samajik Suraksha Mission (3-SM) is a social security mission. With this initiative, we concentrate on helping the citizens to solve their problems. We have created a database for this, where the citizens can find out what government benefits they can avail. After proper verification, we deliver the benefits through this scheme.
In fact, we are delivering pension benefits to citizens through this initiative. There are at least 12-13 departments, which are delivering government initiatives through this scheme. Here, the process is almost in the line with DBT, but it doesn’t comprise the biometric parameters.
How well Aadhaar and Pradhan Mantri Jan- Dhan Yojana have been implemented in Madhya Pradesh?
Well, the coverage of Aadhaar in the State is more than 60-65 per cent. We aim to finish it by next six to seven months. Our government has also engaged some agencies to do this work where we will provide all necessary support.
In terms of Jan-Dhan Yojana, too, our State is doing well. In fact, there are some districts where we have achieved 100 per cent success in opening bank accounts.
How do you intend to reach out to the rural areas of the State?
We reach our citizens basically through two means — one is through internet, where they can use a computer, laptop or tab, and the other source is Citizen Service Centres (CSC). They are around 12,000.
The CSC will improve the living standards of common man in the rural areas by enabling electronic delivery of information, knowledge, skills and services, which they need the most.
Another measure we have implemented in our state is eTaal. We are at No. 2 or 3 in the country in implementing eTaal. It’s a web portal for dissemination of e-Transaction statistics of national and state-level eGovernance projects, including Mission Mode Projects. It receives transaction statistics from webbased applications periodically.
Tell us something about your IT investment strategy.
We have consolidated on IT and EMCs. We are the first state in the country to bag the Government of India’s Electronic Manufacturing Cluster schemes. Our EMCs are coming up at Bhopal and Jabalpur.
We have also taken certain policy level initiatives to make IT sector more attractive. We have revised our IT policy, too. We have Madhya Pradesh Information Technology Investment Policy 2012 (as amended in 2014) to develop Information Technology-Enabled Services (ITeS) and Electronics Hardware Manufacturing (EHM) that have led to an inclusive growth, creating more job opportunities in the IT sector.
Have you received any investment proposal for your State?
Yes, several people have set up their firms in Indore and Bhopal. Particularly, it is picking up in Jabalpur and Gwalior. We are getting investment proposals for MSMEs and other sectors. We are extending all possible help to the investors interested to invest in our State. We are getting calls from several private companies also.
How do you intend to contribute to the Government of India’s ‘Digital India’ campaign?
Almost all our projects and proposals are linked to the Digital India theme. One area where we are concentrating is that we are trying to bring in most companies into the manufacturing of electronic goods. We are also trying to bring in the first cheap fabrication unit in MP announced at the Global Investor Summit.
What are the major challenges that you are facing in the State?
In the electronics manufacturing sector, we face problems because other countries offer better incentives in manufacturing. Although we have some policies, we have to modify them to attract people.
However, getting investment to smaller towns remains a challenge. Availability of a good bandwidth and its coverage is a problem. We need to sort these issues out.
Madhya Pradesh will soon have two Electronics Manufacturing Clusters, which would serve twin purpose of creating world-class infrastructure and attracting investment in the Electronics Systems Design and Manufacturing sector