ROLE OF ICT IN POWER SECTOR Jayant Sinha
TECHNOLOGY TO ENABLE POWER SECTOR REFORMS: AN INDIAN PERSPECTIVE Shalabh Srivastav
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Power IT With a demand supply gap of 66 billion units and peak shortage of 16,000 MW, it is estimated that India needs to add nearly 80,000 MW of power generation capacity (to the existing 140,000 MW in 2007-08) by year 2012. This expansion is estimated to entail investments to the tune of $258 billion in the power sector. So what is the way forward? If we look at the dynamic global platform for inspiration, the newly appointed US president Barack Obama seems to show the way forward. President Obama’s strategy to invest $11 billion to create smarter electrical grids is a progressive move which shows that in order for power sector to become viable and sustainable what is required is not only reforms but IT oriented reforms. Indian government too sensing the hourly need has initiated reforms in power sector around two broad themes i.e. privatising the state-owned distribution utilities, and funding ITenabled measurement of the transmission and distribution losses and it’s reduction initiatives at utilities that continue to be state-owned. President Dr. M P Narayanan Editor-in-Chief Dr. Ravi Gupta Assistant Editor Sandeep Budki Correspondent Vikram Pratap Singh Research Assistant Tannu Singh Dy. General Manager - Marketing Gautam Navin mobile: +91 9818125257 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sr. Manager, Marketing Debabrata Ray mobile: +91 9899650692 email: email@example.com Sr. Executive, Business Development Santosh Kumar Gupta mobile: +91 9891192996 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Anuj Agrawal mobile: +91-9911302086 email@example.com
The global Information Technology (IT) market for the power distribution sector provides a wide range of technologies and solutions. These solutions address the entire business value chain in power distribution – from setting up distribution network and service connection to distribution load management, delivery of power and customer services. IT has the potential to contribute significantly in the power reforms process, particularly in the areas of business process automation, revenue and commercial management, distribution system automation, consumer relationship management (CRM) and ATC loss reduction. Moreover in the wake of the Indian Electricity Act 2003, the complexity and challenges of the power sector have increased manifold. The Act invokes the philosophy of liberalisation, competition and commercial motive for business survival. This makes the process of balancing the commercial objectives vis-à-vis the social concerns even more challenging. In this June issue of egov magazine we endeavor to highlight the role played by ICTs in the reformative movements within the power sector. Through articles like ‘Technology to Enable Power Sector Reforms’ and ‘Role of IT in Power-Sector Reforms’ we have tried to enrich our readers with the current development and the way forward in the power sector in India. Also, in this issue we present you the outcome of discussions in two conferences which we had conducted under our knowledge exchange series. Apart from this, we also bring to you studies and success stories on the increasing significance of ICT in various facets of governance like rural banking, general elections and G2C service delivery systems etc. We would be glad to have your feedback on this issue of egov magazine.
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INTRODUCTION Information Technology (IT) has the potential to contribute significantly in the power reforms process, particularly in the areas of business process automation, revenue and commercial management, distribution system automation, consumer relationship management (CRM) and ATC loss reduction. The power distribution utilities in India have initiated major reforms by using IT as the key enabler for improving revenue collection, minimizing ATC losses, proper energy accounting and efficient consumer services. This article discusses the role of IT in Power Sector, with special focus on Distribution reforms. BUSINESS CHALLENGES OF INDIAN POWER UTILITIES In the wake of the Indian Electricity Act 2003, the complexity and challenges of the power sector have increased manifold. The Act invokes the philosophy of liberalization, competition and commercial motive for business survival. This makes the process of balancing the commercial objectives vis-Ă -vis the social concerns even more challenging. In the present business environment, utilities have to re-engineer and automate their business processes for sustainable growth and survival, with the objectives of capacity building and operational efficiency; business process efficiency; ATC loss reduction; Metering, billing and collection efficiency; Total energy accounting; and better customer relations and consumer satisfaction. The adoption of latest and best-of-thebreed technology is essential to fulfill the above objectives and therefore, Information
Technology is perceived as the principal thrust area to spearhead our countryâ€™s agenda of power reforms, despite the difficulties faced due to the slow absorption of new technologies. CHALLENGES OF IT IN POWER SECTOR There is a plethora of IT options available in the market today and it is important not to get carried away by the technology wave, but choose the appropriate (best-fit) technology, as per the industry needs, at the right time for the right set of applications. The selection of IT systems and tools should be based on longterm strategic and business continuity perspective. The following factors are critical in any IT implementation: 1.
3. 4. 5.
Adoption of open architecture and adaptive communication network based on proven standards and specifications Consistent infrastructure for data collaboration, communication and interoperability Authentication and role-based access to the network Robust and scalable architecture to support large volume of transactions 3-tier architecture for easy modifications of business logic and SW deployment
Platform-independent application components for easy migration to new platforms Disaster Recovery and Continuity Planning
ADOPTION OF OPEN ARCHITECTURE AND ADAPTIVE COMMUNICATION NETWORK For implementing any hardware/ software based solutions for the enterprise, it is extremely important and critical to have a
IT investments and implementation should be driven through a structured and comprehensive IT strategy, aligned with the business goals
robust, scalable, adaptive and open systems computing and communication architecture. Going by the information systems lifecycle, emergence of new technologies and technical obsolescence, the data network infrastructure, around which the enterprise applications are built, survives the longest. Therefore, the network infrastructure should be built around standards-based technology, conforming to ISO/ IEC 11801 and EIA/ TIA 568B framework. DATA COLLABORATION, COMMUNICATION AND INTEROPERABILITY The global best practices approach in applications development is to have a modular design, integrating various applications and accessible through a common interface or “dashboard”, with secured access control, multi-level user permissions and audit trail. The enterprise software “dashboard” is the gateway to various integrated business applications – Automated meter reading, data logging, billing, collection and CRMS. ROBUST AND SCALABLE SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE The choice of hardware platform, OS, database and front-end tools would depend upon the type and volume of transactions. Robust and scalable system architecture should support future expansion, role-based authentication, secured databases and larger volume of transactions and disaster recovery. Automated data backups are essential for the protection of vital data and their recovery during catastrophic failure. Apart from hot incremental backups, it is essential to take cold backups of the entire database and applications. For mission-critical applications, it is better to have separate Database and Application Servers. Clustering solution at both OS level and database level is recommended, along with RAID support for data redundancy. The integration of Servers, RAID storage and backup devices through Fiberchannel architecture enhances efficiency and performance. Cross backups across multiple servers, preferably at remote locations, are healthy business practice. Many installations now provide for
a dedicated Disaster Recovery Server, with data replication facility. ROLE OF EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES The gap in IT adoption globally and in the Indian power sector is apparent. Globally IT is being used to enable operations at a transaction level thus providing advantages like inbuilt process controls, workflow enabled transactions, single point of data capture and support for timely strategic decision making. On the other hand, in India, the core operations are still manual and therefore face issues like ad-hoc decision making, poor data quality, long decision making cycles and under utilization of IT investments. Therefore, IT has to be selectively adopted as a business strategy to improve commercial and operational performance. The need is to develop a synergy between IT and the Indian Power Sector; and emerging technologies can play a defining the role in profitability and quality of services. CONSUMER DATABASE INDEXING AND ELECTRICAL NETWORK MAPPING Development of electrical consumer and network database is necessary for a host of power sector applications like asset management, revenue management, energy audit and load flow studies. Several distribution companies (Discoms) are using GIS technology to map their HT/ LT consumers and electrical network assets. This required a GPS survey of consumer households, the connected electrical feeders and distribution transformers. All the consumers are given the unique electrical address (or CIN, Consumer Index. Number) so that it is possible to segregate the consumers feeder-wise or DT-wise for energy audit and accounting purposes. The geo-referenced data is mapped on the underlying satellite imagery of appropriate scale. IVRS-BASED CONSUMER CALL CENTRE Electrical consumer is the focus of an IVRS-based call centre where IT application can be adopted for consumer’s benefits. The IVRS-based system is aimed at improving
customer services and increasing staff efficiency. For example, an IVRS-based system is operational in Dehradun for single window clearance of all types of customer complaints problems. The call center addresses consumer complaints ranging from no power, billing, payment related and connection-related. In the round-the-clock facility offered to electrical consumers of Dehradun town, the complainant logs the call through interactive voice guidance to access information on bill-related matters, while the respective substations track down electrical complaints. INTEGRATION OF BUSINESS AND IT STRATEGY The global IT market for the power distribution sector provides a wide range of technologies and solutions. These solutions address the entire business value chain in power distribution – from setting up distribution network and service connection to distribution load management, delivery of power and customer services. Therefore, IT investments and implementation should be driven through a structured and comprehensive IT strategy, aligned with the business goals. The interfaces and integration between different software applications should be well-defined. A synergy should be established to maximize benefits from IT investments to best serve the business needs. Effectiveness of IT investments should be monitored on an ongoing basis. Business process automation should aim at data capture at source in order to reduce transaction time, enable built-in process controls, enables audit trail, and provide appropriate and reliable information for decision support. Seamless business process integration accelerates transactions and optimizes sharing of information across business processes. \\
DGM & Head (IT), Uttarakhand Power Corporation Ltd.
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Technology to Enable Power Sector Reforms: An Indian Perspective SHALABH SRIVASTAV SR. MANAGER ACCENTURE
BACKGROUND With a demand supply gap of 66 billion units (~10%)1 and peak shortage of 16,000 MW (~15%), it is estimated that India needs to add nearly 80,000 MW of generation capacity by year 2012 (to the existing 140,000 MW1 in 2007-08). This is estimated to entail investments to the tune of $ 258 billion in the power sector – which will call for private sector participation. However, in absence of reforms in the power distribution and retail segment,
private sector investment in generation segment continues to be inadequate in spite of privatization. The root cause of this is high level of energy losses, currently Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses are ~ 35% (2005-06), the power sector is not financially viable in its current state. To make the power sector financially viable and self-sustaining, the government has initiated reforms in power distribution around two broad themes: (i) privatizing the stateowned distribution utilities, and (ii) funding
IT-enabled loss measurement and reduction initiatives at utilities that continue to be state-owned. ACCENTURE’S EXPERIENCE AND POINT OF VIEW We at Accenture believe that a right balance of private-public partnership is necessary for these initial reforms to sustain, spread and transform the complete landscape of power sector in India. Neither government’s funding
In absence of reforms in the power distribution & retail segment, private sector investment in generation segment continues to be inadequate in spite of privatization
nor private sector management in isolation can deliver the kind of fillip needed, but together they form a winning combination. Our point of view is based on our vast experience in working with a few hundred power utilities world over for the past several years, including utilities in India over the past decade, wherein we have worked extensively with several private sector utilities as well as multiple State Electricity Boards in India. Accenture (ASPL, India) is empanelled by Power Finance Corporation as the IT Consultant as well as Systems Integrator under Government’s R-APDRP scheme. USE OF INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IN POWER DISTRIBUTION Power distribution consists of 2 broad areas – (i) core distribution, and (ii) retail operation. In core distribution, IT-enabled tools can improve efficiency in several areas such as SCADA and Load Dispatch, Demand Side Management, GIS enabled tracking of network assets and consumer premises, etc. We will focus on the area of retail operations where Information and Communication Technology is bringing about a quiet revolution, especially in the field of (i) reducing commercial losses, (ii) improving customer service, and (iii) business turnaround of power distribution utilities. Accenture has been partnering with key power distributors in India by facilitating this revolution through reinventing the three pillars
Reliance Energy Integrates Google Power Meters Indian power company Reliance Energy has recently tied up with Google to offer consumers the ability to track their power consumption on their computers. Google PowerMeter receives information from advanced energy meters, called smart meters, installed at consumers’ home and provides consumers with access to their home electricity consumption on their personal iGoogle homepage. The initiative is aimed at helping consumers know how they use energy and what they can do to be more efficient. The service will be available to Reliance Energy consumers in Mumbai, Delhi and Orissa, covering around 6.8 million customers.
of utility’s business strategy, business process design and people (employee workforce and organisation structure) management. Strategy: The advent of smart meters, automated (not the same as “remote”) meter reading, energy audit software and related IT enablers has made it possible for Utilities to scientifically measure their T&D losses, which, combined with automated computation of their collection losses, enables computation of AT&C loss in a timely and accurate manner at a geographically granular level. This shifts the entire paradigm of running the distribution business from just operating the network and supplying energy to include minimizing AT&C losses and recovering the energy supplied. While the private sector utilities have an obvious incentive to minimize losses as losses hurt their shareholder value, the government has also structured its financial incentives (assured return on equity to private utilities and conversion of R-APDRP loans to grants to state-owned utilities) on accurate loss measurement and sustained loss reduction by the utilities. Process: The installation of advanced billing and customer care software enables design of extremely robust business processes in the field of metering, billing, payment / collection & recovery, and theft control measures like analytics of metering data and consumption / payment patterns, legal and enforcement action management, etc. Thus, the utilities are able to not only reduce meter-reading errors and ensure billing accuracy, but also provide efficient customer service and prevent revenue leakage. Once it is recognized that the basis of process design has to be loss minimization and customer service excellence, all business processes are designed around ensuring these aspects, such as automated meter reading. It ensures accurate recording of power consumption by avoiding the under-stated manual readings submitted by meter-readers (in collusion with dishonest consumers); here, it is pertinent to note that “automated” reading includes not only remote meter reading, but also, optical download of reading from electronic meter into a handheld meter-reading instrument operated by meterreader at the consumer premises. Similarly, customer care software enables prompt and efficient on-field service to all types of consumer requests / complaints based
on urgency & priority, including innovative doorstep services and web-enabled online services so that consumers have to no longer visit the utility office to apply for new connection or to pay their bills; at the same time, it gives powerful tools to utilities to undertake far more effective dunning and recovery procedures against defaulting consumers. People: Loss measurement by each zone / sub-zone enables fixing of accountability to specific departments / offices and down to individual employees. Broadening the organisation’s objective from just AT&C loss reduction to include improvement in customer service level, employee engagement, and incorporating the (implicit / explicit) expectations of the identified internal and external stakeholders (eg, safety, environment and regulatory compliance, positive relations with Govt and local community, etc), Accenture has developed a comprehensive Balanced Scorecard customized to Indian power distribution utilities. Once this scorecard is accepted by the utility as the basis of its people management, the entire organisation structure is designed to deliver on these objectives. IT systems enable timely, accurate and efficient measurement of these KPIs across the entire enterprise (across functions, geography and hierarchy), cascading down to individual employees. This lays the foundation for setting up robust performance management systems culminating in extremely effective, self-financing (and handsome!) variable reward payout to the high-performing employees. The goal alignment between employees and organization that results from these IT enablers nips in the bud a lot of problems that emanate from the mediocrity and corruptibility of a demotivated workforce. Here, it is also important to realize that the western paradigm of manpower cost reduction should not be taken as a high priority for Indian utilities. CONCLUSION Thus, ICT is now helping shape the power distribution reforms in India. It has immense potential of positively touching an important aspect of our life, infrastructure and economy, i.e. electricity, provided we customize our strategy for the Indian realities.\\
Powering a People Ready Business in Utilities www.microsoft.com
Businesses don’t garner insights or make decisions. People do. Now more than ever people in the power and utilities businesses must make decisions to contend with a new contingent of disruptive forces from regulatory, environmental and workforce concerns. In this situation, businesses succeed when they empower their people with the right tools, information and opportunities. In a People-Ready Business, software plays a critical role, helping people turn data into insights that may be critical for survival - especially when an entire industry is undergoing structural change
icrosoft’s Worldwide Utilities group believes that the keys to power and utilities companies’ successful management of new energy supply and demand, environmental, regulatory and business process challenges will be their ability to leverage certain core IT infrastructure capabilities in their information management systems. To enable agility and quick responses to dynamic business drivers, these information management systems will feature:
Integration that’s based on open international standards like the Common Information Model (CIM) Search functions within specific applications and across all business systems throughout the enterprise, as well as the Internet Unified communications that fully integrate voice, Instant Messaging (IM), email and the notion of “presence” to enterprise-wide efforts for collaboration and communication Automated workflows, knowledge and advanced document management Expansion of mobility platforms that enable new ways to interact with software applications and peers
In Microsoft’s view, utilities should embrace advances in collaboration, relationship management, business intelligence and increasing use of the computing “Cloud” to bring about the Integrated Utility: an integration of IT and operational systems that readily presents information to users based upon their needs rather than application architecture. In this evolution toward the Integrated Utility,
information technology will focus on user roles and role-based user productivity that’s most efficient when users have access to all the information they need, in synthesized form, that’s available when and where they need it customized for their particular job function. Cloud computing – the idea of receiving information technology services from the Internet – will play an increasing role in this transformation toward the Integrated Utility because it changes the role of technology within the organization, moving applications from individual PCs to the Internet or company networks, adding high performance computing capabilities, increasing storage exponentially and accelerating the optimization of IT infrastructure. Rather than the IT department taking on every project, utilities will be able to leverage deployments of optimal solutions from the Cloud, so that time-to-usage and subsequent role-based productivity is accelerated. Ultimately, this transformation of the IT infrastructure will increase utilities’ business agility and their ability to manage regulatory, environmental, workforce generation, transmission
Microsoft and partners are focused on five pillars that empower excellence in utilities. Focus on the pillars will create enterprise agility for thriving in the dynamic utility marketplace.
and distribution challenges. These forces will drive fundamental changes in how utilities organize and view their information technology solutions. This paper also provides in-depth discussions of Microsoft’s prescriptions for key utility industry concerns, like improving customer service, optimizing generation operations and maximizing profit, delivering business intelligence to all users throughout the organization, and complying with regulations through automated collaboration.
productivity and reducing job submission time Help energy provider, analysts, dispatchers and managers with real-time and historical views into trillions of records created by more than 320,000 grid devices using the Microsoft Application Platform, including Microsoft SQL Server 2008.
MICROSOFT IN UTILITIES Microsoft has a long-standing commitment to support of the power and utilities industry. Microsoft is a team player, investing billions in research and development each year, investing in industry benchmarks, training and product adoptions, as well as hosting events and sponsoring thought leadership initiatives. Microsoft solutions are present in most, if not all, utilities around the world – supplying desktop and office software, collaboration and communications solutions, as well as servers, databases, integration and management software – in some capacity. For instance, Microsoft solutions: •
Enable British Energy Trading & Sales (BETS) to support trading environments that change regularly and rapidly. By adopting the Microsoft toolset, BETS has removed an IT constraint to aiding traders Support American Electric Power’s decision to take a leadership role in sustainability through the use of information technology to manage carbon emissions. Implementing a compliance system based upon the Microsoft platform now provides AEP with reporting consistency, reporting process automation, documentation of the compliance process, access control to all personnel needing relevant information, and updates for the multiple and detailed reporting requirements for compliance across all jurisdictions in which AEP operates Drive ease of use and administration at the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor in South Africa using familiar Windows environments with high performance computing to improve engineering
Of course Microsoft is a team player working with more than 60 utility partners who bring invaluable experience and intellectual capital that build upon the Microsoft platform to provide solutions for: Customer Service – Call centers, CRM, customer info systems, complex billing, customer portals Transmission & Distribution Performance - Field operations, field mobility, asset management, engineering, smart metering, T&D network design, modeling, construction, maintenance and overall management Generation Performance – Power generation operations, plant information systems, work and asset management, emissions monitoring and reporting and power generation plant and fleet optimisation Energy Supply Performance - Enterprise trading and risk management, transmission network grid security, load forecasting, wholesale clearing and settlement, demand response Enterprise Performance – ERP, Business Intelligence, regulatory compliance and rates and tariff management MICROSOFT’S INTEGRATING SOLUTIONS Microsoft’s Worldwide Utility account teams and partners are positioned to assist the global utility community with solutions that integrate Microsoft’s ubiquitous software presence to create customer service improvements, enable access to enterprise business intelligence, optimize generation fleet performance, address ever evolving regulatory compliance needs, and facilitate smart grid and smart metering system improvements.
INTEGRATING CUSTOMER SERVICE Microsoft’s Customer Care Framework (“CCF”) is designed with agents in mind because it synchronizes self-service solutions, like portals, speech/ interactive voice response, with their contact center solutions. CCF provides a complete vision and unified architecture for all customer service channels on one desktop screen. Because CCF is built on Microsoft’s . NET Framework, CCF is relatively inexpensive and less complicated – both to use and to extend. CCF displays one view of all customer information and then meshes with underlying business applications without changes to existing systems. CCF provides the same information to the agent and to the customer, speeding agent resolution of customer issues. CCF can also provide rich information directly to the customer, thereby eliminating Addressing the ChallengesMicrosoft’s Integrating Solutionssome customer questions with no agent involvement at all. With the addition of Microsoft’s Automated Service Agents (“ASA”) solution, customers can immediately interact in a natural language automated chat session, asking questions in their own words and getting precise, actionable answers in less time than traditional support methods. Microsoft’s Customer Care Framework goes beyond helping customers. It also helps the utility reduce the time and money it spends on training its agents. By aggregating information from disparate line-of business applications into a familiar, easy-to-use, unified desktop experience, both training time and costs go down. Microsoft Customer Care Framework is a software solution that supports the rapid, flexible, and cost-effective development and deployment of customer care and services solutions for utility companies.
Microsoft Customer Care Framework is a software solution that supports the rapid, flexible, and costeffective development and deployment of customer care and services solutions for utility companies.
INTEGRATING REGULATORY COMPLIANCE AND TARIFF MANAGEMENT
Integrating and Expanding Business Intelligence Because of the complexity and increasing challenges of delivering gas, water and electricity to their customers, utilities need technology systems that provide most of their employees with access to wide ranging data sources. The advent, escalation and deployment of smart grid, advanced metering and emissions management initiatives have resulted in utilities being challenged to deal with exponential amounts of new data that needs to be transformed into information to optimize business decisions. While some companies’ business information (BI) needs once could be satisfied by providing their executives, corporate performance services, and accountants with high level dashboard snapshots of pertinent operating measures, Microsoft seeks to help utilities achieve a whole new level of BI performance by extending business information to a broad range of roles and job functions: engineers, technicians, planners, customer service representatives, safety officers, field operations personnel, compliance managers and others responsible for designing, managing and delivering power, water and gas to their customers. The BI system the utility uses needs to handle data in a way that mirrors the way their people work. This is accomplished by supporting the individual’s creation of content in unstructured and structured systems and the information created by teams. It also must facilitate the individual’s need to quickly change how the BI information can be viewed and consumed. This information is then used in formal IT structures for process management, drill down analysis and for management snapshots needed by top executives. Microsoft’s BI solution excels at developing information from the way that people work, with software tools that are familiar and easy to use and also ones that integrate, connect and deploy with existing systems.
INTEGRATING FLEETS TO MAXIMIZE PROFITS While power plants may be located in rural areas far removed from urban centers, they are smack in the middle of competing forces in the world economy. With continually rising fuel costs, concerns about global greenhouse gas emissions and wholesale market competition, companies have been forced to operate their generation plants (including sources like wind and solar whose dispatch capabilities are sometimes unmanageable) as fleets, not individual plants. Plant managers who once had limited interest in how other facilities were operating now are called upon to function as part of a team, providing plans and reports that fit the larger corporate plan for profitability. Since people can’t manage what they can’t measure, gathering the right information in one place – from dispersed locations – becomes key to company-wide administration of the business. Microsoft and its array of consulting and software partners believe that making rolebased productivity enhancements are the first vital steps in creating a holistic view of operations for management. By getting the right information to the right people at the right time, utility companies can increase their overall efficiency in the new world of operations. Managing utility information through Microsoft solutions means having the ability to aggregate information, facilitating document and personnel collaboration with unified communications, and then automating key business processes in order to accelerate decisions. Microsoft and its partners provide the business and technology solutions that pull all of the people, information, technologies and processes together for a highly connected generation ecosystem that empowers excellence.
Not only are utilities exposed to the harsh atmosphere of competition sor regulation enforcement but on an almost daily basis management and boards of directors are being asked to change their business operations to cost effectively integrate the significant regulatory demands of national, regional and local governments. Companies must also comply with financial regulations from Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2003 (SOX), European Union (EU) directives, the Kyoto Accords, emissions trading and emissions rights, reliability requirements (e.g., NERC) and environmental mandates from governments. Managing these conflicting demands requires a new, proactive approach. While utilities have traditionally addressed compliance in a reactive, one-off tactical manner, there are better ways. At the same time that utilities are dealing with regulatory compliance, they also need to ask regulators for rate and tariff hearings increases, to keep pace with a volatile energy commodity environment. Rate and tariff case petitions are increasing in number around the world, but few utilities have all the personnel resources they need to wage these petitions successfully. Microsoft and its partner community provide utility compliance solutions delivered on an enterprise ready, scalable and secure platform that is familiar and easy to use. Compliance solutions built on the Microsoft platform provide the corporate agility necessary for a utility to take an enterprise holistic approach to anticipating future changes from their industry regulators and elsewhere by: •
Easily extending compliance applications to every relevant information worker through deep integration with the familiar, easy-to-use Microsoft® Office and Web experiences Offering a common framework to apply policy-based retention and protection to content of all types e.g. documents, images, e-mail, web content Deploying a unified SharePoint® foundation that lowers IT deployment and management costs Enabling unified search capabilities, with
Microsoft and its utility partner eco-system touch all areas of the utility enterprise including: •
Clearing & Settlement
Environmental Health & Safety
Generation Fleet Optimization
Customer Information Systems
Geographic Information Systems
Customer Relationship Management
Mobile Workforce Management
Plant Information Management
Distribution & Substation Automation
Process Control/ Performance
Emissions Monitoring & Management
Smart Metering Systems
Engineering Design and Analysis
Smart Grid Initiatives
Energy Trading & Risk Management
Work & Asset Management
BROAD USE AND SUPPORT Microsoft makes some of the world’s most widely used and supported software, ensuring that our customers will always find it easy to get the help they need to solve technical issues and have questions answered. In addition to our Microsoft technical support services, a worldwide network of developers, support professionals, and thousands of certified partners means you always have access to the expertise you need. INTEGRATION THAT WORKS
simplified metadata tagging for more consistency and effective filing and convenient workflow controls for policy enforcement Providing a solution that lowers deployment and management costs by building on a unified, enterprise ready foundation that reduces the complexity and cost of addressing multiple requirements Providing standards based interoperability and robust extensibility embraced by a large network of partners with deep utility domain expertise
INTEGRATING ENGINEERING & OPERATIONS WITH UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS The challenges caused by a greatly experienced workforce moving toward retirement en masse are being felt throughout the utility industry. People with less experience are being forced to do more, sooner, and with less intellectual capital. Thus tomorrow’s utility must break down the barriers that constrain communication access to a limited number of subject matter experts and to expand the availability of asset information. For instance, when crews in the field or the plant need access to engineering expertise to resolve operations issues, they should have near instantaneous access to those subject matter experts (SME). When they initiate requests for help, the best available resource needs to be no further away than an IM or phone call. The SME needs to be able to search all pertinent sources of data so that potential solutions can be immediately accessed and evaluated. The SME will need a variety of communication capabilities to quickly
and effectively collaborate with the field operation teams. This is the only way operations and engineering can be truly integrated and accomplish more while operations and maintenance budgets and workforce resources shrink. Unified Communications (a healing of the split between what you do on the computer and the phone), comprehensive search, and enterprise wide business intelligence are all key ingredients to successfully rising to these challenges. The utility of the future won’t be able to afford to operate without leveraging these capabilities. WHY MICROSOFT? Microsoft helps people gain insight through advanced analysis services, drive innovation through collaboration and improve performance through increased visibility into operations across the utility value chain. Innovative software can take advantage of employees’ capabilities and knowledge to accelerate business results provide the flexibility that enables a company to adapt to changes in partners, products and the business climate. Our promise to you of effective, manageable, cost-effective software rests on four foundations: FAMILIARITY AND EASE OF USE Microsoft software, touching the majority of business people in the world, is familiar and accessible to people at all levels of your organization, your partners and your customers. From tools for developers to systems and infrastructure for IT professionals to applications for your employees, Microsoft software vastly reduces training time and makes people more productive more quickly.
Utilities worldwide already have spent large sums on technology and automation, creating a mix that is expensive to abandon, but also costly to maintain and make available throughout an enterprise. Microsoft is at the forefront in developing tools such as Web services that can connect and stitch together previously isolated, far-flung data. Moreover, our software is designed to work together. Cloud Computing and Software+Services models will enable utilities to have greater flexibility and agility to confront new business challenges. Microsoft embraces these requirements and its software vision enhances and extends utilities’ technology investments – without requiring rip and replace of existing systems. INNOVATIVE SOFTWARE At Microsoft, we are committed to developing software products that help utility company employees reach their full potential. New software solutions will be required to meet the needs of tomorrow. Our innovation and creation of new solutions to meet the needs of tomorrow is customer investment protection. When you select Microsoft, you are not buying just software, you are joining a roadmap with solutions and vision to make your business and your people reach their highest potential. We will continue to create new products that allow a business to evolve and adapt to an increasingly complex marketplace. Our commitment to and leadership in industrystandard technologies such as Web services and Open XML ensure that companies that use Microsoft products have access to the widest possible array of technology partners and software platforms. \\
2009: Glimpses from Samastipur District of Bihar NIRMAL KISHOR PRASAD PSA & DIO, NIC DISTRICT UNIT, SAMASTIPUR
INTRODUCTION The 15th Lok Sabha (LS) General Election 2009 notification for phase 2B and 3A was announced on 28th March 2009 and 2nd April 2009. The last date for making nominations was 4th April 2009 and scrutiny of nominations was on 6th April 2009. Likewise, the last date of withdrawal of candidates was 8th April 2009. Finally the poll date for phase 2B and 3A was 23rd April 2009 and 30th April 2009 respectively. As usual, counting of votes was uniformly fixed on 16th May 2009 for all Parliamentary Constituencies (PCs) in India. Seeing the above Poll events and anticipating all emergent situations much before (i.e. from 2nd March 2009) the District Samastipur geared up to take up the incoming challenges for conducting of the LS General Election 2009 for two Parliamentary Constituencies i.e. 022-Ujiyarpur PC and 023-Samastipur (SC) PC and one 140-Hasanpur Assembly Constituency falling under 25-Khagaria PC. SAMASTIPUR DISTRICT Samastipur is a district in Bihar which is spread over an area of 2904 sq. kms. Samastipur is bounded on the north by the Bagmati River which separates it from Darbhanga district. On the west it is bordered by Vaishali and some part of Muzaffarpur district, on the south by the Ganges, while on its east it has Begusarai and some part of Khagaria district. The district headquarters is located at Samastipur.
The people of Samastipur mainly speak Hindi. According to the 2001 census, Population Density in the District was 1169 per sq. km. and the total population was 3.40 million. The District is lacking in educational infrastructure and the Literacy rate is only 45.13 % (male 57.59%, female 31.67%). The district comprises of 4 subdivisions, and 20 Community Development Blocks. It has 5 towns and 1248 villages. Infrastructure wise Samastipur is very strong. It is the Divisional Headquarters of the North Eastern railway. Samastipur district has two Parliamentary Constituencies i.e. Ujiyarpur and Samastipur (SC). COMPLEXITIES AND CHALLENGES Besides all other complexities that are natural in the conduct of free and fair elections, there were two big challenges in this district. They were managing two PCs where the number of contesting candidates exceeded 16; as a result there was addition of one more Ballot Units at all polling stations except 23Samastipur PC. Since LS General Election 2009 was already declared as ‘Digital Chunaw’ in all respect, hence the role of ICT tools and Electronic gadgets are to play a
prominent role. Thus, it is obvious that NIC District Unit’s role and responsibility will be of prime importance and District Informatics Officers (DIOs) have to exhibit their supreme ICT competence to provide ICT support as and when needed. Keeping in mind, the guidelines and order of ECI in these matters, strategies are being framed to accommodate the emergent requirements in the ICT solution developed by the NIC Bihar State Centre.
ICT SOLUTION FOR THE LS GENERAL ELECTION 2009 To cope up with all eventualities as per the ECI’s orders, compendium of hand books and guidelines at every steps of Election process with complete analysis of the Election Process were done along with the work-flow vis-à-vis the aims and objectives i.e. goals to be achieved. Analysis revealed that in terms of computerized systems we essentially need to have various segregated ICT solutions for facilitating smooth ICT support during the Election process. These ICT solutions were pertaining to Election Process, EVM Process, Force Deployment Process, Counting Process, and last but not the least, miscellaneous processes such as Communication Plan, Excessive use of E-mailing, candidates affidavits, finalisation of contesting candidates after withdrawals, etc. Keeping in view the above need, NIC Bihar State Centre developed and provided software solutions as follows : • • • •
EleCon Ver. 8.0 EVM Randomization Ver. 1.0 Force Deployment Ver. 1.0 Counting Ver. 1.0
Elecon Ver. 8.0 : Election Confidential (EleCon) Ver.8.0 is the main software which deals with all the requirements of Election for the District Election Officer (DEO) at the district level. The software starts with initial setups in the File Menu like Election Setup, Tour advance setup, Segment setup. Thereafter, it needs some master file updation like Department, Block, Office master, Employee master, Booth details, District and Assembly constituency. The Data Entry modules also provides PCCPs tagged booths, Micro-observers tagged booths, and Tamila delivered. Also unique Serial Number wise photo upload facility has been provided to upload the digital photographs of the personnel.
The Processing module is very important as it incorporates all the instructions and guidelines of ECI in the following activities : • Polling Party formation • Reserve Polling Party Formation • Counting Party Formation • Magistrate Party Formation • Reserve Magistrate Party Formation • Micro-observer Party formation • Reserve Micro-observer Party Formation • Cameraman Party Formation • Reserve Cameraman Party Formation This Module options like : • • • • •
Booths Tagging (Polling Party) Patrolling Magistrate Booths Tagging Micro-Observers Booths Tagging Cameraman Booths Tagging Counting Table Allotment
• • • • •
Office wise Reports List of Deputed Personnel (Duty wise) List of Deputed Personnel (Block/Duty wise) List of Personnel (Not assigned duty) Tour Advances
CONCLUSION The Report Module generates all kind of Appointment letters and reports to facilitate the DEO in taking right decision at right time. The reports generated are as follows: • • • •
• • • • • • • • •
First Appointment Letter to all with receiving Second Appointment Letters Final Appointment Letters Counting Letters First Appointment letter Table Allotment Letter List of Selected Counting Personnel Assembly Segment Allotment Chart Table Allotment Chart to Counting Personnel AC wise List of Personnel AC/ Table wise Duty wise Counting Personnel Duty wise Counting Personnel List of Officers Personnel Status Report Personnel Status (Duty not assigned) Checklist of employee (Office wise) Photo ID Card List of Booths Party wise Booth Information Misc. Reports
LS General Election 2009 for Samastipur district of Bihar was a tiring journey which started from 2nd March 2009 and ended on 16th May 2009 with counting of Votes and result declaration at the counting centre which was Samastipur College, Samastipur. NIC District Unit, Samastipur had done all ICT support along with its associated Data Entry Operators who did their jobs honestly and sincerely with all devotion for the cause of free and fair election in the two PCs and one AC i.e. 022-Ujiyarpur PC and 023Samastipur (SC) PC of the district and one 140-Hasanpur AC falling under 25-Khagaria PC. At Samastipur District all concerned worked and contributed their best for the conduct of LS General Election 2009 – the biggest ‘Mahaparva of Democracy’. And as a blessings of this worship, the LS General Election 2009 for this district ended very peacefully with no case for ‘Repoll’ or any untoward incidence – which was nothing less than creating history. NIC has always been the proponent of doctrine ‘Work is Worship’ and NICians have played the role of ‘Karmaveer’ - a silent worker. \\
Public Distribution System in Maharashtra www.spanco.com
INTRODUCTION Public Distribution System (PDS) is a national program that distributes subsidized food to the poor population of the country. Major commodities distributed under this system include rice, wheat, sugar and kerosene, These food grains are partly procured from Food Corporation of India (FCI) which is a central body and partly contributed by the state from its own produce. It reaches the end consumers through Fair Price Shop (FPS) spread across the nation. This is the largest distribution network in the world operated with collaborative efforts of Union and State governments in India. Since the system is huge and operational task is mammoth, it is no hidden fact that the entire network is exploited by corrupt and antisocial elements in every link of the distribution chain. A 2003-04 data reveals that, 14.07 million tones of subsidized grains were issued to the 16 large states for delivery to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families of which only 5.93 million tones were actually delivered and a whopping 8.14 million tones of subsidized food grain did not reach the poor. Therefore, State Governments are looking for solution to overhaul the distribution system. Maharashtra Government is one of the front runners in this initiative and intends to
repair the flaw by introducing technology solution in this food supply and distribution system. An Expression of Interest (EOI) was published by the state government which attracted interest of five bidders that included TCS, CMC, CMS and ECIL along with Spanco. TCS and Spanco were short listed as the final contenders on technology grounds and the project was bagged by Spanco (PPP model) on BOOT basis for 3 years. The total size of the project is about INR 250 crores. The scope of the contract
is to computerize the entire ration distribution system and introduce new technology in order to stop pilferage in the system, so that the subsidized item reaches the needy. Once implementation starts the entire project will be completed in a span of one year and shall be operated by Spanco for 3 years along with having the provision for extension by another one year. Spanco Ltd (Spanco, BSE: 508976) which has emerged as a preferred â€œGovernment Transformation ServiceTMâ€? provider, has
The project will require 1100 individuals for deployment across state to operate the project for 3 years
been entrusted with the task of transforming the current supply and distribution chain into a technology driven system. Once complete; the new model will solve issues related to pilferage in transit – godown – ration shops, fake ration cards, manual transaction records, and unreliable data. Apart from revenue savings by state government, this solution will directly benefit 30.7% of Maharashtra’s population living below poverty line (BPL) who cannot afford food grain in open market.
Middlemen typically try to take advantage of this by procuring on the basis of the registered cards which may not directly correlate with the actual number of active cards. The entire system needs tracking and efficient real time data to reach the core of the issue and establish new architecture assisted by technology.
FCS and Consumer Protection (CP) aim to tackle the above issue with the assistance of technology. Spanco Ltd, intends to transform the entire distribution process. The new system will have the following features: Existing ration card will be converted • into a bar code based laminated ration card All the ration cards will be digitized • Biometric finger prints will be used for • the identification of card holder Entire rationing process will be • automated with real time transaction records POS terminals with in-built Smart Card • Reader, Magnetic Stripe Reader and Bar Code Scanner will be deployed at 1,06,740 Fair Price Shops (FPS) Deployment of Data Center and Disaster • Recovery System Deployment of GPS instruments in • trucks carrying food grains for efficient tracking Development of 33 different Software • Applications on a SOA architecture
The project covers the entire distribution network of 1,06,740 Fair Price Shops spread across 354 Talukas, in 33 district supply offices that reports to 5 regional offices in state. Apart from the above, all the 474 Food Civil supplies (FCS) offices including HO, Divisional Offices and Taluka offices will be computerized and networked using MPLS/VPN broadband connectivity. A hightech Data center will be deployed which will connect with the rest of the department offices across the state. The project will require 1100 individuals for deployment across state to operate the project for 3 years. Also 1500 data entry operators will be required for the data entry and digitization of all the existing ration cards. It means that the project will generate direct employment for as many individuals at Taluka level and rural Maharashtra. CURRENT SYSTEM Each FCS serves approx. 700 ration cards (equivalent to number of households) and the allotment for food and kerosene is done according to the number of ration cards. The sum of all the requirements of FCS in 354 talukas is the procurement size of the state government from FCI. State government buys these food grains at market price and sells it through FCS at subsidized price incurring a deficit on the budget. The entire process is manual and there is no real time record of the actual distribution, beneficiaries of the subsidies and actual number of ration cards excluding the fake ration cards. Pilferage may occur at different level in the distribution network. There is currently no automated system to track the total number of active ration cards in each FCS.
TECHNOLOGY ASSISTED DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
BENEFITS OF TECHNOLOGY ASSISTED DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM Control on Pilferage: Vehicle tracking through GPS instruments will assure delivery of goods from FCI godown to the state godown. Pilferage in transit can be avoided with this solution. At Fair Price shops (FPS) every transaction will be recorded in encrypted manner through the Point of Sale (POS) device which will enable the higher authority for decision making. This will ensure the right allotment of food grains for FPS based on the active ration card users. Elimination of fake ration cards (duplication): Biometric record of the ration card holder (head of the family) will help in
the identification process. As per record, Maharashtra government has discovered 4.0 million fake ration cards in state. Also interstate migration rate in India is more than 30%. Study further reveals deeper malaise in the public distribution system which indicates that there can be as many as 50 bogus ration cards under each ration shop and the figure may go up to 150-200 per ration shop in Mumbai and other large cities. Bogus card holders get subsidized commodities leaving nothing for those who really need it. Biometric identification process will immediately identify the duplicate ration card as well as non-existing ration cards and block them as bogus thus eliminating malpractices and reduce burden on government PDS budget. Transaction recorded in Real time: The New proposed system will track each and every transaction in the state and deliver the status of every ration card and FPS stock to the higher authority. All this exercise will be done in real time. Data centre / Disaster Recovery site: The project scope involves building a data center which will be linked with various other departments. With the data gathered, stores will provide required business intelligence for budgeting and other activities. The data centre site will be equipped with redundant server to avoid losses and will be further strengthened by a Disaster Recovery Site (DRS) which will be built at a alternate location. Accountability: The new system will identify and plug the loopholes and the leakage in the present distribution network; and also create an environment of accountability at each level. CONCLUSION The project is going to start in the month of June 2009 and will set a new benchmark in transformation of a complex government business. \\
Vice President- Strategy, Spanco Ltd.
One Billion Opportunities: Banking the Unbanked Globally GAUTAM BANDYOPADHYAY PRINCIPAL CONSULTANT AT INFOSYS TECHNOLOGIES
Look and you’ll see an exciting landscape emerging in the banking arena. One where there is a billion-strong market actively seeking financial services but remains largely unattended to. These globally distributed prospective customers represent enormous earning potential for banks, but constitute the unbanked. The unbanked are those who do not utilize banking services and have limited banking needs. The unbanked are not the poorest of the poor. However, they certainly include those whom banks need to serve but cannot do so profitably in the existing banking environment. Though these consumers need access to banking for savings, loans and microfinance, they do not have bank accounts. The reasons for this are compelling. •
• • • •
Lack of steady and substantial income leading to a fear of insufficient funds for an account Limited access to banks, especially in remote areas Lack of formal employment that precludes a financial history Poor financial literacy Psychological factors such as mistrust of financial institutions
This unbanked billion is not outside the banking sector by choice. An important reason for their predicament is that banks do not offer them suitable products tailored to their needs. In effect, they have been excluded by the banks’ inability to understand their requirements and the unwillingness to adopt innovative models to serve them.
However, this billion also constitutes an enormous opportunity – if banks are willing to accept the challenge of including them with an eye on the bigger picture. This paper provides a regional perspective to this issue and examines what banks can do to capitalize on this opportunity. HOW TO BANK THE UNBANKED In China and India only about a third of the population participates in the formal banking sector. In Africa the number is just 25 percent. India has the second-highest number of financially excluded households in the world – 135 million – after China’s 263 million.
Africa as a whole has 230 million unbanked households, and Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America have 19 million and 42 million respectively. But irrespective of where in the world they might be, this unbanked section of society has similar needs for financial services. Apart from the obvious requirements of savings, loans, transactions, and investments, the unbanked have certain special needs, which are: •
Flexibility in savings and repayment schedules owing to a lack of steady income Simplicity and speed in processing
Small product sizes when it comes to loans and low-balance savings accounts Proximity and ease of access Basic financial education or information since the unbanked may not understand even elementary concepts of banking
Most banks find it difficult to meet these needs because of the high economic cost of servicing these demands. However, a little out-of-the box thinking in devising products that are simple and accessible can help ensure inclusive growth. Some of these measures could include tying up with an NGO or with a retailer and using village residents and empowerment groups as representatives. These can lower customer acquisition costs and increase customer base, thus helping banks overcome the high cost challenge. Such groups also help banks mitigate risks associated with dealing with the unbanked. An estimated 2.6 million self-help groups in India are linked to banks, giving financial institutions access to 40 million households. It is important that the products are downsized without being downgraded to match the unbanked population’s smaller requirements by offering low installments and flexible repayment options. Banks also require performance metrics and regulatory conditions that are more suited for including the unbanked in the financial mainstream. Some banks are using inter-industry partnerships to increase financial inclusion. For example, banks in Brazil have added 100,000 point-of-sale locations to distribute products by tying up with retailers. Not only are these channels cheaper for banks but they are also more convenient for consumers. Banks must realize – and they are seeing the light – that since the unbanked have remained unaddressed by traditional financial institutions, they will not hesitate to choose newer players for basic banking services such as payment and deposit transactions. Collaborating with telecom players, adding a mobile channel, and utilizing cross-selling opportunities will go a long way in meeting the needs of the unbanked. In many emerging economies, mobile consumers are growing at a much faster rate than bank customers. Mobile banking is taking off because it is convenient, fast, simple, and secure. Moreover, it is a costeffective option for banks. Gartner has estimated that there will be 33 million mobile payment users worldwide in 2008, with the
Asia Pacific taking the lead. Gartner expects this number to triple to 103.9 million users in 2011. Other forms of branchless banking and epayment gateways such as payment cards and the Internet can also help banks increase their outreach. Banks need to experiment and include the next billion consumers not merely for the socio-economic assistance they will gain. The step will also have a strong business imperative for banks. Not only will a bank increase its customer base, but it will also ensure increasing numbers of future customers as incomes increase. Let us examine how banks are reaching the unbanked in various parts of the world, namely, India, China and parts of Africa. INDIA The Indian banking market is zooming, with assets expected to reach $1 trillion by 2010. An expanding economy, a growing middle class, and technological innovations are contributory factors, according to a Celent report, ‘Overview of Indian Banking Market’. The industry is focusing on the retail side of the market, with a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 23 percent in the past five years. However, despite this thrust on retail banking, banks will have to come up with creative and simple solutions to make money in India. This is because India has a huge unbanked population and unless this is included, neither will banks prosper, nor the country. Banks have also realized the potential of this market and have come up with innovative means of reaching it. They are going back to rural pockets for financial inclusion. State Bank of India Ltd. is drawing up plans to reach out to 100,000 villages. In September 2007, ABN Amro Bank announced that its microfinance division had provided basic financial support to some 500,000 underprivileged households. Building more branches in the countryside may not always be cost-effective. So banks need to explore other options by developing a better understanding of what rural households need and offer new products and distribution networks to suit them. Providing banking services through ‘Banking correspondents’ represented by self-help groups, NGOs and other approved organizations is one branchless banking mechanism. Touch-points may be set up by such organizations at places commonly visited by the unbanked, such as the village markets or schools. This may be
supplemented by outreach teams equipped with hand-held devices on which simple banking transactions can be performed. Mobile banking is another way of reaching out to such customers and is also a huge opportunity for banks in India. According to a TRAI report, the total number of mobile subscribers by the March 31, 2008 was 261.08 million as against last year’s 165.09 million (an increase of 58.14 percent). This figure shows that in just three years, the number of mobile subscribers has grown over 4.5 times. India is adding more subscribers per month than any other country. According to the GSM Association (Global Association for GSM Providers), the next billion subscribers will come from the BOP (Bottom of the Pyramid) market, of which India will have the largest share. The growth of mobile phone subscribers is outpacing the growth of banking customers as also PC and Internet users in India. In 2006, banks were allowed to take the help of NGOs and microfinance institutions as intermediaries in offering banking services through the use of correspondents. This was perhaps a factor for many banks that opened six million no-frill accounts with low or zero minimum balances between March 2006 and 2007. ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Citibank have launched their own microfinance programs. HDFC Bank thus has tied up with NGOs in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to make money accessible to the rural poor. Citibank has linked up with NGOs. Standard Chartered plans to lend $100 million for micro-financing by 2008, up from current commitments of $40 million. Banks are looking at technology to provide banking services at low cost – and this includes rural banking too. Citi has set up a bio-metric ATM as a part of its ‘nofrills’ Pragati account for the under-banked. The ATM recognizes the customer through her thumb impression and can interact in regional languages. CHINA Estimates about the numbers of unbanked Chinese vary. The People’s Bank of China (PBC) estimates that only 36 percent of Chinese rural households have access to financial services. As one indicator of demand, the informal finance market has been estimated at anywhere between CNY 1 trillion ($132 billion) to CNY 2 or 3 trillion. But the bigger Chinese banks have for many years now been moving out of rural
areas, goaded by commercialization and competitive pressures. According to the State Council Development Research Centre (DRC), the four big state banks have reduced their presence in rural areas by over 43 percent in ten years, closing 30,000 branches in the last five years alone. The Chinese government has launched several initiatives to test out new forms of rural financial service providers. Among them: •
The People’s Bank of China in December 2005 launched a pilot initiative to establish Microcredit Companies using commercial licensing The China Banking Regulatory Commission in December 2006 introduced their own pilot, creating new types of licenses for rural financial institutions
McKinsey believes that given the reliance on cash in rural China additional ATMs do not appear to be the answer, the existing mobile Short Message Service network could quickly and cheaply provide an SMS-based payment system in rural areas. Since the most expensive parts of the infrastructure - the network and phones - are in place, this solution would be relatively low in cost, between $40 million and $60 million. By forming a partnership, banks, network operators and merchants could unlock spending. The Chinese largely rely on cash payments, thus increasing the importance of the cashbased e-payment channel. Some leading third-party payment providers are adding cash-based and non-bank based payment options to their offerings. These include: Cash remittance: Alipay is a third-party payment provider, allowing users to top up accounts with cash through China’s postal service. This service was launched in March 2007 in selected China Post branches throughout China. Mobile toll stations: Smartpay, China’s leading mobile top-up company, has formed a network of approximately 30,000 dealers. Smartpay dealers allow users with bank accounts to easily use Smartpay’s services, which in turn gives Smartpay access to a much wider range of potential users. Targeting the unbanked with pre-paid cards: E-payment player IPS uses mobile and telephone prepaid cards in order to reach unbanked users. This service takes advantage of the popularity of prepaid topup cards used for phone bills, online games, and virtual currencies in China. The cards are usually purchased with cash at newspaper
kiosks, small shops, and internet cafes. IPS operates a service called Ipay. AFRICA According to the IMF, African countries are enjoying their best period of sustained economic expansion since attaining independence. Real GDP growth is expected to rise from 5.7 percent in 2006 to 6.8 percent in 2008. Still, only 20 percent of families in Africa have bank accounts. Ethopia has less than one bank branch per 100,000 people – a developed nation like Spain has an average of 96 branches. Even in South Africa, where the sector is more sophisticated, only 40 percent of adults have bank accounts. But there is a huge demand for bank services. Finding this demand unfulfilled, millions of Africans turn to informal services or invest in cattle. But banks are increasingly adopting innovative methods. South Africa has physically taken branches to the unbanked, either as prefabricated units, or in vans that make visits to under-served areas. In remote areas, machines have been installed in shops where customers print out a slip and present it to the shopkeeper, who provides the cash. Some rural branches and ATMs rely on solar energy and satellite phone. The ‘Big Four’ banks of South Africa (ABSA, First National Bank, Nedbank Group and Standard Bank) and the government developed the innovative Mzansi account in 2003 which is a low-cost transaction account. It enables banks to cover at least 70 percent of the unbanked market in a relatively short time. The government provided a small subsidy to cover the cost. It is targeted at people who earn less than R2,000 (US$264) a month. It now has more than 4 million subscribers. Studies conducted by Genesis Analytics for the Finmark Trust in 2004 have suggested that POS facilities can play an increasingly important role in providing the unbanked access to basic financial services in South Africa. West African financial services biggies Zenith Bank and Ecobank and multinationals Citibank and the International Finance Corporation have set up the Acción Microfinance Bank in Nigeria. It aims to provide low income earners and entrepreneurs with credit facilities and finance. Mobile banking seems to be the most promising option in Africa. Few Africans may have bank accounts, but many have mobile phones. Wizzit (a financial services provider),
First National Bank (FNB) and MTN Banking (a joint venture between Standard Bank and a mobile-phone network), are targeting the 14 million unbanked South Africans. In Kenya and Botswana, 17 percent of the unbanked own a mobile phone, according to the FinMark Trust. In Kenya, Vodafone and Safaricom, Kenya’s leading mobile operator, launched an m-commerce payment service, M-PESA, aimed at the unbanked in March 2006. Within three months, it had 150,000 customers, with 2,500 new users signing up each day. First Bank linked-up with Nigeria’s second biggest mobile operator, Globacom. The partners introduced the GloFirst card in conjunction with the switching company Interswitch. GloFirst can be used to withdraw money, check card balance, print mini statements, change the Personal Identification Number (PIN) and transfer money to another cash card or bank account. CONCLUSION The numbers involved in meeting the needs of the unbanked may seem daunting, but in reality they represent a billion-strong opportunity for banks. By paying greater attention to their wants and developing sensitivity to their needs, banks will be able to develop customized products and include the unbanked in their scheme of things. Banks may do well to remember that they have a business imperative in converting the periphery into the mainstream. \\
www.eINDIA.net.in eINDIA 2009 TRACKS
India's Largest ICT Event 25 - 27 August 2009 Hyderabad International Convention Centre, India
Riveting Talks by Charismatic Thought Leaders of the Indian ICT Community and Beyond!
Prof V N Rajasekharan Pillai Vice Chancellor Indira Gandhi Open University
!!! ble a l i va sa for e at s ne d nli 9 at / ite o m Li ter 00 t.in gis A 2 .ne Re INDI DIA ation e .eIN istr w eg ww 09/r 20
Oleg Petrov Co ordinator, e-Development Thematic Group The World Bank
Subash C Khuntia Joint Secretary Ministry of HRD Government of India
M Moni Deputy Director General National Informatics Centre
Michael Rawding Vice President Unlimited Potential Group Microsoft Corporation
Michael Riggs Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Rome
Dato' Halim Man Secretary General Ministry of Energy, Water & Communications, Malaysia
Thiru A Raja Minister for Communications & Information Technology Government of India.
Previous Speakers at eINDIA Dr Joya Chatterjee Director Emerging Markets Platform Group Intel Corporation
Dr Basheerhamad Shadrach Senior Programme Officer Telecentre.org
Shankar Aggarwal Joint Secretary DIT, Ministry of Communications & IT Government of India
D Purandeswari Minister of State for Higher Education Ministry of Human resource and Development Government of India
R Chandrashekhar Secretary DIT, Ministry of Communications & IT Government of India
eINDIA 2009, the 5th edition of India's annual ICT conference, brings together the most fascinating thinkers and doers of the ICT community in the country and beyond. eINDIA is a growing ICT community that seeks to welcome people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of ICT and who hope to turn that understanding into a better future for us all. The conference encompasses various domains within the ICT framework, creating an immersive environment that allows attendees and speakers from vastly different fields to cross-fertilize and draw inspiration. And its scope is ever broadening! Attendance at eINDIA 2009 will be on first cum first serve basis and will be limited to 750 seats. The attendees for the event will get to experience powerful inspiration, extraordinary insights and definitive connections with riveting speakers at eINDIA2009. Online registration has begun at www.eINDIA.net.in/2009/registration. Register NOW!
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For sponsorship and exhibition enquiry, contact: Gautam Navin (+91-9818125257), firstname.lastname@example.org, Debabrata Ray (+91-9899650692), email@example.com, Siddharth Verma (+91 9811561645) firstname.lastname@example.org
Helping e-Government Step Into Web 2.0 Strategic, BroadVision e-business platform helps government agencies across Asia, North and South America and Europe become more agile; gives Indian railway passengers “best in world” experience.
igital government offers the prospect of public services that are easy to use; accessible, cost effective; available around the clock; unified across agencies; and consistent in appearance and functionality. In addition to government to citizen interactions, the Internet offers new possibilities for government to government (G2G); government to employee (G2E); and government to business (G2B) connections. G2G requires applications that share data across agencies as the foundation for knowledge management, content management, workflow management, and inter institutional collaboration. G2E requires intranet, project management and easy publishing, while G2B requires e procurement, MRO goods, contracting, e auctioning, etendering, eprocurement, and extranets.
CHALLENGE IN INDIA: “QUEUES-TO-CLICKS” CONVERSION The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) is a public sector company, set up and fully owned by the Ministry of Railways. IRCTC quickly recognized the Internet’s potential to improve its existing operations and, in parallel, look at new horizons of revenues. IRCTC is changing
with the times and has done the right thing by adopting the right kind of technology that provides IRCTC with multiple solutions on a single platform. As the IRCTC site (www.irctc. co.in) has grown to meet business demands, the BroadVision® agile business suite scaled to meet IRCTC’s growing traffic from 1 Lakh transactions in one month to over 1.75 Lakh transactions per day! BroadVision’s highly scalable and robust solution helped IRCTC to record a peak booking of more than 15,000 tickets in an hour – an average of 4 tickets per second! IRCTC leveraged BroadVision’s capabilities to the fullest extent and added other tourism and reservation touch points services to enable its customers to plan trips and purchase the tickets online – creating great customer satisfaction and loyalty.
................................................................. “Our online commerce sales have seen exponential growth on a yearly basis starting from monthly online sales of approximately 3,300 tickets in August 2002 and growing to over 2.4 million online tickets in March 2008. BroadVision has been our technology solution provider since the beginning and has made an important contribution in our efforts.” Dr. Nalini Shinghal Managing Director, IRCTC ................................................................. The Solution: Agile platform grows with customer needs, scales to immediate growth and helps bring Indian consumers to forefront IRCTC’s BroadVision powered Portal™ solution integrates a simple to use ecommerce customer interface with an existing passenger reservation system and payment gateway to enable customer self service and increased convenience for Indian Railways’ passengers
seeking to plan trips and book and receive tickets. From “queues to clicks”, it has been a highly interesting and groundbreaking journey not only by its revenue success, but also for having a significant impact on increasing the Internet adaptation rate in India. HIGH- PERFORMANCE AND HIGH - SCALABILITY Entire project completed within six months – including integration with legacy systems. One of Asia Pacific’s largest ecommerce solutions. Covers 200+ cities/towns.
BroadVision Delivers • • • •
Low Total Cost of Ownership Easy Integration and Rapid Time to Market Proven Scalability Platform Neutral Solution
Moved from a single service offering company to a full service tourism portal. Over 25 payment integrations including Credit, Debit and Cash Cards.
RAISING INDIA’S STANDARDS The Internet ticketing system has been awarded numerous “Firsts” in the Indian e Commerce space. The solution received the Gold Award for “Outstanding Performance in Citizen Centric Service Delivery” for National Awards for eGovernance at the 11th National Conference on eGovernance. ..................................................................... “We will scale to meet IRCTC’s increased load needs. At the same time we are committed to helping IRCTC to enhance customer satisfaction; increase self-service by automation; and increase access options. We are elated with IRCTC’s accomplishments and to be a part of their success.” Subir Agrawal Director, Business Consulting, Asia-Pacific, BroadVision .....................................................................
BROADVISION’S GLOBAL E-GOVERNMENT SUCCESSES: BroadVision’s solutions have supported local and federal government agencies globally for intranet/extranets; content management; logistics; eprocurement; information distribution and permit processing from the resident to the government agency. GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (GSA) GSA Advantage (www.GSAAdvantage. gov) operated by the U.S. General Services. Administration’s Federal Supply Service, is the largest federal government, Internet based, eprocurement site. The GSA Advantage ecommerce market allows government agencies such as the Department of Transportation, the Navy, and the Veterans Administration to order products and services from a database that contains over five million products and services that fulfill 11,000 Federal Supply Service and Department of Veterans Affairs schedule contracts. Before GSAAdvantage.gov launched, government employees seeking to complete procurement had to review paper catalogs from vendors, call vendors, and wait several days to complete the contact process and receive telephone or paper quotations. Additionally, procurement research was only a limited number of vendor catalogs. Once deployed, GSAAdvantage.gov enabled the government to scale quickly and increased the personalization capabilities. GSAAdvantage. gov also gave the government a more flexible and easy toupdate system to handle changes in laws and procurement regulations. Today, GSA Advantage has more than 275,000 registered customers and is used by federal civilian and military personnel located throughout the world who conduct more than 100,000 searches for products and services each business day. The site’s volume of transactions has grown at a triple digit rate for years, and more than 400 new federal customers register every day. More capabilities include product and service categorisation, virtual stores for customised agency access, single login with other major federal portals, and XML capabilities for vendors. A major initiative was to deploy GSA punch out/punch in capability to enable agencies to access GSAAdvantage.gov from their eprocurement systems and seamlessly integrate their back end financial systems to automate reconciliation.
..................................................................... “We’ve established that BroadVision’s solutions are globally proven and costeffective. Our localisation forays with Indian Government agencies and PSU’s have been nothing short of spectacular. We are eager to participate in the next wave of Web 2.0 e-Government initiatives.” Biplove Belwal Regional Director, Asia Pacific, BroadVision ..................................................................... ABOUT BROADVISION Driving innovation since 1993, BroadVision is a global provider of strategic ebusiness solutions. Our modular applications and agile toolsets built on a robust framework for personalisation and self service, power mission critical web initiatives that deliver unparalleled value to diverse customers worldwide. Hundreds of organisations, serving over 50 million registered users — including Audible.com, Baker Hughes, Canon, EFG Bank, Epson America, Hilti, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, Oreck Corporation, PETCO, Sony, Verifone, and U.S. Air Force — rely on BroadVision as their ebusiness solution of choice. Additional BroadVision customers in India include CBay, CRIS, Godrej, HCL, Honeywell, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Malayala Manorama, Standard Chartered Bank, Tractor and Farm Equipments and Thomas Cook (India). BroadVision in India is largely known for creating the largest ecommerce portal of India, www.irctc.com. DISCOVER HOW BROADVISION CAN HELP YOU These are just some of the many examples how BroadVision’s agile technology is helping local and national governments work smarter. If you would like more detail how Broadvision’s technology empowers state and provincial governments to deliver better, more efficient services within their agencies and to their constituents, visit www.broadvision.com/ mktg/egov or call +91 80 324 77357. ©2009 BroadVision, Inc. All rights reserved. BroadVision and BroadVision Agility Suite are trademarks or registered trademarks of BroadVision, Inc. either in the United States and other countries. Other company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners. \\
Raising the Bar for Infrastructural Development through Design Innovation EMMANUEL SAMUEL SALES DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR AUTODESK ASIA-PACIFIC
n emerging markets, aging and dilapidated infrastructure can be an impediment to economic growth. Together with accelerated urbanization, this situation has forced governments to sit up and pay attention to the importance of infrastructural development. In India, urbanization is taking place at a more rapid rate than in the rest of the world.
According to the United Nations’ ‘State of the World Population 2007’ report, by 2030, 40.76% of India’s population will be living in urban areas compared to about 28.4% today. In other emerging countries in Asia, around 1 million people are migrating to cities from rural areas annually. To cope with this influx, there is an urgent requirement for improved urban planning and management. Ad hoc
residential development needs to be better controlled and basic infrastructure provided ahead of development taking place. To that end, many governments have prioritized infrastructure development in their stimulus packages. In Asia alone, governments have set aside significant funds for infrastructure projects. In China, part of a 4 trillion Yuan budget (US$ 570 billion) has been
An investment of 2% of building costs on green products and systems will yield savings of at least 10 times over the life of a building
allocated for infrastructure projects specifically for new railways, subways, and airports. The Indonesian government has announced a 72 trillion Rupiah (US$6.5 billion) fiscal stimulus package focused on infrastructure and other projects to boost growth and create jobs. The Indian government announced a stimulus package that is expected to provide Rs 1,000,000 crore (US$ 200 billion) worth of financial fillip to the domestic infrastructure sector for the next one and a half years. With so much investment being pumped into infrastructure development, decision makers involved in large-scale infrastructure development projects need to make informed choices, and build in a responsible way that addresses issues like cost, the environment, resource and time. As building growth increasingly intersects with environmental concerns and the rising cost of energy, sustainable design is also an area of consideration. Either way, it is important that organizations in the private and public sector be able to account for their decisions that have to be executed in efficient, effective and responsible ways. The proliferation of communication channels means that any organization is now subject to more scrutiny than ever. The need for greater accountability and transparency in government spending, coupled with the current market sentiment, presents public sector organizations with both the need and opportunity to adopt and demonstrate a leading and innovative mindset, and introduce new approaches to their traditional methods in order to improve productivity and reduce costs. One way to achieve that is by exploring the role the new workflows and design technologies can play in infrastructure development. BUILDING INFORMATION MODELLING (BIM) How can design technologies assist in the planning processes and what diagnostic tools should the public sector leverage to be more cost-effective, resource efficient, and economically sound? Building Information Modelling (BIM) can help an infrastructure development team cost effectively design and deliver highperforming, resource-efficient buildings and infrastructure, as well as renovate or
replace aging infrastructure. BIM is an integrated process that allows architects, engineers, builders, and owners to explore a project’s key physical and functional characteristics digitally – before it’s built. With the BIM approach, coordinated, reliable information is used throughout the process to design innovative projects, accurately visualize appearance for better communication, and simulate real-world performance for better understanding of important characteristics such as cost, scheduling and environmental impact. With BIM, government bodies can improve the innovation, quality and accuracy of their project designs. BIM is at the center of collaboration for builders and construction partners to collaborate early in the process, share schedule and cost information, and make more informed design decisions; thus driving positive project outcomes.3D design technology in particular, plays a key role by providing the visualization, simulation, analysis and predictive capabilities that enables improved and more sustainable design practices. Traditional 2D design and drafting processes take significant time, skill and effort to generate such information. With the software that companies like Autodesk offer, architects, engineers and designers can design, visualise and simulate a building and predict the real-world performance of projects before they are built. Professionals can minimize waste and choose the best building materials in the building design and construction process. They can also minimize energy consumption, and develop green building designs easier, faster, and with greater accuracy. Sustainable design begins when projects are first imagined, and require thinking “green” at every stage in the project lifecycle. Sustainable development through technology, in particular, promises greatest impact when it comes to energy use, material waste and even air quality. In the highly-esteemed study “The Costs and Financial Benefits of Building Green”, results showed that an investment of 2% of building costs on green products and systems will yield savings of at least 10 times over the life of a building. Evidently, the benefits and opportunities to save money on the operational costs are enormous.
TOMORROW’S DESIGNERS Despite the economic downturn, countries in Asia need to spend $700 billion per annum for the foreseeable future in order to meet their expanding infrastructure needs. India is no exception and just like its Asian counterparts, infrastructure development will continue to be a priority on the national agenda. At the very foundation of it all, is the need to cultivate a new breed of thinkers and designers in every aspect of the infrastructure space to deal cope with ongoing demand. This future generation of leaders would not only need to have internalised the concept of sustainable design, but also have a multidisciplinary education. At the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, the premier technology institute in India, Autodesk design and engineering professionals work closely with faculty at the Autodesk Center of Excellence for Integrated Construction Practice to develop a multi-faceted curriculum for construction and building. By teaching students how to use BIM, Digital Prototyping and other latest design software tools that mirror the realities in the industry, they will be equipped with the critical thinking and analysis skills needed to succeed in an integrated practice of design. DESIGN IS STRATEGIC Innovative design software gives today’s decision makers the ability to be digital master-builders – addressing infrastructural development through designing, visualising and simulating critical outcomes in a faster, more cost effective, and more sustainable manner. \\
Public Safety and Security
s a part of knowledge exchange series egov recently held a round table conference on Public Safety and Security in New Delhi. Previously also egov has had knowledge exchange seminar/ discussions on the role of IT in managing a municipality and digital inclusion: pathway for economic development. The round table was chaired by M.P. Narayanan, President, CSDMS.
The recent 26/11 terrorists’ attack in Mumbai, India, has forced the Indian government and the private agencies to seriously consider improving the country’s homeland security apparatus. It is in this scenario that we, at egov (www.egovonline. net), hosted a round table conference on “Public Sefety and Security” under the Knowledge Exchange Series III. The main
objective of this Knowledge Exchange Series III, was to bring to the audience critical perspectives and understanding of successful initiatives and innovations in the area of public security and safety. This round-table saw the participation of policy makers, experts and implementers from security sector from the public and private sector security domain. Some of the
key speakers included names like Barun Kumar Sahu, IAS, Director, Personnel, MHA; Shyamal Ghosh, IAS, Former Secy IT, Currently Chairman, Data Security Council of India, NASSCOM Initiative; KP Singh, IPS, Former Director, IB; NC Padhi, IAS, Former Secretary (Security) to PM; Bhupendra Sial, IPS, Former DGP, Karnataka; BM Shaigal, IPS, Former DG, MP; Abhishek Singh, IAS, Director, MCIT; Pavan Duggal, Expert, Cyber Security; Col. Singh, Joint Commissioner, Police; Mosin Khan, Dy. Director, IB; Sean O’ Brian, VP, Public Sector, SAP. The key focus of the round-table focussed on the use of ICT in security domain which is still a new and thus a growing phenomenon, though the strategic use of ICT is time tested when it comes to areas like commerce, business, and eGovernance areas like municipality. But on account of the fact that there are so many dynamic factors controlling security issues like lack of effective coordination among security agencies make things much more complex in reality than in theory. And as a perspective it was suggested that there can be no ready-made solution to all these serious and severe issues, but this cannot be a reason enough to wait for things to evolve on their own at their own pace. Speaking on the issue Sean O’Brien with his vast experience of working with intelligence agencies in different countries highlighted that in the next five years the 60% of the world population will be urbanized and hence there will be a high level stress on our limited resources. And the direct impact of this increasing urbanization will be in the
form of increased rate of crime. Infact there has already been a 30% increase in the crime rates in the last couple of years and that too particularly in the area of urban violence. And to further add to this threat is the is ever escalating danger of terror attacks which has made the world a far lesser secure place to live than what it used to be in the past. So he stressed the need to work collectively and through collaboration for use of sophisticated technology and new approaches, in order to effectively reduce the security threat that is looming large over every country. Besides the direct use of technology for dealing with national security it was also strongly proposed that IT can play a big role in strengthening of the country’s intelligence systems. In terms of increasing the capability and speedy delivery of operations and security drills, technology can play the role of a catalyst. Taking after the example of China it was quoted that in policing, China, like western nations, has attained higher position with the use of technology, where cops are no more seen on roads and streets. But the moment some incident take place, they are there with all preparations. As a crucial reason for our lagging behind in prompt reaction to terror attacks, delay in exchange of data transaction between agencies and ministries was posed as a major contributing factor. Relative lack of
technology and tools in our security system can be gauzed by the fact that terrorists of 26/11 used GPS, Sat phones and Internet to communicate with their commanders. Thus a need of the hour calls for a highly trained security forces, equipped with sophisticated tools and techniques. Another area of concern that this discussion brought to the fore was the ill-equipped and ill-managed domain of cyber security. Like for example countries like Estonia and Latvia have greater Internet penetration but sometimes back because of cyber attacks these countries faced severe problems and the countries were paralyzed due to this sort of attack. Herein, it becomes important to establish web servers in our own country; and also some policies-changes may be required to ensure that the agencies do not get stuck while asking for information from the mail websites which usually refuse to provide required information, citing various excuses for denial like following laws of the server hosting countries. Last but not the least there were sincere voices raised in this round-table conference for integration of agencies for sharing of information. With porous borders from almost all sides, India witnesses illegal migration of people from neighboring countries onto her own land. Thus tracking of population movement can be achieved through such integration of agencies for the purpose of information sharing, leveraging the unlimited and still untapped potentials of technological solution. Besides, there was also a strong appeal for the urgent need of streamlining the process of issuing identity cards to the citizens, where a single multi purpose national ID card can serve the purpose of keeping a security check on many levels all at the same time. \\
On Path of eGovernance
n May 5, 2009, egov magazine celebrated its four year unstoppable journey with the launch of its 50th issue, with special focus in recognition and honour of the contributors in eGovernance ecology in India. The launch of 50th egov magazine and its new web portal, â€˜www.egovonline. netâ€™ (beta version) was ceremoniously done by R Chandrashekhar, Special Secretary, Department of IT, Government of India in presence of a gathering with representative from the government, industry, academia, international organisations and civil society, at The Claridges in the Capital. Chandrashekhar shared with the audience his association with the magazine. He also shared his thoughts on the journey of egov magazine and fondly recollected the days when the magazine was started, milestones covered, and in the same vein underlined the importance of eGovernance as an initiative in administrative reforms and a tool for citizens empowerment. While speaking at the launch ceremony, Chandrashekhar tried to bring home the point that a platform for knowledge sharing is as necessary as the need for constant innovation in technology and business
processes. Reiterating his opinion on the same, the dignitary said that its in the interest of every one that the departments doing exceptionally well in eGovernance do not become the isolated islands of success and let its experience and knowledge be shared by all. He also elaborated on the importance of civil society as a pressure group and an essential component of the whole system, and said that in creating awareness and enabling capacity building at the end user level, civil societies has a key role to play. Speaking specifically about the media coverage of events and issues in IT and eGovernance, Chandrashekhar said that firstly, there is lack of a platform where the information on the ICT projects implementation and sustenance from every corner of the country is collated and presented to the masses. Secondly, there is a lack of analyses on the pertinent subject matter in the media. Closely following the space given to the sort of news in most of the publications, one would easily find that news like Satyam get a front page coverage but when the industry crosses 50 billion mark, the news appears in the business page. Naturally it leads to a conclusion that the good news donâ€™t get
a mention, as the sensational one does. Even when the bad news is portrayed, the analyses is not done in the appropriate manner, he added. Later, a panel discussion on egov magazine: opportunities and challenges and eGovernance as an initiative, chaired by Rajan Verada, Resource Person and National Coordinator, UN Solution Exchange, drew attention on the next step in eGovernance in the country and the challenges lying ahead. Later, initiating the panel discussion, Rajan expressed his concerns over the challenges in the implementation of eGovernment projects. Replying to his concerns, Sudhir Aggarwal, senior vice president, government initiatives, Sify said though the vertical connectivity has been achieved in most part of the country, horizontal connectivity is still a major concern hampering ICT inclusion in many states. Besides, he also drew the point that huge amount of money is being put to enable eGovernment in the country, but there is little being done on the regulatory front. Concluding his remarks, Aggarwal said that administrative and regulatory reforms are the needs of the hour, besides the integration of offices and businesses from not only top to bottom level but also at horizontal level. Rashmi Kaushik, professor, Management and Development Institute, Gurgaon emphasised on the need of the stakeholder consultations and pointed that unless that happens the ownership will not come. Also, she particularly referred to the urgency of horizontal connectivity and said the fruits of these eReforms can be reaped only after every department in a state is fully integrated with the other. Further, she added that the emphasis should be laid on evaluation of the eGovernance projects and put forth an advise to measure the level of government process re-engineering in the evaluation process. Ashish Sanyal, Senior Director, DIT, said that the Phase I of the eGovernment implementation saw laying of the information and communication technology infrastructure and digitisation of records and putting in place computing devices and tools. Now in second phase, he added, change management
and business process re-engineering are to be religiously pursued. Simultaneously, he also stressed on the need for synchronisation of implementation of projects from IT Secretary office. Chipping in to the discussion, Shashank Ojha, senior eGovernment specialist, eGovernment Practice- ISG, World Bank, swiftly pointed towards the need to have a policy on ICT in health and education. He also referred to the lack of industry solutions in to field of health and education. Besides commenting on the vitality of the business continuity, Ojha articulated on the the need to create a community, which can withstand the pressure from every corner and take the lead to the successful implementation of the projects. Elaborating on the significance of accountability, Jaijit Bhattacharya, country directorgovernment strategy, Sun Microsystems said the discretionary power needs to be codified before setting up of an accountability mechanism. Corroborating further, he said that while analysing the failure of eGovernance projects, one must pay heed to the causes of failure of a project and figure out that if the failings are at the political level or at the bureaucratic level. Thus, he added, one should redefine the definition of failure. Interestingly, Bhattacharya further spoke on the long term sustainability model required by the eGovernance initiatives and pointed towards the energy requirement of the ICT in the country. He said: Last year 7.5 million personal computers were in India. Considering the fact that a single PC takes around 200 Watt of power, the amount of power required by the ongoing eGovernance projects would be nearly 1.5Gigawatt and that is the amount generated by three nuclear power plants. So the question is the sustainability of these projects. Commenting on the popular phrases like ‘India, a graveyard of pilot projects’ and ‘more pilots but less roll outs’ Ravi Gupta, Editor-inChief, egov linked the failure of some projects to the Indian mythology of ‘re-birth’ and said that after death, humans are born again and like wise the projects like ‘Gyandoot’ in Madhya Pradesh and many of eGovernance projects by Media Lab Asia which ultimately disappeared but later same people came up with another more lucrative project, popular as DRISHTI. Further, he firmly stated his optimistic view on the ongoing eGovernance drive in the country and said that the drive for ICT penetration would withstand the pressure
from corners and fetch results for the society as a whole. After the floor was thrown open to the Q & A session, a former Director General of Police was prompt to ask a question from the learned panelists if it was possible to frame a anti-corruption mechanism through ICT so that major portion of the developmental allocations could reach to the targeted beneficiaries. Responding to the DGP’s concern, Aggarwal suggested for setting up of a citizen dash board where a system can be developed to pull data on various governmental schemes and programmes so as to know how much portion of the total allocation has been so far utilised in project implementation and in what manner. Moreover, he added, the issue can be addressed through pro active mechanism - providing all these relevant information on required government websites- and rather than using of Right to Information for the same, which is a reactive mechanism. Adding to the response to the measures to reduce corruption, Battacharya said that it is important to codify the discretionary power at various levels in the government bodies,so that the involvement and accountability of public officials can be made clearer. On the same, Sanyal was of view that a solution can be evolved through focusing more on the the business process re-engineering. Ojha discussed the hurdles in eradicating corruption and successfully implementing eGovernance projects that included: business continuity, top-down approach where the person sitting at the top drives the implementation to the lowest level and the failure to generate a demand driven approach where citizens
demand for certain modifications in services and as result the applications are put in place as in the case of e-Commerce, core banking system (CBS) etc. He pointed out that the lack in technology and applications are not the hurdles as such but it is the lack of above mentioned factors that are the real impediments. While articulating his opinion on successful implementation of ICT projects, Rajen said that standards for evaluating ICT projects should be evolved and uniformly followed by the various government bodies, which subsequently will lead to setting up of set of bench marks for successful project implementation and sustenance. The panel ended up with some very useful conclusions for the effective implementation that included creation and following of best practices, impact assessment of eGovernance projects, expanding and measuring government process re-engineering, speedy change management, strong regulatory framework to ensure compliance with global standards and transparency level and ultimate inclusion of eGovernance into governance so that it is the default mode of governance and not a special are to be focused on, since the ICT4D is not an end in itself but a means for good governance. For egov (magazine), the panel and as well some speakers form the audiences suggested some key and unparalleled themes which included: to come up with an issue in Hindi and later in other regional languages, focus on impact assessment, inclusion of developments at the grassroots level, a citizen forum for discussion and debate on eGovernance issues. \\
Launch of eGOV’s 50TH ISSUE
Simplifying IT www.dell.com
JOE KREMER MD & VICE PRESIDENT AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND, DELL
Dell has over 20 years of experience working alongside government agencies, supplying the tools they need to meet their objectives. In India also, Dell views the government and the public sector as one of the most significant opportunities for growth. As a leader in providing state and local governments with innovative IT solutions, Dell has customisable, costefficient products, services, and solutions to help communities provide their citizens with an enhanced quality of life.
Mostt countries Mo ou t i s in n wo world l are r putting u t ngg m moree m money e in n hhealth a t care care. a e In ee-Governance G Governance v r n e ttooo I am m observing b ervi g tthee ssame me
How is Dell involved in eGovernance in India? Dell has over 20 years of experience working alongside government agencies, supplying the tools they need to meet their objectives. In India also, Dell views the government and the public sector as one of the most significant opportunities for growth. As a leader in providing state and local governments with innovative IT solutions, Dell has customisable, cost-efficient products, services, and solutions to help communities provide their citizens with an enhanced quality of life. We deliver solutions that allow our customers to focus on delivering constituent value and effective government. Dell entered this space 18 months back in India and has already garnered 10 percent market share. Dell’s strong value proposition for institutional customers based on open and standards-based technology makes it a great choice as a technology partner. What are the challenges being faced while implementation of e-Governance projects? The National e-Governance plan has been put in place but there is a huge challenge for technology being adopted and also for the deployment of LAN in every office. Complexity is a huge challenge since the public sector has accumulated vast hardware & software. It is therefore a challenge to maintain an aging infrastructure along with IT budgets. There is a need for more functionality, proliferation of new network devices and data storage for longer periods of time. Dell’s vision is to simplify IT wherein we provide long-term stability with systems that are easy to implement and operate. Service delivery also needs to be timely, transparent, secure and easily available. In effect, crucial actors get into action while interfacing between citizens and government departments. These actors are: network service provider, system integrator, application software, OEMs, technology domain experts like application administrator, database administrator, network and security experts, back-up operators, data center team and more. To have effective control mechanism over data and information in spite of various factors playing their respective role, government departments need to have in-
depth exercise and methodologies with their own personnel in place. Retention of controls are also essential to reduce the risk due to the assumption of such trust on integrity of the ER, departments should follow a policy of retention of controls. What are your offerings in education and health segment? In any classroom, you may have interactive white boards with large screen monitors, with video projectors, cameras, microphones, access to Internet so that the teacher can teach instead of just chalking. They can teach better [through] pulling data from Internet. We had team in US , Canada, Mexico, UK and China. What we found is that nobody was talking about this thing. Now we put this global public sector team together, which has always followed best practices around the world, withholding solutions standard for best practices in education and allow them to talk to countries and inform that the company has a solution in education; here are suggestions for countries, and also questions for every country what they are doing so that we may learn simultaneously. In health care what we are trying to do is to digitise medical records and for example in US, Obama’s administration’s key initiative is how to have simplified medical records through digitising with appropriate privacy and appropriate access. Because so much of it is done on paper it takes a lot of time, and it costs dearly. We were in China some times back, they are interested in doing it, [likewise] people are interested in Japan , we are speaking to people in Australia. So around the world this is some thing interesting for people. Besides, we are also looking in higher education, putting solutions with the help of our new partners, where Dell products are fully certified and also we are also focusing at advanced research in computing around the world and some of our best work has been in UK. What is your strategy for Higher education ? We are in partnership in higher education with companies like Sun Guard which have ERP solutions that are tailored for universities. They have curriculum softwares which is more around scheduling classes. Some who might be working on a Unix system in the past and
now may want to migrate to Dell since it is much more cost effective solution because it is done on open standard. Often time taken on Linux and the ongoing supportive performance is typically dramatically much less because its simple, and one needs less people to manage, less people to install and less people to keep it running. So there is clear migration from the legacy Unix solution to x86 type solution with Dell. What are the solutions you are providing in security? There are things in security that might help police. It can be a solution that might involve a camera with ability to capture an image immediately, with pictures that are dynamically digitised and which can be send to police headquarters without sparing a moment of time. So you can do things faster, you can maintain it in an account format and also it is very secure. In similar way we have been doing this for Militaries around the world. So you can see in this new business of ours we have a lot of opportunities. In my previous role I was looking at Australia and New Zealand. In my new role, I still look at Australia and New Zealand, while I also have a job to look after public sector across Asia Pacific (APAC). Is there any difference you see in investing in India and other countries of the APAC region, in attitudes of the government or the awareness among people? Firstly, [since] I haven’t been much over here, it would be presumptuous if I comment on this. But I would like to say that I have been traveling a lot and have noticed more similarities than differences. For the most part if we talk to government about health care, they are just trying to figure out how can we be better prepared for patients, how can we help people to be healthier, how we will do it with less money, how can we bring better cure to people. We were visiting hospitals in China, there is an enormous appetite in governments for similar spending to spurt the economy. Most countries in world are putting more money in health care. In e-Governance too I am observing the same. \\ Pratap Vikram Singh email@example.com
eSeva Centres in Andhra Pradesh: Journey of Seven Years PRATAP VIKRAM SINGH
CH building, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. It is the place where the pilot of one of the most renounced electronic public service delivery points, eSeva, took off and shortly got replicated, with the establishment of 52 centres, all over the Twin cities and Ranga Reddy district of Andhra Pradesh. Later, these centres were not only opened all over the state numbering almost 300, but was also adopted in some or the other form by states like Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, which are pioneers in ICT driven administration in India, besides the Telugu heartland. eSeva is one of the modes of service delivery of the state which has otherwise different set of Electronic Service Delivery (ESD) mechanisms like Rural Service Delivery Points (RSDP)eKiosks functioning at Mandal head quarters / village headquarters, Rajiv Internet Village Centres- a single window mechanism for providing government services and computer education and solutions like teleeducation and tele-medicine for people living in villages and rural areas and AP Online Centres- a TCS initiative with five percent stake from state government. Engaged in a BOOT model for five years with CMS Computers, now state government
is looking after over all operations of eSeva centers, excluding maintenance and manpower, which has been outsourced to Spanco Telesystems and Solutions Ltd. For connectivity, eSeva centres are banking on BSNL leased line network. To ensure uptime, Service Level Agreement (SLA) has been put in place since the very beginning. However, the uptime of network has not been constant. In current times, the EDS department is planning to migrate to an MPLS architecture,
which may enable redefining of SLA with service providers. IMPACT As Yedukondalu Kumpati, project manager, EDS, AP puts, â€œWith electronic service delivery the collection process (of government bills) has simplified with less consumption of time and resources of the governments and administrators. Subsequently, the
eSeva is one of the modes of service delivery of the state which has otherwise different set of Electronic Service Delivery (ESD) mechanisms which includes Rural Service Delivery Points (RSDP)eKiosks functioning at Mandal head quarters / village headquarters
bureaucracy now has enough time to focus on the core businesses of the government.” With all IT deployments, the state is now able to generate substantial amount of revenue within deadlines. The number of transactions per day has gone to a level of 1.2 lakh, which furnishes nearly INR 20 Crore a day. In terms of sustainability, the manager said that as of now the eSeva mechanism has managed on its own and now there is rarely any thing taken out of government’s pocket for re-vitalising these centers, as the case used to be in the initial times when government spent heavily on these service delivery points. Citizens visiting eSeva kendras look calm, satisfied with the pace and quality of the service delivery, unlike earlier when people used to stand in queues for hours. “Earlier I had to go to different government offices for different utility bills and had to stand for hours at each of the places. Now having a single window service delivery at a center proximate to my place, I can drop in any time between 8 AM to 8 PM and pay my bills with in span of 20 to 30 minutes,” Mr Kirloskar, a medical researcher, said at one of eSeva Centre in Hyderabad. Kurpa, trade officer for a finance company, submitting his bill at a centre said, “I am coming to pay my bills to eSeva centres for past three years, but rarely have I confronted any issue, and particularly bribery, while my visits here.” The transaction cost for availing services at these centers can vary from Rs 2 (usually for utility bill payments) to Rs 60 (for passports). With proper sitting arrangements
and air coolers and conditioners, the eSeva centre has an electronic queue system where token numbers are given to every citizen, who hardly after waiting for 15 minutes gets his/her turn and is assisted with accordingly. Every counter makes up to INR 50K to 2-3 lakh in a day, which oscillates between peak and non-peak timings of the month. On an average, a centre as a whole makes up to INR 10 lakh to 30 lakh. THE OPERATORS The operators, according to their shifts, work from 8 in morning to 8 in the night at these centres and their number vary between nine to twelve at any point of time between the given time span. An operator is paid Rs 3600 for an eight-hour shift. For some operators, the amount is too low to compensate for the time and energy the job takes and for some it is ‘something better than nothing’. SECURITY CONCERNS With the good amount of money that is collected every day in these centers the chances of it being vulnerable to criminal attacks increases. In the past years, there have been half a dozen instances of daylight robbery and dacoity at eSeva centres in Hyderabad. Nevertheless, till now there has been no precautionary initiatives taken by the state government. This was a common concern across centres in Cyberabad, a name attributed to the city, which has made great strides in IT since 1999, 2000. \\
Digital Inclusion: A Pathway for Economic Development
From left to right: Representative from BSNl, Taposh Mishra, Head -Govt. and PSU Group , Rajen Varada, The National Coordinator of the education community of UN Solution Exchange and Ashis Sanyal, Sr. Director, Dept. of IT, Govt. of India
The Conference, hosted by Centre for Science, Development, and Media Studies (CSDMS) in association with Intel and UN Solution Exchange, has become the place for those with an interest in digital inclusion to meet, mingle and deliberate over the latest in policy developments, technological advances, and ground-level best practice. Luminaries from the domain of digital inclusion were invited to take their places at â€˜Digital Inclusion: A Pathway for Economic Developmentâ€™, the one-day conference held on 19th March 2009 at Chandigarh, India. OPENING SESSION The conference started with a workshop on ICT4D hosted by UN Solution Exchange which was followed by the opening plenary and the panel discussion sessions where several distinguished speakers set the stage for the discussion by laying out the challenges facing the national and international community and the opportunities posed by new
information technologies and the networked global economy. A number of central points emerged from the opening session. First, knowledge and information are increasingly becoming the central components of innovation, growth and sustainable development. Its effective mobilisation and use, dramatically affects the efficiency and effectiveness with which the other factors of production are mobilised; hence advantages in the efficient use of knowledge and information have a multiplying effect, and those less able to access and harness information and knowledge effectively risk falling behind. The second, related point that emerged is that new information and communications technologies, their power, speed, and global reach, provide unprecedented opportunities for such sharing of information and knowledge. The explosive growth of global information and communications networks (including the Internet) and the equally dramatic expansion in the power and affordability of information
technologies amount to nothing less than an economic revolution with profound global implications Third, the digital divide is real and growing, and has profound implications. This divide is not just about access to computers or telephones; it is a deeper and more profound divide that reflects and reinforces more fundamental economic and social divides between and within countries The policy challenges for developing countries like India and for the international community as a whole are daunting and complex. Bridging the digital divide is not simply about giving people access to tools. It is about creating policy and regulatory environments, institutional frameworks, and human capacities that foster information flows, innovation, and effective use of the worldâ€™s knowledge resources in every dimension of sustainable development, from health, agriculture, medicine and education to trade and economic development, effective governance, etc.
Several speakers highlighted the important efforts and welcomed the opportunity of this dialogue to examine the challenges facing the states in this context. John Davies, Vice President, Sales and Marketing Group General Manager, Intel World Ahead Programme, put forth his thoughts as the Guest of Honour. An excerpt from his talk reads as below: While highlighting some of the features of the Intel World Ahead Programme, like the ‘Accessibility’, ‘Connectivity’, Education’, and ‘Content’ components, John cited some examples with reference to the international community on how to lead with innovation. He suggested some of the approaches that can be adopted in order to overcome the current global recession period. G8 nations and PRC (People’s Republic of China) are investing more than $1.5 trillion to stimulate their economies to emerge from the recession faster and stronger. He also said, government IT investments help creates jobs, which is a critical need during recession. Increased broadband and IT investment should be part of every country’s recovery plan. Stimulus infrastructure spending on roads, rail, power should include broadband connectivity. The opening session was also attended by Sanjay Kumar, the Secretary, IT, Haryana, who was also the Chief Guest of the conference. The other guest of the evening, Ashish Sanyal, Sr. Director, Dept of Information and Technology, added some positive notes to the whole discussions. He said, ‘we can still talk about 14-15 % telephony in a land, where ICT sector is increasing and mobile phones are being added (at the rate of) 10 million a month which is more than the population of Finland. If we increase tele-density by 1%, the GDP growth becomes quite vital.’ PANEL DISCUSSION 1: DIGITAL INCLUSION: A PATHWAY FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT The Digital Inclusion and Economic Development session primarily brainstormed about the progress in National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) in northern India in terms of rolling out mission mode projects like CSCs, State Data Centres, State Wide Area Networks, etc. It also focused on accelerating e-governance initiatives for Government to citizen interface, like land records, property certifications and public distribution system, etc. The first panel discussion session deliberated on increasing entrepreneurship
Audience during the panel discussion
and enhancing competitiveness of the growing sectors, relating to the Internet and broadband combined with IT solutions that have the potential to bring in efficiencies and competitiveness of the SME sector. The feeling was strong that, if all goes well, India can lead the world in broadband penetration and Internet access. The panel discussion was moderated by Rajen Varada, The National Co-ordinator of the education community of UN Solution Exchange. The speakers included Ashis Sanyal, Sr. Director, Department of IT, Government of India; Taposh Misra, Head – Govt and PSU Group, ICICI Bank Ltd. and a Representative from BSNL. Starting off the discussion, Rajen Varada said that there is a need to look at the e-Governance project in retrospect and what are the timelines that are being set and where is the Indian IT sector heading towards in the next couple of years. He also said that sustainability is a major issue in the near future and called for some of the action plans which can act as leverage in such a scenario. S V Rajendra, President, PCO Association and a participant of the conclave, said that financial stability, operational functionality and sustainability are very important when it comes to PCOs (Public Call Office). The future is of e-PCOs. Another participant also raised the point that even if one says that there are about 60 lakh PCOs in the country, the question is how many PCOs are situated in the rural areas. He further added that if one looks at the Common Service Centres (CSCs) schemes it has guaranteed revenues for 4 years. So we have taken care of the financial subsidiary. There are 25,000 PCOs and 27,000 e-PCOs will be created in the first phase. The fact that India’s vertical connectivity is very strong also emerged during the discussion. One of the key challenges that emerged out
of the discussions is defining an appropriate role for the government in addressing the digital divide. Several participants pointed out that though creating a proper policy and regulatory environment is fundamentally important, the government’s role goes much beyond just that. PANEL DISCUSSION II: ICT IN EDUCATION: SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPERATIVES The second panel discussion on ICT in Education: Socio-Economic Imperatives was moderated by Ashish Garg, Asia Regional Coordinator, Global eSchools & Communities Initiative (GeSCI). At the outset, she emphasised the importance of education, against something which is there on everybody’s mind, that is the global economic downtrend, and its effect on children and of course, education. The major point that came out of panel dicussion was that putting capital to work not just for the infrastructure, but for creating a capacity for innovation is something we haven’t yet imagined. If the investment is going to make a difference, and helps lay crops for the future, that is what investment means. ICT in education is important for access to quality education across gender, and many other fields. through workshops. This conference celebrated achievements and showcased successes in the field of eInclusion from across three Indian states. It helped industry, practitioners and policy makers to take stock of what still lies ahead and renew their commitments to achieve inclusion in the information society for all in order to overcome the current scenario of global recession and head towards economic development in a society that provides equal opportunities to all. \\
NEW E-GOVT PROJECT GETS SINGAPORE FIRM’S HELP Singapore based IT company, Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) is working with ictQATAR to establish a new e-government project. The project called Qatar Services Infrastructure (QSi) project, a fast developing e-government initiative, will provide the government of Qatar with a rich and highly integrated centralised software platform, which helps accelerate the delivery of public e-services on the Internet. The pilot scheme, Company Registration e-Service, is in collaboration with Qatar’s Ministry of Business & Trade. IDA was also assisting Qatar in establishing an integrated system for the Customs & Ports General Authority.
MTN INVESTS IN $700M EUROPE-INDIA CABLE The MTN Group is investing in a new $700 million submarine cable system, the European Indian Gateway (EIG), to be built by Alcatel-Lucent starting next month. The 15,000 kilometre-long high bandwidth optical-fibre will connect Europe and India from the United Kingdom to Portugal, Gibraltar, Monaco, Libya, Egypt, Djibouti and the United Arab Emirates. The cable’s purpose is to provide a central linking point for other cable syatems already in the pipeline such as the East African Submarine Cable System (Eassy) and the West African Cable System (WACS). The project is expected to be completed by the middle of 2010 and link other planned cable systems in Africa to global telecommunications infrastructure via Asia and Europe.
FRANCE ENACTS INTERNET PIRACY LAW Taking stringent action against the online copyright infringement, France parliament has passed Internet anti-piracy bill, providing relief to global music industry. The bill was passed in the lower house (National Assembly) by a vote of 296 to 233 on Tuesday and by 189 votes to 14 in the upper house (the Senate) a day later. The legislation provides for disconnecting
the user who has faulted for three times. A national agency will send a mail when a user firstly step over the copyrights of the Internet stuff. Second time it sends a letter to the user and third and at last it disconnects the user from Internet.
INDIA RANKED AS THE 20TH LARGEST ELECTRONIC POLICE STATE According to the recent report published by Cryptohippie Inc., which surveyed 52 countries for having the most aggressive procedures to monitor residents electronically, India ranks No. 20. The report, called ‘The Electronic Police State’, assessed the status of government surveillance around the globe for 2008. Not surprisingly, the rankings for the year of 2008 show China and North Korea occupying the top spots as the most complete Electronic Police States in the world, followed by Belarus and Russia.
SUVIDHAA INFOSERVE VENTURES INTO E-GOVERNANCE PROJECT Suvidhaa Infoserve is partnering with Government of India and Maharashtra in the ambitious E-governance project by providing its S-Commerce platform in rural areas of India. The vision of Suvidhaa is to reach out to a very large base of outlets. It includes providing basic utility services on the IT platform for rural India. Its kiosks, which are manned, enable consumers to pay electricity and other utility bills on-line besides enabling purchase of railway, bus tickets, insurance premium, travel and tour packages, mobile recharge, mobile bill payments, DTH Recharge, E Pooja, horoscope amongst others. They have approximately over 3,000 centres in the State.
SIX IT PROJECTS ON ANVIL AT RIICO Rajasthan State Industrial Development & Investment Corporation (RIICO) has signed six IT projects worth INR 207.20 crore are in the process of being established in the RIICO’s Export Promotion Industrial Park (EPIP) in the Sitapura Industrial Area or the adjoining new industrial area of Ramchandrapura (Sitapura Extension). According to RIICO Managing Director Alok, these projects are meant for content creation, design and manufacturing of printed circuit boards (PCBs), software
development for export market, data encoding and processing services for travel and aviation industries, software development centre and IT training centre for foreign clients.
FTK TECHNOLOGIES LAUNCHES E-GOVERNANCE SOLUTION
FTK Technologies has launched a special version of its patented flagship software product, called LooKeys for the E-governance applications in 10 Indian languages. Besides the predictive dynamic virtual keyboard interface, this E-Gov LooKeys product shall also provide an interface for expert users proficient in Hindi typewriter, thus enabling this category of advanced users to rapidly adopt and use the LooKeys technology, the company said.
PAYWORLD TO CONTRIBUTE ITS ONLINE SERVICES FOR NEGP
“PayWorld”, a e-pin distributor for Telecom and DTH products will also contribute to National E-Governance Programme (NeGP). The company will provide online services like Mobile Recharges, TV Recharges, Bus, Air & Train Reservation services by executing technical software at 28,175 planned CSC (Common Service Centre) outlets in different rural locations of Haryana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, Manipur, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Orrisa etc.
TCS OPENS DEVELOPMENT CENTER IN LUCKNOW Tata Consultancy Services has opened a development center TCS Awadh Park in Lucknow, India. The center is the latest addition to the company’s Global Network Delivery Model and has a capacity of 1,500 egov
seats. It will develop and implement software applications for global corporations in countries like USA, Canada, UK, Singapore, and South Africa. It will also support egovernance initiatives in the states of UP and Uttarakhand as well as select projects for Government of India.
POWER-BACKED, VERNACULAR ATMS FOR RURAL INDIA SOON HCL has partnered with Korean ATM manufacturer, Nautilus to set up customised and localised ATMs across the country with an aim to penetrate the rural hinterlands. Under this agreement, the company would import the ATM machines from Nautilus and would localise them for the use of the Indian market. These machines will have special power backup and would be rugged in nature to meet the need of the rural environment. One of the features is that the company will introduce to the ATMs is the use of vernacular languages.
MOBILE CHIP CAN FUNCTION AS MULTIAPPLICATION SMART CARD Now mobile phone’s integrated chip can function as a multiple application smart card and this holds substantial promise as the delivery vehicle of the future as there is huge potential and an exciting opportunity. Mobile phone users belong to all strata of society, spread across metropolitan centres, towns and villages and banks can now take advantage of this expanded reach of telecom if they provide services through this medium. Security in an IT-based transactionprocessing environment was equally critical necessitating the need for such adequate control measures.
KERALA FOR IT CELLS IN ALL DEPARTMENTS The state of Kerala has decided to establish an IT cell in all the government departments in a month. The IT deployment will take place at three tier level, first at the state level, second at the
district level and third below the district level. These IT wings will enable the implementation of IT projects in their respective departments. Besides, implementation of e-governance projects like SPARK and IGSG will also be facilitated through these IT cells.
E-SUVIDHA FACILITY WAVERS
B e s i d e s deposition of house tax, water tax, electricity and telephone bills, department of IT and Electronics in Uttar Pradesh is mulling over a proposal to make available an e-Governance facility through which students school fee can be deposited at the nearest e-suvidha counter. But with the tiff between the agencies managing the services over anomalies in payment and the over all administration the proposals seems to be all enveloped in ambiguities. The agencies involved allege each other of breaking the agreement they had entered into when the services were thrown open to public some eight years ago.
REBATE ON ITS E-APPLICATIONS BY HUDA Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) is planning to extend rebate to those using the online medium to fill requests for various kinds of processing to be done at estate offices. To begin with, it has been decided to fix Rs 100 as e-Application fee for allotment of residential plots offered by estate offices across the state which otherwise is priced at Rs 200 to 250 at estate offices and banks.
JANSUVIDHA REPLACES ONLINE COMPLAINT REDRESSAL SYSTEM IN AHMEDABAD The online complaint registration on the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) e-governance website lies unused since February 9, 2003. On a closer observation what was revealed is that there happens to be no two way communication inbuilt into the system so as to ensure that the complaint is redressed. However, an alternative complaint redressal system called Jansuvidha which is exclusively avaliable to the New West Zone residents has facility for automatic complaint redressal. The system was introduced in August last year.
JHARNET HITS TROUBLED WATERS Jharkhand’s ambitious e-governance project ‘Jharnet’ has again come to be surrounded by thick clouds of controversy. This INR 100-crore project as per the agreement signed in 2005, Bangalorebased United Telecom Limited (UTL) was responsible for connecting and ensuring e-governance services in 212 blocks of the state. However, considering the problems of erratic power supply and unreliable Internet connectivity, the number was revised to 183 after UTL pleaded helplessness. Hence, the moves to clear payments, was held up since UTL wasn’t able to honour its commitment of e-connecting all 212 blocks of the state.
WIPRO NO MORE IN MCD’S E-GOVERNANCE PROJECT
KERALA TO OFFER WEB-BASED INFORMATION SYSTEM TO LOCATE GOVT OFFICES
According to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi officials, Wipro has showed reservations to continue its role as a consultant for an eGovernance project of automation of business process of the municipal body and making it a paper less organization. Wipro informed MCD that it is not interested to continue in the e-governance project. The contract between the two parties ended on March 31, 2009. However, the software firm has said that the civic agency can purchase the necessary software from it.
Leaping a step further in including information and communication technology for ‘good governance’ , Kerala is all set to start an Integrated Government Service Gateway(IGSG), a web-based Geographical Information System(GIS). The gateway will enable to process information on geographical location of government institutions along with route map, services offered and business procedures through the Internet, mobile phones and touch-screen kiosks.
You Have the Power The You Have the Power (YHTP) campaign helps the U.S. Department of Energy reach their energysaving goals by raising awareness about energy efficiency at Federal facilities. The Federal government can play a unique role in facilitating and encouraging wise energy use, while simultaneously protecting the environment and conserving natural resources. This web site spotlights the work of agency personnel and provides materials and ideas for energy awareness activities, campaigns, and partnerships. FEMP’s You Have the Power awareness campaign was created in 1997 to implement the provisions
of The National Energy Policy Conservation Policy Act as amended by the Energy Policy Act and and energy provisions of Executive Order 13423. These statutory and executive branch requirements encourage Federal agencies to develop employee awareness and outreach programs. Twenty of the largest Federal agencies participate in FEMP’s YHTP campaign, and each has a special coordinator who directs the national campaign for his or her agency. The campaign disseminates timely and topical information through handouts, posters, special publications, and other targeted outreach materials. \\
FLIP SIDE by Santulan Chaubey
He stopped going to Office, completes all his work on computer. Eating…eating…and getting fat day by day….
Urban Governance and Infrastructure As Vice President of the Public Services group for SAP’s Asia Pacific Division, Adaire FoxMartin oversees the strategic direction and activities in the area of public services in the health, education and defence sectors across the region and executive relationships with customers and partners. Ms. Fox-Martin is a key member of the SAP leadership team and plays a lead role in delivering SAP’s offering to public sector customers. A respected thought leader, Ms. Fox-Martin continues to be invited at seminars and conferences by the media and analysts to address public services issues ranging from e-Government transformation and reengineering of Government processes to public service policies. She is regularly featured and quoted in numerous publications throughout Asia and Australia. Ms. Fox-Martin has over 20 years of experience in the field of information technology and management. Effective e-Governance can take information technology (IT) to the common man, while helping Governments to regulate their services in line with the changing needs of both citizens and stakeholders, as well as develop the economy. Recognizing the growing importance of e-Governance we bring you a much needed, regular, interactive platform, where your questions on a pre-defined theme are answered by Adaire Fox-Martin, Vice President, Public Services, SAP Asia Pacific and Japan. In this issue, we focus on e-Governance for urban bodies and municipalities which hitherto has been a key and mandatory reform requirement for the cities for purposes of getting approval on City Development Plans (CDPs) under JNNURM. Large numbers of cities are currently in the process of getting their CDPs under way and it is important to deliberate on the mechanisms and options for e-Governance for various cities and municipalities. What is meant by e-Governance in municipalities? What functions does it cover and how does it enhance urban governance and infrastructure? As a popular notion, e-Governance in municipalities essentially refers to electronic provisioning of citizen services like certificates, licenses, permissions and approvals. However, a broader perspective needs to be taken and every ICT initiative that enhances efficiencies and improves governance and infrastructure need to be given importance. Hence functions like accrual accounting, revenue enhancement, works and engineering, town planning, real estate and fleet (transport and SWM) need to be given significance in the planning of any e-Governance initiative. In fact, these are areas which impact the citizens every day compared to certificates and approvals which are sporadic activities in citizen lifecycle. Additionally, these functions also enhance governance and infrastructure. What is the current status of e-Governance in municipalities? Municipalities have been on the forefront of e-Governance (compared to other government departments and agencies) and several metro and mega city municipalities have put one or the other ICT systems. However, such systems are highly heterogeneous and vary in scope and quality. They range from just simple websites for grievances, to delivering services over CFCs and Web, to managing e-Governance comprehensively and in fully integrated manner. Also, there are a range of solutions – multiple custom built (MCD, NDMC and several others); specifically designed and productized (KDMC); and fully integrated enterprise applications (Greater Mumbai, Bhopal etc.). As e-Governance matures, municipalities need to look at comprehensive applications that cover citizen services, governance and infrastructure on a fully integrated platform which preferably brings in best practices with the solution. Since a municipality may have already done a lot of computerization, what is the best course for them? While a lot of computerization may have been done, they may be just point solutions on different platforms with different levels of
obsolescence. Additionally, they may be lacking best-practices, workflows, and integration. It is important that the municipality takes stock of the current situation, software and hardware and looks at the potential of deploying scalable enterprise applications. Now, this does not mean trashing of the investments already done. The present times’ enterprise applications provide a significant platform to integrate the worthy applications that such bodies wish to retain and at the same time provide them an opportunity to upgrade to world-class, proven, best-practices driven and comprehensively integrated municipal applications. While enterprise applications may be a viable solution for larger municipalities what should the smaller ones do? There are a lot of examples of sharing the applications and infrastructure by smaller councils and towns in different parts of the world – US, Canada, Australia, UK etc. Shared Services for Municipalities is an excellent way for the Urban Administration Departments to leverage enterprise applications for smaller municipalities and councils in a highly efficient and economically viable manner, whilst providing all the benefits of enterprise applications. Who are the key providers of “enterprise applications and shared services for municipalities” and can you cite some examples Information about municipal (urban local body) solutions and implementations is largely available on websites and can also be seen at websites of solution providers, SAP being one of the prominent ones. Examples include MCGM, Bhopal, KDMC, Aurangabad in India; Birmingham, Manchester, Vienna and scores of others in UK and Europe; Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver in Canada; Erie County in New York and several others in the Asia Pacific region as well. The numbers are growing as the demands on e-Governance grow and this is particularly true for India. A policy direction by government to consider enterprise applications and shared services by municipalities could significantly improve the quality of urban governance and infrastructure.\\
Next Month’s Topic: “Meeting information challenges for improved governance”. Please write to us your queries on this topic or mail back to us at firstname.lastname@example.org 46
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