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ASIA’S FIRST MONTHLY MAGAZINE ON E-GOVERNMENT

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INTERVIEW

Shankar Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Department of Information Technology, GOI

NeGP: Where Are We?

I SSN 0 9 73-16 1X

VOLUME 4

| ISSUE 11 | NOVEMBER 2008

w w w. e go v o n lin e. n et

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egov Watch out for mber Asia this Nove r, in Kuala Lumpu ! sia ay Mal FEATURE

e-Treasury of Jharkhand

lf at Register yourse sia.org e-a n@ tio ra ist reg

COUNTRY FOCUS

UAE: Embracing e-Governance


ASIA

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REGISTER NOW! ASIA

11-13 November 2008 Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia

Visit us at: ister www.e-asia.org/reg n mail us at For further informatio .org registration@e-asia

egovASIA2008, the third in its series is an important track in the annual eASIA event. The conference provides a platform for all stakeholders, policy makers, practitioners, industry leaders, academicians and architects of e-Government projects across the Asian continent to discuss the achievements, challenges and the progress made towards achieving the goals of e-Governance. Along with the conference, the exhibition will be a forum to showcase best practices, innovative technologies and ICT solutions.

Key Themes Web 2.0 • Data Management • Security • Localisation • Standards and Interoperability • Emerging Technology Trends in e-Governance • Country Perspectives • e-Governance Good Practices • e-Inclusion and Participatory Democracy • e-Procurement • Enterprise Solutions • Urban Governance • Cyber Laws

Host Organisation

Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications (MEWC) Government of Malaysia

Organisers

Country Partners

knowledge for change

Supporting Partners

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GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE PARTNERSHIP

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The World Bank


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w w w . e g o v o n l i n e . n e t | volume 4 | issue 11 | november 2008

COVER STORY

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NeGP: Report Card e-Governance Going Strong Interview: Shankar Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Department of Information Technology,

Ministry of Communications and IT, GOI

STATE FOCUS

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Lakshadweep on the Front Foot Sandeep Budki, Sr. Correspondent

FEATURE

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e-Treasury of Jharkhand Ram Sevak Sharma, Principal Secretary, Department of Science and Technology

and Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, GOI

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Personal Information Integration in e-Government

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Dr. Velamala Ranga Rao and Rakhi Tripati, Department of IT, Govt. of NCT of Delhi, IIT Delhi

FOCUS

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Fingerprint Template Louis Enderle, Director, Sagem Securite

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Reader’s Corner

INTERVIEW

24 33

42

34 36

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Tendering Needs a Relook Alok Bharadwaj, Sr. VP, Cannon, India

RFID – The New Wave Aditya Razdan, Regional Sales Manager - South Asia, Identification Technologies,

HID Global

Security and Accountability Goes Together

Ajay Gupta, Managing Director, G4S Security Systems (India) Pvt. Ltd.

Empowering the Have Nots Naveen Surya, Managing Director, ItzCash Card Ltd.

mConnect News

45

Executive Movements

Product Showcase

47

Product Launches

COUNTRY FOCUS

39 16

UAE: Embracing e-Governance Sandeep Budki and Nilakshi Barooah

eGov News

4

48

Events Watch

50

Sign Off

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ov egov is a monthly magazine providing a much needed platform to the voices of various stakeholders in the arena of e-Government, apart from being a repository of valuable information and meaningful discussion on issues of e-Governance in general, and eGovernment in particular -both to the specialist and the generalist. Contributions to egov magazine should be in the form of articles, case studies, book reviews, event reports and news related to e-Government projects and initiatives, which are of immense value for practitioners, professionals, corporates and academicians. We would like the contributors to follow these guidelines, while submitting their material for publication.

ARTICLES / CASE STUDIES should not exceed

2500 words. For book reviews and event report, the word limit is 800. AN ABSTRACT of the article/case study not exceeding 200 words should be submitted along with the article/case study. ALL ARTICLES / CASE STUDIES should provide proper references. Authors should give in writing stating that the work is new and has not been published in any form so far. BOOK REVIEWS should include details of the book like the title, name of the author(s), publisher, year of publication, price and number of pages and also send the cover photograph of the book in JPEG/TIFF (resolution 300 dpi). Book reviews of books on e-Governance related themes, published from

year 2002 onwards, are preferable. In case of website, provide the URL. MANUSCRIPTS should be typed in a standard printable font (Times New Roman 12 font size, titles in bold) and submitted either through mail or post. RELEVANT FIGURES of adequate quality (300 dpi) should be submitted in JPEG/ TIFF format. A BRIEF BIO-DATA and passport size photograph(s) of the author(s) must be enclosed. ALL CONTRIBUTIONS ARE SUBJECT TO APPROVAL BY THE PUBLISHER.

Please send in your papers/articles/comments to: The Editor, egov, G-4, Sector 39, NOIDA (UP) 201 301, India. tel: +91 120 2502180-85, fax: +91 120 2500060, email: info@egovonline.net

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November 2008

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ov volume 4 | issue 11 | november 2008 PRESIDENT

EDITORIAL

Dr. M P Narayanan EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Ravi Gupta

NeGP: Where Are We ?

GROUP DIRECTORS

Maneesh Prasad Sanjay Kumar ASSISTANT EDITOR

Prachi Shirur SR. CORRESPONDENT

Sandeep Budki SR. SUB EDITOR

Nilakshi Barooah RESEARCH ASSISTANT

Tannu Singh MARKETING

Gautam Navin mobile: +91 9818125257 email: gautam@egovonline.net Debabrata Ray mobile: +91 9899650692 email: debabrata@egovonline.net SALES

Santosh Kumar Gupta mobile: +91 9891192996 email: santosh@egovonline.net Anuj Agrawal mobile: +91-9911302086 anuj@csdms.in

Technology especially Information and Communication Technology (ICT) vouches to change our lives for the better if not the best. The master player in India for the same is the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). Implemented in 2006, the plan is two year old now. One may ask, what has been the progress so far? Some of the services such as Railway Ticket Booking has shown tremendous success and the Passport Service is following suit. Ministry of Company Affairs takes away the credit of implementing path-breaking e-Governance services as well. Inspite of such success stories, India’s rank in the e-Readiness has dropped significantly according to the United Nations e-Government Survey 2008. However, the overall, though uneven success of NeGP is credible in such a short span of time. The report card and assessment of NeGP speaks about such implementation so far. Looking at e-Governance at the next level, one may observe that some of the states and union territories are ahead of the others. The ‘State Focus’ section in this issue brings to you the exemplary success of our coral island - Lakshadweep which has proved the fact that ‘nothing is impossible’. On the other hand, we have extended our horizons to bring to you the success of United Arab Emirate’s achievements in terms of e-Governance implementation. The country is the ahead of all the other gulf countries in bringing ICT to almost all aspects of the life of its citizen and is truly the torch bearer of the region. There are definitely many lessons to be learned from our gulf neighbours.

SR. GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Bishwajeet Kumar Singh GRAPHIC DESIGNERS

Om Prakash Thakur Chandrakesh Bihari Lal (James) WEB MAINTAINANCE

Zia Salahuddin, Amit Pal SUBSCRIPTIONS & CIRCULATION

Lipika Dutta (+91 9871481708) Manoj Kumar (+91 9971404484) EDITORIAL CORRESPONDENCE

Technology is central in e-Governance thus making delivery of services faster and efficient. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies are widely used across the industry in healthcare, transportation as well as parts of retail and in the information technology field. RFID technologies in governance plays a significant role for monitoring movement and access control. The use of smart cards are common in our day to day transactions which can play a vital role in bridging the digital divide. Extending the usage of smart cards to the under privileged and the marginalised can streamline the usage of technology across different sections, thus making their lives change for the better as well. In this month’s issue we have a special focus on RFID.

eGov G-4 Sector 39, NOIDA 201301, India tel: +91 120 2502181-85, fax: +91 120 2500060 email: info@egovonline.net

Continuing with the idea for innovative changes, in this month’s issue we have introduced a ‘Reader’s Section’. Write to us about how are you liking these innovations and in particular this issue of egov magazine.

egov is published in technical collboration with Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies egov does not neccesarily subscribe to the views expressed in this publication. All views expressed in the magazine are those of the contributors. egov is not responsible or accountable for any loss incurred, directly or indirectly as a result of the information provided. Owner, Publisher, Printer, Ravi Gupta Printed at R P Printers, G-68, Sector - 6 Noida, U.P. and published from 710 Vasto Mahagun Manor, F-30, Sector - 50 Noida, UP Editor: Ravi Gupta

6}

Ravi Gupta Ravi.Gupta@csdms.in

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NeGP: Where Are We ? 900

800

700

Rs. in Crore

600

500

Allocation Expenditure

400

300

200

100

0 2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Years Allocation and Expenditure of e-Governance

National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), comprising of 27 Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) and 8 components was approved on May 18, 2006. The plan has covered quite a journey so far in making government services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets for ensuring efďŹ ciency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs. This section covers the current status of the various programmes under NeGP umbrella.

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COVER STORY

Report Card The status of various National e-Governance Plans (NeGP) uptil 30th September 2008 Minister of Communications & Information Technology, Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, responding to an open question in the Lok Sabha on 21st October 2008 , informed that the major Schemes being implemented by the Department of Information Technology are the State Wide Area Network (SWAN) Scheme, the Common service Centre Scheme (CSC), the State Data Centre (SDC), Scheme the Capacity Building (CB) Scheme and the e-District Scheme. The State Government are responsible for the implementation of these Schemes under the overall supervision Allocation and Expenditure of e-Governance: of the Department of Information Technology Expenditure (INR) Year Allocation (INR) (DIT), Government of 299.87 crores 2005-2006 300.00 crores India. These Schemes are at various stages of implementation 433.84 crores 2006-2007 425.45 crores in the States. 547.82 crores 2007-2008 552.40 crores The status of various National e-Governance Plans (NeGP) uptil 30th September 2008, as per the information provided by 2008-2009 800.00 crores the Jyotiraditya M. Scindia is as follows:

STATUS OF NeGP (As on 30th September, 2008) (Amount – INR in Crores) I

CSC Scheme Total No. of States/ UTs Sanctioned 27

II

III

Total No of CSC in these Total Amount Sanctioned States / UTs 1603.08 108363

17,775

Total Amount Sanctioned

Total Amount Released (DIT Share)

Remarks

33

2721.9

478.17

SWAN operational in 5 States; In Others Scheme under implementation

Total Amount of Released (DIT Share )

Remarks

84.06

Scheme under implementation

SDC Scheme

1076.66

Capacity Building Scheme Total Total No. of States/UTs Sanctioned

Total Amount Sanctioned

Total Amount of Released (DIT Share )

Remarks

35

62.9

52.13

Scheme under implementation

e-District Scheme Total Total No. of States/UTs Sanctioned 14

8

198.03

Total No. of States/ UTs Sanctioned

23

V

No. of CSCs Set -up

SWAN Scheme

Total No. of States/UTs Total Amount Sanctioned Sanctioned

IV

Total amount Released (DIT Share)

Total amount Total No. of Districts where Pilots undertaken Sanctioned 108.65 35

Total Amount Released (DIT Share)

Remarks

50.71

Scheme under implementation

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COVER STORY

The New Mantra for e-Governance

http://www.mit.gov.in

L - R : Ravi Gupta, Shankar Aggarwal

“Education and Health are the new mantras for e-Governance in India”, says Shankar Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Department of Information Technology, Government of India in a conversation with Ravi Gupta, Editor - in - Chief, egov If we look at the last 20 years, Information and Communication Technologies have evolved and developed but in terms of e-Governance we have only a few success stories such as the Indian Railways System and a few others. Does this imply an imbalanced development of e-Governance services? Your Comments. We have to accept the fact that India is a developing nation faced with various socio-economic problems. Inspite of all these drawbacks, we have been able to come this far quite satisfactorily. Today, India is globally recognised as an Information Technology (IT) expert. However, many benefits of IT has not percolated to the rural poor. Now we are moving into that direction of providing services to the rural poor. Today, land records in all the states are being computerised and a person can get all the details within a day by paying ov

November 2008

a nominal fee. In the past this process used to take many months for getting such details and the person was always at the mercy of the local records keeping agents such as the Patwaris. Today, one can easily access these records from a e-Kiosk. e-Governance has been implemented in various states and departments across India. What in your opinion has been the story so far? e-Governance is providing government services to the common man in their local areas and in a very cost-efficient manner. Having said that, the question arises about how to provide these services? For this to happen, we need to put the infrastructure in place. There are two kinds of infrastructure – one is the physical infrastructure which is the hardware 9


Source: http://www.mit.gov.in

COVER STORY

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under which we have State Data Centres (SDCs), State Wide do re-engineering and therefore come up with new ideas and Area Network (SWAN) and the Common Service Centres processes. These services are delivered in a bundled manner. (CSCs). CSCs act as the front end machines. In addition to Apart from this, we have another aspect which is known as this, we have computing infrastructure which provides the the capacity building. Therefore, there are four silos in the processing of the physical infrastructure. e-Governance project of India–physical Then there is also a need for connectivity infrastructure, digital infrastructure, at the back end which is provided services & awareness and capacity building. horizontally and vertically across all the All these silos are to be connected without departments. Computing and connectivity which the goal of e-Governance will not be infrastructure is generally provided by the achieved. The strategy for achieving such state governments. goals is to have a centralised planning and The second part of the infrastructure is decentralised implementation. Centralised the digital / software infrastructure. This planning ensures strategic mapping of the comprises of the national portal, standards project, ownership and a critical control and e-Forms. The third part is the service part. over the architecture and technology. Today we have a number of services. There Centralised planning is important in may be instances of changes, modifications a diverse culture like India. Some of the “I believe that the poor and addition of services. These services are states have a feudal history and there is provided by both the state and the central a lot of vested interests in these states. and the marginalised governments and there are some integrated Therefore, these states will take a little people can be brought services both provided by the state and the longer for implementing e-Governance. to the mainstream only However, all states and all departments centre jointly. For example, in the integrated services, we have the Mission Mode when they have access to have to adopt e-Governance as this is quality education and Projects (MMPs) which are implemented the best possible mechanism for delivery by both centre and the state. The state of government services in a cost health care services� governments look into their operations and efficient manner. 10

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COVER STORY

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There is also the issue of non-availability of IT personnels. The attrition rate in the IT sector has been very high. It is very difficult for the state and the central governments to get qualified IT professionals as the salary structure in the private sector was extremely high. Therefore, we are trying to develop a mechanism by which we can hire professionals at market remuneration. It is expected that in about three months time we will be able to put the mechanism in place and therefore, we will be able to attract a large number of IT professionals for taking these MMPs forward both in the state and the central level. Most of the e-Governance strategies are hardware centric and there is not much emphasis on building up applications. Since you have taken charge, do we see any improvements? The answer lies in the fact that it is a cost of learning. Initially, it was thought that if we buy some computers and do the computerisation of the departments, that will suffice everything. However, this was not enough. Now the focus is on the delivery of the services which can be Government to Citizen (G2C), Government to Business (G2B) and Business to Business (B2B). These services can be available only when applications are available. Therefore, our focus is to build infrastructure on one side and to develop all these applications and databases on

Source: http://www.mit.gov.in

What are the roadblocks in the implementation of e-Readiness for e-Governance in India? Non-availability of connectivity has been a major roadblock in making India e-Ready for e-Governance. All the e-Governance services are to be delivered through the front end CSCs. These CSCs needs to be connected with a network and we have found that out of the one lakh CSCs, about 25,000 CSCs will have connectivity through Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). Another 25,000 villages are to be connected by BSNL through their existing towers. They will be using wireless solutions for connecting these 25,000 villages. Therefore, the total number of CSCs which will be connected will be about 50,000. For the remaining 50,000 CSCs, we have a plan to utilise the funds available through Universal Service Obligation (USO) Fund. By using these funds we will be able to motivate the private sector to provide connectivity to these villages. Allocation of spectrum is another issue which has been a roadblock in terms of connectivity. Yet another issue is that the states are not yet ready for implementation of the MMPs. The reasons for the same are many. India is a democratic country and we have different national and regional parties in power in different states. These MMPs will come to fruition when the state governments are taken on board. We are in the process of enabling and educating them for making the mechanisms ready for e-Governance.

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the other. Hence, bundled architecture is important. We can only purchase equipments when services are being identified and re-engineering has been done and we have ensured that our mechanisms have evolved for delivering these services. There are 27 MMPs under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). Is there any priority been given to any particular MMP? All the MMPs are equally important and no MMP has been given any priority over others by the Department of Information Technology. However, some of them have shown tremendous success such as the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) which has already completed its mission. Another success story is that of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). Recently, we have also seen the collaboration of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) with the Ministry of External Affairs for the Passport Automation Project.Today, everybody has taken a note of e-Governance and they have realised that if e-Governance is not promoted, G2C services will not be provided in a cost efficient manner. Therefore, all state governments and the line ministries have become aware of the fact that e-Governance is inevitable for providing transparent, easy and reliable services to the citizens. You belong to Uttar Pradesh which is the biggest state of India with a big population and there is a big divide between the rich and poor. With your rich experience of administering such a state, what are your aspirations in

making a mark at a national level in the e-Governance sphere? Coupled with the size and population, Uttar Pradesh has myraid political and socio-economic issues. People are poor and the infrastructure is not up to the mark. Under such circumstances it becomes very difficult to provide government services to the poor. There is also a need for encouraging the people’s participation in the process in order to give them the benefits of governance. Some of the basic needs to be provided to the poor are – employment, education, health services. I personally feel that all these facilities under e-Governance has not been provided in substantial quantity. We have only done pilots projects here and there I believe that the poor and the marginalised people can be brought to the mainstream only when they have access to quality education and health care services. Most importantly, they need to be given employment opportunities. The achievements and the benefits of all the development in the IT sector has primarily been enjoyed by the urban class. However, I believe that IT has a tremendous role to play when it comes to providing good quality education and health care services to the poor and the marginalised. Thus, my objective would be to bring all the 27 MMPs to fruition in a cost efficient manner and in the quickest possible time. I would personally feel glad if we can provide people living in rural areas with good quality education and health care.

e-District Project Status Report

(As on October 08)

Source: http://www.mit.gov.in

COVER STORY

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GOVT A CLICK AWAY IN WEST BENGAL The Siliguri sub-division of West Bengal, India, recently got its official website and thus became the first sub-division in West Bengal to have an official web address. The website - www.siliguri.gov.in, developed by the National Informatics Centre of the Union Ministry of Communications and IT, Govt. of India will soon be upgraded to a dynamic website, containing almost A-Z information pertaining to the civil administration and other utility services in Siliguri sub-division. The website also comprises of a host of information ranging from the sub-division’s electoral details to transport information, hospital phone numbers to doctor contacts. The website also comprises of pages dedicated to each of the four development blocks in the sub-division, viz. Matigara, Phansidewa, Naxalbari and Khoribari where one can get the name and contact details of the block officials, voter details and trivia of educational institutions in the block. Further, the website also provides hyperlinks to various important government websites, airlines and the railways. Moreover, a dedicated POP3 email ID is provided there with the help of which a citizen can lodge grievances related to any government offices within the sub-division.

SECOND BEST STATE IN e-GOVERNANCE : HIMACHAL PRADESH Himachal Pradesh has been declared as the second best state in India in e-Governance. This premier award in the area of e-Governance will be given to the state for providing the best IT related initiatives and providing efficient, transparent, cost effective and speedy government to government, government to citizen, government to business services. Speaker of Lok Sabha Somnath Chatterjee will give away the award during the 10th International Summit and Expo Power - 2008 to be held on November 8, in Mumbai. An assessment in this regard has been done by India Tech Foundation, Mumbai, on application of Information Technology (IT) and its use in government institutions. Himachal Pradesh is the first state to launch State Wide Area Network (SWAN) in the entire country. A network operation centre has been set up to provide unified placement of data for the entire state at one place. All the 69 employment exchanges/sub employment exchanges in the state have been computerised. A web based job portal for all stakeholders ie employers, job seekers and the employment department has been started in the state. The state has taken a lead in the country in undertaking computerisation of 40 police stations under Common Integrated Police Application (CIPA) programme. The touch screen kiosks have been set up at various places in the state to provide common interface for various activities and all the 68000 employees working in the state would be trained in computerisation and IT related services. The state government is making amendments in Recruitment and Promotion (R&P) rules in most departments to make IT literacy compulsory for promotion, confirmation and recruitment.

RAILWAYS TO HAVE INTEGRATED SECURITY SYSTEM Minister of State for Railways, Dr. R. Velu, under the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) model, Railway Board has approved the implementation of Integrated Security System at important railway

stations. It has also decided on outright purchase model with annual maintenance contract comprising of the broad areas like CCTV system,

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electronic access control, personal and baggage screening system, and explosive detection and disposal system. This Integrated Security System will be installed under BOOT model at important stations and all suburban stations in the metro cities of Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai. For other stations, identified as vulnerable and sensitive, outright purchase model with annual maintenance contract has been approved in two phases. For BOOT model and phase-I stations’ proposals are to be implemented in 200809; while BOOT model and phase-II stations’ proposals are to be implemented in 2009-10. Railways have identified 185 stations in 45 Divisions including 17 stations of Kolkata Metro Railway, as sensitive/vulnerable.

ELECTRIFICATION OF RAILWAYS As per the information provided by the Minister of State for Railways, R. Velu, the targets of electrification of rail lines are fixed on year to year basis keeping in view the progress of the works and the availability of resources. However, during the 10th Five Year Plan, which was from April 2002 to March 2007, 1810 Route Kilometres were electrified as against the initial planning of 1800 Route Kilometres. With this the commutative electrification till March 2007 became 17811 Route Kilometres.

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BOSS : INDIA’S OWN PC OPERATING SYSTEM

NATIONAL ID CARDS

Four States — Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Bihar and Chhattisgarh — have been proactive in deciding to standardise their e-Governance applications around BOSS. BOSS or Bharat Operating System Solutions, put together by the Chennai unit of the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), is an Open Source distribution of what is called GNU/Linux. The desktop version no 3.0 recently released supports 18 Indian languages and includes a host of features to enhance its utility: a 3-D desktop; support for Bluetooth wireless devices; a document reader for the PDF format and application tools in all Indian languages. It is also compatible with Bharateeya OS, the Office tool set for Indian languages that CDAC brought out a couple of years ago to “Indianise” the OpenOffice suite.

Just in time before general elections, the Centre is serious about completing the pilot project of issuing Multi-purpose National Identity Cards (MNICs) to citizens by March 2009 .The home ministry is actively pushing to implement the scheme viewing it as a chance to enhance the security cover of the country. Besides, the scheme will also facilitate the national e-Governance programme. In the backdrop of rising cases of terrorism, infiltration and fake voter ID, ration card which are difficult to detect, the government is serious about operationalisng the scheme. But given that the maintenance period of renewing cards and issuing new cards to those citizens left uncovered under the scheme, which is still not been completed in states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Jammu, Tripura and Agartala. The extension for the project implementation was indeed necessary, which was earlier supposed to be implemented by December 2008.

REVIEW OF E-GOV INITIATIVES IN GANGTOK Led by Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrashekhar, a high-level team of central officials will visit Sikkim in November to review the progress in the infrastructure development works in the state. Chandrashekhar, along with the secretaries of various departments and other representatives will hold meeting with Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling to enquire the progress in the works on a highway between Bagdogra in north Bengal to Gangtok, feasibility of an alternative high way for better connectivity to the border state and the upcoming greenfield airport at Pakyong in Sikkim’s East district, official sources said. The status of the implementation of various central flagship programmes such as National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREG), Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM) and National Rural Health Mission (NHRM) in the state would also come up for review during the visit of the central officials.

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PAKISTAN RANKS 5th IN e-GOVERNANCE READINESS (SAARC) As per a report released by the United Nations named “United Nations Survey 2008; from e-Governance to Connected Governance”, in e-Governance Readiness for Southern Asia, Pakistan ranks 5th out of nine countries of SARAC, with Maldives, Sri Lanka, Iran and India placed ahead of it. And amongst all the countries across the world, Pakistan ranks 131st with underdeveloped countries like Angola, Algeria, Kenya, Suriname, and Namibia positioned above it. Further in Web Assessment 2008, Pakistan is ranked 70, with underdeveloped countries like Jordan, Angola and Mauritius lying ahead of Pakistan. Within the list of the ‘Head of State Websites that Encourage Citizen Engagement’, Pakistan is ranked below

Bangladesh, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Honduras, Indonesia, New Guinea, Philippines, Vietnam and many other lesser known African countries like Togo, Uganda, Nevis, Cameroon, Congo, Namibia, Niger and Nigeria.

Moreover, in e-Participation Index, Pakistan is ranked 98 with Mauritania, Mauritius, Angola and Cambodia (least developed country of Asia) having better position in e-participation.

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SOFTWARE PRODUCT CERTIFICATION FOR e-GOVERNANCE INITIATIVE First of its kind in India, Union Ministry of Communications and IT has decided to set up a certification facility for software security products, in Kolkata. It would be an important initiative for state governments and various government institutions as it will create security zones for the various e-Governance applications, thereby curbing cyber crimes in e-governance. The city already has a government testing centre for software products. BJ Srinath, Senior Director of the Ministry’s Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (Cert-In) further added, “We are creating necessary infrastructure in areas of testing and certification, which will save the Indian software developers working in security products the time and cost of getting certification from foreign countries. It will substantially lower the cost of development for Indian software companies.” Security product certification at present is available in countries like Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Australia. India does not have any certification infrastructure so far, the reason being the presence of very few Indian software products. Total budget approved by the ministry for the accreditation and product testing facility is close to INR 8 crore, said Srinath.

PASSPORT ALERTS ON MOBILE On October 13th 2008, Tata Consultancy Services announced that it has a signed a deal with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Government of India, for the Passport Automation Project - the largest mission-critical e-Governance project valued at over INR 10,000 million. The good news for ‘aam janta’ is that apart from the information of the progress of the passprt applications on web they would also be receiving alerts on their mobile numbers that have been provided during filling of application about the status of their application. Tanmoy Chakrabarty, Vice President, Global Government Business Group, TCS said, “As soon as the application is accepted aplicant will be intimated about it on his mobile number. It is our endervour to include mobile communication for better customer satisfaction and keep the customers updated about the progress on their application. He further said that all the passports which will be issued after March 2009 will be biometric enabled.

CANON LAUNCHES 85 NEW PRODUCTS ON DIWALI Canon India Pvt. Limited, yesterday announced the pre-Diwali launch of 85 new state-of-the-art digital imaging products. These include digital cameras, digital video camcorders, printers, All-inOnes, digital copiers, software applications, cable id printers, card printers etc. The products launched are across its three divisions Imaging Communication Products (ICP), Consumer Systems Product (CSP), Business Imaging Solutions (BIS). These products are designed to add a whole new dimension to digital imaging for customers and garner greater market share for Canon in India.

The event witnessed unveiling of new products across divisions. These include 30 products and 6 solutions from the Business Imaging Solutions (BIS) division, 28 products from Consumer Systems Product (CSP) division and 22 new products from Imaging Communication Products (ICP). For taking the business strategy forward, Canon will be focusing on some key areas like creating Digital On Demand printing and focusing on penetrating Government and SI business as e-governance projects have opened up new vistas of opportunity.

1 LAKH COMMON SERVICE CENTRES IN INDIA BY JULY 2009 Government plans to establish One Lakh Common Service Centres (CSCs) in 600,000 villages,to provide IT enabled services to the people in the rural areas.Out of which 18,000 CSCs have already been set up.The CSC roll out is part of Department of Information Technology’s steps to support infrastructure under the National e-Governance Plan for enabling anytime, anywhere delivery of government services. Department of Information Technology would provide calibrated support through policy interventions and appropriate financial support to create the basic infrastructure for these 100,000 proposed CSCs. All these CSCs are scheduled to be operational by July next year. Agencies for setting up of service Centres have been selected in most of the cases. In Jharkhand and Haryana, the roll out of the Centres is already complete while in Gujarat it will be completed soon. In other states like West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu,

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Assam, Orissa, Meghalaya and Tripura, a number of CSCs have already operational.Agreements have already been signed with the selected Service Centre Agencies (SCAs) for setting up of about 76,000 CSCs in several states. A maximum of 17,909 CSCs are proposed in Uttar Pradesh followed by 9,232 in Madhya Pradesh and 8558 in Orissa; 8,463 CSCs are to come up in Bihar and 6,626 in Rajasthan. Being implemented through a Public Private Partnership model, it has been approved at a total cost of INR 5742 crore. over 4 years, Out of which the Government of India is estimated to contribute INR 856 crore and the State Governments INR 793 crore. The balance resources would be mobilised from the private sector. Through these network of access points, the Department of Information Technology of the Government of India is attempting to leverage the advances in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for the benefit of the citizens, especially those in rural and remote areas.

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AUSTRALIA’S NATIONAL WEB PORTAL CONNECTS TO GOVERNMENT SERVICES

ABU DHABI COMPLETES e-ARCHIVING OF JUDICIAL DATA

The Government of Australia has created Australia.gov.au, a national website linking users to services and information to aid them at home, work and elsewhere. As the go-to site for a nation of six states and 10 territories, Australia.gov.au has much ground to cover. It’s a repository of web links to services and information that all levels of governments have to offer. The portal features: an internal search engine; more than 800 links to public sites; separate directories of federal, state, territory and city sites and departments; travel information; weather updates; current and historical country information; an alphabetical list of government contact numbers by subject; an email subscription service for news and media releases; and a really simple syndication (RSS) delivery option for news and podcasts. RSS enables people to receive news articles, headlines and other data via XML technology. The United Nations (UN) ranked Australia No. 8 out of the top 35 countries on e-Government readiness because of its national portal in the e-Government Survey 2008 - just four places behind the United States. Although the Australian portal is ranked slightly behind the United States, the Aussies have an edge in the user-input department.

The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) announced the completion of a major portion of its ambitious project of electronic archiving of cases. It involves archiving of around 32,300,000 judicial documents pertaining to over 669,000 cases in Abu Dhabi, Western Region and Al Ain. This movement is part of the department’s effort to accelerate its momentum towards e-government systems that will bring benefits to employees, customers, lawyers, experts and other stakeholders. The archiving project at Abu Dhabi Judicial Department creates a robust and standardised system for archiving all the judicial documents electronically and ensures confidentiality and security. On an average, around 100,000 documents have been archived and the in-charge team manages to increase 150,000 per day. The IT department at the ADJD implemented the project in phases. In the first phase, the department will cover Abu Dhabi City and Western Region where all paper archives were migrated to electronic systems, involving First Instance, Appeals and Cassation Courts as well as prosecution cases. The work included scanning and categorisation to ease up the retrieval process and display it to authorised users. The second phase covered Al Ain where all the cases were archived.

WORLD BANK RELEASES ICT DEVELOPMENT FUNDS TO AFRICA

The World Bank has given about US$424 million to Eastern and Southern African countries for a programme designed to improve regional communication infrastructure and increase the deployment of e-Government. The program will complement the submarine fiber cable projects being developed along the east coast of Africa, which will link the region into the global communication network. The Rwandan government has received $24 million of the World Bank funds to develop a national capacity to provide broadband services. The funds, according to the World Bank, were approved under the International Development Agency, a concessional lending arm of the bank. World Bank releases $4 million for online content in Kenya. “The money will also improve the delivery of public and private services, particularly in rural areas. The regional communication infrastructure program in Rwanda is expected to promote investment and competition among local licensed operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs), which will be selected to implement the project activities through a competitive bidding process. The World Bank has also released $4 million to Kenya to support online content generation for the government and private sector.

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LAOS INVESTS IN ICT TO PROMOTE e-GOVERNANCE The Government of Laos is planning to invest US$35 millions of budget to digitise the country by developing ICT infrastructure to allow Laos people to get access to any electronic government services by next year. The plan also includes the development of wireless technology in Vientiane city to turn the traditional city to become the first WiMAX town in Asian countries to provide high speed Internet access to support the upcoming Seagame 2009. Under the e-Government project, there were five pillars for the development; the development of infrastructure, human resource, legal framework, ICT application and standardization. In order to improve ICT industry, the government will develop electronic related legislations to cope up with the upcoming information technology era such as e-Government law, cyber crime and e-Commerce law. In part of ICT applications, he said the government planned to develop national portal site to link all government office web sites to provide a single point of contact to provide e-Services to the public such as e-Registration, e-Map, e-Learning, e-Application and e-Revenue. The plan is to develop standard Laos Unicode to build up provide Laos language platform to support new information technology development. In addition, the government has a plan to turn the city of Vientiane into wireless city by planning to set up 10 WiMAX based stations in Vientiane and 16 based station in capital cities nationwide.

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STATE FOCUS: LAKSHADWEEP

LAKSHADWEEP on front foot e-Governance initiatives launched by the Lakshadweep administration has shown that nothing is impossible. http://lakshadweep.nic.in/

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akshadweep islands look like emeralds in the vast expanse of blue sea. Varying hues of turquoise blue translucent water surround them. Coral atolls, the matchless marine environment with myriad colours resulting in complex interaction of animate and inanimate things. Built on ancient volcanic formations are the Lakshadweep (meaning a hundred thousand islands), the smallest Union Territory of India. It consists of 12 atolls, 3 reefs and 5 submerged banks. The atolls poised on submarine banks, harbour 36 islands having an area of 32 Sq.Km. Of these, 10 islands are inhabited namely Agatti, Amini, Andrott, Bitra, Chetlat, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Kavaratti, Kiltan and Minicoy. The islands lie about 220-440 Kms from the Malabar coast. Kavaratti is

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the Administrative Headquarter of the Union Territory. Lack of adequate transport facilities and deficiencies in communication in these islands pose a major problem for the masses. It takes around eight days during normal season and fifteen days during monsoon to go to the headquarters island of Kavaratti and avail of important services and return to ones native island. To virtually integrate these far-flung islands, Lakshadweep Administration has implemented several e-Governance projects with focus on delivering services virtually anywhere, as also to usher in transparency, accountability and efficiency in the extension of public services. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has played a major role in digitally integrating the geographically dispersed

islands in respect of several important needs of life. Some of the major projects undertaken by the Administration recently reflect its commitment for overall development of the union territory using ICT tools. ELECTRICITY

An electricity consumer preparing his own electricity bill after reading the meter may be a dream in any part of India other Lakshadweep where it is a reality. This is the result of the e-Governance initiatives launched by the Lakshadweep administration. The digitally integrated Department of Electricity provides online services to consumers. All the offices of the department on the islands and the mainland are connected through NICNET-VSAT facilities. Web-enabled systems have been developed for www.egovonline.net

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consumer management, energy billing, complaints management, materials management and human resource management. EMPLOYMENT EXCHANGE

Total Digitisation of Employment Services is one such project. This eGovernance project aims at safeguarding objectivity and transparency in providing employment and in facilitating dynamic utilisation of human resource and bringing employment exchange services to the very doorsteps of the people of Lakshadweep. Timely and systemic online registration from any part of India or abroad, maintenance of seniority and online sponsoring of names to employers/ government departments has been achieved under this project which goes a long way in bringing trust between government agencies and the unemployed persons and the numerous job seekers. Services are now virtually made available in all the islands. Incidentally, Lakshadweep has attained the unique distinction of being the first UT / State in the country to fully digitise its employment exchange and related services in the country. Ministry of Labour & Employment in Government of India have has also shown keen interest in it now, as this project has a high replicable potential and would definitely help the young human resource of India to dynamically and objectively participate in rapid economic development.

BV Selvaraj, Administrator, UT of Lakshadweep VIDEO CONFERENCING FACILITIES

Video Conferencing facilities have also been installed in all the inhabited islands. This facility is again provided through the NICNET-VSAT’s installed in all the islands, including the smallest and remotest island of Bitra, which is having a population of less than 300 people. On the Independence Day of 2007, first time in the history of Lakshadweep, the Administrator interacted one-on-one with all the heads of the Village Panchayats and the Dy. Collectors / SDO’s located in the remote islands through video conferencing. It has brought the islands closer and has started a new wave of development WEB-ENABLED SYSTEMS

U.T. of Lakshadweep is a restricted area. A valid entry permit is required for

Lashadweep’s e-Governance projects

TRANSPORTATION

Being scattered in the Arabian Sea, the main mode of transport in the islands is ship service. Shipping is truly the lifeline of people of Lakshadweep. All the thirteen Port offices of the Administration have been interconnected, extending the NICNET’s VSAT based communication network. This network has enabled webbased ship ticket passenger reservation and cargo booking systems. The ship schedules, ship ticket availability, status of ship tickets are now available through Internet providing transparency and easy access. Tickets, in any ship to any destination, can be booked from Kochi and Kozhikode also. This project had also received Microsoft National e-Governance award for ‘innovative project.’ ov

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Integrated e-governance solution to Lakshadweep electricity department • Web Enabled ship ticket reservation and booking system (PORTNET) • Video Conferencing facilities in all Islands • Web enabled Entry Permit Management system • Online Scholarship Management System • Web Enabled Medical Inventory system for medicines and appliances (Ever Alert) • Telemedicine facilities in Lakshadweep hospital • U-SWAN (Universal State Wide Area Network

visiting the islands. Permits are issued from the administration office at Kochi. The Permit Management System accepts applications for entry permit and issues the permit. The status of permit applications can be viewed through Internet. This is a workflow system and issues permit after due checking by the authorities. Sub Divisional Officers and Station House Officers in various islands get advance information about the permits issued and they can verify the authenticity of a physical document by cross checking it in the web. The system is being upgraded to accept applications online from anywhere. Also, web-enabled Students Scholarship Management System for processing scholarships for the students from Lakshadweep studying in various educational institutions in the mainland is already under implementation. The system validates the scholarship claims based on the pre-assigned criteria and processes the claims and generates the sanction orders and the bills. The students and their institutions can get the status of their scholarships from anywhere in India. Lakshadweep also, possesses the unique distinction of having Computer Labs and Internet facilities in all the schools. There are 33 Vidhya Vahini Community Information Centres functioning in the territory providing Internet services to the general public for availing various services. The EDUSAT facility is also made available in all high schools and on receive-only EDUSAT terminals in all other schools in the territory. Pioneering work has also been accomplished in Web Enabled Medical Inventory system (medicines and appliances) and Telemedicine facilities in Lakshadweep . Where there is a will there is away. This proverb has been proved true by the people and administration of Lakshadweep. Technology is their for every one to use but it requires appropriate administrative reforms strong determination to implement it for betterment of the masses. Lakshadweep has shown the way, now the question is will other states match the work done in the island? Lets hope other states are not left behind. Sandeep Budki sandeep@egovonline.net 21


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FEATURE

e-Treasury of Jharkhand The operations of all thirty one Treasuries/Sub-Treasuries in Jharkhand are fully computerised and are networked with the State Data Centres (SDC) with high speed leased lines. http://www.jharkhand.gov.in/nmc

Ram Sevak Sharma

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he extent of networking and computerisation of treasuries in Jharkhand makes them one of the most modern and integrated treasury system in the country. When one makes this assertion, people generally dismiss this as a mere publicity gimmick. Unfortunately we, in this part of the country, have started believing in the stereotype that anything in technology happens first in states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka or Gujarat before it can be replicated in states like Bihar, Jharkhand or Uttar Pradesh. The fact of the matter is that the above assertion is true. The operations of all thirty one Treasuries/Sub-Treasuries in Jharkhand are fully computerised and are networked with the State Data Centres (SDC) with high speed leased lines. All the banks which conduct the business of the Treasuries are also linked with the State Data Centres and the concerned Treasuries with high speed leased lines. The details of every bill, which is passed in any of the treasuries are made available to the State Headquarters and the banks on a real time basis. In other words, the entire system is web-based and the data is kept on a centralised basis in the State Data Centres in Ranchi. BILL CLEARANCE SYSTEM

There have been major changes in the procedures and processes of the bill clearance during the past 2-3 years. Earlier, list of bills passed by the Treasury used to go in paper form to the bank as a debit-scroll. The bills were bundled together in a bunch of about 50 bills. When the bills passed by the treasury used to reach the bank for payment, bank would match the bill with the debit-scroll before making 22 }

payments. This procedure was there so as to ensure that fake bills did not get en-cashed. Now no debit-scroll goes to the bank. As soon as a bill is passed by the Treasury, the information becomes instantly available on the computer screen of the bank branch. When the bill reaches the bank, the bank makes the payment and, instantly again, the payment information becomes available to the Treasury Officer on his computer screen. It used to take months together to prepare the Statement of Accounts of each Treasury. Accountant General, as also the Finance Department used to remain busy monitoring the Statement of Accounts. Now each Treasury is able to prepare its Statement of Accounts for a month by the fifth of next month. The size of the pay bills used to be that of an A-2 paper (a paper four times the size of a normal page). The officers had to put their signatures at seven places (the writing on the pay-bill paper bore no relationship to the contents of the bill!). Each salary bill also had a

number of Schedules for the payments/ deductions made from the salary. There used to be separate Schedules relating to Provident Fund, Income Tax, Group Insurance Scheme and recoveries of House Building Advance. On an average, each pay bill used to have five such ‘Schedules’. The Schedules used to go to various offices after clearance of the bill by the Treasury. For example, the schedule relating to GPF used to travel to the Group Provident Fund (GPF) office and it was quite natural that many of the schedules used to be lost/misplaced in the transit resulting in serious information gaps relating to contributions/deductions made on account of GPF contributions for which the concerned officers used to suffer harassments. Now the Pay Bill of an officer is an A-4 size single sheet. There is just one signature and there are no Schedules. The best part of it is that the information provided there is legible and correct. Now all the deductions and contributions become a part of the www.egovonline.net

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database and there is no need to keep accounts for various deductions at various places. Earlier, bills presented at the treasury used to be checked manually for a number of things like availability of allocations (remember the Animal Husbandry scam where money was withdrawn without allocations?), correct heads and Drawing & Disbursing Officers (DDOs) Codes etc. Now the bills are generated on the computer and the information is already available to the Treasury officer about the bills, which are going to be presented in the near future. Each Salary bill generated by the system has a control number and when it is presented at the Treasury, the Treasury officer just retrieves the bill from the computer through the control numbers. This has made the life of the people of the Treasury office very easy as they do not have to repeatedly enter the data every month for every bill. Earlier the bill clerks in each department used to take weeks together to prepare bills. Now, they are able to prepare bills through the computer in no time as the details of previous months’ salary bills etc. are already available and with minor modifications, they are again re-printed. This has ensured accuracy of the salary bills, optinum utilization of manpower and better account-keeping. PROVISION OF BETTER SERVICES

The system has resulted in overall improvement in providing better services to the stake-holders. For getting GPF accounts, the employees had to run from Treasury to Treasury and used to collect Treasury Voucher (TV) numbers and what is described as ‘Collatera Evidences’ of their deposits. Now they can see their accounts online. In fact, the Government has now started the service of regularly informing the employees about their contribution through Short Messaging Services (SMS) at the end of each month. This SMS includes the amount of contribution, Treasury Voucher (TV) number and date of deduction. It has simplified and eased the work of bill clerks who can now prepare bills in no time. It has also made life easier for officials in the Treasuries because they do not have to ov

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prepare scrolls, check bills for various errors and make entries in various ledgers for preparing the accounts at the end of each month. The DDOs can now prepare their statutory reports online. The banks do not have to worry about the receipt of scrolls, illegible/incorrect heads of account and amounts. Now it is flashed on their computer screens with no ambiguity. FISCAL MANAGEMENT

Lastly, the system has also enabled better fiscal management and planning at macro-level. As each employee’s data relating to salary, scale of pay are available on the system, it is possible to calculate the requirement of salary and other allowances for all employees of any department or organisation with high degree of precision. Earlier there were examples of surrendering hundreds of crores, especially in departments with large employees like Education and Health on account of salary, as the salary requirements were not correctly estimated. Now with the precise data available, it is possible to compute the salary requirements with high degree of accuracy. It is possible to set and enforce policies relating to withdrawal from the Treasury. As an example, if the state’s fiscal position deteriorates and government has to put certain restrictions on withdrawals of certain categories of expenditures (e.g. arrear bills or other bills relating to contractors etc.) it can be easily done centrally. The computer will just not allow the clearance of the bills for which restrictions have been imposed by the Finance Department. Similarly, if there are temporal restrictions (for example the department should not spend more than 50 percent of the allocations within the first six months of the financial year) this can also be implemented. The Finance Department has now access to withdrawal / expenditure figures period-wise, treasury-wise, department-wise and head-wise. There is now no need to call for the information from each department regarding the progress of expenditure as this information is available centrally. As information relating to all the employees and their departments are available, it is possible to do better resource planning. It is also possible

to estimate the pensionery liabilities or the payments of the GPF etc. In other words, financial/expend planning of the state has become highly scientific and precise. We do not intend to stop here. We are already in the process of developing an Integrated Financial Management System, which will integrate planning, budgeting, sanctions, allocations and withdrawals so that the entire financial system of the state works in an integrated and connected manner. All the above has been possible because of two important facts. The first is the availability of the State Data Centres (SDCs) and the second is the availability of the State Wide Area Network (SWAN). The state has been able to leverage the power of connectivity of JharNet and State Data Centres to achieve an Integrated Treasury System christened as ‘Kuber’. The system is also a fine example of perfect coordination between the Information Technology and Finance Department of the state. Both the departments have worked together to ensure that we achieve the target of developing an integrated system of the treasuries. In fact the Finance Department has been very proactive in the process reforms. It would have been nearly impossible to change forms, processes and even system of bill preparation in the normal course but for the personal interest of the Finance Secretary. The Accountant General has also been very helpful in going ahead with changes. Finally, National Informatics Centre (NIC) has also done a commendable work in developing the entire software from the scratch. Any consultant would have charged huge amounts for this work. There are no consultants in this project.

Ram Sevak Sharma (rssharma3@gmail. com) is the Principal Secretary, Department of Science and Technology and Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India. Prior to this, he was working as Principal Secretary in the Information Technology Department of the State Government of Jharkhand. 23


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INTERVIEW

Tendering Needs a Relook http://www.canon.co.in

“Change of strategy on the part of the Indian Government has played a major role in increasing the government spendings on technology”, Alok Bharadwaj Senior Vice President, Cannon India to Sandeep Budki and Tannu Singh of egov In the recent past Cannon has shown a decent growth. How has been your journey so far? Our growth has been momentum oriented. One of the important directions in which the momentum has been significant has been in the area of acceptance of Canon as a brand by all segments. By segment, I mean customer segment comprising of mainly four categories, they are corporates, consumers, Small Office/ Home Office (SOHO), and government. 24 }

So due to this growth, you are looking at creating a government vertical. In the last financial year, out of the total Canon’s business of INR 510 crore, INR 50 crore business i.e. 10 percent of the total Canon’s business came from government. This year out of the total INR 700 crore business of Canon 15 percent, i.e. INR 100 crore business came from the government. Thus we are seeing a 100 percent growth in business from government. Therefore, looking at this increasing growth www.egovonline.net

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in business coming from the government sector, which is only expected to further increase in the near future, we felt confident enough to set up a separate government subdivision within Canon.

these decision-making units covering all the states of India, and constantly keeping them updated about our products and services. Our other main agenda is to climb on the value-chain with these decision making bodies, so that we can serve them over Do you agree that this increase in business from the entire range of value-chain covering the whole process. government is an outcome of strategic change on the part Now this value-chain comprises of two parts, one is the of the Government of India? visible part comprising of tender, quotation, comparison of Surely change of strategy on the part of the Indian Government quotes, final order and installation. (eg. e-Governance) has played a major role in increasing the The other is the invisible part of the value chain containing government spend on technology. The second reason for within it resource allocation, budget allocation, technology the increase in business from government is an increasing comparison and specking. Now for vendors in government awareness amongst government officials that for a faster buying, the invisible part of the value-chain becomes more decision-making and smoother customer service intervention important. And in order to engage strongly in this invisible of technology is important. Thirdly, the increased government part of the chain one has to have regular involvement with business with Canon is also due around 100 strong dealer these decision-making bodies. Another advantage of this networks that Canon has established in more than 100 cities. constant involvement what has happened is that our focus Through these dealer networks we are in constant touch has moved from order-chasing to keeping a constant update with various government starting from the very first departments and ministries, step of budget allocation Document management system will thereby consolidating our which is very important. So mark the second generation of IT this is our vision that with knowledge, understanding reforms, after all the government 1000 decision-making units and penetration in the departments have already adopted we should be able to handle government. Fourthly, digitised equipments an entire value-chain of the increase in business of purchase. government with Canon is also because of our products. We are one of the very few companies which provides As one of your goals for this segment, will it also be looking entire gamut of digital imaging. So for any Information at new developments in order to tap opportunities arising Technology (IT) operation we provide all kinds of business in the government sector. For example birth certificate machine. Thus, for making any office / government and death certificate being moved from analog to digitised department more effective and productive, one would always system, or land digitisation which is also at a nascent stage, does all this excite you as an organisation? thinks of Canon. Another big enabler for us has been our association with The deeper you go into the government sector the more Directorate General of Supplies & Disposals (DGS&D). In you realise that you are just looking at the tip of the iceberg. the last three years, Canon has been really strong in reaching Initially, we looked at opportunities at the decision-making out to DGS&D. So much so that moving from 8 products in units (DMUs), then we started looking at allocation, today 2006, next year i.e. 2009 we are planning to list 28 products we feel that the whole re-figuration of utilisation of these products for the efficiency and productivity of the government on the rate contract covering almost all categories. machinery can open up much bigger opportunities. What are the main aims of new government sub-division Just now we understand only the opportunity of hardware which Cannon has created? within government sector, but very soon there is going to be In this sub-division, the ultimate vision is to create a country- an equal or a bigger opportunity of document management wide foot print. But just now we have been able to cover system within the government departments. This demand only three states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu of the document management system will mark the along with Delhi (which includes DGS&D, National Internet second generation of IT reforms, after all the government Exchange of India). Through the working of this sub-division departments have already adopted digitised equipments. we have identified around 275 decision-making bodies, with Within government or private enterprise, there are four whom we are interacting on a regular basis through our points in paper movement, first is ‘entry gate’, then comes dealer networks. By decision-making bodies, I mean those ‘flow of paper across the organisation’, third is the ‘security ground level officers, who after all the resource allocation point’, and last comes the ‘output’. So there is a need for and policy decisions which comes from the higher strata of such a document management solution which can integrate government officials, ultimately take the final call on which paper movement in the form of electronic work-flow; so that brand to buy. But with thousands of decision- making bodies it is visible to the people who matter, is secure from where within government existing all over India, 275 is still a very security is necessary, and is printed out only at the point small number. where a customer requires it. We aim to create, maybe in the next two years, machinery This would be the future way of working even within the and infrastructure which can reach out to more than 1000 of government where one distributes or sends documents/ ov

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INTERVIEW

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papers electronically and prints them only at the point where it is required. So within the government sector also printing would get decentralised and the work-flow would become electronic, thereby generating a much greater need for many more decentralised output systems. So can we say that Canon is really banking a lot for its growth on the government’s adoption of technology, which is indeed very slow? Well, 100 percent growth in business that we are getting from government cannot be termed as slow. The speed should be such that there is higher degree of conformity, consensus, and acceptance, which to my mind is happening quiet fast in India. The important thing is that government should share this success story with more and more people, so that there is higher degree of momentum in terms of its acceptance. Another reason for betting big on this high growth segment of the government is because this segment is treated as supposedly immune to recession. For one segment which does not stop buying even in recession is that of government. Thus, in this sense also this segment becomes important for the growth of Canon as a company. What is your view of government as a buyer? Contrary to the conventional view, according to me government is the most intelligent buyer. Intentionally or unintentionally government makes the competitive process very transparent. And on technology issue, government takes all the more safety, by keeping abreast with all the recent developments, and by making the tender very detailed if required. Thereby in case of a larger buy, through a very competitive process the government manages a purchase at the lowest price, with the least risk involved. How do you plan to focus on state government and federal government? In terms of physical coverage we have more people/dealers for bringing in information about opportunities within the government sector. We also plan to participate more in government events and forums, so that various government departments become aware of Canon as a brand and also understand the advantage of engaging with Canon. Are you planning to set up any new Research and Development facility or planning to upgrade it? For government and other enterprises we have created lounges in Bangalore, Mumbai and Gurgaon. These lounges showcase our business products in their networked and working order. Our technology is our biggest asset, but as it potable and needs to be showcased in its fully functional state, so these lounges are very important where we conduct seminars. Because then they can take their own unbiased view on whether to go for Canon as a brand or not. Besides that we have a R&D Software Design Centre in Noida. and we have just opened another Hardware Design Centre in Bangalore. 26

Apart from printers market what are the other opportunities you are looking in e-Governance segment? Printers has to be seen as printers, scanners, faxes, all in one, opportunity for us would be visual communication devices. These will become important for government because with digitisation becoming the core in the government information machinery, for both government to government (G2G) and government to citizen (G2C) communication image capturing is going to become more and more digitised. How are you planning to tap bigger organisations like Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and railways? These are covered within the government sector only, so we give the responsibility to the same team from the government sub-division. In railways we connect to the central office. Then railways also has a number of decision-making units with whom we connect through our dealer networks spread in around 100 cities and covering almost 275 decision making units. Even BSNL is covered in a similar fashion as the railways. But in case of BSNL our reach is not so deep as we have covered only the ministry level and have not as yet covered the national spread which BSNL has. Have you worked with any Common Service Centres (CSCs)? We cannot do it directly, but we have been involved with Common Service Centres (CSCs) and State Data Centres (SDCs) through system integrators. What are the major challenges you face when it comes to dealing with government sector? The biggest challenge that we face in this sector is due to the absence of any mechanism through which one can get the information about the existing or upcoming opportunities within this sector. In a fixed rate regime through the DGS&D rate contract, transparency and higher visibility amongst all the vendors is only going to ensure higher commitment and best services for the government. Are you happy with the current tendering system? No, because it is not serving its purpose of transparently ensuring the dispersion of information and thus allowing the participation of all bidders because of which government itself suffers as it does not get the best deal. Another important area of tender is ‘specking’, which is a very unproductive process. Due to this some brands get left out intentionally or unintentionally. In order to allow more competitors to participate, the tender should not be very tight. Another reason for keeping the tender a little open is because no company makes products to exactly suit the government specks. Sometimes Canon also coordinates with government and helps it do the specking then it might be that these specks are a little closer to Canon’s specks and that might remove other’s chances; or it might be the other way around. But, whatever said and done ‘specking’ is a very unproductive process. www.egovonline.net

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Securing Government Information RFID technology helps e-Governance for improving the interface between citizens and the government. It brings in reliablity and transparency in government services making it more efďŹ cient and faster. Thereby, making delivery of government services more secure and safe. This special section throws light on security aspects of e-Governance projects.

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FEATURE

Personal Information Integration in e-Government At present Personal Information sharing among government departments and its agencies does not exists and there is an urgent need to not only accelerate information distribution, but also to broaden the scope of organisation that can share data. Dr Velamala Ranga Rao and Rakhi Tripati

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t present, there is a greater stress on Information and Communications Technology (ICT), almost all the government departments, subordinate offices and government funded autonomous organisations have their own websites. The government has an inventory of more than a million different types of forms in different languages used for various transactions meant for improved efficiency and citizen services. Most of the government operations are isolated and processes are paperbound and finding a piece of information involves either searching a directory or employing a particular application. Also this information lead to redundancy, inefficiency and unnecessary expense The integration of multiple pieces of personal information can only be done manually in this case. Also citizens are required to stand in long queues and seek assistance at multiple government offices. There is a need to use of electronic data processing in the day-to-day operations of government departments. The electronic form of this information is needed to distribute and share among Government departments and its agencies for efficiency and transparency, particularly in case of personal information. This can be done through data integration; it can be defined as the process in which dissimilar data, devices, and systems are joined to allow for operations under one similar framework. Data, integration is performed for many reasons, including improving operations efficiency, decreasing resources required to

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maintain a number of dissimilar systems, and providing data to endusers through one interface. Some information sharing is already taking place in most governments. Perhaps one department provides a monthly compact disk of relevant data to another department, such departments data can be moved into the integration platform. Well-integrated systems and communication processes among multiple departments make government work more efficiently, effectively and securely. The ability of government departments to share information, integrate information and business processes by agreeing to use common standards is called interoperability. This ability will enhance the capability of departments to integrate information, technology and services across their boundaries, and to provide easy electronic access to government information and services. Many governments are creating or created their State Data Centre (SDC), State Wide Area Network (SWAN)

and Common Service Centres (CSCs) as a nodal points for front-end citizen service delivery for improving the quality, accessibility and effectiveness of the government services to the citizens and business with the help of ICT. Also to provide a common IT infrastructure for smooth and secure rollout of its e-Governance programs. Through the CSCs, the services like G2G, G2B and G2C will be accessible to the citizens, in a speedy, efficient and transparent manner and also ensuring that the right people get the benefits in right time. For an instance, the eSeva is the initiative of Andhra Pradesh Government, India is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) offering singlewindow or one-stop-shop service for over 66 G2C and B2C services of services including online payment of utility bills Electricity bills like Water and Sewerage bills, Telephone bills, Property Tax, Sales Tax and taxes. Issue of Certificates like Registration of Births / Deaths certificates and other facilitation services like change of address or ownership of www.egovonline.net

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vehicles through 46 eSeva centres with 400 service counters. NEED FOR PIS

For providing services or information to the citizens through multiple channels under single window, there is a need to integrate the Citizen’s Personal Information among the public and private sector departments/agencies for efficiency and transparency. It improves the interoperability of information and services at different government sites, making it easier for users to compare and combine information from different government sources in consistent and meaningful ways. Personal information can be used to locate or identify an individual’s name, aliases, Social Security Number, Address and Driver’s License Number. It is needed for delivering integrated services (online/offline), achieving efficiency and effectiveness gains through better use of data, information or technology (especially across government departments and its agencies). At personal information sharing among government departments and its agencies does not exists and there is an urgent need to not only accelerate information distribution, but also to broaden the scope of organisation that can share data. Personal information integration is needed for delivering integrated services (both online and offline), achieving efficiency and effectiveness gains through better use of data, information or technology (especially across government departments and its agencies); or generally increasing departmental capability or performance. This will help the government to communicate with each other smoothly. Personal Information Integration reduces fraud, speed service and increase employee productivity. Using personal information integration among departments of the government and its agencies, not only to share key information across multiple departments but also to make better management and deeper insights possible with a more efficient use of resources across the state or central government. Also it provides accurate, current, and timely information for government initiatives. It improves efficiency, reduces costs ov

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and reducing redundancy data and improving automated interactions among the departments. To implement effective Personal Information integration, a deep understanding and management of systems, information, policies, processes, security and change required between the citizens and stockholders. Co-ordination and integration of intergovernmental departments at all levels is critical to e-Government success. Necessary steps need to be put in place to ensure these issues are addressed. The information sharing among departments should be complete, accurate, and timely manner from disparate sources without redoing the whole system. Unfortunately for most departments, however, this information is often unavailable, or is incomplete, inaccurate, or outdated. As a result, critical information is not always shared at key decision points in the government process. The personal information integration has become completely resolvable only in the last few years, with the advent of fully functional integration backbone platforms that support flexible data exchange and service – oriented architectures. These platforms can be configured to allow all government departments, whether central, state, local or various combination of these entities, to share information and service across organisational boundaries. CITIZEN IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM

The technology needed for Personal Information integration already exists with all the governments. The data needs to be adopted in a joined-up approach for applying them more effectively. The government should maintain a centralised Personal Information of a citizen like their employees database by issuing a unique citizen identification number, which can be used for various Government services i.e also called Multi Purpose Citizen Identification Number (MPCIN). As and when a particular the citizen information required by any public department/private department, in such case there is no need to capture citizen information again, simply the department may get by using MPCIN since it is unique. In this case the citizen has to update /delete the information as and when changes takes

place. Once government databases are integrated through a uniform ID, access to and uses of sensitive personal information would inevitably expand. Law enforcement, tax collectors, and other government agencies would want use of the data. Employers, landlords, insurers, credit agencies, mortgage brokers, direct mailers, private investigators, civil litigants, and a long list of other private parties would also begin using the ID.MPCIN is used for stemming fraud and increasing efficiency in large-scale civil applications such as public assistance, driver’s licensing, voter registration, inmate verification, national identity and immigrant control. It becomes a single source for departments/agencies which need to verify the identification of persons seeking benefits, services and identification cards. Some governments are working on National ID project, but it is need to be implemented as a full-fledged project but not as a pilot project. CONCLUSION

The government should be confident in all aspects like piracy, security and even pressures from the citizens as well as politicians. The government has to decide whether departments may collect the demographic information of the citizen individually by the states with a series of security options or they may use one uniform standard that could lead to a National ID. The technology is available in the market, but the government must be confident that they can deal with security issues, administer and operate the system and have the scalable technical infrastructure required for the effective exchange of Personal information of a citizen across multiple government departments and its agencies. Once they are sure of their capabilities, there are no limits to the amount of personal information that can be shared and no boundaries on who can participate. Dr Velamala Ranga Rao (velamala.ranga@gmail. com) is a Programmer at Department of Information Technology, Govt. of NCT of Delhi Rakhi Tripati (rakhitripathi@yahoo.com) is a Research Scholar at School of Information Technology, IIT Delhi

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Fingerprint Templates Fingerprint template describes the ISO formats and gives the results of interoperability tests carried out by independent laboratory. www.sagem-securite.com/

Louis Enderle

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his article explains what is a fingerprint template and presents the necessity of a common template format, for building systems that can operate over a period of several years, with equipment from various vendors. It describes the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) formats and gives the results of interoperability tests carried out by independent laboratory. It appears that, although interoperable, all templates from various vendors do not offer the same level of performances. WHAT DOES FINGERPRINT REVEAL?

A fingerprint shows black and white lines, the ridges and the valleys. The ridges have particular points, bifurcations and ends, these points are called minutiae. The capture algorithm detects the minutiae in the fingerprint image, generally from 10 to 100 minutiae in a print, depending on the individual, then calculates the coordinates x & y, the tangent to the ridge at this point and some other additional parameters. Compiling these data makes the template file, this is characteristic of a finger, but it differs from one capture to the other. According to the finger, the vendor and the format, the length of a template varies practically from 170 bytes to a few kbytes. The comparison of two templates is called matching, it could be an identity verification, or 1:1 matching, called Authentication, as is used for checking that the person presenting a smartcard is really the official card owner. 30 }

Matching could also concern a retrieval of identity among a list (database), it is a 1:N matching, called Identification, as for retrieving a criminal in a police investigation or to detect double identity when a person has registered himself two times in a programme. Both, Authentication and Identification process work with templates only, which make template generation and management of highest importance in a system. According to its experience and technique, each vendor has developed its own algorithm for detecting the minutiae and determining the coordinates and parameters. Moreover, additional specific information may

be used by vendors for their matching process. Algorithms and method of matching contribute significantly to the performances of the recognition process in terms of accuracy and speed, it is a major part in the vendor’s know-how. NECESSITY OF A UNIVERSAL STANDARD

Currently, each vendor has developed its proprietary template format, with specific advantages, but such templates elaborated by one vendor cannot be processed by any other. This situation is acceptable for access control systems involving some thousands of employees in one or a few sites, and for a period of some years. But it is not acceptable for a state-wide system, involving millions of people, spread over a country and when their identity has to be managed over several years. Thus, the ISO subcommittee SC37, dedicated to biometrics technology, was created in December 2002, and a common fingerprint template format has been addressed as an urgent matter. Two major standards were published, the ISO 19794-4 related to the image representation and the ISO 19794-2 related to the common template format. The consensus was built on a common view of the minutiae, based on vendors’ know-how as well as existing standards produced in USA by the AAMVA 2000 and in Germany by DIN V66400. The recommendation INCITS-378 was first issued by ANSI then the ISO www.egovonline.net

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Cel e

g n i at r b

4Years

Of journey on the path of e- Governance

th

4

Anniversar y

Look forward to Anniversary Special issue - JANUARY 2009 Special features on : • Current status of e-governance in India • Central Government Projects • State Government Projects • Common Service Centres (CSCs) • e-Governance initiative in Banks • International Perspective

Exclusive Interviews with : • Policy Makers • CEO/CIO • Implementors • Solution Providers • Technology Experts • Project Heads • Domain Experts

Industry focus on : • Network and Security • Storage and Server • RFID • Broadband & Wireless (3G, WiMAX) • Document Management • Green initatives

For advertising enquiry contact: Gautam Navin (gautam@csdms.in), +91-981812525, Debabrata Ray (debabrata@csdms.in), +91-9899650692


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committee resumed the work and created the ISO 197942 recommendation, officially published in 2005.

each vendor, to separate the encoder from the matcher process, and to match templates encoded by all vendors with matchers from all vendors, fixing the FAR at 1percent and to measure the FRR. The best matcher is the one that offers the lowest and the most stable FRR over all the templates. As for the previous ILO testing campaign and MTIT, the MINEX reports I and II show that Sagem Securite, corresponding to vendor “D”, who is from the beginning one of the most active participant to various committees for standardisation, has the most interoperable matcher with the best FRR.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ISO FORMATS

The ISO 19794-2 proposes a data format to provide minutiae description, according to several sub-types that target different applications; three sub-types are more commonly used: • The sub-type Format Minutiae Record (FMR), may accept up to 255 prints of 255 minutiae. • The sub-type FMC-NS (Format Minutiae CardNormal Size) that accepts only one print. • The sub-type FMC-CS (Format Minutiae CardCompact Size), limited to 512 bytes for two fingers, that offers the capability to record, into a smart card, the full set of minutiae of one finger, through a single APDU. Other sub-types allow indication of all minutiae found on a rolled finger, or minutiae based on valleys instead of ridges. Basically, the FMR format starts with a header of 24 bytes, fixing the number of considered fingers and the maximum number of recorded minutiae per finger, then comes the first finger header (4 bytes) and the first finger data (x, y, tg, Q, 6 bytes for each minutia), then the second finger, FMC formats have no header and 5 bytes per minutia in NS type or 3 bytes in the SC type. In addition, the format may include optional fields such as a fingerprint quality mark, the core and the delta location or the ridge count information, which is required by some vendors for their matching process. Although the ISO recommendation stipulates a global format, with header and fingerprint data, the template files from various vendors are different for several reasons: • Number of considered fingers • Maximum number of minutiae per finger • False, spurious or true minutiae could be analysed differently by vendors 32

THE INTEGRATORS SHOULD SELECT THE RIGHT VENDORS

Due to the ridge width, a minutia point can be located on different pixels by vendors (see the diagram) • The optional fields. Consequently, although interoperable, the ISO templates are different and provide different levels of accuracy depending on the vendor’s algorithms. In addition, the accuracy attained through standardised format is lower than with a full proprietary solution. THE MINEX TESTS AND RESULTS

Within last years, several benchmarks have measured the gap between interoperable solutions versus proprietary solutions. The first was conducted by ILO for the seafarers’ ID documents in 2004; then the NIST, in USA, has launched the MINEX measurement campaign followed by the MTIT in Europe. The MINEX campaign started in 2004, and the US Federal Government took advantage of the results for the Personal Identity Verification (PIV) programme for public servants, which applies the M1 interoperable format, also called ANSI378 equivalent to ISO 19794-2. The interoperability test consists, for

Although the best performances are obtained when templates are produced and are matched with equipment from the same vendor, the fingerprint templates, meeting the ISO recommendation 19794-2, give to large organisations such as government, ministries, banks and insurance companies, the capability to design and deploy large systems addressing the populations, and open to equipments from several vendors with a long term validity. However, ISO templates from various vendors are not identical and offer different levels of performances in terms of interoperability, accuracy and speed. The integrators of systems and, consequently the users, will desire a significant advantage by selecting vendors according to their technical performances tested and measured by an independent authority such as NIST in the USA, which has performed the MINEX testing. Louis Enderle (louis.enderle@sagem.com) is the Liaison Director in Sagem Securite. He has over 35 years of experience in telecom, defence and security industries.

www.egovonline.net

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INTERVIEW

RFID-The New Wave What are some of the latest trends that you have observed in the RFID market globally and in India? Public transport and financial transactions markets are using RFID as a catalyst. Both above mentioned segments have penetrated the worldwide markets, bringing along ease of accounting and safety to the consumers. While public transport has seen rapid deployment in India viz: Delhi Metro and Mumbai Local Passes; financial transactions i.e contact less cards used for payments [i.e Credit Cards / Debit cards based on Europay, MasterCard, Visa (EMV) contactless chip instead of Magnetic stripe cards] as a business vertical is yet to develop. India has seen lot of successful pilots using RFID undertaken for the micro finance schemes in association with major banking institutions and hopefully shall have mass deployments by mid 2009. Do you think that India has made full use of the potential of RFID technology? The future of RFID as a technology, especially in the Indian context is very bright. It is more relevant in India, since it is the second largest producer as well as consumer of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and a major manufacturing hub worldwide. Added to that, the massive Information Technology (IT) capabilities present in India position it to be the biggest gainer. As yet, we have not made full use of the potential of the technology. Most of the deployments and developments have been focused on replacement of either barcodes or punch card machines for time attendance. The advantages of having offline data processing and authentication capabilities are still not used. We need to move away from online systems to offline systems wherein connectivity or the lack of it does not hamper a business process. This can be done using memory provided in the RFID transponders. What are your important offerings in this space? What are some of your recent announcements for the RFID market? The Identification division of HID Global has been into tag manufacturing since 1964 and our offerings are: mobile /desktop readers, reader boards and modules; cards and prelaminates; fobs, tokens and customised tags. RFID based tags can easily be embedded into any product (condition applied as per environment). This benefit allows the tag to work in harsh environments providing permanent identification throughout the life of the product. Thus being able to customize a RFID tag as per client requisites gives life to a whole new range of possibilities and applications. HID Global being a contactless EMV Certified Reader and Prelam Manufacturer promotes the local manufacturers worldwide. This position gives us enviable leverage since ov

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“India has seen lot of successful pilots using RFID undertaken for the micro finance schemes” says, Aditya Razdan, Regional Sales Manager -South Asia, Identification Technologies, HID Global in an interview with egov we have emerged as the largest source of applications for financial transactions. What are the opportunities that RFID brings for the channel players? The diversity and variety of applications and solutions which can be derived from the usage of RFID based tags enables channel players to have a unique opportunity to revive their oldest customers and attract repeat business from the same. Inventory Management or Asset Management/ Tracking are few of the examples that apply to almost all business verticals. How are you engaging your channel partners in this space? HID Global is the basic manufacturer of the tags and readers/ modules and do not engage the end clients directly. We empower our partners with the requisite knowledge and expertise from our side not only for hardware but also software implementation by getting together a consortium which then would be able to address end clients in the best possible way. 33


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INTERVIEW

Security and Accountabilty Goes Together

http://www.g4s.com

and powerful tool for use. Identification of any person/item/vehicle is very important in making the systems work. G4S Security Systems provide electronic security systems based on many technologies for identification, which works on low frequency/magnetic stripe /Radio frequency/Biometric.

“G4S Security Systems are used in Library Management and Parking Management�, says Ajay Gupta, Managing Director, G4S Security Systems (India) Pvt. Ltd. in an interview with Sandeep Budki of egov What is your take on current use of electronics in security? With the increasing threat to the human life and property and awareness of the electronics in security, the need for the electronics security systems has increased in the recent past. Electronic systems has an edge on the physical security by reducing the chances of human error. Electronic security systems has been widely accepted by the industries, corporates, retails, and residential areas for controlling the movement of people and vehicle, surveillance of the area, monitoring the theft and providing remote assistance 34 }

in case of any event. The integration of electronic security systems with other systems like payroll and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has also provided more flexibility in using other systems more effectively and efficiently. What is unique about Electronics Access control systems by G4S? G4S Security Systems offers electronic access control systems which can be integrated with Close Circuit Television (CCTV) monitoring, BMS, HR package, intruder Alarm systems, Electronic and Private Branch Exchange (EPBX); making electronic systems more useful

Are you betting big time on RFID devices? Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a simple technology which is available in the market and serves the purpose for identification so it is popular in the market. The security solution based on RFID provided by G4S Security systems is very cost effective and efficient. RFID based security systems offered by G4S security systems are used in the retail sector for controlling thefts, library management for controlling movement of the books, parking tags which not only gives access to the parking lot but also keeps a watch on the time period for which the vehicle was parked inside and also tells about the free space in the parking lot, there by helping users in getting his vehicle parked. RFID tags give more flexibility in controlling inventory at the warehouse and in the production line. Computerisation of assembly line by using RFID tags gives you timely information and helps in monitoring the production/ inventory. What are your offerings in biometric segment? G4S Security Systems provide security solutions based on bio readers which works on finger tip impression, eye retina, face recognition, palm reader. The finger scanners are most popular and used biometric readers, they work on the finger tip impression as the name mentions. System based on biometric readers are more safe as proxy/duplicity is not possible in the system. www.egovonline.net

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INTERVIEW

Empowering the Have Nots http://www.itzcash.com In a span of four years, ItzCash has got close to 2.5 million card users. What has been your driving force? ItzCash was created for our own group company, DishTV’s requirement. There was dire need to collect INR 100 250 every month from consumers across the country and collection through traditional channels like cheque or cash had major issues in terms of cost and time which could have made an impact on the overall efficiencies of the Dish TV’s business. This opportunity gave us the clue to a bigger opportunity to address more than 60 percent of the unbanked and underserved population who have to make payments on a day to day basis. The major option used by the companies and these consumers was ‘cash’ which has various issues in terms of risks and cost. With the success of Dish TV collection followed by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) and many others our belief in our ‘Payment Convergence’ vision kept growing year on year. As this is the way to realise the ultimate vision of ‘Economic Convergence’ which was conceived as thought by our organisation in year 2000. How are the services offered by your company different from your competitors? We believe our real competition is with ‘Cash’, which is the mainstream payment option for more than 70 percent of the population in their everyday life for various payments be it grocery, utility, travel, entertainment or any service or goods consumed in their daily lives. Cash has its own problem in terms of risks related to security and fraud; at the same time it is not possible to use cash on new emerging sales channels i.e. e-Commerce through Internet, mobile or voice or any other medium. However these new sales mediums provide a faster and more convenient way to transact benefiting the organisations as well as the end consumer. Currently, ePayments are restricted only to credit and debit cards and to some extent direct debit from saving account. These options are available to a very small segment of population. Less than 1 percent of Indian population holds credit cards and 10 percent owns debit cards. However more than 90 percent usage of debit cards is for withdrawing cash. ItzCash identified this as an unique opportunity to empower a large section of the population by acquiring a prepaid cash card which will not cost them anything while empowering them with the facilities of a credit/debit card user. These cards also come with a specific value denomination from INR 100 – 20000, giving them clear control of how much money they want to hold on these cards and for what specific purposes, they want to use it with no risk of getting into debt trap as India is a savings oriented society. The holder of prepaid card feels more in control of his spendings and his risk, as he holds fund only to the extend he is likely to use in 7-10 days maximum. 36 }

“We believe our real competition is with ‘Cash’, which is the mainstream payment option for more than 70 percent of the population in their everyday life for various payments be it grocery, utility, travel, entertainment or any service or goods consumed in their daily lives”, Naveen Surya, Managing Director, ItzCash Card Ltd in an email interview with Sandeep Budki of egov www.egovonline.net

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From home banking to network shopping and online information subscription services, security remains a growing concern. In what way do you ensure the security of these transactions? Security is related to uncertainty in real sense. ItzCash systems are as good or as bad as any banking payment system in terms of technical security and we use similar security options like firewalls, SSL certification and encryption. However the real difference in security comes with the person being in control of the value he is holding in the card and flexibility to use and hold as per his choice; unlike in bank account where the value a customer holds is generally high and varies from time to time. With banks, in case of any fraud the potential risk could be high in terms of value, while with ItzCash the person knows how much money he is holding on the card and he is likely to use the same in a very small period of time. Besides all our transactions in ItzCash are real time and online and card data is not available on offline mode for any system participant. What are the various financial inclusion related services being provided by ItzCash? ItzCash has several success stories so far. Online railways ticket booking service on IRCTC website was potentially accessible only to banked users in the country. Still a large section of the railways customers depend on bookings at the reservation window by standing in queue or depending upon an agent or tout. With ItzCash, all customers with or without credit card/bank account can also go online on IRCTC site and enjoy the same convenience experienced by a credit card or direct debit customer. In addition to card facility, we have also set up more than 10000 ItzCash World Franchisee outlets duly authorised by IRCTC to facilitate ticket booking for customer without access to computer or with no prior knowledge of Personal Computer (PC) use. Most of India’s common man pay their electricity bills, phone bills and any other similar services using cash. With ItzCash the common man could pay their phone, electricity and similar bills on Internet, SMS or by going to ItzCash World Franchisee any time and day and complete the transaction real time. ItzCash holds a very high percent of online/SMS based bill payment with most of these service providers such as Reliance Energy ItzCash Market Share of online bill payment is around 70 percent being the highest vis a vis all others constituting only 25 percent. Delhi residents are subject to Property Tax for their properties which needs to be paid every year. If the tax is paid by the residents before a specific date, MCD provides a rebate in the tax. During this period, there is high pressure on MCD offices as most of the residents want to pay their taxes to avail the rebate benefits. For easing the pressure, the MCD has rolled out a service in Delhi through 800 ItzCash World Franchisees to create additional points where residents of Delhi could go and get the assessment done for the tax calculation which takes maximum time and collect the print

out of the same with a nominal charge of INR 10 and with the option to pay online at the outlet itself with ItzCash, Demand Draft or Cheque. This service collected (within 10 days) more than INR 2 crore. There are many such success stories as ItzCash is acceptable on more than 3000 online services and around 50 plus SMS based services and few Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) based services, each one of them targeting to financially include common man in a convenient and safe way far better than cash. How to authenticate the transactions on ItzCash? All ItzCash transactions are real time and when the card number and password is entered on the payment gateway the confirmation is given real time which is based on authentication parameter for the card, value and validity of the card. The transaction whether successful or unsuccessful, is communicated online or by SMS to the customer for confirmation or rejection of the transactions. In addition, if customer wishes to verify any transaction details he can log on to his card account through ItzCash website with his card account number and password to see his real time transaction statement, which shows all the transactions done on the cards with name of merchant, time and value of transaction besides the balance on the card. What is your business model and channel partner strategy? Our business model is primarily focusing on customer acquisition at least cost at this stage. The revenue primarily depends upon merchant commissions through collections done for them by ItzCash cards. Channel Partners for us are of two type 1) what we call as the service provider (Merchant) 2) what we call as the Sales and Distribution Channel. Strategy for Service Providers is very simple, and any organisation who wishes to reach a large number of customers and wish to use alternative sales channel like Internet, mobile and landlines for the collection of payments for their goods and services, we are the possible partner. Strategy for Sales and Distribution Channel is simply like Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), i.e. channel which can take us as close to customers as possible. Instead of customers coming to specific branches or outlets, they can reach our card and services counters close to their house across the country. Today, we are present in more than 1000 towns and with 100, 000 retail outlets besides 10, 000 ItzCash World outlets. What are the new services in the pipeline you are planning to offer? From online payments to retail payments for regular household spends by our consumers, we are also actively working with government bodies to collect various government levies like Octroi, Tolls etc through contactless cards based on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.

Read all egov Interviews Online@http://www.egovonline.net/interview/ ov

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READER’S CORNER

Can ICT help? TrafďŹ c (mis) Managment; Garbage (non) disposal; and (non) delivery of eletricity, water and telephone bills. These are a few cases were ICT can make a difference.

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Deployment of ICT systems can enhance management of state and central government, as well as streamline processes and flow of information. ICTs can facilitate Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to prevent traffic snarl-ups and remote monitoring of garbage disposal. Technology in service delivery is crucial and ICT can play a pivotal role if it is properly utilized. This will allow for greater involvement on the part of citizens, and even permit them to monitor what the municipality is doing. Not only will ICT assist in speeding up and improving delivery of services, it will encourages transparency and accountability. There is no doubt that investments in ICT could bring major economic benefits to local authorities and help is overall development.

We invite our readers to send photograph of their neighbourhood where they think implementing ICT has made a difference or can make a difference and take governance to the next level. Submit your photographs in citizen journalist section of our website at www.egovonline.net/citizen_journalist.asp 38 }

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COUNTRY FOCUS: UAE

UAE: Embracing e-Governance In an effort towards having a hassle free way of interacting with its people, the various departments and ministries of UAE have embarked the path of e-Governance. http://www.government.ae

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nited Arab Emirates (UAE) is a Middle Eastern country located in the Persian gulf. The country comprises of seven emirates - Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. Being one of the most developed nations of the world, the country boasts of its oil and natural gas resources and a thriving service and construction industry. The country takes the lead in the Gulf region in terms of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). ov

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Internet came in UAE in the year 1995 and there has been no looking back after that. The way usage of ICT tools are promoted in the country is appreciable. According to the latest Survey of United Nations on e-Government, 2008, the country has achieved the 32nd rank for its e-Readiness amongst 192 UN member countries across the globe. In the gulf region, the country topped in terms of web measurement, a rating of the online presence of national websites and selected ministries including health, education, welfare, labour and finance;

while it was ranked 12th worldwide. The mantra of paper free offices marked the promise that ICT brought with itself. In such an effort towards having a hassle free way of interacting with its people, the various departments and ministries of UAE have embarked on the path of e-Governance. In the year 2001, Dubai, one of the famous emirates of UAE, saw the launch of its e-Government services by Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai. The essence of the 39


COUNTRY FOCUS: UAE

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e-Government’s services is to bring government services to the door steps of the public at large. Active participation by both the government and the public through e-Governance services are the basic tenets of true governance based on the principles of transparency, realism and participation in decision making. e-Governance is aimed at empowering employees from businesses and various levels of government, apart from easing the lives of citizens and customers of the government. e-GOVERNANCE INITIATIVES

The National Web Portal which brings all e-Government services under one platform in both the physical world and the virtual world is one of the success stories. Keeping in mind localisation of content, the portal is made available in Arabic language. The portal is a central repository of crucial government information such as yellow pages, lists of emergency numbers, links to government agencies, and some electronic forms. Another major e-Government project was the launch of a National ID project which intended to provide both national and other UAE inhabitants with a high tech national identification card. Besides enhancing national security through the control and monitoring of traffic through UAE ports of entry, the card also serves as a reference for governmental and private sector dealings. In other words, it is a multi-purpose card which does the work of identification like a driver’s license, health card, labor card and bank card.

UAE’s Ministry of Labour’s portal is another excellent example of a one-stop shop for all the transactions. It offers payment features via credit cards, online submission of forms and permits and creation of personal accounts. The website is one of the few sites which has the facility for electronic signature. The other departments which are ahead with eGovernance initiatives are the Departments of Transportation and Immigration and Department of Finance who have made significant activities in realising the goal of making e-Governance a reality. The Finance Department is enhancing the delivery of services through adoption of modern technologies such as bar coding; marking of official documents; adoption of electronic bidding systems for the government procurement departments and automation of registration. DUBAI - THE ICT HUB OF UAE

Of all Arab emirates, Dubai is the front runner in delivering e-Government solutions. The emirate offers a range of synergistic services such as Dubai. ae, mDubai, eLearn, Ask Dubai, ePay, e4all, eHost and eLibrary. These services reach out to a large section of Dubai’s population, including citizens,

UAE at a Glance Largest city

Dubai

Official languages

Arabic

Government

Federal constitutional monarchy

President

Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Prime Minister

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Establishment

December 2, 1971

Area

83,600 km²

Population

2008 estimate 5,432,746

Emirates

Abu Dhabi,Ajman,Dubai,Fujairah,Ras al-Khaimah,Sharjah, Umm al-Quwain

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residents, visitors and businesses contributing towards eradication of electronic illiteracy in the community. The Dubai e-Government portal provides a single point of access for government online services offered by various departments and also provides news, events and vital information. mDubai provides mobile services through SMS for the public which includes notification and enquiry services. This service is pivotal for making important announcements and updates to customers; and the enquiry service allows customers to request information from various government departments anytime through SMS. This marks the transition from e-Governance into m-Governance. As the name suggests e4all, is a multi-layered initiative that includes community outreach programmes. eLearn is an online educational platform www.egovonline.net

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e-Governance Services in Dubai Dubai.ae is the eGovernment portal providing a single point of access for all government online services. mDubai provides government services on a mobile device. eLearn is the online educational platform for the public and government sector.

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for the public and government sector which offers a free monthly offline and online magazine titled e4all. Its aim is to enhance public awareness about the concept of e-Governance and encourage the UAE residents to adopt eServices. Online payments are one of the most widely used electronic services. ePay which is a centralised payment gateway enables online payments of government departments’ services. The system allows various modes of payment such as credit cards, eDirham and direct debit allowing people to pay directly through their account. When it comes to making enquiries, a person in Dubai does not have to go places. One can simply log on to ‘Ask Dubai’ website. This service serves as a unified contact centre that currently handles public enquiry and feedback

• • • •

Ask Dubai provides public enquiry and feedback to the citizens and government. ePay is the centralised payment gateway enabling online payments of government departments’ services. e4all is a community outreach programme. eHost provides a rich web hosting solution.

for twelve government departments in Dubai. The queries are answered in bilingual (English and Arabic) with a 24/7 support and multiple options for communication, including phone calls, fax, email and even chat. A complete web hosting solution is also available in Dubai called the eHost. It ensures a fully managed, feature-rich web hosting solution for static websites as well as full-fledged web portals. The service provides an excellent platform for hosting and maintaining websites, which includes content management, portal management and other web management tools. The path that e-Governance initiatives has shown in UAE is a ready example that the others should follow suit. Adoption of electronic government is credible and the country’s commitment

towards ICT and electronic governance has made it a hub of multinational IT companies, especially in case of Dubai. With the recent tie up of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade with Google for the purpose of Internet search engine, supporting its email, scheduling and business document management activities, there is even further hope of ICT enabled services for the citizens of the country. Taking another instance about the Road Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai, we see the usage of ICT for keeping the daily commuters abreast with the construction works so that there is easy traffic flow in the Internet city of Dubai. All these things sums up in one word – ‘good governance’ through the best possible use of ICT in all spheres of life. It is hoped that soon it will percolate in all the remaining aspects making life easier and convenient for all. If one has to learn lessons on e-Governance and the best way of using ICT, than one should take UAE as a near perfect example. The country has more than simplified the usage of electronic services for the masses keeping in mind things such as localisation of content and practical nuances that are faced by the common man at large. UAE in general and especially Dubai has proved that placing oneself in the shoes of others can really provide the best solutions for better governance in any society. Sandeep Budki & Nilakshi Barooah sandeep@egovonline.net nilakshi@egovonline.net

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NEWS NEXTEL MEXICO SELECTS TELCORDIA FOR NUMBER PORTABILITY Two months after leading the deployment of wireline and wireless number portability in Mexico, Telcordia announced that Nextel Mexico, providers of fully integrated wireless communication services, is the latest Tier 1 service provider to successfully implement the Telcordia Number Portability Gateway. This will bring the added choice and convenience of number portability to Mexican residents. Headquartered in Mexico City, Nextel Mexico provides service to more than 2.4 million customers in more than 26 cities. By endorsing number portability in Mexico and using the Telcordia Number Portability Gateway, Nextel Mexico is making it easier for consumers and enterprises to switch to its advanced network, which features digital cellular voice services, data services, wireless Internet access and Nextel Direct Connect and International Direct Connect, a digital two-way radio feature. Deployed by 236 service providers in 12 countries, the Telcordia product enables Nextel Mexico to improve its competitive position by automating the porting process to reduce costs and enhance the customer experience. The Telcordia Number Portability Gateway automates and streamlines the porting process for Nextel Mexico consumer and business users as they switch service providers.

MTNL HANDOVER BALANCE DIVIDEND MTNL has presented a cheque for INR 35.43 crores, towards 10 percent balance of final dividend for the Financial Year 2007-08 to the Minister of Communications & IT, Thiru. A. Raja. In its 22nd Annual General Meeting. MTNL approved payment of final dividend @ 40 percent (including 30 percent interim dividend already paid), amounting to INR 252 crores, on the paid up equity capital of INR 630 crores for the financial year 200708. This will involve an amount of INR 63 crores in addition to INR 189 crores already paid as 30 percent interim dividend. Out of this, INR 35.43 crores is payable to the Government of India towards the government’s share in the shareholding of the company. During 2007-08, GSM subscribers have increased by 4,95,037 to 32,41,851 and are 36,77,782 as on 30th September 2008. During the year, the broadband subscribers have increased by 1,01,145 and are 6,03,405 as on 30th September 2008.

TRAVEL SEARCH ENGINE GOES MOBILE iXiGO.com is now mobile-ready! iXiGO announced the launch of its travel search engine for mobile phones bringing its search technology from web browsers to mobile phones. iXiGO aims to expand its reach beyond the Internet-savvy early-adopters to mobile-savvy travelers by tapping India’s 60 million GPRS enabled phones out of the 300 million Indian mobile subscribers. iXiGO Mobile searches across flights and hotels in India and features a click-to-call booking mechanism enabling people to speak directly with the call centres of respective airlines and hotel booking providers. In an environment where airlines are reducing dependence on travel agencies, iXiGO’s direct-booking model by-passes online travel agents and allows users to save booking fees charged by them.

BHARTI AIRTEL TO FURTHER ENHANCE CUSTOMER SERVICE Bharti Airtel , announced a strategic outsourcing agreement with IBM to further enhance its customer service experience for its top end Platinum customers through process and technology innovation. The six year Q3 contract for outsourcing contact services to IBM’s Managed Business Process Services (MBPS) unit will involve augmentation of Airtel’s sales, customer service, and back office capabilities. IBM Daksh Business Process Services (a wholly owned subsidiary of IBM Corporation) will provide a suite of services covering both voice and back office in areas such as customer service, collections, customer retention and the like to Airtel Platinum customers from its centers. IBM Daksh expects to have over 700 employees in the first year focused on providing services in over 11 languages to elite Airtel customers across the country. The partnership is also expected to help Airtel consolidate its service delivery to its Platinum customers across its business units of Mobile Services, Telemedia Services (Fixedline and Broadband) and Enterprise Services.

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XII National Conference on e-Governance, Goa NATIONAL AWARDS FOR e-GOVERNANCE 2008-09 Nominations are invited from Central Ministries/Departments, States/UTs, Districts, Local Bodies, PSUs, Civil Society Organisations and Industry for awards in the following categories :•

Excellence in Government Process Re-engineering

Exemplary Horizontal Transfer of ICT-based Best Practice

Outstanding Performance in Citizen-Centric Service Delivery

Innovative Usage of Technology in e-Governance

Exemplary Usage of ICT by PSUs

Best Government Website

Specific Sectoral Award : Focus Sector for the current year: Health

Last date for Submission of Nominations for National Awards is now extended till

Details of the Awards Scheme (including downloadable nomination forms) are available on DAR&PG website:http://darpg.nic.in . Kindly send the nominations in the prescribed format to e-mail ID: awards.arpg@nic.in and egovawards@gmail.com

10 th November 2008

For information on submission of nominations, please contact :

Media Partner

Director (e-Governance), Department of AR&PG Sardar Patel Bhawan, Parliament Street New Delhi-110001, Tele +91-11-23743030

Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions Government of India


NEWS TRAI’S REACH IN SEPT. 2008

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in a recent press release disclosed that, a total of 9.79 million telephone connections (Wireline and Wireless) have been added during September 2008 as compared to 9.03 million connections added in August 2008. The total number of telephone connections reached 353.66 million at the end of September 2008 as compared to 343.87 million in August 2008. With this growth, the overall tele-density has reached 30.64 percent at the end of September 2008 as against 29.83 percent in August 2008. The total wireless subscribers (GSM, CDMA & WLL(F)) base stood at 315.31million at the end of September 2008. A total of 10.07 million wireless subscribers have been added during the month of September 2008 as against 9.16 million wireless subscribers added during the month of August 2008. In the wireline segment, the subscriber base has decreased to 38.35 million in the month of September 2008 as against 38.63 million subscribers in August 2008 registering a drop of 0.30 million.

TCS WINS WALL STREET JOURNAL GLOBAL INNOVATION TECHNOLOGY AWARD Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), announced that The Wall Street Journal, has selected TCS’ mKrishi service as the winner of its 2008 Technology Innovation Award in the wireless technology category. The award recognises companies, individuals and organisations world-wide for technological breakthroughs in such areas as medicine, software, the Internet, wireless and consumer electronics. The Wall Street Journal received more than 700 entries for the Innovation Awards, and a Wall Street Journal editor narrowed the field down to the 162 that were scored by the judges. Winners were chosen based on whether the technology represented a breakthrough from conventional methods, rather than just an incremental improvement. TCS’ mobile based crop-advisory service, mKrishi, is a approach for helping rural farmers throughout India, to provide them with better access to information through a cell phone application. It has been developed to provide personalised information and expert advice to rural farmers in their local language using sensor technology. It is also adaptable to illiterate farmers to make a query from a cell phone using voice-specific functions.

ACTIS TECHNOLOGIES TIES UP WITH NEC Actis Technologies has announced its tie up with NEC India Pvt., for industrial LCD monitors. This alliance would help Actis in providing organisations of all sizes, high quality industrial LCD monitors which are designed to run 24x7 and provide protection against permanent image retention. The market for LCD is anticipated to grow at a Compound Annual Growth rate (CAGR) of 25 percent. The company aims to harness this growth, which is now strengthened with the alliance with NEC. The LCD monitors have an industrial design, high display quality, Tile Matrix and Tile Comp and protect against permanent image retention, Selfdiagnostics, Landscape & Portrait orientation, and Scheduler with round-the-clock feature that allows for 7 day scheduling of content and powering of the display.

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BELL CANADA SELECTS HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES Huawei Technologies announced that it has been selected by Bell Canada to provide network infrastructure for its national overlay of High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) technology to its national Evolution Data Optimised (EVDO) wireless network. The HSPA overlay will also offer Bell an efficient upgrade path forward to Long Term Evolution (LTE ), the global Fourth Generation (4G) wireless standard. The multi-year, multimillion dollar agreement will see Huawei providing Bell with radio access network technology for its new next generation wireless network.

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MOVEMENT

Executive Movements S Narayanan is the new Regional Deputy Director (Southern Region) of the National Wild Life Crime Control Bureau, Chennai. Earlier he was the Deputy Secretary in the Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. Manoj Saunik will become the Joint Secretary Commerce in Government of India (GoI). Saunik at present is Private Secretary to Indian Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. A.R. Ghanashyam is the new Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea. A. R. Ghanashyam, currently Ambassador of India to Angola has been concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. Alok Sheel has joined the Government of India as Joint Secretary Economic Affairs. He is 1982 batch IAS officer of Kerala cadre. Pulok Chaterji will be new Executive Director of the World Bank (effective from January 31,2009). He is currently the Secretary to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He belongs to the 1974 batch Uttar Pradesh cadre IAS officer and will succeed 1968 batch Haryana cadre IAS officer Dhanendra Kumar. VK Singh on central deputation is set to become a Director in the Ministry of Labour. He is an Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer of the Himachal Pradesh cadre who belongs to the 1986 batch. Dilip Samantaray will take over as Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). He belongs to 1982 batch IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre. Samantaray is presently Additional Secretary in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). A K Gupta has joined as Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of the Kisan Bharati Cooperative Limited

(KRIBHCO). He is 1979 batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre. Mahendra Jain (a Karnataka cadre IAS officer who belongs to the 1985 batch) will be Development Commissioner Navi Mumbai located Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Currently, he is Backward Classes Welfare Commissioner with the Government of Karnataka. Harsh Bhal has taken over as Spokesperson of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Until now Bhal has been working as Additional DG (Administration) and spokesperson for the Ministry of Human Resources Department at the Press Information Bureau. Rajendra Nigam is the new General Manager (GM) of the ITDC run Samrat Hotel, Delhi. Nigam was the Resident Manager (RM) with ITDC Ashok Hotel, Delhi. He will succeed Vinod Sharma who has retired. Rajan Anandan has taken over as the Managing Director Sales Marketing and Services business of Microsoft India Pvt Ltd. Anandan was previously the Vice President and Country General Manager for Dell India. He was leading Dell India from May 2006 and was replaced by Sameer garde at Dell. Rajnish Kaul has been appointed as the new Chief Operating Officer (COO), Mobile Services for the Andhra Pradesh Circle by Bharti Airtel Ltd. Rajit Mehta has been appointed as the Chief Operating Officer Max New York Life. He was earlier the Deputy Chief Operating Officer. Arun Chandra is the new Chief Executive Officer of SumTotal Systems (effective November 1, 2008). Chandra is a veteran of Hewlett-Packard where he held the post of Vice President Worldwide Marketing, Strategy & Alliances for the Technology Solution Group.

This section keeps you abreast with people on the move in the government and the private sector. If you come across any executive movements write to us at info@egovonline.net

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PRODUCT SHOWCASE

Eee Box ASUS in association with Intel has launched a desktop Personal Computer (PC) in India. The Eee Box which measures only 1L in size consumes 90% less power than normal desktop PCs and is one of the quietest desktop PC with only 26 decibels sound emission. This product is targeted at the Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) and the Home Users segments in India. Merely 1L in size, the Eee Box is sleek. Slim as a paperback novel, users can reclaim the desk space previously lost to bulkier, intrusive desktop systems. An accessible touch sensor button and vertical placement exudes a seamless and futuristic outlook; while smooth curves further accentuate a refined form that compliments most interior designs. With the exclusive Express Gate – ASUS’ innovative fast boot technology, users can easily access the Internet, manage pictures, or communicate over IM/Skype just 7 seconds* after boot up. The Eee Box also supports the latest WiFi 802.11n wireless standard – providing up to six times faster connectivity than previous 802.11b/ g wireless. Users can download a 30 minute video in only 44 seconds – minimising the wait and allowing time for twice as many movies. *Actual boot time subject to hardware configuration and product model.

Specifications

POWER CONSUMPTION

The innovative ASUS thermal solution integrates a unique heat dissipation module with the AI fan – allowing quiet (26db) and comfortable computing. Compared to full-sized desktop solutions, the Eee Box’s energy-efficient performance reduces power consumption by up to 90 percent. The Eee Box also utilises Green Design and is made with only eco-friendly materials for reduced CO2 emissions; and conforms to stringent RoHS and WEEE standards. Users can thus be socially responsible while working, learning and playing in style! WORK, PLAY AND WATCH

The Eee Box is the perfect choice for enjoying Internet TV. With an Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) player, thousands of programmes are freely available – allowing users to personalise and watch lists of TV shows with ease.

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OS

Microsoft Windows XP Home

CPU

Intel Atom N270 (1.6 GHz)

Chipset

Intel Chipset

DIMM

DDR2 SO-DIMM 1 GB

HDD

80 GB

Card Reader

SD/SDHC/MS/MS Pro/MMC

WiFi

802.11b/g/n

LAN

10/100/1000

Accessories

Keyboard and Mouse

Price

INR 16,490 (Excluding taxes)

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PRODUCT LAUNCHES

Alvarion launches

Canon launches

AWB

MP486

Alvarion Ltd. provider of WiMAX and wireless broadband solutions, launched Accton Wireless Broadband’s (AWB) new WiMAX product portfolio. AWB’s end-user WiMAX devices, now offered as part of Alvarion’s OPEN WiMAX ecosystem. Alvarion has already accomplished advanced interoperability with AWB devices. AWB’s PC Cards are marketed and sold by one of Alvarion’s customers DigitalBridge Communications (DBC) in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where DBC deployed a Mobile WiMAX network using Alvarion’s complete 4Motion solution. DBC offers a true mobile Internet service using Alvarion’s WiMAX Forum Certified BreezeMAX 2500 base station with mobility features such as handoff. Alvarion’s OPEN WiMAX strategy aims to create a standard-based ecosystem of best-in-class vendors so operators can cost-effectively build end-to-end solutions. Through this strategy, mass market devices can be sourced directly from the ecosystem companies. The introduction of AWB devices is an important step in this direction.

The Canon PIXMA All-in-one photo-printer MP 486 is designed to provide solutions for all printing problems. With 20 pages per minute (ppm) for black and white and 16 ppm for color prints, this device ensures that printing solutions for business needs are now made easier. Easy-on-the-eyes, with a compact and curvy body, the printer features a new self-opening paper output tray, Quick Start operation, and a new Auto Scan Mode that automatically recognises document types, scans and saves the processed images with appropriate settings. The PIXMA MP486’s enhanced user interface allows the printer to automatically switch image display-mode the instant a memory card or camera is connected. The PIXMA MP486 holds a strong advantage over its closest competitors in connectivity options. Not only does it feature High Speed USB connection, it offers PictBridge, memory card slots for easy direct printing, as well as optional Bluetooth connectivity via the optional BU-30 bluetooth adaptor. It is priced at INR 8,795.

GPS Solutions for Mobile Phones MapmyIndia, map and navigation services provider, announced a new Global Positioning System (GPS) and map solutions that will make travel in India safer and secure. iNav, a GPS-based application for mobile phones, transmits your exact location to your loved ones and transmits their location to you, anywhere in India, any time of the day or night. With this new application you don’t have to constantly call up your loved ones to check their location. Your own mobile phone will show you their exact location on a detailed map! MapmyIndia also announced two new next-generation MapmyIndia Navigators for cars, loaded with a new and powerful, easy-to-use software interface. Finally, MapmyIndia also ov

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released a very simple SMS service that allows anyone with any kind of mobile phone to access driving directions and local business information anywhere across India, simply by sending an SMS. In these ways, any Indian consumer will feel more

comfortable on Indian roads, guided by MapmyIndia maps. This cool new application keeps you safe and secure on the roads. Besides giving turn-by-turn voice navigation anywhere across India, this application also can be used for personal tracking and safety. For instance, if on your way back home from office you frequently call your husband to tell him your location and how long you will take to reach home, iNav can help solve your problems. As soon as you start your journey, instruct iNav to send your location coordinates to your husband’s mobile phone, which also has iNav running. At regular intervals, iNav will send SMS messages to your husband’s phone, which will pull out the latitude-longitude details. 47


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EVENTS WATCH

5 - 7 NOVEMBER 2008 Promoting the Value of Internal Communication in the Public Sector Sydney, Australia http://c.cminteractive.com/?wpFRNBHlN=6196769

6 - 8 NOVEMBER 2008 Network Enabled Capability Exhibition 2008 Noida, India http://nec-exhibition.com/

24 - 26 NOVEMBER 2008 11 - 12 NOVEMBER 2008 International Conference on Climate Change and Corporate Social Responsibility New Delhi, India http://www.assocham.org/events/showevent. php?id=280

11-13 NOVEMBER 2008 Wireless and Digital Cities 2008 Barcelona, Spain

TranSec India Expo Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai, India http://www.transec.com

26 NOVEMBER 2008 The 12th International Exhibition in Vietnam on Telecommunications and Information Technology / Vietnam Electronics 2008 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam http://www.2456.com/VNC

http://www.epractice.eu/document/4835

28 - 30 NOVEMBER 2008 13 NOVEMBER 2008 Network Enabled Capability Exhibition 2008 Noida, India

Asia IT Expo (IT Harware & Software Exhibition) Bangalore, India http://www.asiaitex.com/

18 - 20 DECEMBER 2008 The 6th International Conference on e-Governance (ICEG 2008) New Delhi, India http://www.iceg.net/2008/

http://nec-exhibition.com

5 DECEMBER 2008 16 - 22 NOVEMBER 2008 6th CWG Mobile and 1st NWIOT Plugfest Taipei, Taiwan

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Lack of Incentives Prevent Employees Going Green at Work Believe it or not! Lack of incentive and leadership from bosses is causing UK employees to leave their environmental conscience at home, leading to higher energy bills and emissions by companies, according to independent research commissioned by Logicalis. The survey of over 1000 employees, undertaken across UK’s public and private sector organisations, found that despite a clear understanding of the steps they need to adopt to become more environment friendly. Employees still look towards their employer to lead by example when it comes to being environmentally responsible. Just under two thirds (62 percent) of staff said their employer should offer incentives for being green in the

workplace while 57 percent said they could be encouraged to act greener if their employer ‘led by example’.

The survey found that workplace attitudes sit in stark contrast to environmental efforts at home, where an impressive 94 percent of people switch off lights, 85 percent switch off

their home Personal Computers (PCs) after use, and over half (54 percent) save energy by regularly using only the minimum amount of water needed when boiling the kettle. Comparatively only 66 percent, 53 percent and less than 10 percent of employees respectively, carry out these simple green practices in the office. Survey also pointed out that organisations must look to offer incentives to employees to bring their good environmental practice into the workplace. Schemes to promote environmental responsibility must provide either a financial or personal incentive, such as ‘energy savings profit sharing or a change in working contracts, to encourage more flexible working practices and a better work life balance. It is never too late to implement a good practice!

FLIP SIDE by Santulan Chaubey

I know sir, He is BPL… But can not register him as BPL. This computer asks for residential proof before registering him as BPL…

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NeGP: Where Are We?: November 2008 Issue