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ASIA’S FIRST MONTHLY MAGAZINE ON E-GOVERNMENT

JULY 2010 > Rs 75/VOLUME 06  n ISSUE 07  n ISSN 0973-161X www.egovonline.net

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smart traffic systems can help decongest indian roads p14

Can he

Change India

AGAIN Sam is envisioning a revolutionary public information infrastructure for the country

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india’s largest ict event 4-6 August 2010 hyderabad


editorial

Transformation is in air, again

I

ndia has changed much since Independence, but in the last decade or so, it has also transformed a bit. Change and transformation are loosely used as synonyms, though in reality, they are worlds apart. Change is a routine and in that sense, it’s a constant. Transformation is a one-time phenomenon and in fact, even changes the course of a routine. Every year, the season changes, but that doesn’t bring about any transformation in the earth’s troposphere. Periodically, general elections bring changes in the government but that doesn’t transform a nation. Yet, a well considered change can trigger a transformation. In governance, policy-level changes have sometimes led to transformations. The transformation of the telecom landscape in the country is a case in point. It was triggered by the formulations of National Telecom Policies of 1994 and of 1999, a key objective of the policies being to “facilitate affordable and effective telecommunication for all.” Once again, India is on the verge of a transformation—this time in the space of e-Governance. The National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) is in place and so are the other important aspects. It is significant that Sam Pitroda, who is credited to have architected the telecom revolution in the country while serving as technology Advisor to India’s PM in the 1980s, is back at it again. This time, he is Advisor to PM on Public Information Infrastructure & Innovations. One of the two key tasks at his hand is to drive creation of an information infrastructure for delivery of services to citizens. This will serve as a fundamental building block of e-Governance in India. He will also be charting a roadmap for a “Decade of Innovation” in India. He, however, talks of a new brand of ‘innovation’ that focuses on the organisation and the system, rather than focusing on materials and technologies. From an e-Governance perspective too, “innovation in system” is critical to bring about a transformation. e-Governance is getting another transformation block in the form of Unique ID project, headed by Nandan Nilekani of Infosys fame. The project has rightly been renamed as Aadhar, which means foundation. Hopefully, when the e-Governance stakeholders meet and brainstorm at the e-India2010 event in Hyderabad on Aug 4, the process of transformation will be accelerated.

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Contents july 2010

second grid grid name issue 06 n  volume 06

24

CASE STUDY Bang! A traffic lore? What has Bangalore done to ease its clogged traffic system

36

Update Made for local governance A report on India’s ambitious e-District project

40

The PSU Story Oil is well, post BI How implementation of BI solution is helping the oil-and-gas major

42

Case Study For zonal officers, it’s ZOOM time! Specialised software is helping NDMC officials slash paperwork

14 | cover story

Say yes to ITS Smart traffic management systems will not just help decongest Indian roads but will also bring down spiralling social costs. A report on how technology has helped in better management of traffic, prevention of road accidents, and cleaner environment

20

interview Sam Pitroda On India’s plans of setting up public information infrastructure

44

interview Jack Dangermond On how GIS can help deliver better governance

04

egov / www.egovonline.net / July 2010

32

technology Turbo Charging digital Governments How DMS can help deliver citizen services better

further reading Editorial News Product News cisco feature spanco feature Book Reviews last page

03 08 12 28 54 57 58


Columnists

Contributors inside this issue

team MANAGEMENT President Dr. M P Narayanan Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Ravi Gupta Managing Editor: Shubhendu Parth VP - Strategy: Pravin Prashant Product Manager: Dipanjan Banerjee Editorial Team Dr. Prachi Shirur, Dr. Rajeshree Dutta Kumar, Shipra Sharma, Divya Chawla, Sheena Joseph, Yukti Pahwa, Sangita Ghosh De, Subir Dey Pratap Vikram Singh, Gayatri Maheshwary Sales & Marketing Team Debabrata Ray (+91-9899650692), Anaam Sharma, Arpan Dasgupta, Fahimul Haque,

hardik bhatt Chief Information Officer City of Chicago

Pavan Duggal Cyber Law Expert & Advocate Supreme Court of India

On page 07

On page 47

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Deepak Kumar Market Researcher & Consultant IT & Telecom

Graphic Design Team

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HARDIK BHATT CIO, CITY OF CHICAGO

A new, new

government way Governments that can provide better citizen services will attract more global investment and talent in today’s flat world

D

o you remember the experience you had last time when you stood in a queue to pay your water bill? It was hot, humid and you were behind a hundred other people. You had to be away from your office for two hours to take care of this errand…When was it the last time? Well, if you live in Chicago, chances are that it happened in a distant past. Like at your favorite cellular company, a major paradigm shift would have changed things in the government service delivery. Yes, in order to continue to provide effective government services, the delivery methods have to change and they are changing. It is becoming very important to reach customers where they are, in cost effective ways, rather than expecting that they will come to the City Hall as per its 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, schedule. Providing citizen services on-line, rather than in-line, is becoming a new paradigm of government services. Unlike brick-and-mortar operations, online services are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In Chicago, businesses can apply for a new license

or renew their existing ones, pay their business taxes, get renovation permits for their shops and schedule inspections—all online. If you are a resident, you can buy your vehicle permit; pay your parking ticket fines and water bills—all online. Chicago offers over 400 online services. As a result of this sustained shift, Chicago increased its online revenue collection from $67 Million in 2006 to $286 Million in 2009. And as technologies change, people’s preferences change as well. The millennium generation knows their social networking friends better than the next door neighbour. Even parents need to send a tweet to talk to their kids today. However, many a governments, today are ahead of their private sector counterpart, on this front. City and County of San Francisco’s Facebook page has 259,000 fans. Los Angeles Police Department is using Facebook and Twitter to apprehend suspects of riots following the LA Lakers’ NBA championship rally. Chicago too uses numerous social networking tools to reach out to its constituents. What is driving this change in the government?

It is understandable why the private sector always looks for new and innovative ways of providing services to stay ahead of the competition. But where is the competition for the government? Who is going to drive the government ‘out of business?’ Well, while a government may not go out of business, businesses will go out of that inefficient government. Every major city is competing for the same global resources. A fresh graduate could decide to live in any part of the world, where there are better opportunities and a better quality of life. A new business could start anywhere where better capital, talent and business environment is available. In this ‘flattened world,’ the government’s role is to create an environment that attracts the best of the best from around the globe to their cities. So next time, before you stand in line for paying your water bill, check if you can sit in your air-conditioned office to take care of that errand while selling computers to your new client. If you cannot do that, it is time to look for a city that provides you with that experience, because your city may not remain in ‘business’ for long.

must study Who’s Your City? Author: By Richard Florida Publisher: Basic Books Price: INR 679/It is an excellent book to understand the paradigm shift in government service delivery and why some cities attract better talent and resources than others.

July 2010 / www.egovonline.net / egov

7


news

projects people policy events products

State treasuries automation project gets MMP status In a move aimed at driving eGovernance initiative across the states, the Union Cabinet has decided to bring in computerisation of state treasuries as a Mission Mode Project (MMP), under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). The Cabinet also approved the expenditure of Rs 482 crore by the Centre as part of the grants-in-aid. This Rs 626 crore MMP aims at supporting the state governments to computerise their treasury

functions and provide the required interface for data sharing among treasuries, state finance departments, Accountant General offices, Reserve Bank of India, agency banks and Central Plan Schemes Monitoring System of Controller General of Accounts. The NeGP comprises 27 MMPs, including nine Central MMPs, 11 State MMPs and seven Integrated MMPs spanning multiple ministries and departments. Mission mode implies that the

objectives and the scopes of the project are clearly defined, that the project has measurable outcomes and service-levels, and the project has well-defined milestones and timelines for implementation. The focus of the treasuries MMP is to improve the efficiency and transparency of the financial administration of the state governments. The implementation of treasuries MMP will lead to improvement in financial administration of the state governments.

Kerala PWD to tread e-tendering route Kerala Government plans to introduce e-tendering in the Public Works Department (PWD) to bring in transparency in awarding contracts. This will be executed in a phased manner. In the first phase, submission and acceptance of tenders will go live. While the officials will initialy have to manually verify the tender details, the remaining procedures will be soon incorporated into the new system, sources said. The project is aimed at bringing in more transparency and efficiency in the PWD processes and execution of works. “Apart from e-tendering, PWD also plans to bring in people’s supervision in construction works to maintain quality”, said PWD minister TM Thomas Issac. He explained that a mechanism with the cooperation of local people to monitor the quality of the construction work will be put in place.

Citizen Identity

Delhi to sign pact for early rollout of UIN The Government of Delhi has decided to sign a pact with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for an early rollout of identification numbers for residents. The State Cabinet also decided to constitute two committees to oversee the implementation of the UIDAI project in the capital. While Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta will be the Chairman of one committee, the second panel will be headed by

Citizen Service Centre

Punjab to set up more than 3,000 e-Gram Suvidha Centres The Government of Punjab has decided to set up 3,037 e-Gram Suvidha Centres in the villages across the state at a cost of Rs 90 crore, to ensure citizen centric services to the people in the rural areas. Disclosing this, a spokesman of state government said that an empowered committee under the Chief Secretary comprising administrative secretaries of various departments has given in-principle approval to implement the scheme within a stipulated time frame of one year. These centres will ensure the delivery of basic peoplefriendly services including delivery of old-age pension, registration of pension for handicapped and widows and disabled persons.

UP Waqf property records to be online soon The UP State Waqf Boards (SWB) has decided to move all its properties related records online. The initiative is being undertaken by the Uttar Pradesh Central Waqf Boards and the National Informatics

08 egov / www.egovonline.net / July 2010

Centre Uttar Pradesh support from the Union (NICUP). The ‘Waqf Ministry of Minority Computerisation Affairs. The project Citizen Project’ is an aims to create e-docIdentity e-Governance uments for all records initiative being of the Waqf properties carried out on the and also upload them on guidelines and financial the Centre’s website.

the Chief Minister. “The government has decided to collaborate with the UIDAI to enhance efficiency in delivery of citizen services through accurate identification of beneficiaries,” said Dikshit. The Delhi cabinet also approved a draft memorandum of understanding (MoU). As per the MoU, the UIDAI will prescribe standards for recording data and biometric fields and also the processes for enrolment of residents.

“Waqf properties date back to the Mughal era and a lot of properties are still disputed in the absence of proper documents,” said an official of the UP Shia Central Waqf Board. He added: “And what makes these

disputes worse is the fact that some of the old records of the pre-Independence era have gone missing in their entirety. Hence, computerisation and making the records accessible online will certainly help maintain a second copy of the records for a longer period of time.”


india

Public Distribution System R-APDRP

Haryana in review stage of power reforms project The power distribution reforms projects for 36 towns of Haryana will be analysed by a technical evaluation committee, set up to carry forward the implementation of Restructured-Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (R-APDRP) of the Union government. Haryana is one of the first states to get approval for the ambitious plan. A spokesperson for the Haryana Power Utilities said that the Union Ministry of Power had approved projects worth Rs 158.36 crore for the state to implement the reforms programme and modernise the power distribution system. He said under the scheme a disaster management centre at Panchkula and a data centre at Hisar will be set up to ensure the timely implementation of the schemes in the towns for which the project had been sanctioned. The project will be completed in two years. The various works in this project include consumer indexing, geographic information system, and metering of distribution transformers and feeders. The project will also cover asset mapping of the entire distribution network comprising 11 KV feeders, distribution transformers, low-tension lines, poles and other distribution network equipment of these towns. Consumers will be benefited by way of better service, while for the power sector there will be an increase in revenue after the implementation of the scheme. The Government is implementing R-APDRP during the 11th Five Year Plan period. This is a USD 12 billion project aimed at IT enabling India’s power distribution system. The main objective of R-APDRP is to strengthen overall power distribution system and reduce the aggregated technical and commercial losses of power utilities. Implementation of the information technology plan to achieve the goal under the scheme will go a long way in minimising interruptions and breakdowns.

The two Waqf boards of UP—Shia Central Waqf Board and Sunni Central Waqf Board—have already completed 60 percent of the computerisation process of all documents. The Ministry of Minority Affairs has given a financial support of Rs 27 lakh each to both the Waqf

boards in the first phase, where records will be computerised and e-copies prepared. In the first phase, all records from the block level to the state level will be computerised and e-copies will be submitted to NIC for uploading them on the portal.

Commercial Tax

GPS to track PDS vehicles in Chhattisgrah

Global Positioning System (GPS) devices will be used in Chhattisgarh State to track the movement of vehicles carrying subsidised rice for the poor. All the 600 vehicles carrying subsidised food grains, distributed through Public Distribution System (PDS) in the state, will be equipped with the GPS devices. These devices will give complete information on where and for how long the vehicles carrying rice are halted after loading at the warehouses and before unloading the rice at PDS shops. The move will ensure effective implementation of the Rs 1,000-crore, Chief Minister’s Food

news

Security Scheme, under which the state government provides 35 kg rice a month at Rs 2 and Re 1 per kg to the poor families. With the launch of the project, the state government is looking at putting in place the monitoring mechanism essential to track the state’s food scheme that covers over 60 percent of Chhattisgarh’s population of above 20 million. According to reports, the state Civil Supplies Corporation has already floated the tender for GPS installation and their integration with the existing software for tracking of PDS vehicles in all the 18 districts.

Chandigarh gets e-Services Grant Chandigarh has got a grant of Rs 5.97 crore from the central government to implement various e-services in this union territory. This sanctioned amount is part of the Commercial Taxes Mission Mode Programme (CT-MMP) project, according to officials. “We have already prepared a blueprint and this project will be completed in the next two years. Under this project, various e-services like e-registration, e-filling, e-payment, e-forms, e-refunds and e-redressal of grievances will be introduced in Chandigarh,” said the UT’s Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar. “Our basic aim is to create citizen-centric environment in Chandigarh and to bring more transparency in work. All these services will be available to citizens on 24x7 basis and people can access all the services sitting in any part of the world,” Kumar said.

Haryana public grievance portal launched The Government of monitoring system aims to Haryana has announced the provide a quick grievance launch of its public redressal mechanism grievance Web for citizens. Haryana portal www.harsalaunch is the first state in the madhan.gov.in. The country to launch such web portal-based a portal. centralised public Announcing the launch grievances redressal and of the pilot project state

Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that redressing citizens’ grievances was a priority area with the state government and that the user friendly portal will help citizens seek faster disposal of their cases.

July 2010 / www.egovonline.net / egov

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news

industry

Police Records

Wipro Infotech bags Rs 2,000 crore e-policing project Integrated IT solutions provider Wipro Infotech has bagged one of the largest e-Governance projects worth Rs 2,000 crore for linking police records across the country. The project, Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS), is a Mission Mode Project (MMP) under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). It aims at creating a comprehensive and integrated system for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of policing by adopting principles of e-Governance and creation of a nationwide networking infrastructure for evolution of IT-enabled state-of-the-art tracking system. The focus will be on investigation of crime and detection of criminals. The project will link police stations nationwide, digitise criminal records, and develop Core Application Software (CAS) for CCTNS. It will digitally integrate 14,000 police stations and 6,000 headquarters. The final agreement is expected to be signed within a month. The contract is for a period of eight years.

10

UID

MindTree bags Aadhaar’s IT deal MindTree Limited, a global IT solutions company, has secured the application development and maintenance services contract of the Nandan Nilekani-headed Unique Identification (UID) project, renamed ‘Aadhaar.’ The multi-crore project involves services across the application lifecycle—from designing, developing, testing, maintaining and supporting the Aadhaar application to providing help desk services from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI’s) Bangalore Technology Centre. Aadhaar will authenticate every Indian citizen in terms of his or her identity based on biometric verification. With a mas-

sive information base of 1.2 billion people and the ongoing collection, validation, issue and constant verification of identities, project Aadhaar will require one of the most complex IT architectures

ever created and a software implementation that will become a benchmark for years to come. The company will work as the development partner to build the Aadhaar application, in collabora-

tion with the technology team of UIDAI and other stakeholders. It will also carry out the ongoing services of development and enhancement to the core Aadhaar application. MindTree won the project against competition from large global IT players. “It is not just a matter of business for us; it is an opportunity to serve the nation. This partnership further affirms MindTree’s commitment and focus in the Indian market,” said Anjan Lahiri, President and CEO, IT Services, MindTree. “This project win reaffirms our leadership in architecting and delivering large missioncritical high throughput applications.” he added.

Common Service Centre

IT Management

Srei Sahaj e-Village Limited, a subsidiary of Srei Infrastructure Finance Limited, has partnered with Bharat Matrimony, India’s leading matrimony solutions provider to announce the launch of online matrimonial services for rural India through the 28,000 common service centres (CSCs) that Sahaj is setting up in the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and Tamil Nadu. To avail of the service, one will have to get registered by a village level entrepreneur (VLE) on the Sahaj Portal to obtain a unique ID and password which can be used to register on the Sahaj-Bharat Matrimony home page on the portal. The profile will be created in English. This is an attempt to provide hassle free matrimonial services to the rural India by coupling technology with the tradition of marriage. The idea is to introduce the prospective eligible singles and their families in rural areas to online matchmaking that saves time and gives them access to thousands of enlisted singles at a click.

NIIT Technologies Limited and Hitachi Asia (Thailand) Co. Ltd. have jointly launched a high-reliability cloud computing service, leveraging their respective expertise in data center management. The suite of cloud-based offerings ‘Caliver,’ derived from ‘cloud computing being alive and responsive,’ offers resource-on-demand, virtual mail hosting and virtual Web hosting services on the cloud. The cloud computing hub will be hosted at NIIT Technologies’ data center in Bangkok and will initially serve local Japanese corporations. Hitachi Asia (Thailand) and Hitachi Information System have carried out the design and architecture of the cloud system while NIIT Technologies will be responsible for the implementation and maintenance of the system. Both the companies will leverage their strengths in solution designing, SaaS application development and sales and marketing to evangelise this technology.

Sahaj e-matrimony services for rural India

egov / www.egovonline.net / July 2010

NIIT Tech, Hitachi Asia team up, launch cloud services


world

news

STANDARDS

Oman launches e-Government services framework Information Technology Authority (ITA) of Oman has launched ‘framework for the technical criteria of e-Government’ to provide the frameworks and standards to promote information systems and e-Government services. Omar bin Salim al Shanfari, Head of Corporate Sector and Consultancy at ITA said that the

Sultanate had initiated an ambitious journey to transfer Oman to a sustainable knowledge based society through utilising ICT in enhancing government services, enriching business sector and enabling individuals to improve the quality of their lives. The framework aims to build e-Oman society and

e-Government and will provide the criteria that identify the technologies required to support the governmental work and utilising them in the provision of services. It will also reduce the time and cost incurred by rolling out these applications and merging the information and services provided.

QUOTE US Chief Information Officer

Vivek Kundra on the need for a secure Cloud

“As we move to the cloud, we must be vigilant in our efforts to ensure the security of government information, protect the privacy of our citizens, and safeguard our national security interests”

PUBLIC ADMIN

UN, S Korea to jointly develop e-administration system South Korea and the United Nations have agreed to jointly develop a UN electronic public administration system. In this regard, Maeng Hyung-kyu, Minister of Public Administration and Security, and Sha Zukang, a Chinese diplomat who is currently the UN under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs, exchanged a letter of intent in Barcelona, Spain, for the joint development of “UN public administration knowledge space.” The UN knowledge space is a system for collecting and analysing basic data on 192 UN member nations’ e-Government policies and infrastructure. The project will become a base for the UN’s efforts to construct a global electronic government. South Korea will provide its knowledge and technology for the USD 6-8 million project being pushed by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, said Park Min-sik, an official in charge of the e-Government project. “South Korea’s winning of the UN e-government global grand prize is an achievement resulting from a combination of public attention, the government’s strong driving force and technological support by the country’s information-technology industries,” Maeng said.

LEGISLATION

E-CITIZEN

With the passing of Healthcare Identifiers legislation by the Australian Parliament, implementation of e-Health programmes has gained speed in Australia. The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has actively pushed for the identifiers and was involved in the discussions on the development of the legislation. AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce said healthcare identifiers are an important building block for electronic health records. “Healthcare identifiers will facilitate the timely and accurate sharing of electronic patient information to improve medical care in Australia,” Dr Pesce said. The legislation provides for the healthcare identifiers to be used solely to identify individuals for the purposes of accessing and sharing individual electronic health information. “AMA is keen to see the funding allocated in the 2010-11 Budget being directed to building the infrastructure to connect up patient information across the health care sector so that a summary electronic health record can finally become a reality,” Dr Pesce said.

All Singapore residents will have an online mailbox to which various Government agencies will send statements and bills ranging from tax statements to TV license renewals and service and conservancy bills. Informing this, the country’s Chief Informaton Officer James Kang said that citizens can log into the mailbox using their SingPass ID as well as register online to get e-mail and SMS alerts for new mail. Called OneInbox, this service will be launched by 2012. The initiative is part of a new approach to cut down paper usage, make it quick and easy for people to keep track of their bills, and provide citizens with a digital “safe deposit box” for their important documents and statements. People will also be able to track the status of their transactions with various public agencies online, just as they track registered mail.

Australia puts e-Health on fast track with healthcare identifiers

Singapore to have e-postbags for citizens by 2012

July 2010 / www.egovonline.net / egov

11


news

products

hardware

Seagate to ship 7,200 RPM hard drive for notebooks Seagate has announced channel and OEM shipments of the Momentus XT drive, its fastest 2.5-inch laptop PC hard drive, combining SSD-like performance with the massive capacity and much lower cost of HDDs. The Momentus XT drive also features Adaptive Memory—a new technology that learns and optimises the drive’s performance to each user by moving frequently used information into the flash memory for faster access. The solid state hybrid drive boots up to 100 percent faster than traditional 5,400 RPM drives, the mainstream spin speed for laptop PCs, and sets new benchmarks for real-world system.

data center

Emerson’s SmartAisle cooling system is now in India The SmartAisle enterprise cooling system for medium and high-density data centers from Emerson Network Power is now available in the Indian market. The solution combines containment technology with intelligent environmental controls, to deliver more than 30 percent energy savings and 25 percent improvement in capacity. SmartAisle integrates cold aisle containment with the rack solution. It provides focused cool air at the right temperature and volume to the IT infrastructure equipment.

Stellar launches new version of its Access DB repair tool 12

egov / www.egovonline.net / July 2010

Stellar Information Systems has introduced Stellar Phoenix Access Recovery Software v.4.0, a highly reliable, quick and cost effective software that repairs logically corrupted MS Access database and stores it at user-specified location. The repair process with the help of a this Software is absolutely

safe and does not make any changes to the original database. With recovery of almost all MS Access components, including tables, forms, reports, queries, macros, and modules, the Access database recovery tool provides a complete preview of all the recovery components.


products

news

wireless

ZyXEL announces NWD-270N wireless USB adapter ZyXEL Communications, has announced its new ZyXEL NWD-270N Wireless N-lite USB Adapter, combining ultra fast speed and greater range of 802.11n technology. The new streamlined device provides an easy and cost-effective way to add or upgrade the wireless network performance of a desktop or notebook computer. It is compatible with a Wireless 802.11n network so users can access high-speed Internet services and includes features like WMM QoS certification which is an excellent solution to deliver time-sensitive applications such as video and voice streaming that significantly enhances the audio, video and voice application.

server

Oracle unveils next generation of Sun Fire x86 clustered systems

Strengthening its position in the x86 clustered systems market, Oracle announced its next-generation Sun Fire x86 Clustered Systems, including rackmount servers, blades and a 10 GbE cluster fabric. The Sun Fire x86 clustered systems are designed for customers that run a mix of demanding Oracle and nonOracle enterprise workloads across a grouping of systems. These systems, which ship with Oracle Solaris, Oracle Enterprise Linux and Oracle VM, deliver an end-to-end

Stellar Phoenix Access Recovery v4.0 provides repair of Access databases created in MS Access 2010 (Beta), 2007, 2003, 2002 (XP), and 2000. The tool employs powerful, yet safe repair algorithms to repair table fields, like auto number, hyperlinks and OLE.

virtualised environment that provides a completely tested and supported solution for Oracle Software, including Oracle Database, Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle Applications. The systems are also certified with other x86 operating systems and virtualisation platforms. Oracle’s Sun Fire x86 Clustered Systems reduce management complexity, deliver record-breaking performance and boost operational efficiencies.

power management

Kobian launches Elite 650 Pro UPS in India Computer peripherals maker Kobian has announced the launch of its Power Product Series in India— Mercury Elite 650 PRO UPS—designed for corporate, small and medium businesses and the home segment. The new UPS is designed to meet the need of today’s world, and is positioned as a complete solution. Mercury Elite 650 UPS is inbuilt with wide input range of 140~300VAC and includes output short-circuit protection. Its features include overcharge protection with sleek and compact design with CPU control.

AMD ships Opteron 4000 chips for hyperscale data centres, clouds At the GigaOm Structure Cloud Computing and Internet Infrastructure conference, AMD announced availability of the new This is its first server platform designed from the beginning to meet the specific requirements of cloud,

hyperscale data center, and SMB customers needing highly flexible, reliable, and power-efficient 1 and 2P systems. This platform is also available for high-end embedded systems such as telecom servers, storage, and digital signage, through

AMD Embedded Solutions. The AMD Opteron 4000 Series platform offers fourand six-core performance at less than 6W per core, reduces power up to 24% over the previous generation and allows more than doubles the server capacity.

July 2010 / www.egovonline.net / egov

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cover story

the impact Intelligent Transportation System has lead to decongestion of traffic, safety and security on roads, inculcating traffic discipline among citizens, saving of time and fuel and cleaner environment

14

egov / www.egovonline.net / July 2010


cover story

Say to ITs Smart traffic management systems will not just help decongest Indian roads but will also bring down spiralling social costs By Pratap Vikram Singh Photo Sujith Sujan

E

arlier, information and communication technologies (ICT) had broad applications in business and consumer segments. Recent innovations and developments have brought about ICT applications that help government agencies improve lives of citizen in a more meaningful manner. Transportation is an area that has tremendous scope for ICT implementation. In transportation, ICT applications have resulted in better management of traffic, ensuring safety and security on roads and prevention of road accidents, with the monitoring and regulation of vehicle speed and cleaner environment due to less carbon emissions. An integrated or intelligent transportation system can help in multiple ways—it equips citizens with information about the road and traffic conditions before they start for their destinations It gives authorities critical data about traffic pattern and density, which could be further anal-

ysed and used for better and quicker decision making. It also improves law enforcement. Authorities in the US and Europe and even in some emerging economies in the East have been upbeat about using ITS.

Global adoption The US and Europe forayed into deploying ITS much earlier, notably with the development of ITS policy in the US that dates back to early 1990s. Also, almost 14 European coun-

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cover story

The ABC of ATCS Traffic Junction

Average Detector Occupancy

Online Split Optimizer

New Timings & Preferences

Detector

Stage Timing, Saturation, Speed info

Preferences

Split Time Modifier

Performance Index (PI) / Offset

Route selection & Offset Optimizer

Weights & Bias

Area Optimizer

Observations

Translation Plan

Current CoSiCoSt Timing

Central Control

tries have signed for the deployment of eCall system (emergency call system), a European Commission scheme to equip all new vehicles with GSM and GPS capability so they can automatically alert the emergency services following an accident. “In case of a crash in EU, an eCall-equipped car automatically calls the nearest emergency centre. Even if no passenger is able to speak, due to injuries, a minimum set of data is trans-

mitted, which informs about the exact location of the crash site. India can definitely adopt a similar system with customisation to suit local conditions,” RK Vij, Inspector General of Police, Chattisgarh explains. European countries are also mooting a project called Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) system, which aims to assist drivers in keeping the speed within limits. In Asia, Singapore was one of the first coun-

RK Vij Inspector General of Police, Chattisgarh

“A coordinated effort is required to foster ITS deployment in our country on a wider scale with specific regional requirement”

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egov / www.egovonline.net / July 2010

tries to feel the need for smart transportation systems and went for its implementation in early 1990s. China, in 2002, developed a vision and framework for ITS in the wake of the Beijing Olympics 2008.

It’s needed in India Despite huge strides made in IT and ITES, ITS in India is still at a nascent stage and functional only in bits and pieces. Unlike in other mature countries, India has been laying more stress on traffic management and electronic toll collection. However, it’s a common set of problem that each city faces while dealing with increasing traffic– road accidents and subsequent fatalities have gone up, clamouring the governments to adopt a more integrated approach that would interconnect various affected departments like transport, planning, police, health emergency and local authorities. Commenting on the need for adopting ITS in the country, Vij, who is also over-seeing the deployment of pilot project on ITS in Raipur, says: “Road transport has a major impact on


cover story

Puneet Gupta Vice-President, Public Sector, IBM India and South Asia

The Pune story How technology has helped address the low level of lane discipline and high heterogeneity

ITS deployed in the city

which detect signal-jumping

for handling the heterogene-

of Pune includes a public

and speed-limit violations.

ity in traffic and the poor

surveillance system at almost

“Transport officials are starting to implement smart solutions to address the challenges and provide improved mobility in their cities” the quality of life, environment and economy in our country. The states can no longer depend solely on the traditional system of transport with worsening congestion, insufficient transport infrastructure, cost constraints, increasing emissions and growing needs of citizens.” Puneet Gupta, Vice-President, Public Sector, IBM India and South Asia says, “Like their colleagues in city administration and government, transport officials are starting to implement smart solutions to address these challenges and provide improved mobility in their cities, better services for citizens and a more cost-effective transport network. Every minute during the next 20 years, 30 Indians will leave rural India for urban areas and thereby India will need some 500 new cities. The sooner the cities are smarter, the better.”

Selecting the modules In broad categorisation, ITS modules include integrated transportation system, intelligent traffic management, emergency vehicle notification, automated enforcement, advanced traveller information, electronic toll collection, pedestrian information, and camera surveillance and monitoring system. While the stress in the West has been on having an integrated approach to ITS, in devel-

ATCS, one of the vital

lane discipline. In CoSiCoSt, all traffic junc-

70 locations, passenger

applications developed by

information system for 100

CDAC deployed in Pune,

tions are equipped with vehicle

buses on the Bus Rapid

addresses the imponderables

detectors. The detector data

Transit (BRT) System route,

of Indian traffic such as low

is processed locally for split

a vehicle-tracking system for

level of lane discipline and

optimisation. All traffic signal

garbage and flying squads

high heterogeneity.

controllers are networked

of the octroi department

CDAC ATCS use an in-

to a central computer which

and an Area Traffic Control

house developed proprietary

suggests the background cycle

System (ATCS). Besides,

algorithm and control strat-

length and priority traffic.

cameras have deployed at

egy, the Composite Signal

The offset optimization is also

minimum 30 intersections,

Control Strategy (CoSiCoSt),

done centrally.

oping countries like India it is yet to be seen in a more holistic manner. The deployment of ITS here is being done in bits and pieces. Cities like Bangalore and Pune have taken the lead and have deployed an integrated ITS solution for easing the flow of traffic and increasing the safety-and-security standards on roads. For Chattisgarh, where ITS is still in a conceptual stage, Vij explains, “The pilot project, Intelligent Traffic Management System, includes modules like traffic signal management including green channel system for VVIP movement and dynamic traffic management. Parking management module includes parking guidance and reservation. Then there are features like information system for road users, driver assistance system including navigation and electronic stability control.” He further adds, “It will also include an automated control room and e-call system for emergency call handling and grievance redressing. After its successful testing in Raipur, replication is planned for other major cities of Chhattisgarh State.” As of now, for ITS deployment, the Government of India does not have a national level policy, program or even a common technology standard. On practical grounds, things are not happening. National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has long been working on highway

traffic management system which would include setting up closed circuit TVs (CCTV) at important locations, emergency call boxes at every kilometre and ambulances for 24 hours. However, HTMS has now been made a part of PPP for NHAI highway constructions project. Informing about the CDAC’s research on ITS, Ravi Kumar, Joint Director, CDAC Thiruvananthpuram (the nodal centre for research on ITS) says, “CDAC is helping the local authorities in Pune and Kolkata for integrated solution in relation to ITS. The ITS project, in collaboration with the leading academic institutes, is aiming at an integrated ITS solution, tuned to Indian traffic conditions.” Commenting on the need for adopting an integrated approach while implementing ITS, Gupta said, “Indeed, intelligent transport is about more than implementing discrete technologies. Leading cities across the world are using these technologies to evolve their transport systems from single modes to integrated ones, improve transport services and provide an improved value proposition to citizens. Their strategies address three main areas: governance, transport network optimisation and integrated transport services.”

Measuring the impact ITS adoption influences a number of areas which primarily include safety and security, traffic decongestion, cleaner environment,

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cover story

What makes transport management intelligent... l  Traffic signalling systems, including green channel system for VVIP movement l  Dynamic traffic management system with variable speed limits l  Incidence management system l  Emergency management mechanism l  Electronic toll collection facility l  Tourism and travel information solution l  Fleet management system l  Electronic screening system l  Automated parking management l  Highway-rail intersections and driver assistance systems like navigation, electronic stability control and lane departure warning systems

increased law enforcement and disciplined travellers. A Planning Commission estimate shows that the social cost of road accidents in India stands at about 3 percent of GDP annually. And a WHO study says India has crossed the mark of 130,000 fatalities in road accidents. A similar Europe-wide study puts the cost of road accidents at around 1 percent of GDP. In the United Kingdom alone, 2,946 people were killed and 245,000 injured in road accidents in 2007. According to Vij, “A coordinated effort is required to foster ITS deployment in our country on a wider scale with specific regional requirement. Indeed, once driver assistance system and emergency call system are in place and enforcement of transport laws is improved, ITS systems can save thousands of lives and utilise the social costs thus saved,” he further elaborates. Putting forth his views on ways of ITS playing a role in curbing the traffic menace, Kumar says “Application of technology in right perspective can influence the behaviour of road users including drivers, pedestrians and passengers. A UK Parliament report of January 2009 on ITS brings to light the significance it has regarding its application for enhancing road safety. The report mentions that systems like e-call could save up to 2,500 lives each year in Europe. Apprising about a similar system developed by CDAC, Kumar said, “We have developed a distress alert system for automobiles that will be launched towards the end of this year. It will be possible to mobilise rescue teams to the distress point in no time by the alert system.

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Drastic reduction in fatality rate is expected by introduction of the system.” ITS has proved to be a promising tool for addressing the traffic decongestion needs of cities. Enabling free flow of traffic, it not only saves working man hours for the overall economy, it also saves the environment from carbon emissions. Expressing his concern over the issues related with traffic congestion, Gupta pose the question, “In the cities of emerging markets such as India, car ownership rates are skyrocketing. What if they reach the 75-90 per-

Ravi Kumar Joint Director, CDAC Thiruvananthpuram

cent which we see in OECD countries? Think of the strain on transport infrastructures?” Besides, as Vij pointed out, the enforcement acts as a deterrent for travellers against violating traffic norms. Wherever ITS is deployed, law enforcement has increased considerably. Hence, revenue from violation-fee collection has gone up and the government has easily met the cost of the whole ITS deployment. Additionally, it has inculcated a sense of discipline among travellers. ITS deployments in cities like Bangalore and Pune have resulted in a remarkable change in the attitude of travellers. Taking stock of the leakages in the toll collection system in the country, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India has constituted a committee under UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani to work out an electronic toll collection system for plugging leakages that could be as high as 20 percent. The committee will select the software for integrating all the toll plazas onto a central server.

Coordination is critical

“ITS should be part of the overall urban development plan and all user agencies like police, transport, local authorities and planners, should act together”

Several stakeholders of ITS include traffic, transport, police, urban development, planning, health and local authorities. For an integrated transportation system, a close coordination among these departments is a must. Articulating the urgency, Vij remarks, “The enforcement of law is largely with the state government—through its police and transport departments. So the local bodies play an important role in ensuring flow of smooth traffic, and traffic decongestion. The town and country planning departments also need to be


cover story

l  Lack of e-readiness and preparedness in traffic, transport and police department l  Lack of process automation and availability of data and records in digital format l  Lack of infrastructure—power supply, network availability and connected ambulances and other health emergency services l  Inadequate training and availability of human resources in IT and communications l  Lack of indigenous technology in ITS suitable to Indian traffic conditions and needs l  Insufficient understanding of broader goals of ITS like achieving a safe transit, including highways and urban road network, cleaner environment, road network optimisation

receptive of it and address the growing needs of traffic infrastructure and provision of civic amenities. Therefore, the need of the hour is to strive for a more focused and coordinated approach among all stakeholders.” Kumar supports the view, “ITS should be part of the overall urban development plan and there should be good participation from the user agencies such as police, transport, local authorities and planners.” Praveen Sood, IG and Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) says, “The partnering departments have to be efficient. The preparedness should also be there in the participating departments. Besides, for fixing the loopholes into the system, an integrated and holistic approach is a must. In the long term, I don’t see ITS as a part of the traffic department. Eventually, the ownership has to go to an umbrella organisation like urban development.”

Overcoming challenges Preparedness of the participating departments is an issue. Besides ICT orientation of the nodal department, other departments must also have a minimum level of automated

operation. Until the stakeholder departments have digitised data, data sharing for the backend integration will remain a distant dream. Besides, for a nationwide ITS, there is a need for a national transport database, which hitherto does not exist. The law enforcement will be limited to some states and not across the country until such a database is in place. “A country-wide ITS network can help in law enforcement and public safety in a better manner. For example, currently it is difficult to execute a red light violation ticket for a vehicle registered in another state because there is no common database,” Kumar opined. Pinpointing the need for physical infrastructure as a major limitation, Vij says, “Integrated and intelligent transport system also needs physical infrastructure to work in tandem. Availability of such infrastructure including hospital and ambulance services, power supply and network availability is scarce.” For a vast country like India, a national policy on standards for ITS is an imperative so that the interoperability is not compromised. According to Kumar “Since ITS is a new area

in India, most of the implementation agencies are in gray about the specifications and even the requirements. Having standards can ease the situation and of course will help in future expansion and maintenance of the system. Standards also help in interoperability of systems from various vendors.” ITS, like in other counties, should be part of the urban development and planning, which will enable integration of transport planning with land use planning. It must be an integral part of the connected and smart cities. ITS can be a Mission Mode Project in the on -going National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) of the Department of IT, Government of India, which can play the role of a nodal agency in coordinating with all stakeholder departments at the central and state levels for a more holistic approach.

WRITE BACK Your views and feedback matter to us. Tell us what you think of the stories in the magazine or what more you would like us to cover. Write back to the Managing Editor at editor@elets.in

July 2010 / www.egovonline.net / egov

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in person

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in person

Sam Pitroda

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations

“information

needs to be

democratised”

W

hat is your vision for public information infrastructure and innovations in India?

As we move into a growth era, India needs to be globally competitive and needs to innovate. Both the President and the Prime Minister of India have focused on innovations. The President has talked about 2010-20 as a decade of innovations. Today, there is a political will to support innovations in all spheres. Taking this political will forward and translating it into action is a key challenge. India has been innovating for centuries. However, for the last 100 years or so the country has lost its edge, while a lot of innovations have come from the US in the last 50 years. Today, India needs to create its own models of innovation rather than adopting a US model, as that will not solve the problems of our country. There is also an urgent need to create various development platforms—for homeland security, applications, UID, education… the creation of these platforms is critical to empower millions of people around, and sure, the government is committed to creating this robust, universal, standardised, secure information infrastructure for the people of India.

A key architect of India’s welllauded telecommunication revolution, Sam Pitroda is currently entrusted with the role of Advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations. In this role, he will be driving creation of an information infrastructure for delivery of services to citizens and will also be charting a roadmap for a “Decade of Innovation” to drive benefits of technology at the grassroot level. In his usual candid and transparent manner, Pitroda spoke to Ravi Gupta and

What kind of innovations will be relevant for India and which should be the focus areas? There is an urgent need to create a broad platform for innovations that focus on the organisation and the system, rather than focusing on materials and technologies. Another important aspect is to have growth-based innovations that are sustainable, scalable and affordable. The innovations should affect people who are at the bottom of the pyramid, i.e. should be able to change the lives of those millions who are not in the mainstream. It is also important to create the required ecosystems for innovations like the venture capital, recognition for young talent, provision of facilities to people, and creation of an innovation environment at our institutions and then identifying the key drivers for innovations.

Pravin Prashant at length on how an all-inclusive development is at the core of the innovation objectives and on the progresses that have been made thus far.

What can be done to trigger this at a more fundamental level? Traditionally, a few people have controlled information. People at the bottom of the

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in person

in India with the active play of ICT? The 11th plan is all about education, where the government will be spending 67 billion dollars on education. About Rs 6,000 crore have been approved by the cabinet to build a knowledge network. This network is about connecting 1,500 locations. The program is about connectivity of the nodes. The schools, all universities and R&D institutes will

cal services for which a network needs to be created equivalent to the ‘911’ in the US. All the emergency numbers need to be rationalised. Then there is creation of electronic health record system. Many countries in Europe and the US have started it but have not been able to accomplish it, partly because of costs involved and challenges in creating standards. Lastly, we need to create virtual

“There is an urgent

need to create various

development platforms for

homeland security,

applications, UID, education…”

pyramid don’t get the benefits of this information. If information is democratised then opportunities can be given to millions and millions of young people. Looking at the telecom industry, the first phase of the telecom revolution is beginning to end. The second phase is about to begin where the broadband platform will be provided for all. The major task in the second phase is to take high-speed broadband to 2.5 lakh panchayat members. Fibre will be taken to the doorsteps of panchayats.

Do you think this would help strengthen RTI as well? The major challenge with RTI is that no particular information is available; it is not organised. For making the information available in an organised manner it is very important that a public infrastructure system is developed. RTI will get relevant only when accurate and transparent information is available. Only when RTI gets recognised will various other rights have a meaning for the public, including the right to education.

How do you see the education system changing

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egov / www.egovonline.net / July 2010

getting personal Real Name Satyanarayan Gangaram Pitroda Born On 4 May 1942 in Titlagarh, Orissa Education Masters in Physics and Electronics from Vadodara; and Masters in Electrical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago Early Inventions Electronic Diary in 1975, and the first digital switch, or the distributed processing stored program control PBX in 1978 Passion Painting; has close to 5,000 sketches. Has exhibited his work twice—July 2003 in Chicago and September 2006 at the Nehru Centre, London

be connected and scientists will begin to collaborate, and teachers will be able to share the resources. This program has already been implemented, 15 nodes have been connected and are working. Within 18 months, all the nodes will be connected and made operational. This will be the mother of all networks. Consolidation of old networks will also be done. The augmentation of networks will be the key to connecting 2.50 lakh panchayat members. This is the kind of revolution the government is aiming for in three years.

And how will the innovations and infrastructure impact healthcare in the country? Education and health are the two key focus areas, besides various other government programs and schemes like NREGA and food distribution. At present, in the health sector, major work is going on through four major IT-related programs. The first is the creation of the national health portal in multiple local languages where all health-related information will be available. This can be accessed by doctors, hospitals and everybody else too. The second is about emergency medi-

health centres where all the hospitals, primary health centres and the medical research centres will be connected, using the mother network as the physical network. These programs are being driven by the ministry of health, with more than 80 professionals drawn from various parts of the world. The reports are ready and once reviewed and accepted by the government, the implementation work will start.

How do you see the digital roadmap for India over the coming five years? Multiple platforms should be set up, which should not take more than three years. It is important to have the broadband platform, the UID platform, the GIS platform, the application platform, the security platform and the payment platform. The job of the government is to provide the platforms and see the larger and the holistic picture. People from various departments have to come forward and work towards the accomplishment of the goals. On the national GIS plan for the country, the vision is that every bit of the physical asset, each and every building, road and street is mapped.


event

eINDIA 2010 reaches Nizamland Hyderabad, beaming with a vibrant IT industry, will host India’s largest ICT event this year By Pratap Vikram Singh

“eINDIA 2010 will be a big boost to the IT sector and the state” K Ratna Prabha, Principal Secretary, IT and Communications, Andhra Pradesh

T

he Andhra Pradesh Department of IT formally announced the hosting of sixth eINDIA 2010—India’s largest ICT event in Hyderabad from August 4-6, 2010. On Wednesday, June 23, 2010 K Ratna Prabha, Principal Secretary, Department of IT and Communications, Andhra Pradesh, did the curtain raiser of eINDIA 2010, accompanied by MP Narayanan, President, Centre for Science Development and Media Studies. P Venugopal, Director, Hyderabad State Technology Parks of India and L Suresh, President, ITSAP were also present at the launch ceremony. The event is hosted by the Government of Andhra Pradesh and is being organised by Center for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS) and Elets Technomedia, publishers of e-Gov. It is being co-organised by various ministries and departments of Government of India, namely Department

www.eindia.net.in

of IT, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Ministry of Labour & Employment, Unique Identification Authority of India, Directorate General of Employment & Training, IGNOU and the National eGovernance Plan. While Sri Lanka is the official Country Partner of eINDIA 2010, the event will also have participation of high-powered senior level delegates from Egypt, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Sudan and the European Union. The three-day conference comprises several tracks and sessions on e-Gov, unique ID, municipal IT, digital learning, e-agriculture and e-health. These, along with Hospital CIO Conclave and Telecentre Forum will be attended by stakeholders from across the development and government sector, including elected members of state assemblies and the Parliament, senior level bureaucrats, policy makers, academia, NGOs and industry associations. Speaking on the occasion, Ratna Prabha said, “We are happy to co-participate and proud to be a part of eINDIA 2010. Through

this three-day conference, we will not just know what all has been happening in Andhra Pradesh in e-Governance but it will also be a great learning from all over the country, given the huge participation from states and the industry.” Ratna Prabha said of the states achievements in IT exports, “We have reached the fourth position. Next year, we expect to reach to be third,” she added. For the fiscal year ended March 31, total IT exports are expected to be Rs 36,000 crore, up 12.5 percent over Rs 32,000 crore in the previous year. IT exports from the state accounts for 15 percent of the country’s total. Karnataka accounts for 30 percent. She said that Andhra Pradesh will work hard to cross this mark. “eINDIA 2010 will be a big boost to the IT sector and the state. I urge people in IT industry to participate with much enthusiasm,” she said. P Venugopal said that e-INDIA is happening at a time when world economy is recovering from slowdown. In the global IT industry, India has played a positive role. “Deliberations on e-municipalities and e-services will go a long way in fulfilling the India 2020 vision,” he noted. Representing the industry, L Suresh commented, “Almost 95 percent of the AP business is from developed countries. The time has come when Indian companies look at expanding in Africa, Asia and other part of the developing world.” He expressed his delight over the increasing IT product business, “We have seen an upward swing in the product business and IT is now no more confined to services.” He also expressed his optimism over the increase in the business of companies participating in e-INDIA 2010. Viewing the growth made by Hyderabad in IT, MP Narayanan said, “It’s becoming an IT capital of India. We need more participation from all states in terms of IT and e-Governance adoption. Andhra Pradesh has been quite proactive in adopting IT, starting off in 1999-2000.”

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case study

G2c

Project Name B-TRAC 2010 or Bangalore Traffic Improvement Project The organisation Bangalore City Traffic Police Key People Praveen Sood, IGP and Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Sudhir R, Sub Inspector and officerin-charge, TMC

Praveen Sood IGP and Additional CP Traffic)

Problem and Challenges n Rapidly growing vehicular population n Heavy traffic congestion in peak hours n Inadequate infrastructure n Trust and discipline deficit among citizens regarding traffic rules and the traffic department

By Pratap Vikram Singh Photo Sujith Sujan

Bang! A traffic lore? A previously clogged traffic system now stays afloat as fatalities have come down and RoI is in sight too 24

egov / www.egovonline.net / July 2010


G2c

T

he city is a major IT hub and also a key industrial and transportation centre in south India. It is regarded as a nerve center of India’s hightech sectors, including IT, biotechnology, and aircraft industries. It has temperate climate, with pleasant summers and mild winters. It has several institutes of learning, notably the Indian Institute of Science.

The traffic situation Unfortunately, the city’s infrastructure, especially the roads and the traffic system has not kept pace with the growing human and vehicular population. This had resulted in chaos on city roads, characterised by heavy congestion, crawling traffic and frequent signal jumpers and violators. To ameliorate the traffic conditions, Bangalore City Traffic Police (BCTP) has deployed a comprehensive Intelligent Transportation System (ITS). The city of Bangalore has a road network of more than 3,000 km and is mainly radial, converging in the centre. BCTP has been facing genuine limitations and challenges in tackling the traffic congestion menace, despite the construction of new roads and flyovers. According to available data, in 1978 the number of vehicles was 1.46 lakh, which then increased to 6.84 lakh in 1992 and to 31 lakh in 2007. In 2009, Bangalore had a vehicular population of 37 lakh. Of the 37 lakh vehicles, over 88 percent are personal vehicles—motorcycles and cars. Mass transportation vehicles such as

case study

buses and vans account for a meagre eight percent. In addition, signal timings at various intersections needed a thorough rationalisation. The process of signalling was manual and there was no standard and rational approach towards the management of traffic. Moreover, there was a ‘trust and discipline deficit’ among citizens regarding traffic rules and even the traffic department. There was a lack of sound image in the public regarding officers having vested interests. A transformational approach that could fix the leakages and enhance the overall efficiency of the system was very much needed.

The solution Finding the way out, BCTP zeroed in for deploying a comprehensive intelligent transportation system (ITS) solution, which would not just automate the whole process of traffic management but also enable a two-way smart communication between the sources of data collection like traffic signals and surveillance points, and the control centre. This only could ensure effective generation of notices and violation-fee collections. With this objective, the Traffic Management Centre (TMC) was set up in 2008, through which BCTP took control of and centralised the management and facilitation of traffic. At TMC, data obtained from various modules are collected, collated, processed, translated into workable intelligence and then executed on a real-time basis for monitoring of ITS operations. The system functions as follows: A sensor is laid beneath the road near zebra crossing, and is linked to controller positioned at the intersection, which transmit signals regarding the presence or absence of vehicle over the sensors. In case a vehicle doesn’t pass over for more than four seconds, the time controller switches the light from green to red, after the minimum duration of nine seconds [allotted to each signal in each direction. This is what is called as vehicle actuation mode. In automated signalling, the duration of signal lights can be programmed in advance, variable with the time. When on synchronous mode, the various signals work in progression, and the corresponding lights turn green based on the movement of traffic. For surveillance, nearly 180 pan tilt and zoom (PTZ) cameras have been positioned at various locations, and act as an effective tool for keeping an eagle watch on the traffic movement and discipline. These cameras capture live feeds and pass it on to TMC where a 24 terabyte storage solution is used to store the feed for 15 days. Besides, five high-definition cameras have been mounted at five large intersections and are essentially used for law enforcements. These take snaps of vehicles violating traffic rules, to be used as electronic evidence

Tech@use Application: Web-based Database: Oracle 9i Hardware: PCs (Pentium IV and above versions) Resources: Internet and Mobile Connectivity Platform: ASP.NET 2.0

THE impact With ICT intervention in traffic management, the law enforcement, transparency in collection of violation fee and sense of traffic discipline has been increased tremendously.

July 2010 / www.egovonline.net / egov

25


case study

G2C

Technology providers

signals, surveillance and enforcement cameras and VMS boards is automatically tracked by the system. ICMS is based on escalation matrix, wherein a complaint is to be resolved in a particular timeframe. In case of a non-resolution, the complaint is escalated.

Technology / solution

Vendor

Silverlight-based intelligent signalling software

Microsoft

Video Evidence Management System

Mind Tree

Database automation application

Thematics

Reconciliation application for BlackBerry handsets

TELiBrahma

Leased line connectivity

BSNL

Benefits realised

Enforcement cameras

Tourbo Consultancy

Surveillance cameras

Zycom (supply and maintenance)

Signal lights

Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL)

Servers

IBM (rack servers) and HP (tower model servers)

BlackBerry connectivity and maintenance

Airtel

Since its deployment, Rs 38 crore has been collected. Moreover, it has led to an overall development of the traffic police personnel, while mitigating the trust deficit of a citizen when paying for a violation. Praveen Sood, IGP and Additional CP (Traffic), says the department had been struggling to “manage the show [traffic congestion] with existing resources”. With ICT intervention, the enforcement, collection of penalty fee and sense of traffic discipline has been increased tremendously, with the same number of personnel and limited resources. “The unprecedented collection of violation fee has resulted in earning of good amount of revenue for the department. Given the rate of enforcement and subsequent collection, the investment of Rs 50 crore will be recovered by next year. However, earning more revenue is not the objective. The objective is to minimise the violation to a zero level,” Sood points out. He added that the fatality rate has gone down since the inception of ITS, from 981 in 2007 to 761 in 2009. Sudhir R, Sub Inspector and officerin-charge of TMC, said, “Through these deployments, citizens have got multiple options for paying violation fees. It can be done either through paying at the Bangalore One Centre, on-spot through BlackBerry used by the field officer, online or by visiting any of the 39 police stations.” Moreover, the deployment has extensively added to the pro-activeness of the department. The integrated network of surveillance camera system is being leveraged for proactive measures in cases of security and safety and in providing emergency health services at times of accidents or natural disasters impacting the road network.

Tangible gains Violation fee collection (in Rs crore)

2001

13.5

2002

13.6

2003

14.1

2004

12.9

2005

20.3

2006

21.3

2007

WHILE the ITS deployment has MADE THE the Traffic deparment pro-active, IT HAS ALSO HELPED DRIVE IN BETTER CIVIC SENSE AMONG THE citizen

19.9

2008

29.5

2009

37.6

(up to May) 2010

19.5

Fatalities reduced No. of fatalities

2007 981

2008 892

2009 761

2010 (till june) 321

for collection of violation fees. The connectivity between cameras and TMC is being provided by BSNL through a 4Mbps leased line. To ensure transparency in traffic penalty fee collection, 600 BlackBerry handsets are being used by the traffic cops. This enables on-spot electronic feeding of data and immediate generation of receipts with the help of hand-help printing devices. The whole deployment of ITS is IP-based. Any downtime in the network of traffic

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news

Maharashtra civic bodies in e-lane

Having tasted early success, the state is now rolling out e-Municipality project for 231 bodies By Pravin Prashant

A

s the broadband divide between the haves and have-nots continues, the torch bearers of digital democracy look at wireless with hope, just as they did one-and-ahalf decade ago... Wireless, which was in second generation then, did not let the hopefuls down. As is acknowledged now, wireless has given tele-density a boost to the extent of causing a telecom revolution. Maharashtra has taken a lead vis-à-vis other progressive states like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The state is deploying standard enterprise resource planning (ERP) packages in all its 232 municipalities, which is a great achievement since other states are still debating and waiting for funds from Ministry of Urban Develop-

ment (MoUD), government of India under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). Under this mission, MoUD has decided in the first phase to implement automation in 35 municipalities out of 423 cities spread across 15 states and covering around 80 urban local bodies. The purpose of automation is to improve quality of government services for citizens and businesses, reduction in transaction cost to citizens and businesses, speeding up processes for improving internal efficiency, making processes more accountable and transparent, encouraging citizen participation, and reducing costs and increasing revenue. Identified municipalities have to introduce e-Governance system so that citizens can benefit in terms of service level agreements with respect to different services like birth and death certificates, water connection, complaint redressal, assessment of property

tax, building plan approval, getting license and e-procurement. The Maharashtra government’s experiment in e-Municipality started with Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) in 2003 whereby ABM Knowledgeware revisited around 400 business processes in all the departments and undertook business process reengineering (BPR) to make it more simplified and auditable. The software deployed serves as an ERP tool for municipal bodies and covers citizen services, revenue generation, on-line services, MIS and integration with GIS. All this led to increased efficiency in municipalities and better quality of service for business and citizens. Also, the administration has benefited due to better MIS leading to improved forecasting and increased revenue collection. For example, in FY 2009-10, KDMC handled 40,000 applications from citizens and managed collections of Rs 361crore. Tasting success, the Urban Development Department, Government of Maharashtra awarded e-Government contracts worth Rs 60.03 crore to ABM Knowledgeware for 231 municipal bodies. The scope of the work includes replication of comprehensive e-Government software called Municipal Administrative Information Network (MAInet), thereby benefiting more than 42 percent of the urban population in the state. All this will lead to better revenue collection for municipalities and also for Maharashtra in coming years. “The project is planned for completion by March 2013, but we have targeted to complete the same by March 2012,” says Prakash Rane, Managing Director, ABM Knowledgeware. The project is not in public private partnership (PPP) mode but funded by the state government. Some of the municipal bodies are funded by the JNNURM scheme. Even the local bodies will spend some amount on creating civil infrastructure like citizen facilitation centers for providing G2C and G2B services to businesses and citizens. Currently, the project is being rolled out with distributed deployment architecture but it is designed for implementation in centralized application architecture, says Prakash. Once the infrastructure becomes reliable and bandwidth improves, the application can be loaded on SDC-SWAN backbone, thereby reducing O&M (operation and maintenance) expenses for e-Municipality project.

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27


special feature

cisco

One-window citizen interaction UC enables officials to cut time-to-action by leveraging multiple communication windows running in the backend

W

ith ambitious plans for citizen services delivery and common service centres chalked up, the priority for government departments is to streamline communications and enable collaboration. Embracing new technology will be the way forward to overcome the challenges that plague government departments today.

Status quo at government offices Video and voice communication channels are disparate in most government departments. Even within the voice channel, a department secretary for example has different phones for interacting with different sets of people—an internal phone for interacting

with ministerial colleagues, a hotline to stay in touch with the minister and a separate phone for communicating with the external agencies. One has to use different devices for video conferencing. Consequently, there is a lot of confusion and decreased productivity of senior bureaucrats, as they have to move around to attend voice or video calls. This in turn results in delayed or sub optimal delivery of citizen services. There are other fallouts as well. While delays can cause extra pressure on the state machinery and dissatisfaction among citizens, they can also lead to cost escalation. Slow dissemination of information always leads to slower implementation of a project, which in turn invariably results in

The UC way to connectedness and collaboration There are a broad range of clients, applications and devices: • Unified voice and messaging solutions—voice, e-mail and fax message accesses from a single interface. • Integrated video, audio, document and file sharing services with WebEx, Cisco Unified Meeting Place and Cisco Telepresence • Integrated workflow applications and a virtual contact center through the Contact Center Solution

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substantial costs for the various departments and agencies. During an emergency, government departments need to coordinate and collaborate with multiple departments. Both voice calls as well as video calls are needed for faster dissemination of information and speedier response. Calls have to be routed to the right decision maker for advice and suggestions and once a decision is taken, it also needs to be conveyed to the relevant authorities for implementation. A reverse loop is essential for feedback and corrective action. Seamlessness in communication and collaboration will enable governments to enhance quality of citizen service delivery all through the year and respond quicker

during an emergency.

Connect, communicate and collaborate India being a large country, the state as well as central government departments have offices in geographically spread out locations and there is a need for better coordination among departments. The government departments also need to collaborate with multiple agencies. These factors justify the need for collaborative tools such as unified communication (UC) that help in reducing

Deployments of UC Indian Air Force has deployed unified communications across 65 locations for 65,000 users North Wales Police has adopted unified video conferencing and unified messaging solution on smart phones, enabling more ‘on-the-street’ time Government of Australia has installed Cisco TelePresence in 20 locations across the country for travel cost reduction and increased productivity US Consulates have been actively using Cisco TelePresence


cisco

special feature

During emergencies, departments need to coordinate through multiple channels like voice and video, which causes delays

UC breaks the silo structures and converges all communication on a single device at the touch of a button

their own enquiry numbers and call center set ups. With government-to-citizen (G2C) applications being accessed through citizen service centres (CSC), state governments can now look forward to centralise their enquiry toll-free numbers through virtual contact center solutions. This single-window interaction point between the government and citizens will lead to citizens’ delight.

communication costs, increasing employee productivity in government departments and driving operational efficiencies across departments. These new communication solutions can also help in meeting service level agreements (SLAs) with citizens, inter and intra department coordination, and inter office coordination.

The route to success

Benefits of unified communications With UC, government departments can use one solution instead of multiple devices to cater to their entire communication requirements. UC also offers the choice on how software applications can be deployed—onsite hosted or on-demand. Application deployment is based on needs at hand, and often results in the adoption of hybrid deployment models that draw on the speed,

ubiquity, and flexibility of cloud computing. Investing in unified communications also helps in consolidating and creating centralised IT infrastructure and resources. Besides these, the technology also enables the government departments to create environmentally sustainable workspaces by allowing officials to collaborate online, thereby reducing travel expenses and carbon footprint.

Opportunities galore For streamlining processes, reducing complexity and enabling better collaboration, state governments have opted for IP telephony solutions with state wide area networks (SWAN) wherein one IP phone is installed in each office. However, there is a need for increasing its penetration within offices for better coordination. Also, all departments in the state government have

In order to make deployments of unified communications successful, the authorities need to do detailed planning, taking into account all likely scenarios within their departments, laying out the procedures and communicating to all government agencies. A structured directory listing of all relevant authorities is mandatory and it needs to be updated regularly. The room of innovation in communications is large, and government departments will benefit the most from innovation. Increase in productivity and response time will be beneficial, both in day-to-day affairs and in emergency responses.

July 2010 / www.egovonline.net / egov

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TECHNOLOGY

document management system

Turbo Charging

digital Governments DMS solutions drastically cut the documentation time and make availability of citizen services a matter of few clicks only By Gayatri Maheshwary

I

n the recent years, transition to electronic management of documents has been very rapid. Concepts like digital asset management, document imaging, and workflow and records management systems have gained momentum. Document management system (DMS) makes use of such concepts and it is fast emerging as an effective tool in facilitating e-Governance initiatives. One of the key objectives of DMS is to simplify the access and management of information in a cost-effective manner, while saving time and space. With the technology driving government-to-government (G2G) and government-to-citizen (G2C) services in a big way, government departments and agencies have a plethora of digital asset to store, manage and retrieve for future reference. DMS comes handy for the purpose.

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DMS for all n  Centralised storage system n  Searchable documents and designs n  Approval process to control document update/additions n  Version controlling of documents n  Online submission of document request n  Reporting


document management system

The need for DMS can be gauged by the fact that unstructured data is growing at a rate of 65% and it will continue to grow at the similar rates in coming years, as per a study. According to IDC, the content management software market, which overlaps with the DMS market, will be worth $362 million by 2012 in the Asia Pacific region. Another estimate pegs the DMS market in India at $75 million in 2012, with at a CAGR of 13.2%. Vipin Tuteja, Executive Director, Marketing and Business Support, Xerox India Limited, notes that DMS has a critical role to play in increasing productivity, improving citizen service and reducing the cost base. Whether digital or paper based, documents allow governments to store, retrieve and manage the most valuable asset--information. When properly managed, dissemination and re-use of that information is used to create value. DMS can be software-centric or hardwarecentric, and depending on the scale, operation and needs of the organisation, a particular solution may be favoured. Anand Raman, Vice President—Marketing, Newgen Software Technologies, says a software-centric DMS with a five-year total cost of ownership (TCO) consideration should be the way forward for government department and agencies. The five-year TCO clause will take care of all technological redundancies and ensure that systems are always up to date.

DMS and e-Governance DMS facilitates e-Governance with functionalities such as advanced file approval, management, tracking and intelligent search system.

Experts are of the view that DMS will become the basic infrastructure on which all efficient and transparent G2C services will be running. “DMS will act as the ‘trusted system of records’ with controlled access to content in order to support regulatory compliance and continuity,” says Raman. With more and more government services going online, in the last few years many state governments have initiated and implemented DMS projects. NewGen implemented e-Disha in Haryana to provide citizen-centric services aimed at reducing paper-based processes for the common man. As more and more government services become online, e-records will be used to maintain data for various services like pensions and other entitlements, birth registrations and death records, and verification of citizenship and voting rights. It will also simplify collection of taxes and support financial management and audits, as also help resolve land claims and litigations. Further, it will facilitate intergovernmental agreements, economic planning, and other information-intensive activities. In 2005, Department of Science & Technology, Government of Gujarat, initiated Integrated Workflow and Document Management System (IWDMS) to provide better services to citizens. IWDMS provisions for a central numbering system for all correspondence and files to make them traceable. The system helped eliminate several steps, right from a physical correspondence to creation of a file. The electronic drafts attached to files created in IWDMS can be edited at each level and also a track can be kept of the changes made at

Vipin Tuteja Executive Director, Marketing and Business Support, Xerox India

“Though there can never be paperless departments, governments can still have ‘less paper’ departments”

TECHNOLOGY

Anand Raman Vice President – Marketing, Newgen Software Technologies

Digitisation of paper documents frees up physical space, thus eradicating the high cost of prime real estate” various levels. The system has also helped save time in transporting the physical files.

DMS and healthcare The healthcare sector has a major challenge to seamlessly manage all patient records while ensuring improved efficiency, reduced costs and increased revenues at a relatively low investment in technology. Raman points out that the healthcare sector faces the challenge of processing large volumes of documents with strict turnaround times (TATs) and service level agreements (SLAs). The processes are paper intensive and are regulated by regulatory and compliance requirements like Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the US. DMS solutions help healthcare centres in providing views of entire medical histories and faster access to specialist correspondence, among various other benefits.

DMS and education The need for digitising information and various other academic resources is being felt in the education sector. Bhattacharya says, “It is easier to adopt DMS in education as the stakeholders are more flexible and have a

July 2010 / www.egovonline.net / egov

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TECHNOLOGY

document management system

gain for agencies Improves ability to respond and

makes organisations’ processes highly efficient

Government transactions must not only be above board but also be transparent, which is possible through DMS.

Government processes need to be efficient, lean and cost effective. An effective document management system drastically reduces costs of processing.

Government has the largest number of stakeholders as compared to any other vertical, and the underlying documents for every transaction need to be available to each of them.

Considering the number and geographic spread of its constituents, electronic document management is the only way of making information accessible to all constituents simultaneously.

higher potential to learn new tools faster.” For example, libraries can select DMS solutions to manage the digitisation of historical records and build a digital library. “DMS in education is yet to happen in a structured manner. Currently, ad-hoc solutions are being used to take care of specific needs. Education being cost-sensitive with regards to IT, the best way forward would be to go for software as a service (SaaS) model, with some specific solutions built on the DMS platform,” Raman opines.

RoI considerations in the government are not required as the file restoration itself will clear a lot of unnecessary load from government offices. Talking of the RoI benefits that DMS offers, Raman says, “Digitisation enables departments to convert documents into digital formats and send a good percentage of paper documents to remote record management facilities, thus freeing up physical space in the department. This eradicates the high cost of real estate at premium office locations.”

Returns on DMS investment

The potential beneficiaries

Many of those using DMS are of the opinion that RoI on it is quite quick. Anindya Banerjee, Independent Consultant, reasons that

Over the years, the adoption of DMS has grown and certain government bodies have adopted it as a core process. Governments

Jaijit Bhattacharya Director, Government Affairs, Hewlett Packard (HP) India

“With DMS, governments can reduce the cost of functioning and also leave a smaller footprint on the ecology”

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Many countries have introduced legislation on citizens’ 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.

organisations that have not yet leveraged DMS will soon be looking at it as a potential process and citizen service enabler. The trend is seen to be growing at a considerable pace in the coming years. The huge volume of information stored on physical files has to be digitised and this has opened up huge opportunities for various DMS providers. According to IDC research findings, companies with the fastest growing profits in their industry sectors are tackling documentation processes and achieving real benefits. Specifically, a positive relationship has been noticed between effective document management and average profit growth and an organisation’s ability to respond to changing market conditions. It is expected that benefits of DMS will be extended in the government sector as well. On the potential beneficiaries for DMS, Bhattacharya feels that various government departments, PSUs and even municipal bodies have a high potential of leveraging DMS to become more effective and responsive to citizen needs. DMS fundamentally changes the ability of an organisation to respond to external requests and makes the organisation highly efficient from a process perspective. Several counties in US states have implemented DMS as per their requirements. For instance, the Orange County In the state of California is using a document management system that enables sharing and reuse of documents by multiple agencies in the county. This


document management system

streamlines and greatly simplifies the documentation process. Closer home, an e-Governance application developed by TCS for the Government of Kerala incorporates document capture, OCR and full-text search capability. The solution provides significant benefits by doing away with much of the manual processes involving documents.

Less-paper departments However, DMS implementations in the government sector are more widespread in the US, which is yet to become much of a trend in India. With the growing realisation that government departments need to be more proactive in meeting citizen requirements, there has been a concerted effort in improving service levels. Consequently, there has been a rapid increase in households that use, say, utilities like water and electricity. All this has blown up the generation of paper-based documents to the extent of unmanageability, since robust document and record management systems are not yet in place. “With the expansion happening, the use of paper-based documents is soaring up. DMS should be robust and scalable so that it can support expansion. For faster rollouts, there is

a need for establishing shared service centres (SSCs) which work as centralised repositories. Centralised document repositories, with rights-based user access, are becoming the obvious solution in view of the increasing volume of work and paper documents,” comments Raman. “Besides, with more environment consciousness around, there is a move towards reducing the amount of paper significantly. Though there can never be paperless departments, governments can still have ‘less paper’ departments,” says Tuteja.

The road ahead Rising data volumes, along with regulatory issues and the need for faster decision making and contingency planning are some of the factors driving the adoption of DMS. Government agencies will also need to start investing in DMS with an eye on automation. Other aspects driving the DMS market are virtualisation and integration. Also, the need to share information and documents with dispersed entities and improve collaboration and effectiveness of various functions will add to the benefits. The need for DMS lies in its ability to handle documents and manage huge chunks of information.

TECHNOLOGY

Today, governments are also faced with budgetary constraints. DMS will help reduce cost and bring in higher efficiencies. Digital management of records and data has gained momentum in the recent times as the need and the importance to secure every piece of information has strongly been realised. Bhattacharya says, “DMS will become a regular part of governments’ documentation process. It will be very difficult to be able to function effectively without adoption of DMS. DMS tools will have the same level of adoption as other standard IT applications.” There is a need for the implementation of statutory requirements in India, and once done, there will be a huge demand of DMS. It will help maintain the records while also ensuring the information security requirements. The ongoing adoption of document management system by a few governments and departments will be acting as a catalyst for other government agencies as well.

write back Your views and feedback matter to us. Tell us what you think of the stories in the magazine or what more you would like us to cover. Write back to the Managing Editor at editor@elets.in

Your daily cup of hot tea with hot e-Governance news!

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July 2010 / www.egovonline.net / egov

35


negp

e-District

Made for local governance Pilots are in the last leg for e-District, a G2C project that aims to make e-Governance up to village level a reality By Prachi Shirur

E

-District, one of the important mission mode project (MMP) under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) of India, is the application of technology in governance from district level downwards. Since a majority of government-to-citizens (G2C) services are delivered at the district level, it is envisaged under this project to build front-ends in the form of citizen facilitation centres at district, tehsil, subdivision and block levels. Village-level front-ends will be established through common services centres (CSCs) for delivery of services. The G2C services that are planned to be delivered through e-District include, among others, issuance of caste, marriage, income and employment certificates, pensions, ration cards and filing of cases in revenue courts. The project has tremendous impact for the citizens since it is a G2C project that impacts the common rural people, who otherwise have to run to different officials for getting their work done. The project will also help in facilitating district administration to efficiently monitor the functioning of various departments and help in generating efficient MIS for better decision making to district administration officials According to Abhishek Singh, Director, e-Governance, Department of Information Technology (DIT), Government of India, who is also heading this MMP, “e-District is an application system that will leverage and utilise the infrastructure pillars under NeGP like SWAN (the secure network) and CSC (the front-end delivery channel) to deliver services to citizens at their doorsteps.� The project focuses on IT enablement of internal processes of service delivery through business process re-engineering, automation of workflow and internal processes of district administration, providing easy access and quality services to common man through CSCs. It bring about seamless integration of various departments for providing services to citizens by integrating various district databases and creation of ICT infrastructure for rolling out of e-Governance plans right up to the subdivision and block and circle levels.

Implementation strategy The e-District project envisages centralised architecture at the state level with common application software for all the districts of the state, residing at the state data centre (SDC). Citizens will access Web-enabled services at CSCs. Applications developed during the pilot phase will be re-used in other

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states. The project seeks to redesign government processes to ensure significant process simplification and value addition for citizens. The project gives emphasis to identification and prioritisation of services to be enabled on the basis of volume of transactions. Further, service levels for each service have to be determined by the state as part of the detailed project report (DPR) and only those services where the service levels determined meet the criteria of improvement in the quality of service delivery are to be included. Program management units are planned at national, state and district levels to enable implementation of the project in a time bound manner. For ensuring delivery of services in the long term as also addition of new services when the demand for e-services increases, an effective


e-District

negp

Role of private sector Many private vendors are working with state and central government departments for implementation of e-District pilots wherein they are giving their services as consultant, application developer, data-entry operator and training program organisers for e-District pilot projects. Similar roles are also required during the national rollout. The business opportunities are huge for the private sector in e-District project. The private sector has been enthusiastic to implement PPP schemes of the Government, especially the CSC project and it is looking forward to similar PPP opportunities under e-District, which are being planned.

transaction-based revenue sharing arrangement during the operation and maintenance phase among all stakeholders i.e., the outsourced solution provider, district e-Governance societies (DeGS), CSCs, SCAs and state designated agencies is being envisaged. During the operational phase, a part of the revenue earned is payable to the district collector and his team, who achieve their targets, as an incentive. This will not only build motivation but also enable faster implementation.

Abhishek Singh Director, e-Governance, DIT, Government of India

“e-District is an application that will leverage the infrastructure pillars under NeGP to deliver services to citizens at their doorsteps�

Current status and budget e-District project is being implemented in two phases. In phase 1, pilots are being undertaken covering few districts of a state and in phase 2, the project will be rolled out across the state, subsequent to the approval of the national rollout scheme. Currently e-District pilot project is being implemented in 15 states covering 40 districts. These states are Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Mizoram, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Uttarkhand, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. Pilot projects have gone live in Uttar Pradesh and Assam and partially in Tamil Nadu and Bihar. Remaining states are expected to complete the pilot projects by September 2010. The pilot projects are being implemented at a

cost of Rs 121.8 crore. The estimated total project cost for the national rollout includes among other things, the cost of detailed project report preparation, IT infrastructure, application software, capacity building, rollout, programme and project management, awareness and communication. The estimated cost of implementation per district is approximately Rs 3 crore.

State updates Uttar Pradesh: The e-District project is being implemented in six districts, namely Gautambudh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Gorakhpur, Sitapur, Rae Bareli and Sultanpur. The state is first to make headway in the state-wide rollout of the

e-District project. There is a directive by Chief Minister Mayawati that e-District project should be speedily started in the remaining 65 districts. Government of UP has established a Jan Sewa Kendra (similar to CSCs) in each of the districts for providing integrated citizen centric services. For rural masses, it has been decided to open the Jan Sewa Kendra for every six villages in each district. Also, services can be obtained from the tehsil headquarter of any of these six districts. Through the e-District project, the citizens of six districts are getting 18-22 services from Jan Sewa Kendras. The State has a web portal (http://e-District.up.nic.in), which is a one stop solution for complete information on the services under e-District project.

July 2010 / www.egovonline.net / egov

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negp

e-District

Madhya Pradesh: It has chosen five districts to pilot the e-District project and provide integrated citizen centric services in the district. The identified districts are Guna, Gwalior, Indore, Sagar and Shivpuri. Says Anurag Jain, Secretary to CM and Secretary, IT, Madhya Pradesh: “The e-District project will help create an electronic workflow system for the district administration and provide efficient individual department services through CSCs, Samadhan Ek Din centres, MP-Online kiosks, which will be the primary front-end channels as envisaged in the project.” Kerala: e-District project is being implemented by the Kerala State IT Mission (KSITM) in the districts of Palakkad and Kannur for the implementation of the project. According to Dr. Ajay Kumar, Principal Secretary, IT, Kerala, the 2,200 Akshaya CSCs, which act as the delivery outlet for e-District project, serve the project favourably. The Government of Kerala has constituted various committees for the implementation of the project, like the State Project Committee with the Chief Secretary as the Chairperson, State Level Technical Committee with Director KSITM as Chairperson and district level e-Governance committees chaired by the respective district collectors. Periodic review meetings are held to assess the progress of implementation and recommend course correction, if any. Gujarat: Though Gujarat is not in the list of the states where e-District Pilots are undertaken, the district-level e-Governance is a high priority item for the state government. According to Dr Neeta Shah, Director, e-Governance, Gujarat, all collectorate offices in the Gujarat have already been computerised and the state government has announced the Citizens’ Charter, covering over 70 essential citizens’ services. Karnataka: As part of the exercise to initiate the e-District project, the Government of Karnataka has made many of the services rendered in Nemmadi (CSC) centres into over-the-counter services in Dakshina Kannada and Ramanagaram districts, to begin with. Simultaneously, backend digitisation of data in the revenue offices was taken up. The state government now plans to ramp up this initiative to the remaining 28 districts after digitising the backend data and integrating the backend offices.

Lessons from pilots There have been several valuable learnings that have been identified from the pilot implementations, across States. These include requirement

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Agencies involved in implementation of e-District pilot project in 15 states

S.No

State

Consultant

System Integrator

1

Uttar Pradesh

Wipro, PwC & 3i-Infotech

NIC

2

Assam

Wipro

Medha

3

Tamil Nadu

Wipro

NIC

4

Bihar

BeST

Vayamtech

5

Madhya Pradesh

Wipro

MAP_IT

6

Orissa

Wipro

SRIT

7

Kerala

Wipro

NIC

8

Jharkhand

PwC

TCS

9

West Bengal

PwC

TCS

10

Maharashtra

Wipro

TCS Teledata

11

Mizoram

Wipro

12

Punjab

Wipro

13

Uttarakhand

PwC

NIC

14

Haryana

3i-Infotech

NIC

15

Rajasthan

PwC

Anurag Jain Secretary to Chief Minister and Secretary, IT, Government of Madhya Pradesh

“The project will help create an electronic workflow system for district administrations to provide efficient services” of detailed analysis for selection of services; overcoming the ownership issues and other challenges; need for a clear cut roadmap for moving from a hybrid process to a fully automated ser-

vice delivery scenario, and tighter monitoring of service levels. On the basis of these, DIT is in the process of finalising the National Rollout Scheme and the projects under national rollout in all 600 districts are expected to be completed and the benefits are likely to begin one year after the approval of the Scheme. Business process re-engineering is very important in the national and state wide rollout of the project. Amod Kumar, Special Secretary Revenue, Government of UP, has noted that without changing the rules, laws and manuals the project would be messed up in legal battles. Also, the processes need to be simplified. As different states have different set of laws dealing with these matters, ‘one size fits all’ may not work successfully. But formulating a model process, and giving it to the states with the choice to modify it as per their needs, would save a lot of effort on the part of states.

write back Your views and feedback matter to us. Tell us what you think of the stories in the magazine or what more you would like us to cover. Write back to the Managing Editor at editor@elets.in


curtain raiser

Rebound at CommunicAsia2010 While 3D technologies dominated the exhibitions, handset makers and telcos too showcased new devices and platforms By Team eGov

T

he CommunicAsia2010 and BroadcastAsia2010 event at Singapore was an encouraging success this year, with doubledigit growths in visitors from key Asia-Pacific markets like China, India, Japan and Korea over the previous year. As many as 55,150 local and international industry visitors, conference speakers and delegates, exhibiting staff and members of the media participated in a full week of activities at CommunicAsia2010 and BroadcastAsia2010.

Products and technologies premiered NTT DOCOMO showcased latest smartphones for the Japan market, including their new separable phone. Yahoo! showcased the new Alcatel One Touch Net mobile, its first handset fully integrated with Yahoo! applications and designed to provide an integrated approach to communicating using a Yahoo!

event

The ‘live’ 3D showcase by exhibitors Broadcast Pro, Dayang, Evertz, Panasonic, Maestro, Ross Video and SeaChange brought 3D to life through the specially created content and gave visitors a feel of the upcoming technology that Singapore consumers would soon enjoy as the commencement of 3D trials were announced on the first day. Panasonic, a regular exhibitor at BroadcastAsia, presented an action-packed display of live Muay Thai and entertainment demonstrations that were recorded in 3D and instantaneously beamed on projectors above the booth. Panasonic showcased their latest range of professional equipment and camcorders, including the world’s first professional, fully-integrated Full HD 3D camcorder that records to SD card media. Sony Electronics returned to the show with cutting-edge 3D and high-definition (HD) broadcast and production solutions. The company also unveiled Singapore’s first HD OB trailer built for broadcaster MediaCorp. There were close to 2,000 exhibiting companies from 57 countries and regions at CommunicAsia2010 and BroadcastAsia2010.

Future of communications discussed

platform. Skype, a first-time exhibitor at CommunicAsia2010, showcased several applications at their booth and announced the availability of Skype on three Sony Ericsson smartphones based on the Symbian platform. Inmarsat’s IsatPhone Pro service, its first global handheld satellite phone, premiered worldwide at the show this week. ZTE unveiled the ZXY10 T700, the first integrated HD videoconferencing terminal. In addition, mobile application stores were also unveiled by Infindo, Telekom Malaysia, M1, NTT DOCOMO and Research in Motion.

Spotlight on 3D 3D technologies dominated the exhibition at BroadcastAsia2010. International and local exhibitors such as AV8 Media, Cine Equipment, Harris Corporation, Panasonic and Sony Electronics announced their latest professional equipment, solutions and technologies for broadcasters and production companies.

The CommunicAsia2010 Summit and BroadcastAsia2010 International Conference featured over 150 conference sessions and workshops and an impressive line-up of over 200 veteran industry speakers from leading companies and organisations. The conferences addressed various pertinent issues and challenges affecting the ICT, broadcasting and media industries and provided trade visitors with valuable insights on industry trends and growth opportunities. Over 1,400 speakers and delegates participated in the CommunicAsia2010 Summit, BroadcastAsia2010 International Conference and the Creative Content Production Conference. “The increase in overseas attendees, particular those from the Asia Pacific region, reflects the anticipated rebound in IT and media spending and how companies are ready to invest for further growth in Asia,” said Mr Stephen Tan, Chief Executive of show organiser, Singapore Exhibition Services. “Looking ahead to 2011, we expect companies from across the globe to continue leveraging our events to reach their intended audiences in Asia and showcase their latest products and solutions,” Tan said.

July 2010 / www.egovonline.net / egov

39


psu

bharat petroleum

Oil is well, post BI An enterprise-wide implementation of business intelligence solution is helping the oil-and-gas major reap big benefits By Gayatri Maheshwary

W

hen senior managers, including KB Narayanan, CFO at Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) decided it was time to upgrade the core Enterprise Resource Planning (ERO) software to the latest version of SAP ERP, their motivation was to streamline business processes. Also, employees would get access to some of the most up-to-date tech-

nologies in the market. SAP for O&G solutions provided industry-specific support—from the extraction of raw materials to refining to selling finished goods. It further helped BPCL manage the entire downstream hydrocarbon value chain from refining of crude oil to the transportation, distribution and sales of petroleum products. The team transformed the way SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence, now known as the SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse component was deployed—giving employees throughout the organization access to critical facts and figures. In the last few years, efforts were on to make it a much broader reporting and analytical platform for a larger number of people—to cater to the needs of operational, tactical and strategic levels within the organisation. The supply chain initiative within the company also threw up complex cross-functional parameters that needed to be constantly analysed for superior business outcomes and efficiencies. As organisational roles got clearly defined with the availability of better quality of data and information with ERP, SCM and other systems, the need for good and flexible analytics continued to go up.

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BPCL saw increase in efficiency and productivity and improved monitoring and controls in several areas subsequent to the widespread usage of BI.

The solution BPCL has always been keen to ensure that its IT delivered real business value. That means streamlining business processes and increasing efficiency by keeping abreast of technology trends and implementing powerful solutions. With the volume of data and the number of users constantly on the rise, BPCL decided to introduce SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse Accelerator software. This solution comprised state-of-the-art SAP software and high-performance servers from leading hardware vendors. It leveraged aggregation and compression technology to deliver more accurate results even faster. “User acceptance and satisfaction are


bharat petroleum

“We are working on pilots FOCUSED AT end customers” KB Narayanan, CFO, BPCL

How is the present solution different from the earlier version? BPCL had started implemented SAP ERP in year 2000. So, in a sense so it is not a very new deployment. Prior to SAP ERP, we had a centralised system that was developed in-house.

Photo: istockphoto.com

How has SAP NetWeaver BI helped in increasing your business efficiency and productivity? We have seen increase in efficiency & productivity and improved monitoring / controls in several areas subsequent to the widespread usage of BI. What were the deployment challenges faced? The main challenge is in the area of quality of data. The BI project needs a separate focus, slightly different from ERP in this area. It takes many years to embed an information based management system within an organisation. Many transactional processes in ERP, SCM and other systems may need to be revisited. How is it helping in achieving improved customer satisfaction? BPCL is working on several areas of improvement, internal to the organisation, with the help of the BI tool. The current focus is on good monitoring and control mechanisms that can reduce cost and create value generating opportunities.

closely linked to the user experience,” explains KB Narayanan. In the past, NetWeaver BI by SAP had been predominantly leveraged by managers from various regions and at company headquarters. But Narayanan’s team in Mumbai discovered that middle management and sales staff could also benefit from having timely access to key performance indicators.

NetWeaver BI integrates data from across the enterprise and beyond. It provides employees with the tools they need to retrieve vital facts and figures and transform them into valuable business insights. “By offering an even swifter, smoother way of calling up information, we can encourage more people to use our business intelligence software. And this, in turn, will help streamline decision making, boost productivity, and improve the way we do business overall.” says Narayanan. “Waiting for charts and graphs to be passed down from the head office often takes time,” says Narayanan. “But our people in the field need to see the relevant business metrics as soon as they’re available. It’s not just top executives who make important decisions every day.” The team went about giving more employees at BPCL access to the NetWeaver BI. They increased the number of user licenses from 200 to 600 and demonstrated the power of NetWeaver BI in various business contexts. What’s more, to help ensure optimum performance, they upgraded to the latest version of the component. As part of the initiative, decision makers opted to integrate data from BPCL’s customer loyalty card programs and give sales managers at retail outlets access to the software—a smart move, as Narayanan explains: “Using the insight gained by using NetWeaver BI, sales force developed strategies to increase membership in the loyalty programs. This move has helped dramatically increase the business generated by the card schemes. In fact, at least 30 percent of the growth can be attributed to NetWeaver BI.” And it’s not just the sales force that benefited from NetWeaver BI. BPCL employ-

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PSU

Business intelligence benefits l Enhanced functionality across all areas of the enterprise l  Faster, more efficient decision making l Enhanced access to business analytics for more employees l  Increased sales generated by customer loyalty card programs l  Streamlined reporting and analysis

Solutions and vendors l  Application: SAP ERP, NetWeaver BW, and SAP NetWeaver BI Accelerator software l  Database: Oracle l  Hardware: Hewlett-Packard l  Operating system: HP-UX

ees at all levels of the enterprise are now using the powerful analytical component. As a result, they have better insight into vital business metrics. Moreover, decision making, reporting, and analysis are now much faster. “When people saw the software in action, they began to understand the power of business analytics. They soon realised that business intelligence is not just about technology, it delivers real business value,” says Narayanan. BPCL has invested considerable time and effort in establishing a cutting-edge IT infrastructure and specialist in-house resources—and is reaping significant benefits.

write back Your views and feedback matter to us. Tell us what you think of the stories in the magazine or what more you would like us to cover. Write back to the Managing Editor at editor@elets.in

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case study

G2G

Project Name Zonal Officers Observation and Monitoring (ZOOM) software The organisation New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) Key People Amit Prasad, DirectorIT; K Murugan, Deputy Director; Manish Manglik, Programmer The benefits n Reduced paperwork and increased transparency n Reduced pendency of work n Removal of need for meetings on zonal observations n Creation of competitive environment amongst officers, as the status of work is there for everyone to see. This encourages self-motivation, instead of supervision and monitoring by higher authorities

amit prasad Director, IT, NDMC

By Prachi Shirur Photo Joe

For zonal officers, it’s ZOOM time! Specialised software is helping NDMC officials to slash paperwork and review progress of municipal work transparently 42

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G2G

T

the change agents

he New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) is one of the premier municipal bodies in India. Its functions cover electricity and water supply, running of schools, crèches and craft centres, maintenance of sewerage and drainage, sanitation, inner roads, sidewalks and buildings, public conveniences, health licenses, medical services, building plan approval, and removal of unauthorised constructions and vendors. Each of these functions is assigned to a related department like Health, Civil Engineering, Enforcement or Education. Also, an inspection of the NDMC area is done by zonal officers who belong to different departments. For this purpose NDMC has been divided into 14 zones and each zone has been assigned to a senior inspecting officer. The purpose is to resolve problems well before they turn into grievances. When the matter is reported by a zonal officer, the corresponding executive authority has to fix the problem in a time bound manner. Earlier, periodic meetings for zonal officers were held, where the officer would report their observations on paper. They would also send copies to the secretary’s and chairman’s offices. These observations would then be routed to different junior officers for carrying out the work. They would then report on the work progress with copies to the chairman, the secretary and the concerned zonal officer. All this resulted in lot of paperwork, and also slowed down the progress of work.

The solution The Zonal Officers Observation and Moni-

case study

toring (ZOOM) software has been designed and developed in-house by the Information Technology department of NDMC, which allows zonal officers to report their observations using the software application, which simultaneously routes the problems to the concerned executive authority immediately for rectification. “The software was designed to counter the inherent problem in paper-based reporting by the zonal officers,” informs Amit Prasad, Director, IT, NDMC. The respective zonal officers and concerned heads of departments (HoDs) are logged in the system using link provided on home page. All the zonal officers have to inspect their respective zonal areas and record their observations in the system. All such observations automatically escalate to the concerned HoD according to their ‘observation type’. After taking action on such observations, the concerned officer updates responses in ZOOM, such as work-in-progress or the likely completion date. Such updates will go in archives of both the zonal officer as well as the head of the concerned maintenance department. After implementation of ZOOM, it has become imperative for all officers to carry out inspection of their area. Else, their status on ZOOM will display a lack of activity and the system will automatically send them email and SMS reminding them of the pending work. A typical such email would read: “Dear officer, you do not appear to have carried out inspection of your area for more than 15 days. Please carry out the same.” A consolidated report of all defaulting officers is sent to the Secretary and also to the Chairman. Parimal Rai, Chairman, NDMC notes, “ZOOM has transformed the complete inspection and reporting activity of zonal officers from an ad hoc process to a continuous process requiring little intervention. It is also a step towards m-Governance.” “Ever since ZOOM has started, there is no more a requirement for meetings of zonal officers and head of departments to either review the pending inspections or the action taken by officers. The system prompts the officers through email and SMS and the reports are available on my computer as well as mobile. Earlier it was a cumbersome process requiring constant monitoring,” Gyanesh Bharti, IAS, Secretary, NDMC notes. All the resolved problems are sent to archives. Manoj Sethi, Director, Finance, who has been using ZOOM since it was launched, says, “ZOOM tells about the action taken in real-time basis. Because of the archives facility, I can see the repetitive nature of the complaints.” Philip Bara, Director, Vigilance, says, “ZOOM report card helps me a lot. It tells me at what date my zonal inspection is due and informs me about the status of work. The software is very user friendly.” According to Amit Prasad, “ZOOM implementation is a remarkable achievement in a government department where paperwork brings delay and lack of transparency.”

Tech@use Parimal Rai Chairman, NDMC

Gyanesh Bharti Secretary, NDMC

Application: Web-based Database: Oracle 9i Hardware: PCs (Pentium IV and above versions) Resources: Internet and Mobile Connectivity Platform: ASP.NET 2.0

REPLICABILITY In this era of e-Governance systems such as ZOOM will help government departments improve performance of their officers. It can be replicated in many organisations.

July 2010 / www.egovonline.net / egov

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IN PERSON

Jack Dangermond

Founder and President, ESRI

“Use of GIS

can help bring

transparency in the

   government” Jack Dangermond is regarded as a global authority on GIS and is Founder and President of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) he established way back in 1969. He has been recipient of numerous honours and awards and of at least ten honorary doctorates. During his recent visit to India, egov Managing Editor Shubhendu Parth caught up with Dangermond to seek his vision on GIS applications and

I

t’s been over 40 years since you set up ESRI. How has GIS evolved during the years?

In 60s and 70s, it was totally project-oriented. And I can say that today, although then we strongly believed that ‘it’ was the product. It wasn’t until 1982 that we released the first version of ArcInfo, which actually encapsulated all of the work that we had been doing for 12 years that could be shipped as a volume product. That changed everybody’s perception about GIS. During the 80s, there was an exponential growth in the volume we sold, largely to be used on mini computers. When Unix workstations were introduced, we structured our products to run on standalone workstations or on networks. That really helped the product take off. When we migrated to PCs during mid to late 90s, we witnessed a similar phenomenal growth—from thousands of users to hundreds of thousands, and over a million users on today’s desktop environment.

advantages in the e-Governance

How has the Web impacted the delivery of GIS services?

space in India. Excerpts:

About 7-8 years ago we started to introduce products for the Web, and the way I see it is that the Web is the next generation platform. For the last three years we have been re-structuring all of our software to run on the Web as a platform, integrating the whole Web 2.0 logic of ‘crowdsourcing’ of geographic data, mashups and accelerating the usage. The Web has enabled us to connect the GIS specialists—people who create and manage geographic data in various agencies to the whole world, serving maps and even analytics through the web.

What does it mean for the users, and the society at large? GIS, which has so far been a specialised field, will now open up. We can now think of spatially-enabled enterprise tabular data. In fact, we can also spatially enable all the content on the web. It will also help bring about transparency in the government. There could be thousands of applications that could be built on top of this infrastructure. In the past GIS has, at times, been seen as a niche technology that is proprietary in nature, and is focused on certain kinds of applications. What’s happened with the introduction of server is that we paid a lot of attention on building server-based

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IN PERSON

Tabular databases are increasingly being spatial-enabled using the server technologies. This can be done in healthcare, for information on epidemics, for project monitoring or allocation of capital expenditure

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IN PERSON

Latest in the basket ArcGIS.com: A website for finding and sharing geographic information system (GIS) content, organising geographic information into groups, and building communities. Developed on the lines of Google earth, the web-based tool allows users access a number of free, ready-to-use basemaps for their projects and applications.

applications that can be used not only to manage the geographic data but also as a platform for spatially enabling the rest of the IT organisations. For example, addresses in a file about customers or citizens can be ‘geo-coded’ as dots on a map. These geo-coded dots can be aggregated to give patterns and relationships of a business... where the organisation is doing well, or where it is not doing so well. In government, the same thing can be used to determine the quality of citizen services. In the US, President Barak Obama recently introduced the idea of a transparent government. He has been pushing aggressively to make all development data in government open so that academics, entrepreneurs, citizens and others in the government can have access to. With the release of $780 billion stimulus money, his idea was to show on an interactive map through dots where all that money was being spent. Today, citizens can log on to http://www.recovery.org, zoom to check out what the government is doing for them in terms of expenditure or job. Citizens can also give in their feedback and suggestions. Similarly, in India, the national government provides money to the local

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getting personal QUALIFICATION Master of Science in environmental science from University of Minnesota, and Master of Landscape Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design BUSINESS INITIATIVE Co-founded ESRI in 1969 with his wife Laura as a land-use consulting firm TURNING POINT Early work in the school's Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis (LCGSA) led directly to the development of ESRI's ArcInfo GIS software FAVOURITE PASTIME Gardening and garden design

state government, but there are not many officials to keep a track of where the money is being spent and how, let alone having a system that can transparently inform the citizen about the same. Such a map can also help citizens quickly understand the policies of t he government. Many governments around the world are adopting this vision. This is just the first step to opening up for change.

With the form factor of computing devices shrinking by the day, and handhelds becoming more powerful than ever, do you see any major change in the way GIS solutions could be delivered? Part of our server solutions is to support the Web services, like maps and spatial analysis, and they are two directional. For example, I can seek a map or an analysis from a server that is being maintained by any organisation or department to my cell phone. This makes me ‘situation aware’ immediately. In another case, the cell phone itself becomes an extension of the geospatially enabled enterprise environment. What this means is that I can view things and also contribute to the map. In Washington DC, for instance, the community and city government are using cell phones to update information about the condition of water network, which in turn feeds information about the situation on a real time basis to all

concerned departments that are participating in the infrastructure.

So what is your GIS vision for good governance? Tabular databases are increasingly being spatial-enabled using the server technologies. This can be done in healthcare, for information on epidemics, for project monitoring or allocation of capital expenditure. This mapping is more effective than the traditional tabular datasets, because you can actually see where the money is going and its impact, and that is what GIS helps you to do. You can do simple things on consumer sites like Google and MSN and that’s really very good, but the ability to actually connect with the citizens in a transactional environment requires an information system that allows citizen to interact and give feedback. Also, the public and the government can understand and provide performance measurement matrix against the promises on project components and timelines. This is similar to real-time evaluation like in the case of business intelligence and you may want to call it ‘geo-accounting’ for all government projects in your neighbourhood. In fact, this is about using GIS for setting up a system that can make the government, and for that matter, anybody with the mandate to spend money from the public exchequer more accountable. It is also about increasing citizen engagement in government activities.


Analysis

PRIVACY ACT

Illustration: istockphoto.com

Legislate privacy, at least

It’s ironic that even in the age of ‘information’ the laws are ambiguous when attempting to address information privacy By Pavan Duggal

A

fter lot of debate for the last one decade, there appears to be some movement—reports in the media suggest that the Government of India is thinking in terms of coming up with a specific legislation on privacy. Nothing can be better music to ears, more so because privacy as a concept has been a discarded and neglected child of law makers. Ever since we gained independence in 1947, India as a nation has never really paid attention to the extremely important concept of privacy. That is the reason why in the last 63 years of

nationhood we have not seen a single legislation on it. It was left to the Supreme Court of India to go ahead and interpret the fundamental right of life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India to be inclusive of the fundamental right to privacy. However, the limitation is that the said fundamental right to privacy is only enforceable against state action. The advent of the electronic platform, electronic technologies and mobile communication device have brought us to the edge of the information era. In today’s age while everybody is publishing, generating, transmitting and sending data and information in the electronic

form, people have become extremely conscious of the need for protecting data. The Information Technology Act, 2000 was implemented on October 17, 2000. However, even though it is the mother legislation dealing with data and information in the electronic form, ironically, it did not deal with anything relating to aspects pertaining to privacy of data. In fact, it was only after a lot of discussions and debates that some provisions pertaining to privacy were incorporated by way of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008. However, the said provisions only amount to doing lip service to the concept of privacy. Further, such legislation has only dealt, in a limited manner, with the privacy of the person, in terms of the human body. So much underdeveloped is the law of privacy in our country that the law does not even distinguish between personal privacy and data privacy. Neither exact definition of the personal data is prescribed in the Information Technology Act, 2000 nor any definition of data controller is given. The absence of any data protection legislation in the country further complicates the entire scenario. At the time of writing, the Unique Identification Authority of India has released on its website for public comments the draft National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010. Aiming to give legal validity to the Aadhar Number, the National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010 has almost nothing to offer regarding privacy issues. In fact, the word ‘privacy’ has not been mentioned in the said proposed legislation. It is absolutely essential that India has a dedicated legislation on privacy, it being an important component of civil liberties. The legislation should talk about personal and data privacy and also balance the needs of national security in today’s context. Such a measure will help clear the doubts and positively impact the growth of e-Governance and citizens.

the author is India’s leading Cyberlaw expert and Advocate, Supreme Court of India

July 2010 / www.egovonline.net / egov

47


Analysis

Mobility

Citizen miles While the 3G-WiMax-LTE battle is on, it’s important that e-Governance stakeholders remain technology-agnostic when reaching out to the citizen By Deepak Kumar

A

s the broadband divide between the haves and have-nots continues, the torch bearers of digital democracy look at wireless with hope, just as they did one-and-a-half decade ago... Wireless, which was in second generation then, did not let the hopefuls down. As is acknowledged now, wireless has given tele-density a boost to the extent of causing a telecom revolution. There is reason, to hope again, that a thirdgeneration wireless will spawn a broadband revolution. What does that mean for e-Governance? Well, a lot.

The success and efficiency of an e-Governance project depends critically on the quality and extent of the network and its availability. The network needs to be robust and available at various levels—metros, state capitals, district HQs, sub-districts and finally the villages. While the fibre backbones are there in place to take care of connectivity up till the district HQ level to an extent, there is insufficient connectivity at sub-district and village levels.

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Illustration: istockphoto.com

It’s all in the network


Analysis

For e-Governance to be effective, it must be able to bridge this divide and reach out to centres in the semi-urban and rural India. Moreover, while the intra-government connectivity issues may get taken care of, a bigger challenge is to address the more important objective of e-Governance—availability of e-Governance content and services to the end-users—the citizens.

How about the wireline? The past efforts to achieve connectivity objectives through the wireline have failed miserably. In fact, wireline has been a shrinking market for past several years now. At the end of March 2010, there were 36.96 million wireline telephony subscribers in the country, compared to 37.96 million in March 2009 and 39.42 million in March 08, as per the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) data. More than 85 percent of wireline broadband subscribers use digital subscriber line (DSL) for access technology over copper-telephony networks, which as we saw, has been a shrinking thing. The use of other wireline technologies like the cable modem has always been very low, at around 8 percent. Unlike in the US and some other countries, in India cable operators have never been a dominant lot. Further, the advent and quick rise of DTH services doesn’t bode well for the growth of cable as a robust access network. This makes the wireline medium look less attractive when it comes to growing the Internet and broadband penetration in the country, at least for the next few years. No wonder then, broadband targets have been set and reset in the past, but could not be achieved despite much hoopla and hype.

Enter 3G and BWA The continued failure of the wireline has prompted the stakeholders and policy makers to turn to wireless, with hope.

While 3G will bring in wireless broadband and LTE will cater to ultraspeed needs, the WiMAX can give cost advantages

However, even though quite ubiquitous in comparison with the wireline network, wireless in its 2G avatar is, at best, a narrowband network. It is 3G that brings wideband aka broadband to the wireless. And BWA brings relatively cheaper and faster broadband to the wireless. And that means a lot for e-Governance.

3G versus BWA With both 3G and BWA auctions over, much of the earlier haze surrounding the rollouts of these networks is gone (and of course, BSNL and MTNL have already rolled out these networks partly.) While 3G can be used for both voice and data, only 5MHz of spectrum is available per operator. Moreover, no operator has got a pan-India 3G license, except for the BSNL-MTNL combine. In practice, 3G subscribers will find it seamless to avail e-Governance services over mobile devices, which more likely will be smart phones and tablets, given their native data-cum-voice support abilities. This, however, brings in an urban skew, given the higher cost and complexity of handsets. In other words, it increases the likelihood that usage of 3G for e-Governance services will be relatively less among the masses. BWA, especially the WiMAX option, has got the advantages of cost as well as spectrum on its side. Moreover, apart from BSNL-MTNL, which gets BWA spectrum by default, there will be another pan-India operator, Relianceowned Infotel Broadband. The big advantage with BWA, certainly, is the width of the spectrum, which at 20MHz, is a jawdropping four times the 5MHz 3G spectrum. A flip side is that BWA-ready devices are not commonplace yet. Moreover, BWA is positioned primarily as a data network, though there are no discrete regulatory restrictions of using it for voice also. Again, even if the network is used both for data and voice, slow availability of smart phones and tablet devices will limit its adoption to larger form-factor devices like desktops and notebooks. So initially, BWA services will leverage USB modems.

Philippines pilots 3G-based healthcare Under an initiative called the Wireless Access for Health (WAH), rural health clinics in four towns of Philippines’ Tarlac province have been equipped with netbooks and wireless broadband connectivity to computerise medical records of patients and transmit vital information to health authorities. This enables the clinics to treat patients more quickly and effectively, and provides provincial and national health officials more accurate, real-time data to support better decision-making. The initial beneficiaries of the project have been the patients and health workers at the clinics where the WAH project conducted its pilot phase 1. The infrastructure, in terms of the 3G network was provided by cellular operator by Smart Communications. Information sourced and adapted from: philstar.com

e-Governance an early critical citizen mass, which will further accelerate a wider-scale adoption of e-Governance services in the country. As such, it will be important for stakeholders and agencies to incorporate 3G in their citizen service plans. What is even more important is that stakeholders are operator- and network-agnostic as a matter of policy and planning. Involving both public- and private-sector operators will be further advantageous. These measures will lead to speedier and sustainable rollouts of e-Governance projects and services, mostly Web-based. While 3G can give government-to-citizen services a jumpstart, BWA capacities can help run higher-bandwidth applications, serving more subscribers at a time. Together, these networks will help build robust last-mile parts of e-Governance networks.

The middle path 3G networks will be around, quicker than BWA networks, and that makes 3G a primary vehicle for government-to-citizen services. In fact, the BSNL-MTNL 3G connectivity is already there in parts of the country. As such, 3G has the potential to give

the author is a market researcher and consultant, specialising in IT and Telecom

July 2010 / www.egovonline.net / egov

49


opinion

wireless broadband

C S Rao Chairman, WiMAX Forum

A case for always-on nation Ubiquitous broadband will be a stepping stone to India’s strong play in the global economy—WiMAX can be an enabler

T

he communications sector underpins everything we do as an economy and society, to a degree few could have imagined even a quarter of a century ago. Ubiquitous broadband and widespread Internet access are powerful enablers of development in areas ranging from industry, education, commerce, governance and social connectivity. A variety of studies outside India indicate that up to one percent additional GDP growth is achieved when broadband Internet reaches a penetration of 25 percent. Just as wireless technology offered economic and convenience advantages for voice services, resulting in its explosive growth, broadband density improvement and Internet access will also be wireless based in India on proven, stable, time tested and affordable technologies like WiMAX— Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. India needs better Internet access now. Wireless broadband is the way to move ahead for quick and rapid broadband growth. There is a tremendous

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unmet demand for Internet access in India, perhaps in excess of 100 million subscribers at the currently projected service or device pricing and this will only grow rapidly in the coming years. India today has only seven million broadband lines (growing at about 1.2 million lines per year) served by wired (DSL) technology and we rank among the lowest in the world in broadband connectivity. China has 47 percent broadband penetration versus 0.5 percent in India. WiMAX is the only broadband wireless access (BWA) technology at a mature stage now and ready for widespread adoption by telcos. India needs to maximize productivity and drive prosperity, and WiMAX can help. Higher capacity, speeds of 2 Mbps to 16 Mbps, new BB service bundles, new device distribution models and organic network growth—all these competitive advantages help to make WiMAX compelling in these challenging times. Only a digital India can unlock the imagination and creativity that will secure for us and our next generation the highly skilled jobs of the future. Only a digital India will enable an infor-

WiMAX enables an online digital communication system for core elements of our industries, media and public services

mation revolution that could transform every part of our lives. Only a digital India will enable us to demonstrate the vision and dynamism that we have to shape the future. Digital India requires a broadband India and an online India with ubiquitous Internet access at high speeds. In driving a National Broadband Plan, Indian government has the opportunity to embark on a fresh course to ensure that our nation’s digital infrastructure fully meets our 21st century opportunities and challenges. Using broadband as an optimal Internet platform will require both considerable focus and substantial resources, both private and public so that today’s unserved or underserved consumers become tomorrow’s broadband customers—we will have to truly become an always-on nation. WiMAX enables an online digital communication system for core elements of our industries, media and public services. In the cities, all-IP based wireless BB technologies could be vital for the billions of transactions carried out each day by the stock exchanges and financial institutions. For the designers, researchers and engineers in our


wireless broadBand

advanced industries, computer generation and simulation and reliable largescale file transfer are essential tools of the trade. Wireless BB will enhance the productivity of our engineers and academic institutions and this should be a mandatory part of e-Governance initiatives and the National Information Infrastructure evolution. In the business sectors, stock ordering, inventory control and cash tills are all completely dependent on electronic communications, that too of an alwayson genre. As for consumers, up to one percent of their purchases are transacted by plastic cards which depend on wired and wireless communications to work. Wireless BB over WiMAX can facilitate e-commerce. In transportation, the phasing of street traffic lights, the operation of railway signals and of the wireless systems that allow aircrafts to take off and land safely all need communications, as does the national energy grid that heats, powers and lights our homes and businesses. Wireless BB on WiMAX can be used as part of e-Governance for video surveillance of traffic, public places, monuments and government offices, especially in these times of extremist and terror threats. Wireless BB technology can enable Wireless Internet availability on all trains utilising the extensive rail tracks that are available in India. BSNL and railways can exploit this and help the citizens to have Internet and BB access. Container Corporation of India can exploit WiMAX-based BB and track the container movements continuously using RFID and WiMAX technologies. WiMAX can be effectively used for smart-grid applications in the Indian State Electricity board’s transmission and distribution networks, as well as national Power Grid corporation’s T&D networks. WiMAX has been considered and deployed for smart grid and telemetry applications in many countries and the same should be done in India soon. In public sector, our universities, schools and libraries are increasingly craving to rely on electronic content

opinion

Wireless broadband can be used as part of e-Governance for video surveillance of traffic, public places, monuments and government offices

i Recommend Learn how the mobile Internet ecosystem is evolving, and the major trends that are accelerating the growth of the market Author: Eliot Weinman Publisher: Yankee Group

and avail the richness of the Internet. Wireless BB can help always-on facility of high-speed BB and Internet access for schools. e-Gov schemes should exploit WiMAX and let all government, municipal and zilla parishad schools to be equipped with Wireless BB connectivity, thus enabling the hitherto unavailable and unaffordable BB facilities to the needy sections of the society. Thus about 60 million students from these segments can have access to PC literacy, Internet awareness and exposure to educational content. Our medical and health services for rural and suburban poor require one of the largest online data and communications systems on a Wireless BB. For urban, suburban and a section of rural individuals, a quiet mobile revolution has delivered seamless connectivity almost everywhere for voice. That revolution can be extended to enable citizens to have personal pocket libraries of music, audiovisual content for entertainment and sport broadcast clip views. Inexpensive broadband is desirable as that will allow efficient working patterns in the knowledge sector of the economy. Wireless BB will give our youths access to a wide range of educational, health, travel, banking and entertainment services and also access to online information services to actively interact with government agencies. This will help build responsive and transparent governments. Digital India is a compelling new model for building India ’s future by creation of new industries and new

jobs. 4G mobile BB on WiMAX offers very high bandwidth broadband with seamless connectivity. Next generation mobile WiMAX will offer not just conventional high-definition video entertainment and games, but potentially more revolutionary benefits for our economy and society. These will include services like telepresence and e-healthcare. Now is ‘just the time’ for India to exploit the next generation of mobile networks. To deliver these will need a 21st century blend of competitive market forces, independent regulation and government determination. There are three important publicprivate partnership policy priorities for the Indian wireless BB market— infrastructure, competition and universality. These priorities are interlinked but distinct. The central issue to resolve is their relative priority in the best long-term interest of digital India. USA, Japan, Netherlands, Denmark and Korea, which are traditionally high BB penetration nations with wireline, cable and 3G as access technology options, have adopted WiMAX as it is IP- and Web-centric. It is a broadband-centric technology with roaming and handover proven for high-moving vehicles of over 60 miles per hour. Even Russia has adopted WiMAX and is fast growing as a BB-savvy nation on wireless. India can ill afford to wait for futuristic technologies. That can prove very costly to India’s competitiveness and can slow the pace of e-Governance adoption.

July 2010 / www.egovonline.net / egov

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opinion

SECURITY

RANA GUPTA BUSINES HEAD (INDIA & SAARC) SAFENET INDIA

Let security be an e-Gov habit The greater the sense of security the more it will result into consumption or adoption of a particular service

L

ast few years have truly brought about change for the betterment of life in India. Widespread usage of ATMs have obviated the need to spending hours in queue and that too during particular hours of the day to get the money you need. Arrival of plastic money has obviated the need to carry cash all the time. Online banking means you could keep track of your account irrespective of where you are and what time zone are you in. Online bill payments meant you could transfer money online again without requiring you to be in the queue for hours. Does anyone even recall how it used to be to stand in the queue for a train reservation and observe the touts exploiting people desperate for getting a reservation? And still, there I was in discussion with an acquaintance who was sharing all his reasons for not using these little joys of life because he didn’t trust his money was safe, and that how the plastic cards could be cloned and money transferred out of one’s bank account without one knowing where it really went. It was obvious that the guy was part

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of a depleting breed that is paranoid of using newer technologies and processes but it also occurred to me how much security is a psychological satisfaction (or in most of the cases assumption) rather than a reflection of an actual implementation. The greater the sense of security the more it will result into consumption or adoption of a particular service. Fortunately, being part of information security industry for long, I can be reasonably confident of the security implemented by various banking projects (especially the initiative undertaken by RBI). However, it is obvious that public education about security aspects and mandating the implementation of certain security related certifications can go a long way in bringing further benefits to society at large. Just like we look for BIS or ISO marks, it will be worth looking for a PCI-DSS approved marking before transacting with a retailer or a HIPPA approved marking before transacting with a hospital or a medical insurance agency online. Let me elaborate the point of psychological confidence by taking an example. Most of us tend to buy bottled water instead of using the normal filtered tap

Each and every project owner has to undertake the due diligence that will be specific to their own projects

water. Why? Because we tend to believe that the bottled water is safe to drink. What if you were to ever run into a situation where you were to fall ill after having meals outside and the diagnosis pointed out that it was due to that very bottled water? It probably will shake one’s faith but one will shrug it off as a one-off instance. However, if such instances become frequent or are corroborated by friends and colleagues, the confidence will plunge. Think of the controversy that surrounded the cola companies a few years ago. Do you recall what had caused the plunge in confidence in cola as a safe drink and what restored it? Whatever the underlying details, one significant detail I do recall is the role of public relations exercise in the whole incident. Anyways, having digressed way too much let me get back to the point: “The life that we lead is full of confidences that we place in various aspects—and holding that confidence is sacrosanct to the smooth functioning or sanity that we behold.” This is where the role of governance comes into play. Government of India has launched an ambitious program, NeGP, to usher


security

the nation into an era of efficient governance. Reading the vision statement the operative word is ‘reliability,’ of which information security is a critical pillar. As we build the infrastructure to bring e-Governance to reality how much attention is being paid to the security aspect? As I ponder over this question I tend to recall a recent movie that showed the manipulation of electronically inter-linked networks and information residing on those networks to create a chaos in some parts of the nation. While all of this was in a movie (thank goodness) the message wasn’t lost on the situation in reality. Any technological advancement brings substantial benefits to the civilisation at large and those benefits are well reaped off as long as the underlying dangers are well understood and taken care of. Use of fire in day-to-day life is one benefit we can’t live without but fire leading to an inferno has to be well understood by the public in order to avoid incidents. Similarly, usage of information technology to automate the filing of income tax returns so that one doesn’t have to stand in a queue will probably save millions of otherwise fruitful work-hours. At the same time, it will enable decision makers to run queries on states or cities that generate the maximum direct taxation revenue, the age groups that make for maximum income tax assessees, and how the future revenue will likely grow or fall. The possibilities and benefits are numerous. But let us for a moment step back and try spending some thought on the downsides if any. What if someone with a criminal mindset is able to run a query on ‘highest tax paying individuals in Noida’ and that too with a specific profile and use that as a ready list to

Security analysis should be a must for NeGP projects that will form the basis for digital infrastructure in the country

i Recommend A must read if you are planning to switch from paperbased system to an IT-based automated workflow system. Author: Eliyahu M. Goldratt Price: Rs 1,450/-

target his victims for the purpose of extortion? Or what if one were to just extract the information and post it on the Internet and before you even know you have your neighbours and relatives standing at your doorstep seeking some genuine financial help? Or let us take the case of electronic land records. It will be great for someone looking to buy a piece of property to be able to go online and check out the specifics of the property before committing to it. But what if someone is able to change the very digital record to align it with one’s ulterior needs? Or how about someone being able to run a query on how many properties does a particular community own and use that information to create a political raucous? The point in the making is that each and every project owner has to undertake the due diligence that will be specific to their own projects in order to outline the threats that are likely crop up during the lifecycle of the project. Those parameters must be clearly outlined while preparing a request for proposal (RFP). In the absence of that, it will be naïve for anyone to assume that bidders will be able to address these during the implementation stage.

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Most of the RFPs that one comes across have very generic requirements on the part of security, mostly taking a network-centric approach and not the data-centric approach. RFPs miss detailing out the very nature of threats that one is trying to prevent. It will be good if it is made a mandatory requirement for all NeGP projects to have a detailed security analysis that is specific to a project. This is because these are the projects that will form the very foundation of digital infrastructure that this country will rely upon for ages to come. The threat scenarios and expected responses should be included in the RFPs in order to make sure that the bidders do comply with the security requirements of the country. Media has the most critical role to play in raising the criticality of this before various stake-holders and it is generally only through the media intervention in other countries that the public opinion been formed, which in turn has compelled law-makers to take security issues seriously. I sincerely hope that we learn from the experiences of others and incorporate security while we plan for the infrastructure and not as an afterthought.

4—6 August, 2010 Hyderabad International Convention Centre Hyderabad, India

July 2010 / www.egovonline.net / egov

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special feature

spanco

Two eGov tasks at hand Curb revenue leakages—as high as 35 percent in some states—and electrify all of rural India by 2012 By Vidur Sehgal

T

he recent decade or so has witnessed tremendous growth in several key sectors of the Indian economy. As the world’s largest democracy continues to march along, there is a clear and urgent need to address the challenges for sustained growth. One of the key areas requiring attention is the ability of the government to deliver quality and reliable public services to citizens in a manner that is efficient and transparent.

More recently, information technology has been playing a key role in transforming businesses. Corporations around the world are embracing IT with an objective to reduce cost, increase productivity, streamline operations, improve customer service and gain a competitive advantage. The enabling of government functions using technology is gaining importance through the concept of e-Governance. The growth of the power

industry bears a strong correlation with the growth of the economy. For a target GDP growth rate of 8 - 10 percent, the power industry needs to grow by nearly a similar margin. India’s energy requirement by 2030 is projected to be nearly six times of what it currently is. A lack of focus on the distribution side over the years has resulted in energy losses as high as 35 percent in several states whereas the world average is about 10 percent. These

Key benefits of the R-APDRP project • • • • • • • •

54

Improved voltage profile of the consumer Practically zero theft of energy Negligible failure of distribution transformers Drastic reduction in LT line losses. Elimination of chances of adding illegal motors Considerable reduction in peak power losses due to reduction in KVA capacity and better voltage profile Consumer involvement in safety and upkeep of distribution transformers due to dedicated installation Improvement in overall system efficiency

egov / www.egovonline.net / July 2010

issues when considered along with the fact that power is the enabler for all industries point to the need for this sector to be a key thrust area for major e-Governance initiatives. Government policies and reforms can have a positive impact on any sector of the economy. An analysis of the telecom sector shows how the opening up of the sector to private players has led to increased competition, reduced tariffs and improvement in service. The power sector too is in the process of undergoing structural changes driven by reforms. The ecosystem of the sector is going through a phase of transition and is seeing the introduction of several companies with different capabilities. Opportunities for e-Governance are present in


spanco

special feature

Franchise model for power distribution To bring in efficiency in the distribution sector, the act has provision for: (a) Open access: There is a non discriminatory provision for use of transmission lines, distribution system and associated facility by any consumer or the licensee to wheel power from any available source to the desired destination for its use.

the distribution segment. The distribution utility has been evolving over the years from manual processes to standalone IT applications. e-Governance can take this a step forward by transforming the utility into a customer-centric organisation.

Growth and reforms Availability of power is one of the most important ingredients for industrial growth. It is an important infrastructure facility without which no industrial activity can be thought of in modern times. Thermal, hydro and nuclear are three major sources of power generation. Installed capacity has increased from just 1,362 MW in 1947 to 97,000 MW in March 2000, and has crossed 150,000 MW at the end of June 2009. India has become the sixth largest producer and consumer of electricity in the world, equalling the capacities of UK and France combined. The number of consumers connected to Indian power grids exceeds 75 million. The

total length of transmission and distribution lines is 6.6 million circuit km (cKm)—the third largest in the world, as per Investment Commission of India. It is estimated that India will need 315 -335 GW by 2017 and 800 GW of power by 2030. The government has set a target to add an installed capacity of 90,000 MW during the 11th Plan (2007-12). This growing demand for power has worsened the demandsupply gap over the years. It has reached a level where peak deficit of power is 13 percent. To overcome this, India’s energy sector will require an investment of US$ 120 billion to US$ 150 billion over the next five years and around US$ 600 billion over the next ten years. Two key considerations, apart from the growing demandsupply deficit, are: l  High aggregate technical & commercial (AT&C) losses l  Low penetration of electricity in rural areas AT&C losses are losses that occur during transmission

and distribution of electricity. These are due to technical losses, unmetered or unbilled supplies, theft or pilferage. These losses are as high as 35 percent in some of the states. To curb these losses, the Accelerated Power Distribution and Reforms Program (APDRP) was introduced during the 10th Plan. The program is scheduled to continue during the 11th plan as the Restructured-APDRP (R-APDRP). The government has allocated Rs. 50,000 crore under this scheme with the primary objective of reducing AT&C losses. Government of India has proposed R-APDRP program as a central sector scheme. The focus of the program will be on actual, demonstrable performance in terms of sustained loss reduction. Establishment of reliable and automated systems for sustained collection of accurate base line data, and the adoption of information technology in the areas of metering, billing, energy accounting and customer care will be essential

(b) Distribution franchisee: There can be appointment of a person or a body corporate authorised by distribution licensee to distribute electricity on its behalf in the designated area within his area of supply. (c) Parallel distribution licensee: The regulatory commission can appoint a second licensee in any specified area provided the new licensee is ready to create a separate distribution network to evacuate power for consumers in that area.

Input-based distribution franchisee model The franchisee and utility need to enter into a commercial contract with an objective to establish the following: • Undertake all commercial activities relating to issue of new service connections, metering, billing, collection, disconnection, reconnections and customer complaint handling within the franchise area. • Undertake all investments that might be required to enhance the operations or meet the specified standards of performance of the distribution business within the franchise area. • T  he franchisee will be the link for utility and users association at the local level.

July 2010 / www.egovonline.net / egov

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special feature

spanco

ICT driven e-Governance in power

Curtailing AT&C losses Following are the broad measures for curbing aggregate technical and commercial losses: Energy accounting across the periphery of the designated utility area Distribution transformer indexing in reference to feeders (GIS) Consumer indexing with reference to distribution transformer and GIS Accu-checking of meters

As a result of recent reforms, the Indian power sector is witnessing a massive transformation vis-Ă -vis restructuring, open markets, power trading and privatisation. This has led utilities to lose their monopoly status. Independent power producers (IPPs) are entering into generation, Transmission is attracting private players, distribution franchisees are being introduced and power trading is becoming a distinct activity. In this changing market structure, the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) will become the main source of competitive advantage. State electricity utilities are currently using several standalone IT applications with very low levels of integration. The entire operational processes of the utility can be characterised as manual and cumbersome. The AT&C losses are as high as 40 percent in some states, with the prime reason being theft. It is difficult to precisely find the points of leakage in the absence of proper metering and reporting infrastructure. IT and telecom systems are expected to revolutionise the way distribution utilities conduct business by increasing employee efficiency, improving customer service, reducing losses and decreasing operating costs. These are the key objectives of e-Governance. Spanco in Power Sector Spanco has been associated with modernization of key sectors. We started as a Telecom System Integrator and have in the last 15 years diversified into several areas. Power has been a focus area and we have developed innovative, cost effective solutions to address the needs of the power sector. Spanco has been empanelled as system integrator by the Central Government for its ambitious Rs 50,000-crore R-APDRP program.

before taking up the regular distribution strengthening projects. Power Finance Corporation Limited (PFCL) has been designated by GoI as the nodal agency for the program. Rural electrification is a significant initiative for the power sector. Its objectives are to trigger economic development, to improve the quality of life of the rural people and to generate employment by providing electricity as an input for productive use in agriculture and rural industries. The government has set a target to electrify all villages by 2012 and has initiated the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY).

We are currently executing the RAPDRP project for state of Punjab and Chandigarh (UT). We have also been declared as Highest Bidder for Power Distribution Franchise tender for Nagpur. With our expertise of using information technology to create efficiency in power distribution, we are well poised to build robust, scalable systems for State Electricity boards. Our solutions are focussed around creating agile, customer centric utility which can benefit from the power of information technology.

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egov / www.egovonline.net / July 2010

The author is CEO of Govt. and Power Business Units at Spanco Ltd


book

Driving digital transformation How governments and countries leverage ICT as a new national infrastructure for driving social and economic growth

Enabling Enterprise Transformation Author: Nagy K Hanna Price: 89,95 € Publisher: SpringerLink

I

f enterprises can use information and communication technologies (ICT) to innovate and transform their processes, products, services and business models, significantly improving productivity and competitiveness, why can’t the governments? After all they are the biggest service providers across the world—be it security, public transportation, health, education, road… the list is endless. And Nagy Hanna is not wrong in proposing the same. Drawing upon his rich experience of over 35 years at the World Bank and other aid agencies Hanna provide practical tools for promoting economic and social transformation through ICT. The book also explores and presents an assessment of various ICT for Development (I4D) initiatives across the world, and goes on to explain how developing countries can leverage ICT as a new national infrastructure for driving social and economic growth—both for poverty eradication and grassroots innovation, as well as for improving the business environment and enhancing the competitiveness of the whole economy. The book provides an impetus for active dialogue and partnerships among development economists, innovation policy specialists and private sector development strategists and practitioners on one hand, and ICT for development, knowledge economy, information society and e-business specialists who are concerned with using the new technologies to transform enterprises, industries, economies, and poor communities, on the other hand. An interesting book that raises a key question—whether and how developing countries can learn to benefit from the ICT revolution, and what roles the government and private sector can play—and also provides an insight into how some of the nations were already moving ahead on this front.

more from the shelf Before Memory Fades By Fali S. Nariman Price: INR 599 Publisher: Penguin Book

The Leader Who Had No Title By Robin Sharma Price: INR 195 Publisher: Jayco

ReWork ByJason Fried & David Heinemeir Price: INR 599 Publisher: Vermilion

The Art of Choosing By Sheena Iyengar Price: INR 499 Publisher: Hachette

Aligning Feret ByA Swapna Kishore and Rajesh Naik Price: INR 345/Publisher: Postscript Impressions

A must read business novel that comes with loads of practical tips on how to deal with varied business problems, particularly organisational restructuring and ICT project management.

July 2010 / www.egovonline.net / egov

57


logoff

Shubhendu Parth Managing Editor eGov

All-Transaction Machines Bank ATMs can serve as self-serviced common service centres too.

A

TMs are a highly underutilised infrastructure in India. The country as a whole has not been able to fully use these high-cost installations, not to mention the rentals and the AMC that goes into managing these. One would argue that banks, in India and globally, have adopted the ATM in a big way because of two primary reasons. One, it is a great facility to improve customer service, and two it leads to significant savings for banks in terms of the costs of operations. While servicing a cash transaction at a physical branch would cost a bank Rs 40 in India, it will cost only Rs 18 to handle the transaction through an ATM. The fact, however, remains that ATMs are cost centres. They don’t earn for their upkeep, whereas branches do, by way of acquiring new customers and lending them money for an interest. Public sector banks in the country alone have set up 28,039 new ATMs during the last four years—between April 2006 and March

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2010—with the total number of ATMs crossing the 45,000 mark. Imagine the cost incurred on these facilities, at the rate of Rs 18 per transaction! Why can’t ATMs be earning too? If the banks can accept mobile or electricity bill payments, what is stopping the government from using ATMs to deliver other citizen services—issuance of certificates, facilitating applications of all kinds, and even providing attested copies of certain documents? It’s about making a typical ATM serve as a Common Service Centre (CSC). How? Well, just make unique ID (UID) number or Aadhar mandatory for all bank accounts, and also link it up with educational institutions, hospitals and other citizen services. With ATMs featuring all kind of authentication and tagging features, it can be just a matter of right policy decision to use these ATMs as self serviced CSCs. And that can really simplify delivery of various citizen services.

Take for example, that you need to apply for a passport. The process could be simple. Once you swipe the ATM card, the machine will prompt for a UID and biometric authentication. Once authenticated, the screen will display the form already filled up using your existing details from the central database. This will include all basic details such as name, date of birth, parents’ names, education qualifications and address. If there are some changes to be made, you can do those as well since you have already completed the authentication process. Next, the machine will ask your permission to debit the related fee from your bank account, after which the process will be completed. Through with the process, you can now expect the delivery of the required document or certificate by e-mail or by post. If the service requires that a document is collected in person, the machine can give you the date and time and the address of the centre. Can we do it?


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Can he Change India Again: July 2010