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egov india 2010

event

GTZ workshop

Blueprint now, no e-blues later

rico apitz Managing Consultant, ]Init[, Germany

Standards and frameworks lay the foundation so essential for an effective delivery of future e-Governance services

E

ven as the Indian government prepares to roll out new information technology schemes to deliver faster, better public services to its citizens, formidable challenges remain for the successful implementation of its e-Governance systems. The ability of e-Governance to deliver on its promises tomorrow will largely depend on aspects related to standards, architectures and interoperability today. But how have other countries addressed these issues? It is against this backdrop that the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) organised a session at eINDIA 2010 on the European experience with e-Governance and compared the best practices there with the Indian experience. The session was organised in association with the Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification Directorate (STQC), Department of Information Technology. Showcasing the German experience through “e-Governance Standards and Architectures,” Rico Apitz, Managing Consultant, ]init[, shared the current status, scope and goals of standardisation in the country while also elaborating on future possibilities. He spoke, for example, of SAGA, which provides the blueprint for any IT project taken up by the German federal government and contained recommended standards, architectures, infrastructures, specifications and technologies for e-Government applications in the country. “No longer does SAGA simply represent Standards and Architectures for e-Government Applications; with the onset of SAGA 5, its scope has gone beyond e-Government applications and now addresses all software systems,” commented Apitz. Moving beyond German best practices, the session also showcased speakers from STQC to bring in a comparative framework with which to look at the path taken by India in implementing e-Governance systems. A case in point is the Quality Assurance Framework (QAF), developed recently by STQC in collaboration with GTZ.

It addresses similar issues that SAGA does. Sharing the experience of developing a standardised code for quality in the Indian context was Alok Sain, Director of STQC IT Services in Kolkata. He highlighted the transformation of public sector’s internal and external relationships through Net-enabled operations, IT and communications, among others. He was supported by NE Prasad, who currently heads STQC IT Services in Hyderabad, and by Dr P Balasubramanian who is working on the ‘Open Technology Centre (OTC) Project’ of the National Informatics Centre. The session then came to a close with an interactive Q&A session with the audience, drawing out similarities, differences and good practices emerging from the comparison of experiences. In cooperation with Cluster Pulse, GTZ also organised a workshop titled ‘ICT 4 SME—A Sustainable Approach to the SME market.’ It focused on the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) within small and medium enterprises (SME) to increase their business opportunities. The speakers, representing academia, industry, and development organisations, looked at the three main aspects of the ICT 4 SME approach. While the first aspect represented the main challenges SMEs in the country were facing, the second showcased the approach GTZ chose to establish a sustainable business model to penetrate the SME market and increase ICT adoption. As a special focus, the third aspect provided an insight into the role of BDS providers as an adoption catalyst with respect to ICT in the SME segment. The workshop concluded with examples from the field and the practitioners sharing their experiences. As Professor Amir Ullah Khan, Research Director at the Bangalore Management Academy, summed up, “The session was useful as it presented an insight into the productivity increases resulting from the use of ICT in the SME sector. Increased ICT usage and exposure leads to higher skilled and unskilled employment too, though the rate of increase in skilled employment is more. Ease of ICT penetration will depend of availability of power, pricing of hardware and training of manpower. “

ritobaan roy Senior Project Officer, GTZ

N E Prasad Senior Director, STQC

alok Sain Director, STQC IT Services, Kolkata

Dr P Balasubramanium Open Technology Centre Project, NIC

September 2010 / www.egovonline.net / egov

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eGov-Sept-2010-[41]-Event-Blueprint Now,No e-blues Later