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Suresh Chanda Secretary, Department of School Education, Andhra Pradesh - Asia’s Leading Portal on e-Government VOLUME 5


ISSN 0973-161X


JULY 2009

ov 26





The New



































45 46

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This magazine provides an extensive coverage on the latest e-Governance news and updates around the globe and it provides articles, features, interviews of different personalities, reports, event informations, viewpoints of the experts on different topics. Raka Sinha Bal, General Secretary Angaja Foundation The magazine explores information on Government initiatives and new programmes and policies. It also provides the status of e-Governance in various ministries and its impact. Rajesh Kumar, Scientist, Min. of S&T Please give a separate section for Municipal e-Gov as now every municipality is focussing on good governance that can only be possible through e-Gov initiatives. Sanjeet Kumar Ahlawat, Manager Voyants Solutions Private Limited CORRIGENDUM

In the article titled ‘Digital Inclusion: A Pathway for Economic Development’, the designation of Taposh Misra has been wrongly given. The correct designation is Head - Govt & PSU Group, Commercial Cards Division, ICICI Bank Ltd. The error is regretted.


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New Government: Renewed Priority The United Progressive Alliance government is back with a second mandate and renewed vigour. Its 100-day agenda aims at consolidation of first-term welfare oriented e-governance measures for the ‘aam aadmi’. Unlike the first term, which saw lot of internal bickering over government policies and announcements and the National Common Minimum Programme to tie it down, the government straightaway sat down to business. It announced an ambitious Unique Identity Card Scheme (UIDAI project), expected to create at least 100,000 additional jobs in the country in the next three years apart from offering great business opportunity to domestic IT companies. The initiative speaks of the government’s seriousness to ensure benefits of flagship schemes to the common masses, apart from their security. Much of the government agenda has been reiterated in President Pratibha Patil’s customary address to the joint session of Parliament, which we have carried in this issue. The address reiterated its commitment towards an inclusive society and economy by consolidating the ongoing flagship programmes through improved governance.

President Dr. M P Narayanan Editor-in-Chief Dr. Ravi Gupta Assistant Editor Sandeep Budki Research Associate Angela S. Nath Correspondent Pratap Vikram Singh Dy. General Manager - Marketing Gautam Navin mobile: +91 9818125257 email: Sr. Manager, Marketing Debabrata Ray mobile: +91 9899650692 email: Sr. Executive, Business Development Santosh Kumar Gupta mobile: +91 9891192996 email:

Ms Patil spoke about enlarging the scope of works permitted under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and achieving its convergence with other programmes for maximising land productivity. Bharat Nirman, which sought to bring basic infrastructure to rural areas, will be scaled up to second phase with enhanced targets like, rural telecommunication at 40% of rural teledensity, expanding broadband coverage to every panchayat, repositioning CSC’s as Bharat Nirman Common Service Centres, etc. Effective delivery of services as envisioned by the government calls for more transparency in government functioning. The President’s address spoke of public accountability. To this effect an internal monitoring mechanism has been promised to counter red-tapism. The issue of quality and efficiency of the Indian bureaucracy also finds mention in the latest survey by Political & Economic Risk Consultancy. The respondents in the survey were least impressed with the quality and efficiency of the civil services in India. Even the 2009 Global Corruption Barometer by Transparency International has rated political parties and the civil service as the most corrupt institutions in the world, including India. On the whole, UPA’s agenda as talked about in the Presidential address, clearly shows the government’s earnestness to move ahead with purposeful governance. The result will be there for all to see.

Anuj Agrawal mobile: +91-9911302086 Sr Graphic Designer Bishwajeet Kumar Singh Graphic Designer Om Prakash Thakur

Dr. RAVI GUPTA Editor-in-Chief

Web Zia Salahuddin, Amit Pal

Editorial & Marketing Correspondence

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egov JULY 2009



e-Governance: Renewed Agenda

Manmohan Singh has assured the members of Parliament and the people of India that his government will consolidate their efforts on each of the fronts that the President’s speech has outlined. He said, “ We will further strengthen our flagship programmes for employment, education, rural and agricultural development, health, and improve the delivery of public services through greater transparency and accountability.” eGov brings to it readers the highlights of President’s speech in context of the e Governance domain.


n the customary address to the joint session of Parliament, President Pratibha Patil advised the newly-elected members to work towards materialising dreams of common people. Ms Patil said the parliamentarians had an opportunity to bring about positive changes in the lives of 100 crore countrymen working as members of House. eGov presents to you highlights of the President’s address, first after formation of the new government. PRESIDENT’ SAYS I am extremely happy to address the first session of both Houses of Parliament after the elections to the 15th Lok Sabha. My greetings to all members, especially the newly elected members of the Lok Sabha. They are here having spent the last few months in the scorching heat trying to persuade their


voters on how they could best represent the aspirations of their electorate. They now have the mandate and the opportunity to translate the hopes and aspirations of the people of India into change in the everyday lives of the people. It is indeed a unique privilege given to a chosen few to represent the hopes of over a billion people, a sixth of humanity. In 2004, my Government had set before the country a vision of an inclusive society and an inclusive economy. It worked diligently towards translating this vision into policies and programmes. My Government sees the overwhelming mandate it has received as a vindication of the policy architecture of inclusion that it put in place. It is a mandate for inclusive growth, equitable development and a secular and plural India. My Government is determined to work harder and better to realise these goals.

A continuing priority of my Government would be to consolidate the ongoing flagship programmes for inclusion. This will require re-energising the government and improving governance. It will require meeting the challenge of restoring economic growth, which is now hurt by the global economic slowdown, back to a higher growth path. High growth is necessary to provide the government the capacity to expand opportunities for employment. It is necessary to provide resources to increase outlays in education, healthcare and infrastructure to meet the needs of all regions and all people. My Government will ensure that the growth process is not only accelerated but also made socially and regionally more inclusive and equitable. The yearning of our people for inclusiveness - economic, social and cultural -- and the rejection of the forces of divisiveness and intolerance

that my Government spoke of in 2004 continues as both its inspiring vision and its unfinished business. The Unique Identity Card scheme for each citizen will be implemented in three years overseen by an Empowered Group. This would serve the purpose of identification for development programmes and security. The flagship programmes which my Government introduced have moved the country towards inclusive development. It would be our endeavour to consolidate these programmes in the next five years. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act has proved to be what it promised-an effective social protection measure and the largest programme in the world for rural reconstruction. Its transformational potential is unfolding before our eyes. My Government would enlarge the scope of works permitted under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act presently limited to unskilled manual work. The opportunity for improving land productivity through the NREGA will be maximised through better convergence of NREGA with other programmes. To ensure transparency and public accountability, independent monitoring and grievance redressal mechanisms will be set up at the district level. The National Rural Health Mission has begun to strengthen rural public health infrastructure. The Mission would be consolidated to make perceptible reduction in infant mortality and maternal mortality in the next five years. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has been able to provide access to children to elementary

schools and retention has increased on account of the universal mid-day meal programme. The focus will be on making quality education a right through the enactment of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Bill now under consideration of Parliament. The Madhyamik

MY GOVERNMENT IS ACUTELY CONSCIOUS OF THE CHALLENGE OF RISING EXPECTATIONS. THERE WOULD BE 10 BROAD AREAS OF PRIORITY FOR MY GOVERNMENT FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. // Internal security and preservation of communal harmony; // Stepping up of economic growth in agriculture, manufacturing and services; // Consolidation of the existing flagship programmes for employment, education, health, rural infrastructure, urban renewal and introduction of new flagship programmes for food security and skill development; // Concerted action for the welfare of women, youth, children, other backward classes, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, minorities, the differently-abled and the elderly along with strengthened social protection; // Governance reform; // Creation and modernisation of infrastructure and capacity addition in key sectors; // Prudent fiscal management; // Energy security and environment protection; // Constructive and creative engagement with the world and // Promotion of a culture of enterprise and innovation.


Shiksha Abhiyan will universalise access to secondary education. The massive expansion in higher education through new institutions under implementation in the Eleventh Plan will enable the country to meet the challenge of education in full measure. In the last five years, a wide range of scholarships and educational loans was introduced for the needy and deserving students. This effort will be reviewed and further strengthened. Government’s strategy for higher education will be formulated around a three-fold objective of expansion, inclusion and excellence. The suggestions given by the National Knowledge Commission will guide the formulation and implementation of the strategy. My Government launched Bharat Nirman five years ago as a time-bound business plan for rural infrastructure. It has succeeded in reaching basic infrastructure of roads, electricity and telephone to a large number of villages. It has also achieved most of the targets of rural water supply, rural housing and has increased irrigation potential. The remaining tasks will be completed in the second phase of Bharat Nirman. It is also proposed to set enhanced targets for Bharat Nirman in the second phase. The rural telecommunication target will be set at reaching 40% rural teledensity in the next five years and expanding broadband coverage to connect every panchayat to a broadband network in three years. The scheme for Common Service Centres or e-kiosks will be suitably repositioned to be a network of panchayat-level Bharat Nirman Common Service Centres to provide government services to citizens in rural areas. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) with approval of projects of nearly INR 50,000 crore in the last four years is reshaping our cities and has been widely welcomed. It will continue to focus on infrastructure, basic services and governance reform and increase support to cities to upgrade public transport. An area of major focus for my Government would be reform of governance for effective delivery of public services. Reports of the Administrative Reforms Commission would guide the effort. Reform of structures in the higher echelons of government, increased decentralisation, inclusion of women and youth in governance, process reform and public accountability would be key areas for focused action. As part of process reform, all proposals to the Cabinet will have to report on how the proposal under consideration will enhance the


MY GOVERNMENT WILL INITIATE STEPS WITHIN THE NEXT 100 DAYS ON THE FOLLOWING MEASURES: // A public data policy to place all information covering non-strategic areas in the public domain. It would help citizens to challenge the data and engage directly in governance reform; // Increasing transparency and public accountability of NREGA by enforcing social audit and ensuring grievance redressal by setting up district level ombudsman; // Strengthening Right to Information by suitably amending the law to provide for disclosure by government in all non-strategic areas; // Strengthening public accountability of flagship programmes by the creation of an Independent Evaluation Office at an arm’s distance from the government catalysed by the Planning Commission. It would work on a network model by collaborating with leading social science research organisations and concurrently evaluate the impact of flagship programmes and place it in the public domain; // Establishing mechanisms for performance monitoring and performance evaluation in government on a regular basis; // Five Annual Reports to be presented by government as Reports to the People on Education, Health, Employment, Environment and Infrastructure to generate a national debate; // Facilitating a Voluntary Technical Corps of professionals in all urban areas through JNNURM to support city development activities; // Enabling non government organisations in the area of development action seeking government support through a web-based transaction on a government portal in which the status of the application will be transparently monitorable; // Provision of scholarships and social security schemes through accounts in post offices and banks and phased transition to smart cards; // Revamping of banks and post offices to become outreach units for financial inclusion complemented by business correspondents aided by technology; // Electronic governance through Bharat Nirman common service centres in all panchayats in the next three years; // A model Public Services Law, that covers functionaries providing important social services like education, health, rural development etc. and commits them to their duties, will be drawn up in consultation with states; // A National Council for Human Resources in Health as an overarching regulatory body for the health sector to reform the current regulatory framework and enhance supply of skilled personnel; // A National Council for Higher Education as recommended by the Yashpal Committee and the National Knowledge Commission to bring in reform of regulatory institutions; // Develop a “brain gain” policy to attract talent from all over the world into the 14 universities proposed in the 11th plan to position them as ‘Innovation Universities’; // A roadmap for judicial reform to be outlined in six months and implemented in a timebound manner; // Targeted identification cards would subsume and replace omnibus Below Poverty Line (BPL) list. NREGA has a job card and the proposed Food Security Act would also create a new card. Identification of beneficiaries for other programmes which currently use the omnibus BPL list would improve identification based on programme objectives with the common underlying principle that all identification of beneficiaries will be done through gram sabhas and urban local bodies and the list placed in the public domain to be open to challenge; // A Delivery Monitoring Unit in the Prime Minister’s Office to monitor flagship programmes and iconic projects and report on their status publicly; // Suitably institutionalised quarterly reporting on Flagship programmes as “Bharat Nirman Quarterly Reports” where Ministers would publicly report on progress through the media.

goals of equity or inclusion, innovation and public accountability. Infrastructure is a fundamental enabler for a modern economy and infrastructure development will be a key focus area for the next five years. Public investment in infrastructure is of paramount importance. Bottlenecks and delays in implementation of infrastructure projects because of policies and procedures, especially in railways, power, highways, ports, airports and rural telecom will be systematically removed. Public-private partnership (PPP) projects are a key element of the strategy. A large number of PPP projects in different areas currently awaiting government approval would be cleared expeditiously. The regulatory and legal framework for PPPs would be made more investment friendly. My Government will continue its special emphasis on infrastructure development in the North-East and Jammu and Kashmir and enhance connectivity to these regions. My Government will ensure that our space programme which has achieved wide recognition continues to bring rich dividends to society in agriculture, tele-medicine, teleeducation and by providing information to rural knowledge centres, besides contributing to telecommunication, television broadcasting and weather forecasting. Several innovative initiatives commenced by government in the science and technology sector in the last five years and now under implementation will be further strengthened. My Government believes that in the knowledge society in which we live today, creativity, innovation and enterprise hold the key to people and nations realising their potential. The ‘dreary desert sand of dead habit’ must be left behind. Our young people are tearing down the narrow domestic walls of religion, region, language, caste, and gender that confine them. The nation must invest in their hope. My Government will ensure that its policies for education and science and technology are imbued with a spirit of innovation so that the creativity of a billion people is unleashed. The next ten years would be dedicated as a Decade of Innovation. It may be a symbolic gesture but an important gesture to drive home the need to be innovative in finding solutions to our many challenges. India’s young population is naturally restless and wants to see change quickly. My Government carries the weight of their dreams. Together let us dedicate ourselves to making each day of the next five years, a day closer to the realisation of their dreams. \\

egov JULY 2009



Bureaucracy in Asia

Indian Bureaucracy Rated Worst in Asia

Source: Political & Economic Risk Consultancy Survey Report


ery few people will admit to not dealing with corruption in their lifetime. Some would admit to bribing transport officials to get a driving license, while others may proudly state how they managed to wriggle off hefty fine for not wearing a seat


belt by just paying a ‘bakshish’ of Rs 100 to the traffic constable. In the government setup too, people talk in hushed tones about how they sent ‘sweets’, literally meaning monetary bribes, to their bosses for obtaining a posting of their choice.

Corruption in all the walks of life is a reality in India. India was ranked 85 out of 179 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, although its score has improved consistently from 2.7 in 2002 to 3.4 in 2008. The index further

Bureaucrats are a power center in their own right at both the national and state levels, and are extremely resistant to reform that affects them or the way they go about their duties.

stated that corruption in Indian politics and bureaucracy has taken toll on the overall development of the country. The latest survey by Political & Economic Risk Consultancy on the bureaucracy in Asia, reflects that the respondents were most impressed with the quality and efficiency of the civil service in Singapore, while they were least impressed with the Indian bureaucracy. The civil services of the Philippines, China and Indonesia have all been graded poorly, while Vietnam’s bureaucracy also not faring much better. According to the Survey, there does not seem to be much of a correlation between political systems and the level of bureaucratic headaches. Communist systems like Vietnam and China are graded poorly but so are democracies like India, the Philippines and Indonesia. It establishes a close correlation between survey grades for corruption and scores for bureaucracy. Countries with poorly functioning bureaucracies are rated as having big corruption problems, whereas places with strongly rated civil services are perceived to have less corruption problems. The Survey identifies the main problem as the civil service pay structure. In countries where the public servants are poorly paid, the motivation to work efficiently suffers. Indeed, a common argument of why corruption is a good thing and justified in countries where bureaucratic inertia is a huge problem is that such payments are needed to cut through red tape and to motivate public sector workers to either do something or get out of the way. Another factor highlighted in the Survey has to do with how government workers perceive themselves and how the society perceives them. In many countries, the label ‘civil servant’ is a misnomer. Public sector workers frequently neither act civil nor do they view their role as being servants of the public. Rather, they behave arrogantly as if they are superior to average citizens. In these societies, the government

workers are the elite and they display their ‘importance’ by being difficult to work with – either in getting their approval for some work or even for an appointment to meet them. Many expatriates would argue that this is the case in Communist regimes like China and Vietnam. But in almost every society covered by the Survey – including Singapore and Hong Kong – there are at least a few civil servants who have earned a reputation for falling in this category. Fortunately in the better rated systems, they are in a minority, but the more steeped a country is in some historical traditions like race or religious based preferences for civil service hiring and promotion as opposed to merit based

systems, the more likely there is to be a class divide between public sector workers and average citizens. The last time when Political & Economic Risk Consultancy conducted a survey on bureaucracy in Asia was in 2007. According to Managing Director Bob Broadfoot, ‘In 2007, Asia was still experiencing strong economic growth, stock markets were booming and unemployment was at its low. The environment today is obviously very different. In some countries like the US, government intervention is increasing both in terms of state-ownership of business and regulation of private sector activities. Asia is in a somewhat different situation. Its

egov JULY 2009


Institutions In India to be Affected by Corruption Survey Report (1: not all Corrupt, 5: Extremely Corrupt) Average Score Country India

Political Parties


Private Sector


Civil Servants


Average Score







3. 5

Source: Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer 2009.

governments are spending more to stimulate economic growth, but they have not, as a rule, been increasing their ownership of the banks and other private sector activities. They have also not been radically tightening up on regulatory and monitoring activities. Most of those types of changes happened in Asia in the wake of the 1997-98 financial crisis. There has not been a need to follow the example of the US and the EU.’ He further added it is therefore perhaps not too surprising that perceptions of bureaucracy have not changed a lot in the past two years. Eight out of 12 expatriates surveyed were more critical of the bureaucracy in most countries. However, in most of the cases the deteriorations were relatively small. The biggest change in perception for the worse related to bureaucracy in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Philippines. On the other

hand, perceptions were much more positive for Thailand and, to a lesser extent, for Malaysia and Indonesia. Looking further back, Bob added that in 1998, when most of Asia was being buffeted by a financial crisis and civil servants were being criticised heavily in a number of countries – bureaucracy improved considerably not only in Thailand (where the financial crisis began), but also in Japan, Korea and Vietnam. In few economies like China, the Philippines and Hong Kong, perceptions deteriorated to a modest extent, but there were not many countries where perceptions worsened markedly. In most cases the magnitude of perception change has held remarkably steady for the past decade. INDIAN EXPERIENCE The biggest frustration for potential investors in India, according to the Survey, is the bureaucracy. It states that bureaucrats are a power center in their own right at both the national and state levels, and are extremely resistant to reform that affects them or the way they go about their duties.


Economy Rankings Topics






Ease of Doing Business Rank






Starting a Business






Dealing with Construction Permits






Employing Workers






Registering Property






Getting Credit






Protecting Investors






Paying Taxes






Trading Across Borders






Enforcing Contracts






Closing a Business






Source: The rankings are from the Doing Business 2009 report, covering the period April 2007 to June 2008.

Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business, from 1 – 181, with first place being the best. A high ranking on the ease of doing business index means the regulatory environment is conducive to the operation of business. This index averages the country’s percentile rankings on 10 topics, made up of a variety of indicators, giving equal weight to each topic.

On Indian bureaucrats, Bob said, ‘The suffocating bureaucracy makes doing business in India extremely difficult. You name it, and working with Indian civil servants can be a slow and frustrating process. According to the World Bank, it can take on an average 30 days to start a new business, 45 days to register property, 224 days to obtain the necessary licenses and permits to build a warehouse, and 10 years to resolve a bankruptcy. India ranked 169 out of 181 countries in terms of the tax burden, measured not just by the percentage of their profits they must pay in taxes but also by the number of payments an entrepreneur must make and the number of hours spent preparing, filing, and paying. Overall, India ranked 122 out of 181 countries in terms of the ease of doing business.’ The 2009 Global Corruption Barometer by Transparency International has also rated the political parties and the civil service as the most corrupt institutions in the world. In a survey of more than 73,000 individuals around the world, 29% and 26% respondents named the political parties and the bureaucracy as most corrupt. At the lower end were other institutions like media and judiciary with 6% and 9% respondents respectively seeing them as the single most corrupt institution. In the country specific survey by Transparency, civil servants/public officials

were rated by 13% of respondents as the second most corrupt institution in India. The survey was conducted in five metros – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore – in India. The 2009 Barometer also shows that the poorest families continue to be punished by petty bribe demand. Across the board, low-income respondents were more likely to be met with bribe demands than highincome respondents. While only 9% of the respondents reported having paid bribes, Transparency International India’s (TII) India Corruption Study 2008 that surveyed corruption in the below poverty line sector shows that the poor are forced to cough up about Rs 9000 million as bribe to avail basic and need based services. THE WINNING FORMULA The good news, however, is that the Transparency Survey indicated that the perception of government effectiveness in relation to addressing corruption improved from 2007 in India. 42% of people analysed said that government’s actions in the fight against corruption was effective. Anti corruption tools such as RTI, social audit, Citizens’ Charters and use of the technology are wonderful tools to check corruption, provided mass awareness is generated in the country. Ratification of United

Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) is also important, as it would help in recovering stolen assets, prevent money laundering, pursue corrupt foreign companies and individuals, prohibit bribery of foreign public officials, and enhance accounting and auditing standards in the private sector. There is also an urgent need for simplifying rules and procedures to reduce the scope of corruption, bring in greater transparency and empowerment of public, and lay due emphasis on effective punishment. Fighting corruption is a hard task. We might all agree that we have to practice the advice given in the Taitreya Upanishad to arrive at a constructive solution to this problem: Sahana vavatu Sahanau bhunaktu Saha Viryam kara va vahai Tejas vina maditha vastu Ma vidh visha vahai Om Shanti! Shanti! Shanti (Let us come together. Let us enjoy together. Let our strengths come together. Let us move from darkness to light. Let us avoid the poison of misunderstanding and hatred. That way lies progress.) Adopting this advice, we can definitely see India becoming a less corrupt, progressive and developed country in the times to come. \\ Sandeep Budki,

egov JULY 2009



Through Document Management Systems



n today’s world, information technology is all about accessing and managing information in a cost-effective manner, saving valuable time and space. Research shows that in any business, 98% of the

documents of companies, government entities, and even individuals are stored and archived for future reference after their current utility ends. Large spaces are required for storage of these documents, wasting valuable

space. Stored documents are also exposed to the risk of damage, being misplaced or misfiled. Retrieving documents is extremely time consuming, while maintaining them requires extra manpower.

egov JULY 2009


Unhindered access to information and services is the very core of governance and administrative systems. It assumes even greater significance in view of the current political regimes centered on the idea of democracy that is driven by common citizens. If you have recently paid your taxes using the Internet, or applied for registration of birth, marriage or vehicle ownership, you would recall that even these basic functions would take weeks if undertaken through the usual process of paper based processing. This change towards seamless, transparent and accountable system of governance has been made possible by availability of Document Management Systems (DMS).


WHAT IS DMS? Since its inception in the 1980’s, the idea of DMS offered great hope for efficient and

MAIN FEATURES OF DMS // Centralised Storage System // Searchable documents and designs // Approval process to control document update/additions // Version Controlling of documents // Online Submission of Document Request. // MIS Reports

transparent operations for institutions and establishments. But the true potential, which allowed the system to reach to millions with complex range of offerings, was unleashed only with the introduction of electronic document management systems or EMS. The transition to electronic management of documents, images and information has been so rapid in the past decade that the term DMS has become synonymous with its electronic version. Simply put, DMS is a system to track and store electronic documents and images. It can range from a shoebox all the way to an enterprise content management system. There are several common issues that are involved in managing documents, whether the system is an informal, ad-hoc, paper-based method for one person or if it is a formal, structured, computer enhanced system for many people across multiple offices. The earliest electronic document management systems were either developed to manage proprietary file types, or a limited number of file formats. These systems evolved to where the system was able to manage any type of file format that could be stored on the network. The applications grew to encompass electronic documents, collaboration tools, security, and auditing capabilities. Document management systems can vary in size and complexity from large systems used by government agencies and Fortune 500 companies to the relatively small applications used by individuals. Some of the most popular companies that offer document management system solutions are Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Laserfiche, Wipro, NewGen, Red Hat, CMC, Skelta, etc, to name some. Document management systems transform and parcel data in such a manner that meets the needs of the user. For instance, a user may want the data to be implemented in an email application, to construct a spreadsheet, generate reports, or to be published on a website. Associated software that comprise the document management system enables the information to be formatted correctly for the user. Document management systems are also commonly called content management systems (CMS), though CMS are typically associated solely with World Wide Web publishing applications. Lot of web-based content management system solutions are available, that vary in strength, available functions, and application. However, usually the most robust and comprehensive CMS

applications require software to be uploaded onto the user’s computer. e-GOVERNANCE AND DMS The vast expanse and differential stages of democratisation in India makes application of electronic document management system ideal tool for allowing people in remote and infrastructurally challenged places to access services and information. As government services move online, e-records will be used to confirm pensions and other entitlements, register births and deaths, verify citizenship, certify voting rights, enable the collection of taxes and censuses, support financial management and audits help resolve land claims, support litigation, document intergovernmental agreements, enable economic planning, document development, and support countless other information-intensive activities. The last few years have seen major DMS projects being implemented in most of the states in the country. In Haryana, eDisha was implemented by NewGen to provide citizen centric governance to the common citizen using enterprise document solution for less paper office. The functioning of Common Service Centres were riddled with problems relating to manual file creation, its movement, tracking and maintenance. In addition there was no means to quickly obtain status reports or increase efficiency of various departments. A prestigious project carried out by CMC Ltd was for the Registrar General of India, which involved ICR (Intelligent Character Recognition technology) based forms processing for creating an all India Census database. The project involved scanning and file creation of 228 million Census information forms collected during the Census 2001 from households all over India. The Department of Science & Technology, Government of Gujarat, initiated IWDMS (Integrated Workflow and Document Management System) in 2005 to automate the day-to-day work to provide better service to citizens. IWDMS facilitated elimination of several steps required right from inwarding a physical correspondence till creating a file from it. It provided a central numbering system for all correspondences and files to make it traceable. Electronic drafts attached to files created in IWDMS could be edited at each level of submission and at the same time track could be kept of all the changes done by users at various levels. Moreover, it saved time required in transporting the physical file.

DMS FACILITATES THE USER TO: Retrieve: It allows user to retrieve e-documents from any remote computer thus, allowing the user to keep a complete record of the documents being created. Share: In an organisation, all type of documents that are being created can also be required for sharing amongst other users. Track: It allows the user to keep a track of the document as to when the document was created and by whom. Distribute: It enables the user to distribute the document to other members in the network. Provide security: It gives restricted access, i.e. the user has the ability to make a particular document shared only with a set of preffered people. Storage & Integration: It allows the user to create or modify the document from any remote system without having to leave the current application thus, reducing inconvenience.






vertical and underlying documents for every transaction need to be available to each of them. Government transactions must not only be above board but be proven to be transparent, which is possible through DMS. Considering the number and geographic spread of its constituents, electronic document management is the only way of making information accessible to all constituents simultaneously. Government processes need to be efficient, lean and cost effective. An effective document management system drastically reduces costs of processing. Many countries have introduced legislation that enforce a citizen’s right to information. Timely release of documents and information in response to citizen requests requires an effective document management system. It is essential that access to classified documents that impact national security is regulated by appropriate security policies. An effective document management system minimises possibilities of security breach.

DISADVANTAGE DMS The use of ICT through IWDMS helped the State government achieve its objectives of ensuring accountable, transparent and effective administration, while increasing efficiency by moving towards less paper office. It has also helped build an accessible knowledge base consisting of various circulars, Acts, precedents etc, thus enabling a robust decision support system. This project has been so successful that it has been replicated in other government organisations and departments elsewhere in the country . Open Softwares have also been widely used in DMS for their added advantage of cost effectiveness. The Maharashtra Mantralaya adopted Red Hat Linux system for its Document Journey Management System. DJMS made its work operations almost paperless, faster, online, more efficient and accessible to people. DJMS is a bilingual system (in both English and Marathi), which controls the flow of government files across various departments. In e-governance, Document Management is especially critical considering the following aspects: 1. Government has the largest number of stakeholders as compared to any

Computerisation of documents have created a way forward for businesses, administrations and governments in the new world economy. On the flip side, it has also led to new challenges by creating electronic records that do not remain reliable and authentic unless carefully managed. E-Records are subject to loss because of their reliance on technology, which is ever changing, and also their storage on fragile media. Unless there is adequate infrastructure for managing e-records, the intended benefits of e-governance will be compromised. These issues have also been explored by the World Bank in a threeyear (2002–04) project on Evidence-Based Governance in the Electronic Age, funded by its Development Grant Facility. Consultations with government officials and records professionals from 38 English speaking developing countries —including face to face, electronic, and video conference meetings – identified weak legal and institutional frameworks, lack of accountability, and inadequate training as common impediments to keeping accurate evidence. \\ Angela S. Nath,

egov JULY 2009



e-HUDA: A People’s Initiative

INTRODUCTION Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) came up in 1977 as a statutory body under the Haryana government with a mandate to promote and secure development of urban areas. Till 2006, transactions in HUDA were done manually like any other urban body in the country. This led to undue interference on the part of babus and significantly affected productivity and revenues. For a new allottee, it took a minimum of three to six months to get his application registered, processed and accepted. Apart from putting HUDA in a bad light, this delay gave opportunities for middlemen to exploit the allottees. “The information pertaining to instalments (whether paid, overdue or delayed) was not available, neither was there any mechanism to cross check or extract such information,” says Sanjay Sharma, Senior Manager IT, HUDA. Data tampering was possible and often went unnoticed resulting in financial losses. The account statement or outstanding dues were not submitted on time. Information was not readily available even with the HUDA management about the available, disputed or sold plots in an urban estate. Moreover, no set method of funds monitoring existed.


Information from within HUDA departments was also hard to come by, which affected critical decisions. E-INITIATIVE FOR PROCESS EFFICIENCY The situation changed in mid 2006 when HUDA, after much deliberations, adopted a comprehensive e-governance project with an aim to improve transparency, build accountability and streamline service delivery process. One of the most innovative

programmes in the country, the system aimed to improve transparency in HUDA’s operations, build accountability among officials, and improve its service delivery process. It all started in Panchkula (an important district in Haryana) where digitisation of all the plot files of allottees was undertaken. The digitisation and reconciliation of accounts were handled by the leading banks (ICICI and UTI) in the state, which had prior experience in doing similar work with 100% success rate. Data migration took place from

At a time when urban development authorities have become notorious for their inefficiency and corrupt services, eHUDA initiative serves as a role model for other states

disparate legacy systems to new application in electronic form. In the first go, plot files of new allottees were digitised, as maximum number of transactions came from these quarters. Account details of allottees were reconciled, audited by an independent agency, before the information got uploaded to the system. Digitisation of commercial, institutional and social charitable property followed suit. HUDA selected Microsoft SQL Server 2005, as the core back-end server for automation of HUDA’s Plot and Property Management (PPM) and Financial and Accounting System(FAS). The e-governance drive placed allottees at the centre. The main logic behind designing the PPM was to provide seamless interaction between the allottees and HUDA, thereby improving transparency, accountability and service delivery mechanism. While the FAS system sought to improve transparency, build accountability, and improve service delivery mechanism among HUDA departments. Currently HUDA is in the process of implementing the project in its offices all over the state. The allottees are provided a user name and password and can track the status of their application online from home. They can monitor paid, pending and delayed instalments, and also the interest due on instalments without visiting HUDA offices. Over 30,000 allottees normally and over a lakh allottees during the peak period can log on to the system seamlessly. The system has strict security guidelines and access rights are fiercely guarded. The data is hosted on dedicated servers at the Reliance Data Center in Mumbai, with the Disaster Recovery site at Bangalore. This is an example of a government agency using a private Data Centre to provide a robust and sustainable solution to its citizens anytime anywhere.

systems that have a number of users located at multiple locations within Haryana, as in the case of HUDA. HUDA, along with the implementation partner, evaluated multiple technology options. The key factors considered were availability, reliability, scalability, security, performance and TCO. It was finally concluded that a combination of Microsoft Net Framework 2.0, SQL Server 2005 and Windows Server Platform was the most suitable technology. The solution is based on layered architecture utilising multiple best practices and design patterns – Presentation Layer for user interface, Business Layer for business logic and Database Layer for data services. The benefit of adopting the approach is that it provides flexibility in changing functionality at any layer without having to modify the other components of the system. “Besides, such a loosely coupled, services-oriented approach makes the system extensible, allowing us to add additional components to the system as it grows without affecting t he other components in the system,” adds Mr Sharma. TARGETS ACHIEVED After the project was implemented, HUDA has not only over achieved its set goals, but

TECHNOLOGY ARCHITECTURE ADOPTED PPM and FAS are centralised web based applications. The cost effective and highly scalable nature of the web-based model makes it an ideal choice for information


has also contributed to its exchequer gains. “The allottees can monitor his paid, pending, delayed instalments and also the interest due on his instalments without coming to HUDA offices,” explains Mr Sharma. The biggest achievement of the e-governance drive has been recovery of lakhs of rupees from allottees that were overdue. The amount HUDA recovered in Panchkula alone came to lakhs of rupees. In fact, the amount recovered is much more than the investment made by HUDA on its e-governance drive. With the new project, many NRIs having property in Haryana are now kept in loop about their dues, circulars, and enhancements and are also able to transact online. The time taken to register an allottee has come come down to less than a week from a minimum of three to six months it used to take earlier. “The new system ensures that every allottee has to submit the entire document and only then their application will be processed. The system has inbuilt checks to see that every procedure is followed religiously,” informs Mr Sharma. With information available on demand, allottees no longer need to visit HUDA offices for simple queries. This has taken pressure off the available staff at HUDA who had to work doubly hard to give information to the allottees. This means that they can focus on value added activities, which was not the case before. The FAS system put in place has also led to free flow of information among HUDA departments. The information related to filing of tenders for a particular engineering work, amount spent on various works, etc are now directly known to the top management which enables them to take correct decisions. At a time when urban development authorities have become notorious for their inefficiency and corrupt services, eHUDA initiative serves as a role model for other states. HUDA also won the National Award for e-Governance in the category of Exemplary Usage of Information & Communication Technology in Public Sector Undertakings for the year 2008-09, which has been jointly instituted by the Department of Information Technology and Department of Administrative Reforms, Government of India. \\

egov JULY 2009



Converting Paper Documents To Digital Files


Document Management System is an electronic system designed to organise and manage documents. These documents are usually organised with software, which provides the user with the ability to access, modify, and centrally store the documents. Document management systems handle tedious tasks such as archiving, distribution, and creation of documents. Document management systems commonly provide storage, versioning, metadata, security, as well as indexing and retrieval capabilities. Following is a description of these components: Metadata: Metadata is typically stored for each document. Metadata may, for example, include the date the document was stored and the identity of the user storing it. The DMS may also extract metadata from the document automatically or prompt the user to add metadata. Some systems also use optical character recognition on scanned images, or perform text extraction on electronic documents. The resulting extracted text can be used to assist users in locating documents by identifying probable keywords or providing for full text search capability, or can be used on its own. Extracted text can also be stored as a component of metadata, stored with the image, or separately as a source for searching document collections. Integration: Many document management systems attempt to integrate document management directly into other applications, so that



users may retrieve existing documents directly from the document management system repository, make changes, and save the changed document back to the repository as a new version, all without leaving the application. Such integration is commonly available for office suites and e-mail or collaboration/ groupware software. Integration often uses open standards such as ODMA, LDAP, WebDAV and SOAP to allow integration with other software and compliance with internal controls. Capture: Images of paper documents using scanners or multifunction printers. Optical character recognition (OCR) software is often used, whether integrated into the hardware or as stand-alone software, in order to convert digital images into machine readable text. Indexing: Track electronic documents. Indexing may be as simple as keeping track of unique document identifiers; but often it takes a more complex form, providing classification through the documents’ metadata or even through word indexes extracted from the documents’ contents. Indexing exists mainly to support retrieval. One area of critical importance for rapid retrieval is the creation of an index topology. Storage: Store electronic documents. Storage of the documents often includes management of those same documents; where they are stored, for how long, migration of the documents from one storage media to another (hierarchical storage management) and eventual document destruction.

Retrieval: Retrieve the electronic documents from the storage. Although the notion of retrieving a particular document is simple, retrieval in the electronic context can be quite complex and powerful. Simple retrieval of individual documents can be supported by allowing the user to specify the unique document identifier, and having the system use the basic index (or a nonindexed query on its data store) to retrieve the document. More flexible retrieval allows the user to specify partial search terms involving the document identifier and/or parts of the expected metadata. This would typically return a list of documents which match the user’s search terms. Some systems provide the capability to specify a Boolean expression containing multiple keywords or example phrases expected to exist within the documents’ contents. The retrieval for this kind of query may be supported by previously-built indexes, or may perform more time-consuming searches through the documents’ contents to return a list of the potentially relevant documents. Distribution: A published document for distribution has to be in a format that can not be easily altered. As a common practice in law regulated industries, an original master copy of the document is usually never used for distribution other than archiving. If a document is to be distributed electronically in a regulatory environment, then the equipment tasking the job has to be quality endorsed and validated. Similarly quality endorsed electronic distribution carriers have to be used. This approach applies to both of the systems by which the document is to be interexchanged, if the integrity of the document is highly in demand. Security: Document security is vital in many document management applications. Compliance requirements for certain documents can be quite complex depending on the type of documents. For instance the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements dictate that medical documents have certain security requirements. Some document management systems have a rights management module that allows an administrator to give access to documents based on type to only certain people or groups of people. Workflow: Workflow is a complex problem and some document management systems have a built in workflow module. There are different types of workflow. Usage depends on the environment the electronic document management system (EDMS) is applied to. Manual workflow requires a user to view

the document and decide who to send it to. Rules-based workflow allows an administrator to create a rule that dictates the flow of the document through an organisation: for instance, an invoice passes through an approval process and then is routed to the accounts payable department. Dynamic rules allow for branches to be created in a workflow process. A simple example would be to enter an invoice amount and if the amount is lower than a certain set amount, it follows different routes through the organisation. Versioning: Versioning is a process by which documents are checked in or out of the document management system, allowing users to retrieve previous versions and to continue work from a selected point. Versioning is useful for documents that change over time and require updating, but it may be necessary to go back to a previous copy.

• • • • • •

• • • • • •

ADVANTAGES • • • • • • • •

Improve the re-usability of information content Document version control, audit trail and reporting Reduce maintenance and administration cost Improve speed of search and retrieval Document collaboration with internal employees or external partners Document security with user, group and role based access control Enhanced scanning and indexing experience Simplify the management of critical email with email client plug-in




CANON DMS SOLUTION Canon offers ParaDoc and ParaFlow – a one-stop solution – to transform paper documents into electronic images for effective information sharing, knowledge management and work progress monitor. With the direct integration of Canon and ParaDM by an eCopy connector, full-colour or black and white hard copy documents are quickly converted into digital files which can be easily shared, stored or distributed into ParaDM’s document management system. Moreover, all steps are performed directly on the touch screen of a Canon copier. ParaDoc is a web-based document management system where all documents can be intelligently indexed to improve searching, well organised for document retrieval and archived for offline storage.

Enhanced security document viewer

Rule base email archiving Document versioning with check-in/ check-out capability User definable index and document profiling Audit Trailing Archieve and Restore Unlimited scalability to support thousands of users and manage unlimited number of documents Robust security based on users, groups and roles Collaboration with discussion, invitation and alert Lotus Notes mail client integration Folder based auto indexing Document viewer supports daily document types Keyword search supports relational search with a dictionary

ParaFlow is an enterprise solution that automates the lifecycle of an organisation’s business document from document capture, creation, review, approve and archive. Furthermore, ParaFlow does not only automate the lifecycle of an organisation’s content but also manages an enterprise’ business process, ensuring every task within an organisation’s business process is performed by the right people, on time and minimise human error involved in the manual work. ADVANTAGES • • •

• • • •

• •

Task priority and escalation procedure to ensure prompt responses Ensure smooth process upgrade with workflow versioning Support parallel routing for process that require that attention for multiple actors at the same time User-/Role-/Group-based conditional routing Pre/Post conditional routing for work tasks Web-based system for online access Allow business processes to be visualised, standardised and performed by the right people Automate business process to eliminate errors caused by manual labour Email and various alert notification for task arrival, completion and overdue. \\

egov JULY 2009



India's Largest ICT Event



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25 - 27 August 2009 knowledge for change

empowering education... enabling careers

Department of Information Technology Ministry of Communications & IT Government of India

Hyderabad International Convention Centre, India

Riveting Talks by Charismatic Thought Leaders of the Indian ICT Community and Beyond! for ne i l 9 on e r 2 00 er t s i DIA ist g g e e R eIN at in/r t. .ne A I D .eIN w ww

D Purandeswari Hon'ble Minister of State for Higher Education Ministry of Human resource and Development Government of India

R Chandrashekhar Secretary Department of IT, Ministry of Communications & IT Government of India

Subash C Khuntia Joint Secretary Ministry of HRD Government of India

Dr Rajashekharan Pillai Vice Chancellor Indira Gandhi National Open University

Shankar Aggarwal Joint Secretary DIT, Ministry of Communications & IT Government of India

Experience powerful inspiration, extraordinary insights and definitive connections with riveting speakers at eINDIA2009. Online registration has begun at Register NOW! egov Track Co-Host

Suresh Chanda Secretary Department of School Education Government of Andhra Pradesh

Ajay Mishra Principal Secretary Department of Home Government of Andhra Pradesh

Sanjay Jaju, Commissioner, Consumer Affairs, Department of Food and PD Civil Supplies, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh

Shambhu Singh Secretary & Commissioner, Education (Schools), Government of Manipur

Vivek Bharadwaj Special Secretary Department of Urban Development Government of West Bengal

Michael Riggs Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Rome

G Narendra Kumar Secretary Department of Higher & Technical Education Government of Delhi

Oleg Petrov Coordinator, e-Development Thematic Group The World Bank

Dr Basheerhamad Shadrach Senior Programme Officer, IDRC

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Towards a Digital Austria


“In the next few months, i2010 will become history. We are now developing the strategy for 2020. This means cross border services between EU member states with electronic identities and electronic signatures in the field of e-Government, e-Health and e-Procurement” 26


“Technologies Te hn l g e like Technologies ke w web 2 2.0 0 orr we web 3 3.0 0 help h l uss und understand r tand wh whatt the h customers us om r w want n andd acc accordingly d ng y ddesign s g the he services services. services.” er i e ”

Please share with us the Austrian experience in the field of e-Governance. We started e-Government way back in early 90’s with a system of electronic land and company registration. Subsequently we digitised a host of administrative works like license, birth, death and marriage registration, etc. We also established an electronic law information system as well as online tax payment system. By the late 1990’s nearly 100% of our municipalities were brought online, with more than 50% of the content provided by In 1997 we designed our first Internet roadshow for small and medium sized enterprises (www. Austria is a highly innovative country – we were the first country in Europe to implement UMTS and GPRS, we have at present achieved nearly 90% broadband penetration (more than 50% mobile broadband) and the highest WLAN density in Europe. Some of the leading companies in the world in the field of ICT applications like RFID, multimedia and content, security and service, are from Austria and these are the key drivers of growth and employment. Since 2007, we have been ranked number one by the European Commission in the e-Government benchmark of 29 European countries. e-Participation or citizen participation in governance is one of the goal and outcomes of e-Government. What has been your strategy to ensure greater eParticipation? eGovernment works best when all citizens are involved in the process. While providing e-Government services, special emphasis has been placed on customer orientation. The site is a ‘one-stopshop’ portal ensuring maximum participation

of citizens and businesses by allowing online enquiries and applications for various services like grants, income tax, passport, residential and school registrations, etc. The online procedures have also contributed in making life for businesses much simpler. You only have to use the site and forms can be filled-out online and sent directly to the responsible public authority along with applicable fees. We have also ensured maximum participation of citizens right from the initiation of e-Governance. All the content and forms available online at have been developed together with our customers. More than 1000 questions and remarks as well as discussion forums help us create user-centric services. Even our municipalities have ensured eParticipation by involving their customers in the content development. Web 2.0 applications are becoming increasingly popular in many countries, even in countries like UAE and South Korea. How do you assess the importance of web 2.0 applications in eGovernment? Technologies like web 2.0 or web 3.0 help us understand what the customers want and accordingly design the services. The last few years have seen many services changing their policy because of the involvement of citizens. Research has named Business Process Re-Engineering as a key factor in work process transformation. What has been Austria’s road map for BPR? In a ministerial decision in 2001, it was decided that we would use one standard software solution for electronic files and storage as far as all government work was concerned. This work flow management system (ELAK) has already

been implemented in all federal ministries and many municipalities. The implementation of ELAK was not only a change of a tool, but has strongly influenced the work in the public administration by reducing the process time (in the Federal Chancellery by nearly 40%) especially for searching of archives and transporting files. Users in the administration now have access to all information. All information is transparent at any time and everybody with access to the file is able to see its status. This has lent more flexibility to the structure of the organisation. ELAK encourages cooperation through availability of information independent of time and place and improves the implementation of change management processes (new structure as well as new procedures). How far have you gone into achieving the objectives of i2010? In the next few months, i2010 will become history. We are now developing the strategy for 2020. This means cross border services between EU member states with electronic identities and electronic signatures in the field of e-Government, e-Health and eProcurement. In your opinion what strategy should India adopt in implementing e-Governance? The key points are user-centricity and involvement of all stakeholders. All the stakeholders have to come together if we are to develop better services for better lives of our citizens. We also need services that are useful and accessible for target groups within their familiar surroundings. Skill based training and broadband infrastructure have to go hand in hand. \\



Celebrating Innovation and Exemplary work in ICT! Nominations open till 15th July! Visit us at

egov JULY 2009



Open and Secure Solutions for Empowering Governments




Governments of developing nations, like India are investing time and resources to enable e-Governance and online citizen services. This is an important and mandatory aspect for e-enabling these nations. However, the challenges of interoperability and standardisation of Information Technology (IT) infrastructure still needs to be addressed. Lack of standards and interoperable solutions between various government IT departments both at the central and State level, remains one of the biggest hurdle. This article discusses the issues around interoperability and possible open and secure solutions for empowering governments. Most of the present and upcoming IT projects of the Government of India are implemented independently. Various government departments, both at Centre and State level, come out with their specific requirements and requests for IT. As an example, one department may go for a solution based on Windows operating system, others may opt for Unix. There is no clear cut guideline or standards around architecture or solutions. Different departments, both at the central and state level, having customised requirements set up IT infrastructure and services in an independent way and specific to their immediate requirements. This leads to usage of different technologies with different standards and design. This results in non-standard implementations, leading to interoperability issues, which is further responsible for administrative, management and security issues. Addressing interoperability and standardisation issues is the need of the hour.

Interoperability is the ability of different Governments should deploy solutions and systems and different organisations to infrastructures based on Open Architectures, work together or inter-operate. In terms Open Standards, Open Source and Open of IT, interoperability is the ability of various Format. Open technologies should be the systems, which includes systems, storage, foundation of these solutions (see Figure 1). software and network, to inter-operate and The IT solutions based on Open Standards, talk to each other. If IT systems do not inter- Open Source and Open Format ensure operate, they will work in silos and sharing seamless integration, flexibility, modularity and collaboration will not be possible. and easy scalability. Such solutions give Interoperability challenges include issues choice and comfort to the users, in this case like vendor lock-in and barrier to exit. A the government departments. solution which is proprietary and vendor Open Source refers to the approach to specific ties the user to that particular vendor, make the products source code available creating a barrier to exit and, possibly leads to the community. Open Source software to higher costs of and infrastructure managing, sustaining creates opportunities, and operations. There is avoids vendor lock-in heavy dependence on a and barriers to exit. particular vendor in terms It increases technical of upgrades, technology literacy, and is an refresh, support and output of community management. effort and contribution. Interoperability It helps train the challenges and issues new generation can be best addressed of programmers, by adopting and innovators and following solutions developers and based on Open promotes indigenous Standards, Open Source t e c h n o l o g y and Open Format. Such Figure 1: Open Solutions industry, leading to solutions give choice to participation, sharing the users, do not tie the user into a particular and collaboration. This further spurs growth technology or a vendor, are not proprietary in the economy. and most importantly inter-operate with each Open Source solutions can help other. These solutions are much more cost governments and their e-Governance effective. Governments of developing nations projects in ensuring seamless integration, like India, should go in for such solutions and participation, sharing and collaboration , technologies. exchange data and information without any



problem and finally help save overall cost of projects. Open Standard is a specification whose description is publicly available, which are platform independent and developed collaboratively. Open Standards lead to choice. Following an Open Standard helps in standardising the solutions, which further ensures inter-operability. Interoperable solutions with Open Standards can help in arriving at service oriented enterprise architectures. Open Standards helps in avoiding vendor lock-in, drive competition and further helps in lowering the overall costs. An Open Format are published specifications for storing digital data, which basically can be used and implemented by anyone. Open Format is another very important factor to be seriously considered by the government departments. Open Format helps in providing seamless access to information, by improving stewardship of public records, which includes both present and future data records. It leads to better IT governance through inter-operability, also improved quality and accessibility of information and services. It helps eliminate information stove pipes and move to an integrated environment. With stove pipes, there is no integration of data across different departments. Data may be created and stored by different departments in different manner, leading to different formats. Sharing of such data across departments, an absolutely essential requirement, can be a challenge. This challenge can be addressed by using Open Format Data which can help the government departments to arrive at a one stop singlecitizen-view government. SECURE AND OPEN INFRASTRUCTURE Government departments should deploy an IT infrastructure to ensure inter-operability, avoiding vendor lock-in and should thrive for a modular, flexible and easily manageable solution. The architecture and technology, should be such, that it should be available from various vendors, or should have Open Source code base. This approach helps provide platform freedom, be it for a single or multiple departments, and ensures flexible, heterogeneous, and interoperable solution with zero barrier to exit. Governments should go in for such solution stacks. Any IT Solution is generally based on the following stack, and

there are Open Source, secure and interoperable solutions available around each of these layers. The underlying hardware infrastructure, including servers, storage and network. • • • • •

Operating System Virtualisation for optimisation and consolidation Middleware stack with applications, web services, and access Database Stack User accessibility

The architecture chosen, for the proposed solutions should be independent of the vendor, should preferably be open source, should be able to run multiple flavours of Operating Systems and applications, ultimately providing full freedom and choice to the user. Government users and decision makers may choose from Intel, AMD or OpenSPARC platforms. Intel and AMD platforms will run any flavour of Operating

Figure 2: Open Infrastructure Solutions

System, be it Windows, Linux or Unix. The choice is left to the user and the type of application, the best part is one can switch from one operating environment to another as on need basis. For Mission critical back end, secure applications Chip multi-threaded OpenSPARC platforms are highly recommended. The source code of the OpenSPARC processor is Open Source and if need be, government departments can use the same to develop their own processors and architectures. This can be very useful for highly sensitive, secure government requirements. Another innovative approach, towards a complete end-to-end

open systems approach is the evolution of Open Storage systems. Open Storage is an approach that uses Open Software (like the open source Zettabyte filesystem), Open Architecture with industry standard common components and Open inter-operability. Open Storage uses industry standard hardware and Open Source software to implement storage solutions that scale better and lead to an overall lower total cost of ownership, compared to close proprietary alternatives. This innovative, open and interoperable approach is strongly recommended for government enterprises. The underlying network infrastructure should also be based on Open Network technology, that utilises common components, open source software which help in seamless integration with existing and future environments. The next layer, above the infrastructure architecture is the Operating System. Operating System is one of the most important parameters in this stack and its choice is very crucial. Operating System is the interface between the user and the underlying hardware. The ease of use of the system, its security, availability, reliability and management depends on the type of Operating System environment. Users have a choice of choosing Windows, Linux or Unix. It is however, strongly recommended to opt for an Open Source operating system. This gives freedom and choice to the user, which is actually a must for government enterprises. Open Solaris is one such Open Source operating system with unmatchable feature set. It provides highest availability, reliability, maximum security and easy manageability. The good part is it runs across variety of platforms and architecture which includes Intel, AMD or SPARC platforms. It runs across variety of systems from various vendors. Solaris is supported on over 1000 platforms from various leading vendors, which includes Sun, IBM, HP, Dell, etc. This again gives complete freedom and choice to the customers and avoids any vendor lock-in. Next to the Operating System is the Virtualisation layer. Virtualisation is a key technical innovation, which is being seriously considered by various IT enterprises for optimisation and consolidation requirements. Virtualisation is available at system, storage and network level. System level virtualisation helps create multiple partitions on same hardware platform, each running same or different version of operating environment. Commercial and free version of Virtualisation softwares are available. Choosing a Open


JULY 2009


REFERENCES AND SUCCESS STORIES // Liverpool Direct Limited (LDL) has a vision for ‘Joined up Government’ to enable shared services around citizen contact centers, benefit services, human resources, payroll and revenue. It is helping transform the way citizens in this British city access public services. They have used T2000 system and Solaris 10 technologies to implement these services. Solaris 10 has an Open Source code base for most of its components and so is the processor technology in T2000. Most of the governments across the globe have the vision of ‘Joined up Government’ and can take cue from this success story for their implementations. // The Instituto Nacional De Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), or the National Institute for Space Research, of the Brazilian Government’s Ministry of Science and Technology has adopted Open Storage technology for its research around Space and atmospheric sciences. // Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire, England delivers effective and efficient public services to its citizen base on the Infrastructure running on Solaris 10. // The Japanese Overseas Migration Museum, in Yokohama, Japan, uses Ultra Thin Clients, Chip Multithreaded Servers and Solaris 10 to support its content management system, which provided information to both museum visitors and online inquirers. These terminals are platform independent, terminals, which can be used to display and use variety of different Operating environments. // Slovak National Library, a body under the Slovak Ministry of Culture, uses Ultra Thin inter-operable clients, Solaris 10 and Open Office to access and print content around Slovak literature, foreign publications and historical documents. // Government of Norway, through its e-Norway initiative, provides personalised portal interface to its 4.5 million citizens, using Java Enterprise system with some of the Open Source components and modules, running on x64 systems. // The US Census Bureau has a FedStats portal to track economic and population trends, health care costs, aviation safety, foreign trade etc. They are using the Open Source LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) stack to achieve this functionality. // NASA Jet Propulsion laboratory used open source software components to develop a software system designed to control and communicate with the Rovers as they drive around the surface of Mars. Java Expression parser and MySQL database has been used for the same. // Los Alamos National Laboratory used MySQL Open source database to build secure robust database of 55 million scientific journals and articles. // The City of Munich, Brazilian Government, French Government and People’s Republic of China are amongst many of the government agencies who are evaluating and implementing Open Source based desktop solutions, to save on licensing costs and to move away from the proprietary and closed solutions. Back home, in India, many of the government departments are already involved in implementing and evaluating Open Source Stack, for their projects. Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Gujarat government projects are few amongst the many.


Source version is recommended. Some of the Open Source operating systems like Open Solaris have integrated virtualisation capabilities, which should definitely be utilised for most optimal utilisation of resources. Application infrastructure, is the next. This layer comprises of the application, web, access, identity and any corresponding middleware application software. Again options are available from various vendors. It is strongly recommended to go for a vendor independent, Open Source, Open Standards based stack, which avoids vendor lock-in and provides choice and freedom. Java which is a vendor independent development platform is strongly recommended. Today, there are 5 million Java developers and more than 4 billion Java devices. There are over 1 million subscribers to Java Enterprise system. The middleware stack which includes Application Server, Web Server, Identity, Access Management server and the Portal Server etc, should be based on such vendor independent, community supported open platform. The middleware stack should be vendor independent, hardware independent and should run on variety of operating systems, including Windows, linux, and other flavors of unix. Sun Java Enterprise System is one such stack which is open source, based on open standards and runs on variety of platforms including Sun, IBM, HP and Microsoft. The data from most of these applications is stored in back end databases. Most government applications are citizen centric web applications. The citizen specific data is captured and stored in various databases. Today there is choice of enterprise class open source data bases. MySQL is one such platform. It is open source database, providing most of major functionalities at fraction of the cost of commercially available databases, and is strongly recommended for the government projects. Apart from the core infrastructure stack, the client access devices should also be open, heterogeneous, inter-operable and should be able to run variety of operating systems and

applications. The Ultra Thin Clients are recommended as the client access devices. These Thin Clients do not have any embedded operating system and can run any flavour of Operating System or application. They take minimal power, space and least administrative and management overheads. CONCLUDING REMARKS Governments across the globe are going in for IT enabled citizen services. There are various sub organisations within the government departments of various countries. Each department has its specific requirement and a mission, which ultimately ties into Governments vision. To ensure seamless integration and interoperability of applications and data, across various departments,

Figure 3: Secure and Open Solution Stack for empowering governments they should have solutions and infrastructure based on Open Source, Open Standards and Open Format. Such open platform, secure and inter-operable solutions around the complete stack are available today. Some such stacks have been discussed in this article and are strongly recommended for the government enterprises. These stacks are supported and endorsed by the community and enable participation, sharing and collaboration, at the same time avoiding vendor lock-in, and providing zero barrier to exit. This provides complete choice, freedom and flexibility to the government enterprises. \\


Successful e-Governance Demands e-Enabled States

SURESH CHANDA SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF SCHOOL EDUCATION, ANDHRA PRADESH ((At the time of giving the Interview Suresh Chanda was Secretary, Department of IT & C, Andhra Pradesh)

“Since India is a large country, e-enabling government departments has to be dealt at the state level. The Central government can only act as a facilitator by impressing upon every state government the significance of ICT projects in public welfare.”

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How important is political vision and will as far as e-Governance projects are concerned? e-Governance should be made a part of the political vision if things are to move fast. In a meeting under NISG last year, I had suggested that e-Governance should be shifted from the purview of administration and bureaucracy and made a part of the political system. Let us take the example of NREG. It became a success throughout the country, albeit in varying degrees, as it was a priority of the Central government. We need to create an environment where the political system realises the significance of IT in governance. A move has been made in this direction by the Department of IT, through NISG for generating awareness on ICT. Each state can send their political executives to NISG which conducts ICT workshops. RAJiv Internet Village scheme was an important step towards providing hispeed connectivity and e-services to the rural areas. What, according to you, went wrong? There has been a mixed response to this project. Some of the RAJiv centers located around urban areas have done quite well but centers in interior areas have completely failed. For the centre to sustain itself, a minimum number of transactions is required so that the centre earns enough revenue to maintain the kiosk. In rural areas, the kiosks were not getting even the minimum number of transactions. Considering this, the Central government has included a provision of a subsidy of INR 3000 to each CSC operator for four years to make it financially viable. At the time of bidding for RAJiv centres, the vendors made bids in negative thinking revenue can be raised from transactions. So they started running in losses. As the government provides free electricity in some rural areas of the state, the scope of transactions over electricity bill, a G2C service that brings maximum revenue,


almost diminishes. Similarly, house tax bill comes twice a year, while water tax comes quarterly. So there is a problem of sustaining these centers in rural areas. Since it is a PPP model, the private sector should taken the lead and done campaigns for disseminating information on the centers. Moreover, some government subsidy is required to operationalise the kiosks till they become self-sufficient. However, this was lacking from the first day itself. Don’t you think spreading awareness on ICT initiatives is key to garnering acceptability in rural areas? The RAJiv centres were based on the PPP model. The private partners were supposed to take a lead in promoting kiosks, creating awareness, and bringing services needed in a particular area. It is not appropriate to assume, that a particular set of services will be accepted in each corner of the state, because the needs and requirements of citizens varies from place to place. For example, in areas where large number of mobile phones are available, recharge coupons can be made available. In areas where a significant population lives abroad, Internet, mailing system and voice chat will be extremely popular. So services should be offered according to the needs of local people, which in turn would ensure viability. This is where the proficiency of the private sector comes in. Don’t you think availability of G2C services is one of the key factors in the success of such e-kiosks? The three most important elements responsible for making e-kiosks successful are: telecommunications, ICT enabled government departments for facilitating G2C services, and finally B2C. Initially, government services were required to provide a minimum base. But over time, building kiosks and availability of G2C services have not been synchronised. Such synchronisation requires

a policy at the state level so that setting up of kiosks and IT enabling government departments go hand in hand. Do you think there is lack of policy initiatives at the national level for putting the departments on ICT mode? Since India is a large country, e-enabling government departments has to be dealt at the state level. The Central government can only act as a facilitator by impressing upon every state government the significance of ICT projects in public welfare. One such successful example is the uniform value added tax (VAT) applicable throughout the country. Earlier each state had its own tax system. This uniformity was established due to concerted efforts on part of the Government of India in brining every state government to the discussion table. Once e-Governance becomes a political priority, projects will start showing results. In Austria, there is a system of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in each province to drive the e-Governance projects and a Chief CIO to monitor all the provincial CIOs. Can this mechanism be replicated in India? In Andhra Pradesh too, we have a CIO programme and seven batches have already been trained till now. We select 25 officers per year, who are given four-and-half months training at IIM Ahmedabad at a cost of INR 75 lakh per batch. The idea was that these CIO’s will oversee the IT implementation in respective departments. However, these officers are yet to make a mark as they have not been given any specific responsibilities regarding IT projects. And this can only happen once each department has an IT plan. But again, on the positive side, through the trainings, we have managed to create a pool of more than 200 IT-skilled officials in the state machinery. \\ Pratap Vikram Singh,


RAJiv Project

Mission Unaccomplished


ore than five crore rural citizens of Andhra Pradesh have been bereft of promises of utility payment services, land records and information services and computer literacy, with a key partner walking out of the prestigious PPPmode RAJiv Internet Village Centres project amid challenges of its sustainability. The RAJiv project was launched with much fanfare in August 2005 by the Y S R Reddy government. Under it, 8,618 e-kiosks were to be made operational within a year covering every panchayat of the 22 districts of the state with the goal of empowering the rural masses. More than two years have passed and the project target is yet to be achieved, with only 600-800 centres operational till date. Even these 600-800 functional centres are now being subsumed into Common Service Centres, under the National e-Governance Plan of the Central government, as they have proved unviable due to failure to deliver much promised G2C, G2B, B2C, and C2C services. Of the two programme partners in the project, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) was assigned 5550 centres and TIMES (an ngo) received the rest 3068 centres. BEL has already quit the project, apparently having failed to establish and run the centres. While TIMES has only been able to keep nearly 600 centres operational across the state.. The programme of setting up e-centres in every corner of the state had its roots in the Rural Service Delivery Points (RSDP) project that began in 2001-02 with the intention of providing e-services through selected 1000 plus PCO & STD booths. The project was not a success as many of the kiosks became non-functional due to non-availability of services and financial problems as the target

of minimum number of transactions was not met. In 2005, the state government came up with a Broadband Policy, under which broadband connectivity was to be provided at the village level. The outlets for providing host of citizen-centric services to the villages were named as RAJiv Centres. According to one view, the RAJiv proposition came in the wake of plugging up the loopholes which resulted in the failure of RSDPs. AVAILABILITY OF SERVICES The number of services provided is a critical factor making these e-Centres operational in the long run. The more the services offered in these centres, the greater would be the number of transactions, which has a bearing on their financial status.

As per the Request for Proposal (RFP) for RAJiv project, the government services in these centres were to be made available through e-Seva and AP Online centres, under a special revenue sharing arrangement. But in reality, the situation is different. A top official from TIMES commented on the aloofness and lack of interest on part of the government departments in extending services through RAJiv. “We sent many letters to the department of IT&C and other concerned departments like Land Revenue for extending their services to the Rajiv Centres, but we hardly got any response from them.” Sources in BEL echoed a similar sentiment, “G2C services are very critical in rural areas, since it ensures a minimum number of transactions. Throughout our operation in Andhra Pradesh on the RAJiv project, we frequently approached the IT&C department

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One of reasons for the present condition of RAJiv Centres is the lack of financial assistance to the operator till they are self-sustained, unlike the case of CSC

for providing more G2C services, but it hardly fetched any results. Also, given the fact that people in rural areas have comparatively lesser purchasing power, you can not rely heavily on B2C services.” A senior officer in the IT&C Department offered a different perspective. He commented that the RAJiv Centres cannot depend solely on the G2C services for its viability. They have to promote more and more B2C services. On whether the government is obliged to provide a set of G2C services in order to support minimum functionality, the official said in an ideal situation the government is supposed to provide as many services as possible. But it is a herculean task to pull every department and put them on Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) and ICT mode, given the administrative set-up. FINANCIAL VIABILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY Unlike Akshaya Centres in Kerala, which has evolved across the state with different business models to suit local needs, many RAJiv Centres have failed to shape business models for its sustenance. Like Akshaya, RAJiv too has a provision of providing computer education to atleast one person in each family. But it seems, providing training and education has been undervalued in terms of ROI and revenue. Lesser number of G2C services is a factor strongly corroborated by the implementing agencies for failure of the project. And it seems genuine, considering the slow pace of process transformation and automation going on in the government departments, barring some of them. States like Karnataka have done enormously in IT infrastructure and computerisation of the government

departments. Bhoomi, one of the landmark projects of the Karnataka government, overcame the expenses in just two years of its implementation and is now a revenue source to the state. The same was tried in Andhra Pradesh with the Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) project, but it got lost in the official corridors. One of reasons for the present condition of RAJiv Centres is the lack of financial assistance to the operator till they are selfsustained, unlike the case of Common Service Centres. Giving another reason the IT&C official said: “At the time of bidding, organisations make their bids in negative. In the given situation there is nothing we can do, since it is in our interest to opt for the bidder who quotes the lowest.” However, this development, which was also witnessed at the time of bidding for CSCs in most of the states, has raised questions since the bidders have not been able to continue with the projects within the bids they offered.

In RAJiv’s case, the criterion earlier was a centre per 5000 population. Later to expand the coverage, it was changed to one centre per 2000. Because of providing services to proximate areas of rural households, the viability suffered, another official in IT&C department said. Failure of the private players to bring in B2C services into the picture is another reason. In the given situation where G2C services are not ready, extra caution and endeavour was needed from the implementing agencies for inducing business services according to the specific need of the locals. The inability on part of the state government in providing G2C services to these kiosks is also an important factor. Claims and cooperation penned in the 100 pages of the RFP, like offering services of various government departments to these centres and conducting joint promotional campaigns, were denied to the implementing agencies.


In the words of the IT&C official, “To make an ICT project like RAJiv a success, we need to understand the value and importance of recognising the specific needs of the local population and accordingly improvise the bouquet of services to the people.” Also, the ratio of a centre to the number of population has to be decreased, say, a centre for 10,000 to 15,000 of population so that the number of transactions can be increased. A government machinery needs to be in place to put the government departments on the ICT mode, if the government is serious about pursuing the ICT4D concept. Over and above, it needs to be understood that if there is a political will at the top level, the chances for the success of the project increases manifold, as in the case of e-Seva (Andhra Pradesh) and e-Gram (Gujarat). The comprehension of ICT4D among many of the political executives has been poor, which is unfortunate for them as well as the citizens. At the beginning of the RAJiv Project, the state government had shown much enthusiasm, which waned over a period of time. With the RAJiv Centres being converted into CSCs in the state, only time will tell if lessons have been well learnt from the past. \\ Pratap Vikram Singh,

A biggest constraint in any of the government projects involving interdepartment participation is the lack of coordination. Lack of mechanism to pull a department and make them responsive to the change, is a serious issue. In case of RAJiv, all the issues regarding the project are handled by the EDS (Electronic Delivery of Service) section of the Department of IT&C, which has a limited role in advising other departments for BPR and work automation. Broadband Policy failure is another well acknowledged factor that gave a setback to the RAJiv Project in its initial phase. A significant factor is the allocation of a centre for a fixed number of population.

OBJECTIVES OF RAJIV PROJECT // Enabling citizens of rural/semi urban Andhra Pradesh to access information and services of the government in a convenient, transparent, and cost effective way. // Facilitate Citizen-to-Government interface for exchange of information, services and other benefits. // Bridge the ‘Digital Divide’, enabling flow of information, resources and services into rural areas and markets and vice versa. // Achieve the ambitious goal of making the state fully e-literate, with at least one member of each family acquiring proficiency in computers.





“With all records in place and a click away, the system has become transparent and it is easy to rectify any problem. Earlier, identifying a problem itself was a time consuming task.”


JULY 2009



“When Whe the When h N National to a R Rural r l Emp Employment oyme t Gua Guarantee a t eA Actt wa was pa passed sd in n2 2005, 2005 05 And Andhra r P Pradesh a e h wa was chosen h s n fforr a ppilot o test e byy tthee T Tataa Consultancy C on ult n y S Services.” rvic .”

How did the ICT-supported National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREG) programme begin in Andhra Pradesh? When the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act was passed in 2005, Andhra Pradesh was chosen for a pilot test by the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). From the beginning, we wanted Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to be the backbone of this scheme. In the first phase, we shortlisted a group of 13 districts where this scheme was to be implemented. To operationalise the scheme on ICT mode in each district was a difficult proposition in a short span of time. But we took it as a major challenge and all our subject specialists were roped in to work along with TCS consultants. In April 2006, we distributed job cards for the first time in Ranga Reddy district after the estimates and job card modules were set up. Work started in the month of April and pay orders were generated in the last week of the same month. Initially we ran the project in Ranga Reddy itself for 20 days and then slowly scaled it up to other districts as well. How you ensure proper functioning of the whole programme at the ground level? The establishment of ‘mandal’ (or block) centers was not an easy task. Directors of each centre had to individually set up everything. Even for buying computers, they had to personally run around and also take prior approval from the Collector’s office. But with IT systems now in place, we

are sure that the wages of the workers are reaching them directly. With all records in place and a click away, the system has become transparent and it is easy to rectify any problem. Earlier, identifying a problem itself was a time consuming task. How is monitoring done at the micro level? Once the concerned department finalises the type and place of work, technical and administrative approval is undertaken. Subsequently, work order is given and as per the estimate, our technical officers go to the field for marking the work area. Labourers work for six days a week and at the end of it our officers again conduct field visit to measure the work undertaken by the groups. Finally attendance is conducted and entered into the system and wages are then calculated. Wages are calculated on the basis of a particular task and the amount of work done. Once the pay order is generated, payment is deposited in the individual’s savings account. While bulk payments are done for the whole group, money is deposited in the individual accounts to ensure equal earnings to female workers. What has been your experience in implementing ICT in two other key programmes – CLDP and watershed? Following the successful implementation of ICT in the NREGS, we extended it to another rural development programme

called Comprehensive Land Development Programme (CLDP). Under this programme, land which has been lying idle for many years is developed by digging borewells and ploughing. CLDP is a complete grant scheme carried out with assistance from NABARD. With the success of ICT integration in NREGS, we have adopted ICT in this programme too under transaction based model. So pay orders are generated and payment is done through the same channel, with estimations and sanctions. One of our oldest programme is the water shed development programme, which is about capacity building and productivity enhancement mechanisms for agriculture and animal husbandry. We will be putting it on ICT mode this year. To begin with the transactions done at the mandal level is uploaded on three different websites of AP NREGA, watersheds and CLDP. We have also stored the history of the watershed project, that was started in 1995, in digital format, and the information can now be easily accessed online. In the past one year, we observed duplication in lot of works under these three programmes. As a measure, we have segregated common works under the three programmes. For example, all earthen related works are dealt with NREG funds, while bore wells, machines, and bolder removal through machines and other heavy works are funded by the CLDP. With these segregations we have been able to optimally divide funds between the three programmes and plan in a better manner. \\



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Going Online For Citizen Centric Services


“The online slot booking for license application is an innovative idea. Under this, one has to first book a slot before appearing for a driving license test. Once booking is done, an acknowledgement mail is sent mentioning the appointment date. This system ensures exclusion of middlemen in the whole process”

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“Online “O O llin tax Online a payment a m n ssystem s em wa was llaunched un h d llast s mon month nth h aandd ha hhas as bbe been en n ma e man made mandatory a o y fforr tthee wh whole l sstate aen now. now w”

Please tell us about some ICT initiatives taken by the Transport Department to make its services citizen centric and friendly. We have been regularly improving our standards over the years. Today we have brought in a paradigm shift in the transport sector with the provision of computerised services to citizens. We are among the very few transport departments in the country which provide online services for driving and learners license, change of address, duplicate license and renewal, dealer registration, payment of taxes, etc. We also have a complete set of MIS reports through which we can easily view how much amount is being collected. ICT-enabled centres have also been set up in each district for simplifying access to such services. In the days to come, I want to make all the 54 services of our department online. What was the idea behind establishment of the one-stop shop model in RTOs? Although our department has been providing citizen friendly services, the RTO’s basically had a counter based service mechanism where numerous counters catered to different activities like issue of license, certificates, taxes, etc. We felt we were under-utilising our manpower. So we tried to bring in ‘any service any counter’ model to provide flexibility in service delivery. In this system, one can approach a Help Desk, which gives out forms for stating nature of work and tokens for the queue. And once your turn comes, you can approach any counter for getting your work done. This is a time saving measure as we can avoid the problem of some counters getting crowded while others sit free. It also makes our staff more efficient as they are trained to handle all types of queries unlike the previous system. This model was introduced some 6-8 months back and now the services are fairly established. We have fixed the minimum number of transactions to 80 per day for each counter and the timings for transactions are between 10.30 am to 2.30 pm.


Can you elaborate on the web-based service delivery being offered by the Transport Department? How useful has it been for citizens and dealers? Earlier our systems were run on client server model which lacks uniformity. All our departments had different processes which used to result in lot of delay as work had to be coordinated. To offset this problem we shifted to service oriented architecture where there is a single server for all our offices in the state. The new system ensures uniformity of procedure and administration, data security and integrity as servers are centrally commanded. Our offices in three districts of Ranga Reddy, Vijayawada and Cuddapah have already shifted to this system and the modules are being slowly re-engineered. Through this service based model, we are able to provide an array of online services to the benefit of both citizens and dealers. For example, a dealer can pay Life Tax for as many as 100 vehicles at a given time with a single bank transaction. He just has to enter the vehicle details, insurance details, hypothecation, etc. Even when a customer buys a car, he can pay the tax and apply for registration and license online. Can you shed some light on the system of online slot booking for license application? The online slot booking for license application is an innovative idea. Under this, one has to first book a slot before appearing for a driving license test. Once booking is done, an acknowledgement mail is sent mentioning the appointment date. This system ensures exclusion of middlemen in the whole process. This service has also been integrated with eSeva centers. In what ways have the online tax payment service benefited the Transport Department? Online tax payment system was launched last month and has been made mandatory for the whole state now. Currently we have 400 dealers in the state, who have been given a

user ID and password. Once they make the payment online, the amount is credited the next day. Earlier there used to be a delay of 15-20days in crediting the payment. With this service, all the activities related to collection of taxes have been centralised. Shortly, the service will be extended to the treasury as well so that the tax money collected is directly deposited there. This project has been very successful in the state. Is there any kind of partnership with outside agencies for software solutions and IT maintenance? Unlike states like Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka, we have internalised the computerisation process. Way back in 2000 when we started off with it, we had developed our own software. The new service oriented model that we have introduced now is an advanced version of it. The entire hardware, server and network is owned by the Transport Department. We have hired services of two private companies – Raasi Infotech and CMS - for support and maintenance services. Apart from licenses, tax payment and dealer registration, are there other unique services available online? One of the unique services available online is the search option for vehicle registration. In case you are buying a second hand vehicle, you can find details and past history of the vehicle by entering its registration number. This is particularly helpful for the Police Department to get their queries addressed within seconds through an SMS. Similarly, our website has an interesting service of national permit payments. This service is available throughout the country. If any AP vehicle goes to any other state, you can do its registration, and also find out if the registration fee for the vehicle has been paid or not. And if I want to know how many AP vehicles crossed to other states in a particular month, I just need to enter sections on my website and the data will appear on screen. \\


in Governance What are the driving factors behind the success of e-Governance projects in Andhra Pradesh? In my view, the success of a project depends on its planning and execution. Environment, another factor, also needs to be conducive. Will and motivation among the leadership and executing officials are also required for driving such projects to success.


“A major project initiated by the IT &C Department is the online post-matric scholarship programme known as Social Benefit Management System.”

Tell us about some unique ICT applications introduced recently. One of the most interesting projects recently implemented has been the online posting of Government Orders issued under various departments. Earlier, a GO issued in a department would be sent to the Section Officer, who would then pass it on to the concerned person. However, this gave the Section Officers discretionary powers and they would withhold information. But with the online posting, GO’s stating salary increment or re-imbursement of fund for an employee or a special allocation to a deprived class or exact details of procurement can be accessed through logging on to our website. Another major project particularly initiated and being looked after by IT & C Department is the online post-matric scholarship programme known as Social Benefit Management System. Through SBMS, applications for post-matric scholarship can be submitted and its status tracked online. This scheme has induced much needed transparency into the system and the entire amount of scholarship money now goes directly to the student’s bank account. Please elaborate on popular ICT applications like OLTP and Complaint Redressal System. Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) has been on from 2002. It connects 16

government departments in the state on a single network. All records and transaction procedure details at the district level are centrally stored and managed on a single database (Oracle9i). The project seeks to serve the government officials and citizens in ten villages of Shadnagar mandal, one village each in Bijnepally and Jadcherla Mandals of Mahaboobnagar district. In the Complaint Redressal System, which is operational in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, one can register complaint through Internet, e-mail, telephone, post and in person. The status of the complaint can also be tracked through logging in to the related website. Once a complaint is submitted, it automatically forwards the details to the concerned official through an SMS. Further, update on the action taken by the official can be obtained through SMS or web-based application. How do you see Rajiv Internet Village Centres in terms of sustainability and impact? Rajiv centres is one of the initiatives of the state to further the penetration of ICT in rural areas and provide G2C and B2C services in the countryside. However, it has not been able to make a mark in both the given parameters. Sustainability was lacking from the very beginning since these centres were not backed by any financial support from the government, like in Common Service Centres. Another cause is the failure of the broadband policy in Andhra Pradesh, since these kiosks needed connectivity to provide G2C and B2C services to citizens, apart from networking with government departments on leased line or other network. Also, the delay in implementation of State Wide Area Network and the unavailability of government services are other factors that restricted the impact of Rajiv centres in rural Andhra. \\

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Decentralisation Must For Successful e-Governance


uccessful implementation of e-Governance projects always throws up some crucial challenges in the form of rising cost due to usage of proprietary softwares and technology, mere digitisation rather than Business Process Re-engineering, frequent transfer of IT secretaries, and lack of awareness among officials about the larger impact of e-Governance projects. In a three-day regional conference by the Computer Society of India, IT Secretaries and officials from 10 Indian states, a senior Austrian government functionary, and the CISCO Internet Business Solutions Group deliberated these and many other challenges coming in the way of proper implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) projects. The conference, held at Hyderabad in the first week of June, was co-organised by the Government of Andhra Pradesh, Centre of Good Governance (CGG), Hyderabad and National Institute for Smart Governance (NISG) and co-sponsored by CISCO to facilitate sharing of experiences and and ‘reducing the learning curve’. The high point of the conference was presentations on 17 projects in e-Governance followed by an interactive Q&A session. The concluding day of the conference also saw an engaging panel discussion. e-GOVERNANCE AND DEMOCRACY Speaking at the inaugural session, Additional Secretary, Department of Information Technology, Government of India, S R Rao said, “e-Governance and democracy are closely interrelated and both require decentralised implementation.”



He pointed that with the supply aspect procurement and installation of hardware – not posing a challenge anymore, there is a need to look towards the demand side, ie, services and software suited to local needs of the population. Informing the audience that till date 36,000 Common Service Centres (out of the total one lakh) are operational in the country, Shankar Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, DIT, raised concerns that though “the infrastructure is ready for e-Governance, service delivery is yet to be insured.”

e-FORMS INITIATIVE Speaking on the project of e-Forms, he informed that the DIT would launch a minimum of 30-50 e-Forms by July 1st week. e-Forms, which is being developed by CDAC, allows all the government forms to be available online on the state government websites. These can be subsequently downloaded by the public and submitted online as well. CDAC expects to make online by next year, around 1000-1500 e-Forms customised to local language.

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The First Asian Monthly Print Magazine on e-Governance


Mr Aggarwal added that with the e-Forms initiative, India could achieve an additional 2% of GDP. AUSTRIAN EXPERIENCE Christian Rupp, Federal Executive Secretary, Government of Austria, dwelt upon the successful implementation of eForms in Austria. He said, “Austria is the first EU Member State to achieve a 100% full online availability.” Mr Rupp shared with the audience the factors responsible for its success, legal framework involved, and consistent electronic procedures in implementation of e-Forms for the citizens’ services. He particularly emphasised on the need for integration of back-end systems of various departments, enabling inter-departmental sharing of information about citizens and enhanced monitoring. MAKING AP ADMINISTRATION ACCESSIBLE Suresh Chanda, Secretary, Department of IT&C, Andhra Pradesh, made two presentations on Administration of Today and Tomorrow (ATOM) and Online posting of Government Orders (GO) in most of the state departments. Speaking on the ATOM initiative, Mr Chanda informed the audiences of the four components of ATOM which includes: office file workflow; knowledge bank; C2G interface and reports; which facilitates electronic processing of files, accessible filing system, tracking of applications and files through call centre and Internet by the citizens, and availability of file notings and real time monitoring of files. On GO, Mr Chanda said that earlier since the whole system was manual, a GO once issued would not reach the concerned people as it would lie with the section officers. This gave non-discretionary powers to the officers. Now with online publication of GO’s, it can be accessed by anyone. OPEN SOURCE FOR SUSTAINABILITY Secretary, Department of IT, Gujarat, Rajkumar, spoke on key issues concerning Open Source in e-Governance and factors determining the success of an ICT project. Elaborating on the issue of promoting the use of Open Source in governments, he cited an example of 8,000 government senior secondary schools in Gujarat that are running


on Open Source. He also spoke about the state initiative of distributing Open Source CD free of cost to all the students studying in these schools. On the success factors, he cited a state initiative called ‘Chintan Shivir’ where politicians, bureaucrats, and experts within and outside the state got together regularly for three years to deliberate on issues. UTPAL SHARMA, SPECIAL SECRETARY, IT, ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR; RAJIV SHARMA, DG, Key suggestions CGG; AJAY MISHRA, PRINCIPAL SECRETARY, IT&C, AP; SANJAY MURTHY, CEO INCHARGE, that emerged out NISG; DHARAM PAL, SECRETARY, IT, GOVT. OF NCT of it was speedily implemented with less obstacles on its way. suffering. He pointed out that departments He further said that officials implementing should develop in-house expertise and should ICT projects should never talk of technology reduce dependence on private players. but should always talk of its impact. The Secretary, IT, Government of NCT of government and its citizens should be Delhi, Dharam Pal stressed on the need for considered as two identities - former being Business Process Re-engineering rather than a service provider and the latter a customer. mere digitisation. He also focused on the Lastly he said that the IT department should urgency for strategic control of data. set an example for other governmental Presenting some figures at the panel departments and institutions in terms of ICT discussion, Mr Mishra cited findings of a implementation. study done on the share of different factors In his presentation on Open Source in success of an e-Governance project for sustainable governance, Dr Jaijit and opined that the mindset of the people Bhattacharya, Director, Sun Micro Systems, (including officials) occupied a share of 52% said, “In a study conducted by IIM Ahmedabad on the success/failure of any project, whereas for Delhi government, it was found that the technology had a share of just 10 %. administration could save 78% of the total Rajiv Sharma, Director General, Centre for amount spent on proprietary softwares, if the Good Governance, stated, “Unawareness government offices ran on Open Source.” about the larger impact of any project among He emphasised on the need for appropriate the officials leads to low motivation among technology, particularly on Open Source the officials, affecting their performance.” technologies, with special reference to Elaborating on the importance of Open Source hardware and corroborated it standardisation of processes, Mr Sharma by citing a line from the prose of Rabindra said, “In the current scenario, there is lack Nath Tagore, which says “Where the mind is of standardisation and uniformity. Different without fear and where the head is held high offices have different systems, procedures, / Where knowledge is free”. processes and decision making. And these processes are not standardised even at PANEL DISCUSSION the national level. Giving an example of the misuse of resources and the mismatch Initiating the panel discussion chaired between training and job given, Mr Sharma by Ajay Mishra, Principal Secretary, IT&C, said that the CIO programme in Andhra Andhra Pradesh, on the last day of the Pradesh provides ICT training to select conference, Sanjay Murthy, CEO, National government officers, but these officers are Institute for Smart Governance raised hardly given any responsibility related to concerns on “frequent transfers of the IT IT,communications or e-Governance. \\ Secretaries leading to disruption in the Pratap Vikram Singh, business continuity and the project ultimately 5th ns tio na i om 15 e n ill lin pen t 009 n O o ly 2 Ju

AWARDS 25 - 27 August 2009 Hyderabad International Convention Centre, India

Celebrating Innovative Initiatives and Exemplary Work in ICT!

eINDIA 2008 Award Winners with former Minister of Panchayati Raj and DONER, Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar, former Member of Parliament, Shri Suresh Prabhu, Secretary, DIT, Ministry of Communications and IT, Shri R Chandrashekhar and Joint Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of HRD, Shri Subhash C Khuntia

Award Categories for Nominations in e-Governance

Award Categories for Nominations in Digital Learning

• Government to Citizens Initiative of the Year • Government to Business Initiative of the Year • Government to Government Initiative of the Year • m--Governance Initiative of the Year • Civil Society/ Development Agency Initiative of the Year

• ICT Enabled School of the Year • ICT Enabled University of the Year • Government/ Policy Initiative of the year • Civil Society/ Development Agency Initiative of the Year Award Categories for Nominations in Telecentre

Award Categories for Nominations in e-Health • ICT Enabled Hospital of the Year • Government/ Policy Initiative of the Year • Civil Society/ Development Agency Initiative of the Year

• Innovative Grassroots Telecentre of the Year • Government/ Policy Initiative of the Year • Civil Society/ Development Agency Initiative of the Year

Award Categories for Nominations in e-Agriculture Award Categories for Nominations in MunicipalIT • ICT enabled Municipal Initiative of the Year

• ICT Enabled Agricultural Initiative of the Year • Government/ Policy Initiative of the Year • Civil Society/ Development Agency Initiative of the Year

For detailed information on eINDIA 2009 Awards, visit us at

Nominations open till 15 July 2009. Send your nominations now!

Online Nominations at:

25 - 27 August 2009 Hyderabad International Convention Centre, India

knowledge for change

Department of Information Technology Ministry of Communications & IT Government of India


India’s Ambitious Solar Plan A draft Indian government plan, obtained by Greenpeace, outlines plans for a national target of 20 Gigawatts of solar generation capacity by 2020. The massive green plan is a clear example of how developing countries are acting on climate change, while in the industrialised world, the EU and the US are still struggling with their reduction targets, and delaying concrete financial support needed by developing countries for clean energy. The Indian solar plan would put India in the global forefront in the fight against climate change. The Solar

Mission document is a national solar energy plan that makes a significant contribution to a sustainable development strategy for the Indian economy. “This would be the most ambitious solar plan that any country has laid out so far, but in order for India to take concrete steps to fulfill this solar mission, India needs international support. The industrialised world needs to come up with solid proposals on technology and finance to help developing countries deliver on ambitious plans like this one,” said Siddharth Pathak, climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace India, from the UN climate talks in Bonn. \\

FLIP SIDE by Santulan Chaubey

Ooops… they understood “E” for Ego….

egov JULY 2009



Meeting Information Challenges for Improved Governance As Vice President of the Public Services group for SAP’s Asia Pacific Division, Adaire FoxMartin oversees the strategic direction and activities in the area of public services in the health, education and defence sectors across the region and executive relationships with customers and partners. Ms. Fox-Martin is a key member of the SAP leadership team and plays a lead role in delivering SAP’s offering to public sector customers. A respected thought leader, Ms. Fox-Martin continues to be invited at seminars and conferences by the media and analysts to address public services issues ranging from e-Government transformation and reengineering of Government processes to public service policies. She is regularly featured and quoted in numerous publications throughout Asia and Australia. Ms. Fox-Martin has over 20 years of experience in the field of information technology and management. Effective e-Governance can take information technology (IT) to the common man, while helping Governments to regulate their services in line with the changing needs of both citizens and stakeholders, as well as develop the economy. Recognizing the growing importance of e-Governance we bring you a much needed, regular, interactive platform, where your questions on a pre-defined theme are answered by Adaire Fox-Martin, Vice President, Public Services, SAP Asia Pacific and Japan. While information needs and availability have assumed significant proportions across the board, its easy, accurate and relevant availability in government, and for governance, poses unique challenges relating to its multiplicity of sources, lack of integration, unstructured nature, non-availability of tools for extracting and exhibiting, etc. Right to Information Act (RTI) has further accentuated this situation. This edition addresses a few questions on how contemporary IT can assist in meeting and overcoming these challenges and thereby improve decision making and governance. Is the information need any different in government? What are the key challenges? Government requires far more good quality and accurate information than any other. Uniqueness of information needs in government is on various counts such as need for macro information and not just micro; number of factors and constraints for planning; joined-up government information needs; different levels of confidentiality; extensive sensitivity analysis of information; unique models of analysis and the like. While these unique nesses pose extensive information challenges, there are several other challenges that arise due to factors like manual, non-integrated, unstructured, and multiple sources of data. Incidentally, information management is no more just a desired situation but also a mandatory requirement with the Right to Information (RTI). Is there any recommended method or an IT path to deal with information challenges in government? Any such recommendation is based on certain tenets (characteristics) and its gradual implementation. Some of the key tenets that are recommended based on various implementations globally are as follows: • Data cleansing and de-duplication to achieve “single” version of truth • Syndication across multiple sources (existing and new) • Analysis of text and unstructured information to achieve “complete” version of truth • Adoption of integrated applications for transaction processing • Document, Content and Knowledge Management capabilities • Availability of Portals, Dashboards and Information Explorers for analytical processing • Methods and policies for archiving A solution which comprehensively meets the above criteria would qualify to be a recommended solution for managing information lifecycle in government.

Could you provide a few scenarios and examples of how IT has been used in government for information management? Consider RTI on a Portal along with active redressal of queries which can be answered only by sifting through a bunch of Emails, Word files, Excel Sheets and PowerPoints. What about a dashboard wherein a citizen could visualize and simulate his health risks, life insurance costs and mortality probability based on the nature of his diet and other habits like smoking and drinking? Talking about public security and using IT to decipher information passed over the mobile, internet, blogs, twitters etc., consider a tool for comprehensive text analysis in multiple languages. Consider a tax agency improving its effectiveness in identifying incidence of tax avoidance based on a set of parameters that can run through millions of tax returns. The above are just a few of the scenarios that have been implemented by agencies like the US Health, Naval Intelligence Service in Thailand, several Police organizations in Europe and Asian countries, US Internal Revenue Service, Ministry of Finance in France, Revenue & Customs in UK etc. Are there specific tools and applications available for handling information challenges in government? There are readily available and easily deployable software solutions available from world’s leading software vendors. For example, Business Objects portfolio of solutions from SAP provides comprehensive information management on a single platform and includes features like query and reporting, master data management, text analysis, ad-hoc reporting, predictive analytics, dashboards and visualizations, mobile intelligence etc. Interestingly, a large base of users of such solutions is government. These solutions could help the E-Governance programs and other ICT implementations in government in a big way. The unique ID (UID) project itself could be one of the greatest beneficiary of such solutions wherein it is desired to get a “single” and “complete” version of truth (citizen in this case)! \\

Next Month’s Topic: “Shared IT Services”. Please write to us your queries on this topic or mail back to us at 46

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e-Governance:Renewed Agenda: July 2009 Issue  

[ ] egov magazine is the Asia’s first and only print-cum-online magazine on e-Governance, focusing on the use of ICTs in...

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