Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Regional Consultation Workshops on e-Governance: Presentations

DIT has held a series of Regional Consultation Workshops are being held in various cities. The main objective of these workshops is to seek inputs from all the stakeholders of e-Governance projects, especially States, to understand their perspective on key challenges. The link below show cases the various presentations made in the workshops.

E-Governance presentations

A slightly more detailed description of the Workshop is available in the egovreach initiative of NASSCOM

Monday, September 27, 2010

IIIT B evaluation of on early ICT4D initiatives

IIITB evaluation report on early ICT4D initiatives

IIITB had conducted an evaluation of the early ICT4D initiatives including akshaya, Rural e-Seva West Godavari, Dhrishtee centres in Sirsa, MSSRF centres in Pondicherry and SARI project in Melur. The report is not easily accessible hence posting it in this blog

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Shri MN Vidyashankar Principal Secretary e-Governance, Karnataka

Mr MN Vidyashankar Chief Election Officer Karnataka , meeting representatives of Praja, a citizens organisation of Bangalore
The above photo downloaded from the internet represents the way of working of Mr Vidyashankar whch is of being extremely accessible  to both citizens and private sector, understanding their point of view and incorporating their suggestions after due evaluation.

In the past decade, Mr Vidyashankar has served the State Government of Karnataka in some important positions namely Chairman BWSSB, Commissioner BDA, Secretary Medical Education, , Principal Secretary IT BT & ST , Chief Electoral Officer and Principal Secretary e-Governance. In all these positions besides running the regular routine operations of the departments with a high degree of efficiency, he has kept the citizens interests paramount and introduced numerous IT based innovations.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

2nd line leadership for successful implementation of e-Governance Projects

In most cases the media highlights the contribution of e-Gov champions at the Secretary or Principal Secretary e-Governance like Shri Rajeev Chawla, Shri MN Vidyashankar. However these officers would be the first to pass on the credit to the team supporting them.   Karnataka Government has been fortunate to have hard working and dedicated 2nd line leadership in the e-Governance department which has led to successful implementation of many e-Governance projects in the State. Some of these notable officers are

Shri DS Ravindran an officer from the Indian Forests Service,  is currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer  of the Centre for e-Governance in the Department of e-Governance. Over the past 3 years he has been responsible for implementing some of the most important e-Governance programs to name a few like the Karnataka State Wide Area Network, e-Procurement, Nemmadi. Prior to his working in the e-Governance Department, Shri DS Ravindran has served in a variety of roles in the Forest department of Karnataka. He has a Phd from University of Wales and was awarded a Gold Medal by IIM Bangalore for topping the Masters program in Public Policy.

Ms. J Sathyawathi an officer of the Karnataka Administrative Service was appointed the first Deputy Secretary of the e-Governance Department of Karnataka which was established in 2004.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dr. Rajendra Kumar's website

Dr. Rajendra Kumar an IAS officer of Tamil Nadu Cadre and currently serving as Director in National  E-Governance Division in DIT has a neat and attractive personal website. It is extremely creditable that Senior officers like Dr. Rajendra Kumar are creating their own websites as they in turn will push their Departments to publish user friendly and informative web sites.

With his extensive administrative experience coupled with a distinguished academic record, without doubt Dr. Rajendra Kumar will contribute to furthering the e-Governance agenda of the country   

Monday, September 20, 2010

E-Governance meet in Rajasthan Government

E-Governance presentations in Rajasthan

Rajasthan Government recently held a e-Governance workshop in which eminent e-Governance practitioners delivered presentations. The above link is a good resource to learn about both theory and practice of e-Governance.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sri Kumar IPS Former DGP Karnataka appointed Commissioner CVC

Sri Kumar appointed Commissioner CVC - Article in Deccan Herald

Mr. Sri Kumar  former DGP of Karnataka has been appointed as Commissioner in the Central Vigilance Commission of India. Mr. Sri Kumar was the Managing Director of Karnataka State Police Housing Corporation for a number of years and introduced numerous e-Governance programs to enable transparency in the organisation. Among the noteworthy programs introduced were e-procurement, project management and complete transparency of works executed under KSPHC. Any person can check the website and ascertain the status of any work under implementation.

Mr. Sri Kumar, both as MD of KSPHC and later as DGP of Karnataka,  remained extremely accessible to all alike and was always open to new ideas, innovations and new ways of thinking.

Given the credentials of Mr. Sri Kumar , the Government is commended for making such a well deserved appointment to  the critical position in the Central Vigilance Commission.  He will continue to safeguard the interests of the citizens of India in his new position

A detailed profile of Mr. Sri Kumar is provided in the CVC website Mr. Sri Kumar's profile in CVC website

Saturday, September 4, 2010

How e-Government Is Empowering Citizens Worldwide - Newsweek

How e-Government Is Empowering Citizens Worldwide - Newsweek

The article contains a laudatory reference to Bhoomi reproduced below

Bureaucracies are not always as open in the developing world, where broadband penetration is scarce and democracy tender. And yet some surprising models of e-government are coming from emerging nations. Computerizing old land records is jolting rural India out of the 19th century. Since 2001 the Bhoomi (“land” in Hindi) program, brainchild of Bangalore engineer turned administrator Rajeev Chawla, has scanned 20 million deeds held by 6.7 million farmers in the southern state of Karnataka, meticulously mapping property lines. Farmers can review their deeds at public Internet kiosks and download the crucial official property title that Indians use both as an identity card and as collateral for bank loans. In a region where land disputes represent seven out of 10 court cases and illiterate peasants often fall prey to powerful land grabbers practiced in doctoring deeds, the Bhoomi movement is “nothing short of a silent revolution,” says Srikanth Nadhamuni, an e-government pioneer in Bangalore. Authorities in New Delhi plan to invest $6 billion to take Bhoomi and other e-gov services nationwide.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

For Electronic Trading of Land

The Article below appeared in Economic Times August 17th .   The Article discusses a very far reaching idea of Electronic trading of land. Many concepts and issues discussed in the article are not self explanatory and merit a larger article

Given that governments have a monopoly over large amounts of data and information, and given the advances made in information and communication technologies (ICT), there is an opportunity for it to enhance revenues significantly by moving to a paradigm of ‘Service Oriented Administration’ ( SOA).

The government, in collaboration with private sector partners can provide citizens with services that were hitherto impossible to provide, for which there are no brickand-mortar equivalents and which have the ability to enhance economic activity in the country.

One of the first such SOA initiatives that would arguably have the highest impact on the citizens could be next generation of land records that could be implemented through a Land and Property Exchange System (LAPEX ). The basic concept of such an exchange is that if stocks worth crores of rupees could be traded online with absolute security and privacy, why we can we not trade land and property through a similar online system?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Karnataka Government Releases RFP for CSC program in Karnataka

The e-Governance department of the Government of Karnataka has released the tender for establishment of approximately 5000 CSC's in the state. The tender documents have been uploaded in the  Government of Karnataka e-procurement platform. The last date of submission of tender is 17th August.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Brief outline of National e-Governance Plan

The document provides a brief outline of the National e-Governance Plan

1      NeGP Objective

1)    Laying  the foundation and provide the impetus for long-term growth of e-Governance  within  the  country
2)    Creating the  right  governance  and institutional mechanisms
3)    Setting up  the  core  infrastructure  and  policies
4)    Implementation of   a number  of Mission Mode  Projects  at  the  center,  state  and  integrated  service  levels  to
5)    Creation of a citizen-centric and business-centric environment for governance.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Brief Career Profile of Shri S.R. Rao IAS Additional Secretary DIT Government of India

Mr. S.R. Rao is a member of the prestigious Indian Administrative Service having joined the service in 1978. In a distinguished career of over 32 years, he has served in several assignments like District Administration, Rural Development, Urban Development, Ports, Primary Health Service Delivery, and Nuclear Energy. He has taken charge of the current assignment as Additional Secretary Department of Information technology in November 2008. Prior to this assignment he served as Principal Secretary Municipal Administration in the State Government of Gujarat.

Mr. S.R. Rao is best known for the transformation of the City of Surat after the infamous attack of plague in the city in 1994. He took several bold and innovative steps for improvement of the infrastructure of the city and Surat for a long time was known as a model city. For this effort Mr. S.R. Rao was awarded “Padma Shri” a civilian honour of the Government of India and Eisenhower fellow and several other similar honours by National and International organisations.

Mr. S.R. Rao did his post graduation in Applied Sociology from Andhra University and followed it during his Government service with an M.A in Rural Development from the University of East Anglia(UK).

Mr. S.R. Rao is about 56 years of age

Below is a link featuring an interview of Shri Rao published in the outlook magazine in November 97 post his clean up of Surat

Interview with Shri S.R. Rao in outlook magazine

Given the popularity of the Post,  a few updates are provided 

  • SR Rao, a 1978 batch Gujarat cadre IAS, presently additional secretary in the department of information technology has been appointed as additional secretary in department of telecommunications as of 1st February 2011
  • Shri SR Rao was part of the hand picked team of the Cabinet Secretary to take over part responsibility for management of Common Wealth games. He was made responsible for the modernization of Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium and ensuring that the events in the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium happen without a glitch
  • SR Rao conducts probe on Tata-VSNL deal (News of 25th March 2011)
    Telecom department’s additional secretary and 1978 batch Gujarat cadre IAS, SR Rao will be conducting an inquiry into Tata-VSNL land deal after telecom minister Kapil Sibal raised concerns over the disinvestment of VSNL in 2002 and the way de-merger of 773.13 acres of surplus land of VSNL was handled.
    A double MA in social work and rural development (UK), SR Rao is still known for his stint as Municipal Commissioner to a traumatized, plague-hit Surat city. He is credited with cleaning up the city and placing it back into normalcy.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Kuppam Hp i-community program

a description of the Kuppam HP i-community program

Village photographer program of the Kuppam HP i-community

To access the document link Village Photographer program

Village Telecentre program in Karnataka

Nemmadi program in Karnataka
1.    Shri Rajeev Chawla IAS Secretary e-Governance Government of Karnataka,
2.    Anirban Mukerji – e-Governance Consultant
Published “A journey through three states Common Service Centres Programme (CSC) Review, NeGP, India” for i4D Magazine August 2007
Nemmadi in Kannada means peace of mind. The Vision of the Nemmadi project is to empower rural citizens, provide direct access of government services to the citizens and bring government services to the doorstep of the citizen.

1. Introduction

Government of Karnataka (GoK) has been a pioneer in leveraging Information technology in easing the lives of both urban and rural citizens. One of the most path breaking of these e-governance applications is Bhoomi that enables “over the counter” delivery of computerized land records to farmers from the 203 taluka (Tehsil) offices of the State
While the Bhoomi program tremendously benefited the farmers there was a demand for establishing of delivery centres for land records at the village level itself. The need for decentralization of Bhoomi catalyzed the development of the “Nemmadi program” program of the Government of Karnataka.
The State Government understood that it could not establish and operate computer centres at every village and hence decided to establish these centres in the villages under a Public Private Partnership model. It was also apparent that these village telecentres would not be viable if only land records were delivered from these centres and for viability, other e-governance services also needed to be delivered through these village telecentres.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Experience in Passport Seva Kendra

Recently Deccan Herald had come up with a negative article on the Passport Seva Project which blamed all ills on the Vendor, TCS without giving a chance to TCS to provide its side of the story. Hence thought of providing details of my personal experience of the Passport Seva Project in Bangalore

My wife yesterday went to get her Passport re-issued in the Bangalore Passport Seva Kendra. The overall experience was good and was a far cry from the harassment we faced when getting the original passport issued in Chennai, 10 years back.  
She had made an online appointment and reached the Passport Seva Kendra 30 mts prior to her scheduled appointment time, the staff in the PSK were well behaved and allowed her in early. She completed all her formalities in time and only delay that happened was at the stage of the meeting with the Government Officer in the PSK. While the queue is regulated at the entry stage of the PSK once you are in the PSK, at the other subsequent counters it seemed from her experience that there was not any organised queuing. I am giving second hand feedback as I was not present.
Overall the staff was friendly and helpful and it was a pleasant experience getting her passport done

Delay in Payment of Social Security Pensions by Government of Karnataka

Publication: The Times Of India Bangalore; Date: Jun 19, 2010; Section: Times City; Page: 5 

TREASURY OF ILLS? TROUBLE IN PENSIONERS’ PARADISE Treasury Dept Stinks Pensions Pending For 6 Months Officials Blame Erratic Power Supply Nirmala M Nagaraj | TNN 

Bangalore: The Global Investors’ Meet may have raked in a grand Rs 3 lakh crore (if only on paper) from investors across the globe, but the state of the state treasury department, the repository of wealth and centre of all monetary transactions, is simply poor. 

    A visit to the Bangalore District Urban treasury office at MySugar building on JC Road reveals its true status — old, broken furniture dumped in a corner, torn window curtains, papers and files scattered amid dust and to top it, an unbearable toilet stench. Sadly, state treasury officers work amid these pathetic conditions. With this working environment, it comes as no surprise that it has affected the overall functioning of the government machinery. If local economic requirements are not being met, what will happen to global ones? 

Something as fundamental as pension has been delayed for more than six months by the inefficient treasury department. Widow pension, old age pension and pension allocated to the physically handicapped are waiting to be disbursed for more than six months now. Officials blame it on the shortage of power supply. “Without power, we can’t operate computers and this has affected data entry and regular disbursal of pension, as well as adding new pension beneficiaries. Because of this, widows’ pension has been delayed but we will pay them arrears from the date of notification of sanctioning pension,” said Lakshmi, a treasury officer. 

Friday, April 30, 2010

United Nations releases 2010 e-Governance Survey; India ranked at 119th in the World

The United Nations has released its 2010 e-Governance survey which can be accessed at the following link.  UN e-Governance page

As per the survey, " most portals and websites have remained stagnant since 2008 Survey in terms of developing new features. As a result, the region as a whole has regressed in the 2010 survey and remains far below the world average".

India has scored 0.3567 in the E-Government development index value which is below 0.3814 scored in 2008. India's rank in the World e-Government development ranking is 119 falling from 113 in 2008. In the "South Asia" grouping India is 4th below Maldives, Iran and Sri Lanka.

Korea has scored the first ranking in the World e-Government development ranking with a E-Government development index of 0.8785. The Survey states that the "National portal received the highest ranking and scored particularly high in providing services and tools for citizen engagement"

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Modernization Of State Government Treasury

A framework for modernization of State Government Treasury and implementation of a modern Integrated Financial Management System

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Government Process Re-engineering

The presentation on Government Process Re-engineering ( GPR) introduces the subject of GPR , its relationship with IT automation and a need to implement GPR in a thoughful manner

Monday, March 22, 2010

National e-Governance Plan of Government of India

The enclosed presentation is a brief overview of the National e-Governance Plan. The presentation has been created based on the numerous presentation delivered by Shri R Chandrasekhar IAS, Secretary DIT Govt of India and Shri Shankar Aggarwal IAS Joint Secretary DIT Govt of India

NEGP Presentation -  

another host for the document

Yojana website

I had the privilege of having an article E-Governance initiatives of Government of Karnataka published in the Yojana Magazine. I have always had a high regard for the magazine as it is essential reading for all those who prepare for the IAS examinations. I would have really liked to provide a link to the article in the Yojana website, however for a long time Yojana had no web presence at all. Now finally Yojana has its website. However old articles are stored on some content management system and you need to download the entire issue of 11Mb if any one wants to access my article.

This is a symptom of most e-Governance projects, the Management of Yojana probably did not apply their mind and probably no one gave the requirements properly. Whatever was delivered by the Vendor was accepted without any question.

The complete article "E-Governance initiatives of Karnataka" is posted in this blog here

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Critical Analysis of the Government of India CSC Project

The period 2000 -05 saw a lot of excitement around use of Village Telecentres to bridge the digital divide. However despite a large number of Village telecentres established by a variety of organisations  corporate, CSR led, government promoted, University promoted, NGO led etc.  most of these Village Telecentres were unviable. The DIT under the enlightened leadership of the then Joint Secretary Shri R Chandrashekhar understood some of the drawbacks of the existing efforts and drew up a National program for establishment of 1,00,000 CSC's across the country. The CSC program of DIT provided both Government and Institutional support to the Village Telecentres however this program is also struggling to find its feet as the critical requirement for success of the project, namely a robust platform for e-Governance services to Rural citizens has been difficult to establish.

Interested readers can view the note here

News item on 3i infotech pulling out of the CSC program

Overview of the Government of India Common Service Centre Project

In 2007 I had prepared a note that gives a brief overview of the CSC project and the role for IT product companies in this project. Interested readers can access the document here  CSC Note 

Response to some basic questions on e-Governance

Recently Sivakumar CEO of ITC IBD was asked to participate in a roundtable organized by the economist group on e-Governance. The innovative tech user that he is, he asked his group to respond to three questions on both twitter and facebook. Below are my responses to his questions

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

E-Governance initiatives of Karnataka

Yojana, a magazine published by the Publications division of India , invited Shri Rajeev Chawla to contribute a note on e-Governance projects in Karnataka. Jointly with Shri Chawla, the following note was prepared.

The note describes the various e-Governance projects in Karnataka like Bhoomi, Bangalore One, Nemmadi and a few other departmental initiatives like Khajane ( the treasury computerisation project), Kaveri ( Computerisation of the registration department)

The link to the document is below

E-Governance initiatives of Karnataka

Friday, March 5, 2010

Suggestion for improvement in procedures for outsourcing of e-Governance Projects to Private Sector


E-Governance initiatives in the country are still in Infancy and there exist many challenges in implementing the same. Traditionally Software Solutions for E-Governance projects were developed by NIC, and the Government department procured the hardware from Private companies. However with the increase both in complexity and the volume of e-Governance projects, most projects are being contracted to private parties. This note examines the various issues in implementation of e-Governance projects, role of NIC and provides Suggestions for improvement in procurement procedures for e-Governance projects

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Learnings from Bhoomi

Best Practices from Implementation of the Bhoomi[1] Program of Karnataka
Author - Anirban Mukerji[2]

1. Abstract

Under the Bhoomi program of Karnataka Government, about 20 Million farm land records in the State were computerized leading to transparency in rural land record management. The Bhoomi program, implemented in 2002 , was among the pioneering e-Governance programs of the Country. The difficulty in implementation of Bhoomi can be perceived from the fact that even now in 2010 only Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have achieved end to end computerized delivery of farm land records. The Bhoomi program has been recognized both nationally and internationally by agencies like UN and World Bank and is lauded as a land mark e-Governance program. The many reasons for the successful implementation of Bhoomi namely proper design of the program, abolition of manual alternatives, stakeholder management, capacity building among government servants etc. are written in this article. [i]