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Old February 27th, 2012, 09:23 AM   #21
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Proper implementation of e-Governance in India can help in reducing the corruption and as well as help in reducing the delay that happens because of useless employees of government.
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Old March 11th, 2012, 12:22 PM   #22
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JnNURM nod to Rs 15.9 crore e-governance project

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AHMEDABAD: The ambitious Rs 15.9 crore e-governance project for Ahmedabad city has finally been given the nod by the JnNURM committee. The project once implemented will not only strengthen electronic interface between the public and the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), but also bring in transparency in taxation issues.

One of the high tech projects that has been sanctioned is the Global Information System (GIS)-based civic administration. "This involves mapping all civic utility lines on a satellite map of the city. Officers dealing with each of the civic utilities will enter the condition and daily report pertaining to functioning of infrastructure on the map. Even complaints registered by citizens at various civic centres will get highlighted on the map in real time. This will unify the function of the AMC in all aspects," says a senior AMC official involved with the project.

Apart from this, a public interface, which includes eight separate softwares for various taxation purposes, is part of the e-governance package. Right from paying your water, drainage, property tax to registering your marriage and birth and death will be made online. The system of making online payment for various taxes will be strengthened in this project," adds the officer.
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Kochi: Corporation budget: E-governance to get priority
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Old March 17th, 2012, 01:53 PM   #23
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Fillip to e-governance gives some solace for the sector

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K.V. Kurmanath

Hyderabad, March 16:

IT-ITeS industry, which was has drawn a blank in the Budget, takes some solace in a few announcements that hint at significant increase in IT consumption in the country.

Mr Pranab Mukherjee, Finance Minister, has allocated Rs 14,232 crore to UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India).

The Aadhaar platform will be used to support the payments of NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme), old age, widow and disability pensions; and scholarships directly to the beneficiary accounts in selected areas. After successfully using Aadhaar platform to validate PDS ration cards in Jharkhand, the Government proposes to build a Public Distribution System (PDS) Network using the platform.

A National Information Utility for the computerisation of PDS too is being created. It will become operational by December 2012. The increase in outlay for e-governance projects from Rs 311 crore last year to Rs 867 crore would help the IT industry.

“These will help increase IT consumption. It will result in incremental growth in domestic IT industry,” Mr S. Mahalnigam, Chief Financial Officer of TCS, said. The move to mandate electronic voting facility to facilitate wider shareholder participation when companies take important decisions too would benefit niche IT solutions companies that are offering corporate compliance solutions.

Mr L. Suresh, President of ITsAP (IT-ITES Industry Association of Andhra Pradesh), said these initiatives would help only a segment of the IT-ITeS industry.

Mr Uday Sodhi, Chief Executive Officer of HeadHonchos.com, said impetus to Aadhaar project and other e-governance projects would mean generation of more jobs in companies that served these business areas.

kurmanath@thehindu.co.in
Business Line

Budget 2012: IT & ITeS industries seek focus on e-governance


Radiation source regulation will be web-based: AERB chief
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Old March 20th, 2012, 03:28 PM   #24
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Himalayan weather forecast system in offing

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Kalyan Ray, New Delhi, Mar 17, 2012, DHNS:

Scientists to set up network of instruments, automatic weather stations and Doppler weather radar soon

India will soon launch a dedicated weather forecast system for the Himalayas which will not only provide accurate forecast in the hills but also allow weathermen to improve their monsoon forecast.

In the next couple of years, scientists will set up a network of instruments comprising mainly automatic weather stations and Doppler weather radar, develop climate models and validate them before issuing the forecast for hill dwellers.

“The first two Doppler radar will be installed in Srinagar and Shimla. The radars will come along with a network of automatic weather stations, which will continuously collect basic weather data,” L S Rathore, director-general of Indian Meteorological Department told Deccan Herald.

The IMD under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences tied up with Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment in Chandigarh under the Defence Research and Development Organisation and five agriculture universities from Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand for building up the system, which would also be used in crop forecasting.

The government is also going to set up an Atmospheric Technology Institute for developing and calibrating instruments needed to set up the Himalayan forecasting system and other meteorological networks.

“The new institute will initially be housed in the campus of National Institute of Ocean Technology in Chennai. Once the incubation phase is over, the ATI would be moved to a new location,” said Shailesh Nayak, secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences.

The two projects received promise of adequate funding support from the government as the 2012-13 Budget allocated Rs 206 crore under the head of atmospheric observation system network, lionÂ’s share of which will be used to fund these two projects.

Nayak said the government was discussing with Bharat Electronics Ltd for Doppler radar.

But in case, BEL could not deliver, the ministry will import. The project details would be finalised in another 2-3 weeks. But unlike the Doppler radar IMD is installing for cyclone warning system, the radar for the mountain would be either X-band or C-band radar. “S-band radar will not work in the Himalayas,” said Nayak, a former space scientist.

Since Himalayas have a profound impact on monsoon circulation, better understanding of the Himalayan weather would improve the monsoon forecast as well, Rathore said.
DHNS
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Old April 24th, 2012, 04:00 PM   #25
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Electronic facility to deposit PF contributions

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MANGALORE: The Employees' Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) is introducing electronic challan-cum-return (ECR) facility for depositing contributions of employers. The new system envisages that the employer will be able to deposit money only after filing the return form that can be downloaded from EPFO website www.epfindia.gov.in. After filing the return, the employer can generate a challan for depositing the money in the bank.

A press release from EPFO here stated that as soon as the bank confirms receipt of the contribution, simultaneously the return will be pushed into the individual regional officers system which will automatically update and make entries in the individual accounts. The new system will ensure automatic updation of accounts on receipt of contribution by the EPFO. Employers can download annual accounts slips of their employees from EPFO website. There is no need to file forms 5, 10, 3A, 6A, 12A, 3PS, 4PS, 5PS, 6PS, 7PS, 8PS, and members can get a detailed account statement from EPFO website. For utilizing the system, employers are required to obtain user ID and password by logging onto EPFO website.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 04:00 PM   #26
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DCGI to initiate steps to implement e-governance across the country to provide better regulatory services

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Suja Nair Shirodkar, Mumbai
Monday, April 16, 2012, 08:00 Hrs [IST]

With a view to upgrade the regulatory system in the country so that it can be at par with other international regulatory bodies, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has recently expressed his plans to implement E-governance programme throughout the country soon. Through this programme, the DCGI wants to make the regulatory system 'paper-less' by adopting computerisation so that the Indian regulatory system becomes IT enabled, bringing in more transparency and accountability to its system.

The programme focuses on computerisation of the whole administrative process, by linking all the CDSCO offices with the other state regulatory bodies across the country to bring reliability and timeliness in their services. Dr G N Singh, the DCGI informed that the government has already made provisions to ensure the Indian regulatory system to be IT enabled by providing substantial funding to carry forward this programme successfully in its five year plan.

He added, “Funding is not an issue for this progressive initiative as the Government has already assured their full support to us in implementing this programme. At present our main agenda is to study those system that has already been implemented in some of the IT enabled states in the country so that we can adopt a similar strategy for national level linking to link 32 states in the country to the Centre.”

He further elaborated that since this is a huge task at hand, the DCGI will be personally taking efforts to examine those adopted E-governance system so that he can get a clear idea on its applicability and its impact in delivering required services. For this purpose he has also planned to have interaction with the stakeholders in the states wherein it is adopted so that he can get their views and suggestions on the implications and effectiveness of the system.

The DCGI's office has already identified three to four IT enabled progressive states in the country who have successfully adopted e-governance in their respective states for better administrative purposes. For this purpose, Dr Singh has already planned to visit Gujarat FDCA so that he can personally have a look at the E-governance programme adopted in the state which is believed to be the best in the country.

“Our main agenda is to computerise the whole regulatory system in the country by completely eliminating the paperwork pattern so that the end users i.e. the industry will benefit the maximum from this programme. Through this link-up we want to link the central regulatory body to the state regulatory bodies so that it will enable on-line connectivity between the two, expediting the work process while eliminating any bottlenecks that hinders the whole regulatory procedure. This will not only make the federal and state government to be more involved in each other's affairs but will also ensure better transparency in their working,” Dr Singh informed.
PHARMABIZ.com

Digitalization of Government Operations Creating Opportunities for Smart Cards

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Old April 24th, 2012, 04:01 PM   #27
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Maharashtra: E-governance far from real

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Published: Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012, 8:30 IST
By Rajendra Aklekar | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Big talk of e-governance and no one to implement! For more than six months, there is no response to online complaints from Maharashtra state on the union government’s online complaints’ public grievances portal. Only last week, the state government issued guidelines for the implementation of e-governance.

Wondering why the state government was so negligent and unresponsive, Kurla resident Jitendra Gupta told DNA, “I have been making several number of complaints on the state government portal for public grievances for different issues, but have not received any replies. At the same time when complaints are made on the same portal for action by the central government, the status report on the action cann be seen in a few days.

Sources said complaints that need to be attended by the Maharashtra government have been pending since September 2011. ‘’The only response that the complainant gets is ‘Received the Grievance’ and there is no update after that,’’ Gupta added.

Contrary to this, complaints of issues pertaining to the central ministry evoke efficient response. “They immediately update within three to four days and respond with the status where the complaint has been forwarded to,’’ Gupta said.

In fact, the state has issued guidelines for implementation of e-governance by all its departments and corporations, with the aim to ensure hassle-free exchange of information between them, apart from uniformity and consonance among all state agencies.

The e-governance guidelines have been divided into nine heads and action to be taken by the agencies to achieve these objectives and the time frame are also mentioned.

The public grievances portal of the central government was formed to have more accountability and transparency in public service. ‘’One of the biggest concerns facing the Government of India is how to make the public service delivery system more citizen-centric. Anessential pre-requisite for this is tohavea robustpublic grievance redress and monitoring mechanism, particularly in Governmentagencies that havea large public interface,’’ says the website’s introduction.

But the state government does not seem to bother about the interface and the aim of the union government. The charge of the general administration department was with Nandkumar Jantre till recently. But as he has retired, following which another officer PS Meena has taken charge. Meena did not respond to calls from DNA office, but sources said he too has been holding a temporary charge of the post.
DNA
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Old April 24th, 2012, 04:02 PM   #28
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Get to know about your city’s e-governance

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BANGALORE: You will soon get to know how your city scores when it comes to e-governance or better said, the relationship between the government and citizens through technology, particularly through websites. Janaagraha has launched the Urban G2C awards programme to benchmark city governments through e-governance and evaluate the performance.

The jury will evaluate and rank websites of 28 Indian cities along with six international cities as global peer benchmarks, in order to recognize their relative performance in delivering citizen-centric services.

The Indian cities include the four metros and Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Surat, Kanpur, Coimbatore and Thiruvananthapuram and the six international cities are New York, London, Singapore, Seoul, Johannesburg and Sydney.

A panel of four headed by Sam Pitroda did the study of each city's government-to-citizen relationships through the government websites and also by doing surveys on citizen experiences.

"It is just to see how easily the citizens get in touch with their governing bodies and what kind of experience they have after such interactions. This award intends to rank governance improvement through technology, and e-governance is the only way to find that out," Swati Ramanathan, co-founder of Janaagraha, told TOI.

She added that although there was a very low percentage of people using the government websites or even having the technological knowledge or access to e-governance, Janaagraha conducted surveys in urban localities and users of such websites to get their experience and assess the websites. "We also tested the websites ourselves to find out how easy it is for an ordinary citizen to get any information or a work done or have an interaction with the government agency," she said.

Ramesh Ramanathan, co-founder, Janaagraha, said: "By including international cities in its ambit, the award also lends itself as a platform for sharing of global best practices in urban e-governance. The G2C awards stand out as a programme that doesn't just reward or recognize innovation and superlative efforts but instead shows the real outcomes of huge government expenditure and efforts on the lives of urban citizens."
TOI

Set up disaster recovery sites soon, Sebi tells SEs
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Old April 27th, 2012, 06:26 AM   #29
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Rs50 cr e-governance project in limbo

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* Have Taken Up The Matter With JK Govt: Centre

UMER MAQBOOL

Srinagar, Apr 1: A major centrally sponsored e-governance project worth Rs 50 crore is yet to take off in Jammu and Kashmir, owing to the inordinate delay by the officials of the state’s Information Technology Department and e-Governance Agency.

Government of India (GOI) had approved the State Wide Area Network (SWAN) project in 2005, with financial outlay of Rs 3000 crore for various states. The project was to act as the vehicle for effective implementation of e-Governance in the states and would follow a three-tier structure - State Headquarter (SHQ), District Headquarter (DHQ) and Block headquarters.

In Jammu and Kashmir, the SWAN will consist of 174 Points of Presence (PoPs) with one at SHQ, 21 at DHQ and 152 at Block/Tehsil level.

Officials told Greater Kashmir that Centre had approved Rs 52 crore for establishment of SWAN in JK way back, but the state’s performance vis-à-vis e-Governance project implementation is dismal.

“JK is lagging behind other states in establishment of SWAN. While, 20 states, including those in Northeast and other underdeveloped states are reaping the benefits of the e-program, in JK even the bidding has not been finalized, not to talk of establishing the network,” they said .

According to sources, initially National Informatics Centre (NIC) was chosen as agency for implementing the SWAN in the state but due to reasons best known to the IT department project was withdrawn from them in 2009.

“The state government then decided to go for Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode for implementing the project. But till date they are yet to complete the bidding process,” they added.

Sources further disclosed that State Government has turned a deaf ear to the repeated communiqués of Centre to complete the project at the earliest. “Centre has written umpteenth letters to the state government to speed up the project, but the government is unmoved,” the sources said.

When contacted, Director SWAN, A K Balani, who oversees the implementation of the project in the country, said they have taken up the matter with JK government. “We wrote them number of letters on the issue and we are hopeful that by end of the year the project will be completed,” he said.

Under Secretary to Government, Information Technology Department, Ashok Koul refused to talk on the matter.

“I have no information about the SWAN project,” Asim Khan, Chief Executive Officer of Jammu and Kashmir e-Governance Agency told Greater Kashmir.
Greater Kashmir
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Old May 1st, 2012, 07:02 AM   #30
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State goverment give nod to e-governance plan

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LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday gave its nod for the implementation of the long-pending National e-Governance plan. With this, citizens in rural and urban areas of UP will be able to avail web-based services under 26 heads from July 1, 2012.

A formal announcement in this regard was made after a meeting between chief secretary Jawed Usmani, infrastructure and industrial development commissioner Anil Kumar Gupta and secretary, department of information and electronics, Jivesh Nandan. Usmani has also instructed state officials of the national informatics cell to ensure that the state service delivery gateways are made functional by the said deadline.

Under the e-governance programme, people will now be able to make online applications for pensions, seek government aid for ailments and weddings, make complaints against dowry demands and also get copy of land registrations. Enrolment for employment will also henceforth be done through the e-governance mechanism. In the first phase of its implementation, the e-governance services will cover the departments of food and civil supplies, training and employment, urban development, handicapped welfare, social welfare, panchayati raj, revenue and women and child welfare.

Originally, the National e-Governance Programme was approved for countrywide implementation in May 2006 to "make all government services available to the common man in his locality." Following an existing model started in Sitapur by the local National Informatics Centre (NIC) in 2004, the Centre launched a fully funded pilot project - the first of its kind in India - across six districts of UP, including, Sultanpur, Gorakhpur, Noida, Sitapur, Rae Bareli and Ghaziabad.

Earlier, the state government had earmarked December 31, 2009 to implement the project. The date was pushed forward in the previous dispensation citing high project costs.

Though there was a delay in the full-fledged implementation of the scheme, about eight lakh certificates have been issued from 5,000 Jan Suvidha Kendras or Common Service Centres (CSCs).

One implemented, the complete e-governance package will reduce the interaction of end users with government officials. Services like birth, death, domicile, caste, income and employment certificates are already available at the operational CSCs. From July 1, 2012, services like digital ration cards and copies of land records will also be available at the centres. The process will also be cost effective because it will allow beneficiaries to avail services from nearby centres. The centres will operate on public-private-partnership model, where services are being offered at a nominal cost. In Sitapur, for instance, obtaining any of the available services costs a consumer Rs 20. Currently, as part of National e-Governance Programme endeavour, over 900 network operation centres are already operational; clocking a success rate of over 95% in the state.
TOI

http://www.biharonline.gov.in/

E-Governance in Panchayats
Now, a smart card to travel across country

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Old May 1st, 2012, 07:14 AM   #31
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A big blow to Information Kerala Mission

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The awarding of the pilot project of total e-governance solution in Thiruvananthapuram Corporation to a private firm has come as a severe blow to the government-run Information Kerala Mission (IKM) which has been spearheading the computerisation in the local body for the past 12 years.

While Corporation officials say Wipro, which has been entrusted with the job, will create an end-to-end e-solution, IKM is of the opinion that a major portion of the project would be an overlapping of its own activities. While Corporation is all for a fast mode, IKM’s slow pace has come under the scanner.

“We are not throwing away the IKM software. Under a Government Order, we are supposed to carry on its usage. However, we could decide whether to use their assistance or completely entrust the new firm with the job. IKM has introduced some of the services, but the project is for total computerisation. Which includes networking in zonal offices, interlinking of computers and facilitating its easy use in the panchayat-turned-wards too. It is not going to be an over-lap,” said G Happykumar, Deputy Mayor.

According to the IKM officials, the registration and distribution of birth and death certificates, the welfare pension distribution, property tax payment, professional tax payment, accounts-entry using double-entry accrual system and submission of building permit applications are some of the online services now put in place in the Corporation. The service of the Janasevena Kendram from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. is testimony to the fact that the computerisation in the local body is going on at a steady. However, the networking and interlinking is yet to be done, the officials agree.

However, IKM officials say a large barrier in the successful implementation of its computerisation activities in the City Corporation has been crossing the psychological hurdles built by the officials. “It is basically got to do with the approach. When it is a government firm, officials are reluctant to fall into place but they do so obediently when it is a private player,” an IKM official.

“We give training to 100 officials and equip them but then there are mass transfers and we have a dearth of trained officials. Even when there is facility to do many things online, Corporation officials resort to using pen and paper and keep up the manual work and blame it upon us,” said IKM officials.

However, the Corporation is of the opinion that IKM has been given 12 years and not much has happened. “Instead of register books, officers sit and enter data into computers. There is no file tracking system, the zonal offices are not updated, no computer networking. When it is computerisation, information should be available at the fingertips. The e-governance project is intended for all this,” said a Corporation official.
IBNLive
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Old May 1st, 2012, 07:15 AM   #32
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State government's 'e-district' project remains a distant dream for Ernakulam

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KOCHI: State government's 'e-district' project is unlikely to take off in the district in a time-bound manner.

Four years ago, Ernakulam district administration had announced a 'paperless collectorate' to fully digitize all documents, but the scheme is yet to be implemented.

The Rs 4.7 crore project envisaged a plan where officials and public could easily access the digitized documents. Since this project has not been executed, it will impede the implementation of the e-district project.

The paperless plan, if implemented, would have helped the collector and additional district magistrate (ADM) to monitor the whole filing system.

Of the 14 departments in collectorate, only the revenue recovery department has successfully adopted this paperless project.

Sources said the project failed because employees in various departments of the collectorate are against this project. "Once 'paperless collectorate' becomes a reality, these employees cannot give excuses or hang on to a file citing delays because this process is very transparent," a top official said.

Meanwhile, Kerala State IT Mission (KSITM) - implementing agency of e-district scheme - plans to begin this project by mid-2013.

"Pilot projects implemented in Palakkad and Kannur are running smoothly, so we decided to extend this project to other districts," said KSITM director Jayasankar Prasad. The project will be executed mainly through Akshaya centres in the districts and is part of the national e-governance plan.

The project will ensure electronic delivery of public services through service centres. Also people can access documents from home using a personal internet connection.
TOI

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Old May 1st, 2012, 07:18 AM   #33
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AP govt to introduce multipurpose smart cards: minister ‎

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PTI | 11:04 PM,Apr 30,2012

Hyderabad, Apr 30 (PTI) Government of Andhra Pradesh is introducing multipurpose Aadhar-based smart cards to the beneficiaries (citizens) for availing of benefits under different welfare schemes. State Information and Communications Technology Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah told newsmen here today that fingerprint-based POS (point-of-sale) terminals would be set up at all welfare departments’ service centers, State Road Transport depots, Department for Pensions, Commercial Tax and other departments. Smart cards issued to the beneficiaries would be inter-operable across all POS machines (different makes & models) and the card could be used for multi-purposes across all departments for various services in the state, the Minister said. The smart card features would be extended to support banking transactions also, he added. The Government of India has released a one-time additional central assistance of Rs 12.03 crore for the implementation of the project while the state government would bear the balance Rs 28 crore. Lakshmaiah said the Union Department of Information Technology has accorded administration approval for the implementation of e-District project under the National e-Governance Project (NeGP) at a cost of Rs 61.43 crore. A sum of Rs 3.50 crore was already released to the state government. e-District is one of the 27 mission mode projects under the NeGP aimed at electronic delivery of identified high-volume citizen-centric services, at district and sub-district level. Initially 28 services would be delivered under e-District while another 200 would be added in the subsequent phases, the IT Minister said.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 07:19 AM   #34
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State government issues guidelines for e-governance

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NAGPUR: The state government has issued guidelines for implementation of e-governance by all government departments and corporations. The guidelines will ensure there is uniformity and consonance in e-governance implemented by all state agencies and exchange of information between them is hassle free. This is expected to provide good service to citizens.

A draft policy was prepared by a committee under Vijay Bhatkar and comments had been invited from citizens. The final policy was then issued, making these guidelines mandatory for all state-run agencies.

The e-governance guidelines have been divided into nine heads and objectives to be achieved under each head are mentioned. Action to be taken by the agencies to achieve these objectives and the time frame are also mentioned.

The nine heads are: (1) Usage of UID cards (2) Use of Marathi (3) Procedure to provide computerized service (4) Mobile governance (5) Selection of agents/franchisees for providing services (6) Preparation of plan of action by every department to implement e-governance (7) Creating infrastructure for implementing e-governance (8) Review and audit (9) Appointing experts, holding contests, etc.

Each department will have to link the services provided by it with UID cards within a year and the departments will have to prepare an internal plan of action to achieve this objective. Marathi language will be the primary and mandatory language for this project, with all government websites also in Marathi.

All departments will also have to make forms available on their websites. These forms should be examined electronically and facility should be developed to allow citizens to pay the government fee online. The departments will also have to prepare guidelines and manuals for business process re-engineering and change management system. All agencies have also been asked to start using digital signatures.

As per the policy, the government will have to design an all encompassing portal. Call centres will have to be set up and enhanced technologies like IPTV etc will have to be used. Infrastructure must be created for completing transactions through mobile phones. The government will have to create a separate wing, the Maharashtra Information Technology Service (MITS), to implement the e-governance policy.

The rules also ask all departments to ensure that their websites have cyber security audits. The data centre will not hold information of any website that does not have cyber security plan in place.
TOI
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Old May 1st, 2012, 07:24 AM   #35
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Gujarat babus prefer to stick to old file system, avoid IWDMS

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Published: Friday, Apr 27, 2012, 16:42 IST
By Paras K Jha | Place: Gandhinagar | Agency: DNA

For want of that elusive "feel", it seems state's babudom hasn't caught onto Gujarat’s enthusiasm for e-governance! At least this is what they have claimed. However, it is also very evident when it comes to the Integrated Workflow & Document Management System (IWDMS), which doesn't seem to excite the state bureaucrats who are stuck up more on the age-old practice of clearing paper files. Ironically, these are the very set of bureaucrats who are lobbying hard to project the state's great success in e-governance and garnering accolades for effective implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at national and international levels.

The IWDMS, which was installed in the government for a speedier and easier file movement and clearance, is clearly avoided by the babudom while clearing files.

"There is problem of interface. For years, we have been clearing files by set process, taking files in the hand, browsing through it for references and writing notes and instructions on it. On computer network all this is possible, but that feel is missing. I personally feel more comfortable working with the current process of file movement," said a high level official in the state government.

Another officer talked about the time management. He claimed that the manual interface is better than the IWDMS. "Unlike the present format, in the IWDMS, I will have to keep clicking on the pages to reach a particular page for any reference. Many files have bunch of papers, so in the process of clicking the page to reach at a particular reference, the link with the subject of the file disrupts. Where in the present system one can easily tag the pages and turn to those pages in no time."

The officer also gave a demonstration of the file.He also added that while browsing the files in IWDMS it is difficult for them to call their subordinates and give them instruction on the subject or point out errors in the process of noting etc. Whereas in the manual system it is possible to call the subordinates and get such issues resolved on the spot. It saves time, they claim.

Another secretary level officer said, "I don't use IWDMS much. There is also an issue of writing notes in the computer interface. I know Gujarati language but I don't know Gujarati typewriter. So either I will have to do noting in English by typing in the IWDMS or learn Gujarati typing or keep a special person who would type my notes. I don't think it is feasible and at this age it is difficult to learn Gujarati typing only for the sake file notings."
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Old May 1st, 2012, 07:30 AM   #36
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Services hit as new civic bodies take first steps

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MCD trifurcation was meant to simplify procedures, but with no proper arrangements in place so far, the teething process of the new bodies has been chaotic. And the chaos is likely to continue for some more months. From depositing the property tax to getting birth certificate will be Herculean
tasks for residents.

Sample this: Residents of one corporation are not allowed to pay taxes in another corporation’s zonal offices. Currently, one can pay their taxes at any of the 12 zonal offices of the unified MCD.

“A lot of people live in far flung areas but travel to other parts of the city for work. So far they could deposit their tax returns anywhere, but no more will they be allowed to do that,” said a senior MCD official.

Not only this. Those who file property tax returns online also need to submit their ward details, otherwise the payment will not be accepted. Many are not even aware of the fact that they cannot make payment in other zones or that they need to furnish details of their wards.

“I work in Chandni Chowk and used to submit my property tax in the city zone office at Delhi Gate. But last week, I was told that I need to submit it in the cental zone office in Lajpat Nagar,” said Ashish Sood, a resident of Daryaganj which comes under South Delhi Corporation.

A number of Resident Welfare Associations are unhappy with the fact that no meetings are being held with them to familiarise them with the new system. “We have no information about the functioning of the new corporations or how finances and services will be provided. We are meeting MPs, asking them to review the trifurcation as there is already a multiplicity of authorities in the city,” said Ashutosh Dikshit, member of People’s Action, a body representing Delhi RWAs.

Even services provided through e-governance platform will be hit as officials are busy trying to put in place a new system. Sources said for the first few months, all services will be managed manually. The services include issuance of building plans, birth certificates, factory licences, booking of wedding venues among others.

A new database for each corporation will have to be created. “Currently there is one central database for all the online services. So we need to chalk out a plan about how all of them will be divided between the three corporations. It may take us a few months to put in place the new system and facilitate smooth discharge of services,” added the official.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 09:57 AM   #37
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Mandatory use of geo-spatial data for Delhi govt depts

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NEW DELHI: Delhi government's 30 departments and agencies will have to mandatorily use geo-spatial data of overground and underground assets before planning any infrastructure projects, when an ambitious legislation comes into force in the city next month.

The IT Department has already completed a three-year project under which images of all overground and underground utilities like telephone lines, power cables, water and sewer lines and roads have been made available on a single portal to facilitate better urban planning and governance.

The Delhi Assembly in March had passed the Geo-spatial Data Infrastructure (Management, Control, Administration, Security and Safety) Bill which was brought to make sure that each of the 30 selected agencies like PWD, DDA and MCD use the portal to ensure better planning for projects and proper co-ordination among the agencies for their implementation.

Senior officials in Delhi government said the legislation will come into effect from next month.

The Act makes utilisation and application of geo-spatial data compulsory and mandatory by all the departments.

Under the project, three-dimensional modelling of the entire range of public utilities including pipelines for water supplies, sewerage systems, telephone and electricity cables-overground and underground, apart from hospitals and a range of other physical structures dedicated to the delivery of different services are being made available.

The common database would be made available to various government departments for design, planning, execution and monitoring of all infrastructure projects.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 09:56 AM   #38
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Centre plans crime tracking network system

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New Delhi, May 8, 2012, DHNS:
The Centre government proposes to launch Criminal and Crime Tracking Network System (CCTNS) in all the police stations in the country.

CCTNS aims at creating a comprehensive and integrated system for enhancing the efficiency and effective policing at all levels and especially at the police station level through adoption of principles of e-Governance, and creation of a nationwide networked infrastructure for evolution of IT-enabled state-of-the-art tracking system.

Currently, the project is at the implementation stage. Major targets have been achieved and so far, the first version of the Core Application Software has been released to the states and union territories (UT) for study purpose. About 17 states and UTs have signed their contracts with their selected system integrators, and an agreement with BSNL for providing pan-India connectivity has been signed.

For the purpose, Rs 418 crore, has been released to the states and UTs, and 4.54 lakh personnel have undergone various types of training.

According to the Home Ministry, the scheme is proposed to be implemented in a ‘Mission Mode’ to make the functioning of the police department transparent, effective, accountable and citizen-friendly. Its objectives include: improvement in the functioning of the police department in various areas such as Law and Order, traffic and resource management.
Deccan Herald

Criminal & Crime Tracking Network System (CCTNS) being implemented in all Police Stations in India
Nagpur: City awaits Centre’s crime tracking system
Coimbatore: Data upload for CCTNS in full swing
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Old May 12th, 2012, 10:32 AM   #39
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Citizens walk a hard road

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Arvind Sivaramakrishnan



The multiple fractures identified in this book show how strained the very idea of citizenship is in Indian cities

These nine outstanding papers combine excellent empirical material on everyday but very significant issues in urban life with accomplished analysis to show how citizenship is both a status and a practice. The first five contributors examine governance in the neoliberal city, where faraway developments affect hundreds of millions in India. Renu Desai shows how the Gujarat government, desperate to re-brand the state as other than a locus of state-supported and orchestrated anti-Muslim violence, funded glamorous events for corporates and the wealthy classes, including Gujaratis settled abroad, from 2003 onwards. Some Muslim communities were ostentatiously invited, but these were already wealthy groups. Despite some resistance to these projects, most Muslims and the rest of the poor were simply not spoken of, in what Desai calls a politics of erasure and denial.

If Gujarat engages in silent exclusion, Sapana Doshi and Liza Weinstein demonstrate the complexity of the relevant processes. Doshi finds that the distances the resettled of Mumbai have to commute cause them severe problems, and that even the local self-help groups reveal significant differences in wealth, status, and influence, with women bearing most of the burden of the inequalities. While officials sometimes try to mitigate the effects of resettlement, none of the largely unwilling subjects appears to be given any chance to reject resettlement altogether.

Weinstein, for her part, analyses Mumbai's Dharavi Redevelopment Project (DRP), where private developers foresaw colossal profits — but the existing inhabitants would be offered apartments the size of a moderately large room in an upmarket flat, and would have to pay their own municipal and other taxes. The project did co-opt some of the opposition, but tensions also arose between the main developer and public bodies, and while prior inequalities in Dharavi made for divergent forms of resistance, the globalisation of protest on the internet startled those who thought they could steamroller dissent. Weinstein also echoes Paul Divakar in noting the dependence of the elites on the poor who service them.

e-governance

The internet, however, is not always benign; Malini Ranganthan shows that Karnataka's so-called e-governance contractualises citizenship by enabling public bodies to limit the range of complaints and responses. This then means addressing only issues like street lighting, rubbish collection, and irregular water supply. It also means shutting out poorer women, who have little or no net access. Furthermore, e-reporting individualises problems; the public cannot see which problems are shared by others or which result from systemic deficiencies. The process even dispossesses elected representatives by increasing the power of technical staff within the corporation; the latter then use numerical performance audits to bully the front-line staff who have to try and solve the problems. E-governance therefore captures neither the volume of work done informally and illegally — often in response to official failures — nor the collective nature of problems. Ranganathan cites Karen Coelho: this is a form of neutralisation and control. A techno-manageriat with sole authority to define problems and solutions is even less accessible to citizens than the dysfunctional political system.

This has parallels elsewhere. Sunalini Kumar, in the second section of the book, analyses bourgeois environmentalism, whereby the imposition of compressed natural gas or CNG on Delhi autorickshaws required the very concept of the public to be so restricted by the judiciary, public officials, and the media that public transport came to be dominated by elite interests. Yet CNG did not reduce air pollution, which was mainly caused by the vast expansion of motor transport; it also has worse greenhouse effects than low-sulphur diesel. Moreover, the poorest involved, the rickshaw drivers, had to bear the huge costs of adaptation, and were the least able to resist, as they were in a more precarious position than, say, bus drivers; yet they were cast as the villains by the very upper classes who are their main clients. Therefore, the relatively privileged are better placed to protest, as Jolie Wood shows in respect of boatmen and weavers in Varanasi. It is the wealthier who agitate and the poorer who operate.

Multiple failures

The multiple failures of official bodies, including collusion with extralegal and illegal forms of power and authority, mean that administrative measures like relocation cannot by themselves end the persistent vulnerability of the poor to violence (or to disease). Almost inevitably, informal and illegal methods of resolution are very widespread; Jaideep Gupte shows that some of these are so well trusted and so effective, even if they use violence, that they shame the Indian republic. Yet the impact of public processes never disappears; Romola Sanyal shows that during Partition, refugees from the then East Bengal had a certain status in India, even if officialdom then neglected them badly, but those who make the same move today are not refugees. Trying to escape structural violence in the form of economic hardship and the fear or the fact of religious discrimination, they are now illegal aliens in a foreign land which is ideologically oblivious to structural violence.

While the multiple fractures identified in this book show how strained the very idea of citizenship is in Indian cities, all the authors recognise the underlying issues in political philosophy. Most follow James Holston's sense of citizenship as the assertion of rights in the public space, but Kumar, for example, also recognises that reasoning about the content of citizenship is itself part of the practice thereof. That mighty figures — Hegel, Arendt, Habermas — appear naturally and illuminatingly throughout the book adds to its appeal, and will strengthen the reputation it deserves to gain.
The Hindu
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Old May 12th, 2012, 10:34 AM   #40
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Petty corruption thrives, and how

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Jennifer Bussell



In coalition governments, departments under the control of powerful partners are less likely to have computerised services

Levels of petty corruption vary sharply from State to State. The extent of e-governance is a major factor.

Over the last two years, the corruption pervading India's Government has received remarkable media attention, thanks, in part, to scandals surrounding the Commonwealth Games, 2G telecom licences, and Adarsh housing society.

Yet, the attention to high-level scandals has overshadowed the corruption in basic public services faced by citizens on a daily basis. Individuals who hope to receive a ration card, a driver's licence, or a modification to their land record are often faced with long delays that can only be shortened with “extra” payments, the “speed money” that greases the wheels of government and lines the pockets of bureaucrats and their political superiors.

Not only is this pernicious everyday corruption a drain on the limited resources of India's average citizen, it can impede efforts to improve the quality of public services in general. There is perhaps no better example of this than the efforts over the past decade to use information technology to reform the Indian Government.

Starting in 1999, State Governments began to introduce a comprehensive model of IT-enabled service delivery in the form of one-stop computerised service centres.

In theory, these centres would allow individuals to acquire services traditionally housed across government departments, from income and birth certificates to passports and building permits.

This model, first appearing at the state level in Andhra Pradesh's eSeva centres — initially called “TWINS” after the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad where the initiative was launched — promised to improve citizens' service delivery experience by simplifying applications, reducing officials' discretion, and minimising the time to receive services. If implemented well, these centres could dramatically improve the quality of services received by citizens throughout the country.

Vested interests

In an analysis of service-centre programmes launched in 16 of India's 20 major States, I evaluated the details of these policies and the quality of implementation.

While the wave of reform in service delivery is striking in terms of the speed and breadth of initiatives across the country, I found evidence of mixed and limited benefits to citizens. Despite the Central Government's enthusiasm to open 100,000 Common Service Centres as a part of the 2006 National eGovernment Plan (NeGP), the experience of State Programmes in the period prior to the NeGP provides a cautionary tale.

My analysis shows that the quality and comprehensiveness of state service centre programmes has varied dramatically. The number of government services made available to citizens ranged from fewer than 10 in Delhi and Odisha to more than 30 in Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh by the late 2000s.

The services made available were often the easiest to acquire, and least corrupt, in the pre-existing, non-computerised system, or were targeted to a specific group, thereby excluding large segments of citizens.

Computerisation often did not extend beyond basic data entry, as in Haryana, thereby limiting overall efficiency gains. In some cases, such as Uttarakhand and West Bengal, programmes barely got off the ground or became entangled in legal disputes between operators and the state, resulting in the closure of most, if not all, centres.

What explains this diverse set of outcomes across the States?

I posit that the promise of these initiatives was also often their downfall: the expectation of improved, and less corrupt, services posed a threat to government actors who depend on bribes acquired during service delivery.

Bureaucrats who collect “speed money” or other types of bribes from citizens, and politicians who demand a cut of these proceeds are both at risk of losing access to this source of income with the introduction of computerised, one-stop service delivery.

Where politicians depend on this “petty” or “retail” corruption for supporting their re-election campaigns, the expectation that more transparent service delivery could limit future inflows of cash can imply constraints on incumbents' ability to retain their seats.

In contrast, politicians in regions with lower pre-existing levels of petty corruption should anticipate that reforms will only minimally affect their access to income.

Thus, incumbents in areas with high petty corruption are less likely to support this type of reform.

Mixed outcomes

While all States display some petty corruption, levels of corruption differ quite dramatically. A 2005 survey conducted by Transparency International India and the Centre for Media Studies found substantial variation in petty corruption across the States: bureaucrats typically demanded bribes from fewer than 20 per cent of citizens in States such as Kerala and Gujarat, versus more than 50 per cent of individuals in Uttar Pradesh or Rajasthan.

As a result, if the level of petty corruption is linked to choices about computerisation of public services, this may help to explain the variation in these policies in the States.

Those States with high levels of petty corruption were less likely to introduce computerised centres, implemented fewer and less bribe-prone services within the centres, and were less likely to fully computerise the service-delivery process.

Perhaps most striking was that the level of petty corruption was the best predictor of state policy; outcomes were largely unrelated to the wealth or development of a state, with poorer and less developed states with lower levels of corruption implementing some of the most impressive improvements to the quality of public services through these centres.

In addition, I found that in States ruled by coalition governments, such as Kerala, departments under the control of powerful coalition partners were less likely to have services under their purview included in computerised service centres.

This article is by special arrangement with the Centre for the Advanced Study of India, University of Pennsylvania

(The author is an Assistant Professor in the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin.)
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