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.
In the early days of the Department despite being assisted by just 3-4 officers she supported Mr. Rajeev Chawla in the implementation of numerous e-Governance programs like Bangalore One, establishment of training centres , implementation of File monitoring system in the Government Secretariat, establishment of State Data Centre, e-Procurement and the Nemmadi program. For KSWAN , she did initial background work, released the RFP's and managed the entire bidding process upto selection of the Vendor. Given her rich experience in revenue administration she also contributed to numerous innovations in the Bhoomi program.

Mr. Vipin Singh an Indian Forest Service officer possessed the ideal combination of  both administrative and technical skills. He was initially appointed as Director Bangalore One but was later given additional responsibilities for the Nemmadi program and the State Data Centre. Vipin had studied Engineering from IIT Kanpur and quickly brushed up his technical knowledge to direct the team working on these programs.

J Shankar is an officer in the E-Governance Department of the Government of Karnataka and is responsible for the implementation of the Human Resource Management System of the State. The task of overseeing the implementation of the HRMS system was earlier with the Finance Department but due to lack of bandwidth at  their end, it was handed to the e-Governance Department. Everyone felt that implementation of HRMS system was impossible but Shri Shanker took up this responsibility and over the past three years has sincerely handled the implementation of this critical program.

Implementation of any important program has to be a team effort and Government departments and State Governments have to build capacity at multiple levels to ensure successful implementation of these programs. Given the scandals in the Commonwealth Games and many other similar scandals, there is a widespread perception of Government officers largely shirking their responsibility but while generally this may be true, there exists  a significant minority of sincere and hardworking Government servants who continue to work in the background and deliver results

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