NICSI Augmenting India’s e-Governance: Prashant Kumar Mittal

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Prashant Kumar Mittal

National Informatics Centre Services Inc. (NICSI) provides state of the art and cost-effective solutions for augmenting e-governance in India. To detail out the contributions by NICSI in empowering India’s e-governance, Prashant Kumar Mittal, Managing Director, NICSI interacted with Nisha Samant Purbey and Adarsh Som of Elets News Network (ENN) for eGov magazine’s special issue on PSUs.

How has NICSI contributed to e-governance in India?

National Informatics Centre Services Inc. (NICSI) was established in 1995 as a section-8 (erstwhile section-25) company for providing and procuring ICT solutions to meet the growing ICT needs of central and state governments, and government organizations like public sector undertakings (PSUs). It gives me great pleasure to say that this year marks 25th anniversary of NICSI’s establishment.

During these years NICSI has provided state of art and costeffective solutions for multiple e-governance projects undertaken in the country, including some of the largest e-governance projects such as National Data Centre, National Knowledge Network, PRAGATI, Open Government Data, IVFRT, eTransport, eHospital, eVidhan, NREGASoft, AwaasSoft (PMAYG) and myGov. With the execution of approximately 1700 projects on annual basis, NICSI today continues to use its alliances with leading industry partner for providing our customers with reliable and quality solutions.

To meet the need for next generation of e-governance, NICSI has expanded its offerings in recent years. NICSI’s Cloud Services offer a variety of service models to meet the technology infrastructure requirements of digital solutions. A Product Business Division (PBD) has been set up to facilitate productization and standardization of software applications developed by NIC/ NICSI. And, to kick-start and fast-track the adoption of advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities, NICSI in collaboration with NIC has established the Centre of Excellence for Data Analytics (CEDA) to offer quality data analytic services to government departments at all levels.

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How has NICSI contributed to strengthening India’s digital infrastructure to adapt to the new normal setting in the postCOVID era?

NICSI has played a crucial role in supporting the readiness of the government departments at various levels to efficiently operate in the disruptive environment of COVID-19. Office ICT hardware and software solutions, VPN connectivity, VC and web meeting solutions are some examples of the digital infrastructure that has been provided by NICSI to support seamless working from nonoffice locations by government functionaries. At the same time, NICSI, in close collaboration with NIC, also ramped up the deployment of e-Office solutions and strengthened the cloud service capabilities to further a paperless environment. These measures increased safety, improved flexibility and enabled productivity during these testing circumstances.

It is worth stating that NICSI’s officers and staff themselves had to adapt greatly to optimally utilize limited resources and continue to provide services and solutions to user departments during these special circumstances.

Sir, initiatives taken by CEDA have been much appreciated. Please throw some light on the steps taken.

NICSI jointly with NIC has set up the Centre of Excellence for Data Analytics (CEDA) to provide expertise in the field of Data Analytics. Inaugurated by Hon’ble Minister for Electronics and IT, Sh. Ravi Shankar Prasad on September 28, 2018, the Centre offers data analytics services to government departments at all levels by identifying appropriate tools and technologies, building the required data analytics solutions and deploying people with the right expertise at user departments. With offering around data quality assessment, social media analytics, and custom & pre-built data analytics solutions, CEDA has been executing several projects across the government departments.

The focus of many of these projects has been to enable the policymakers and program managers to generate greater insight from the data that has been generated through e-governance initiatives taken over the year.

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Data management has become essential today to enhance service delivery and to provide benefits to the beneficiaries. What is your take on this?

Over the years, e-governance initiatives have generated a large amount of data. The pace of data generation is only increasing with the advent of digital technologies. Management of this data as a digital asset, just like any other asset, is increasingly becoming important. However, better management of data today holds the power to not only enhance the delivery of services and benefits to citizens, but also aid evidence-based policymaking and rapid course correction through data-driven decision making.

Organizations like NIC/NICSI have always been involved in the technical management of data. But the need of the hour is to move beyond just technical management towards a model whereby data is treated and managed like a national resource.

Sir, the centre has launched many technology-powered schemes to aid people and streamline governance. Please throw some light on the way forward for India’s e-governance.

India’s e-governance has grown by leaps and bound in the recent years. Digital India program has consolidated the gains made through earlier interventions and created an environment of digital innovation. I am very optimistic that coming years will see the development of an e-governance paradigm that is even more citizen-centric, data-driven and development-oriented. Digital technologies have penetrated all spheres of lives, and future shall see rapid innovation in sectors like health and education, that will create better outcomes and greater value for India’s citizens. I am confident that NICSI will continue to meet the evolving needs of nation’s e-Governance and play a significant role in this journey

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