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Article Title: Status of E-gov Projects


URL: http://dqindia.ciol.commakesections.asp/10121006.asp
Section: Top Stories
Author Name: Stuti Das
Author Email: stutid@cybermedia.co.in
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Out of the 27 Mission Mode Projects, under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), 14 MMPs have already started delivery of
services while the remaining 13 MMPs are expected to begin services from 2014. Clearly the government is taking the e-governance
mandate rather seriously, considering that the NeGP was approved only 4 years back in 2006.

And out of the 13 MMPs, 8 services have to be developed and implemented by the state government. While the state governments
have been assigned the target of rolling out the e-district and agricultural services by 2011, municipality, policy, land records, and
employment exchange will be implemented by 2012 and the treasuries and commercial tax services by 2013 in electronic mode.
The last program of immigration e-services has to be delivered by 2014.

As per the government records, over 600 such services including all the services currently being offered by various states and the
central government are already being delivered to citizens.

In continuation, the government seems to be set to kickstart 3 servicesUnique ID, e-Office, and e-Biz by the end of this year. The
apex body for e-governance has also proposed to form a process reengineering working group which will come up with
recommendations to set up internal electronic system that will help in reducing procedural delays in approval, implementation, and
execution of projects.

While its most ambitious and most talked about projectthe Unique ID (Aadhar) projectis running on time,
having crossed the 100,000 enrolment mark recently, the projects success can be attributed to Nandan
Nilekani at the helm; the Common Service Centers (CSC) project isnt doing all that well. Even though more
than 85,000 CSCs have been set up, it is only expected to be completed by March 2011, way behind the
schedule. And if that was not enough, the government further plans to have 250,000 CSCs in all by 2012 to
cover all Panchayats to enable people to access the services under e-governance in their vicinity. A herculean
task indeed, considering that its current target of setting up 100,000 CSCs is running behind schedule.

In this issue, we have tried to bring up a status update of the 27 MMPs and where they stand in terms of
implementation.

State MMPs

Consisting of 10 MMPs, every state has the flexibility of identifying upto 5 additional state-specific MMPs
(relevant for economic development within the State). And in cases where central assistance is required, such
inclusions are considered on the advice of the concerned line ministries/departments.

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For the Common Man

While Uttar Pradesh may have taken the lead in rolling out the e-district way back in 2008 in its 6 districtsGhaziabad, Gautam
Buddha Nagar, Rae Bareli, Sitapur, Gorakhpur, and Sultanpurthe initial momentum was shortlived as the project was put on the
backburner until some months back when after the intervention of the chief minister, Mayawati who asked all departments to offer
their services through e-district, the project is on the revival path. She also asked the project to be implemented in the remaining 65
districts as well.

In the last 1 year, the project has been making news with states like West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra introducing the
project. In September, West Bengal introduced its first e-district at Bankura and Jalpaiguri in the first phase. The pilot project will be
focusing on establishing computer based network connectivity between the districts and chief ministers office and removal of paper
based formalities for sending applications. The services to be included are certificates of income and domicile, pension, licences,
right to information (RTI), and small and medium scale industry etc.

Tamil Nadu government too implemented the e-district in Krishnagiri, Coimbatore, Thiruvarur, Perambalur, Ariyalur, and the Nilgiris
districts. Plans are in the pipeline for a state-wide rollout. Under the project, around 5,440 CSC centers will also be set up for public
access to computers, thereby bridging the digital divide in rural areas. Among the services that will be offered are booking tickets,
recharging accounts, banking transactions, financial inclusion and access to various e-governance initiatives.

Maharashtra too is following suit with plans to develop Pune, Latur, and Nagpur as e-districts. Out of the 10,484 CSC centers
planned for Maharashtra, around 6,351 have already been rolled out and the remaining would be implemented on a fast track basis.

In continuation with its efforts to empowering the grassroots of administration, the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj ministry
has included connectivity to Gram Panchayats through broadband network in the Bharat Nirman II Programme. As on September
2010, a total of 97,392 village Panchayats have been broadband enabled.

For introducing e-governance at the Panchayat level and for bridging the gap between the government and the citizen, the ministry
has formulated the e-Panchayat or Gram Panchayat scheme.

For the project, the ministry has been allocated `5.5 crore in 2008-09, about `22.1 crore in 2009-10 and `24 crore in 2010-11. Some
part of the fund has been used for the development of software applications to automate core functions of Panchayats. PRIASoft, an
accounting software and PLANPlus, software for decentralized planning has already been launched.

Presently, the e-Panchayat has 30 major modules on different aspects of rural administration. The main focus is to provide services
like birth certificate, caste/tribe certificate, death certificate, application for old age and widow pension, ration card, registration of
land and property, registration with state employment exchange, registering grievances with Women Commission, checking land
records online.

Over the next 3 years, the project will cost `4,500 crore inclusive of the cost of providing computing and broadband connectivity to all
2.5 lakh panchayats.

And like other projects, this too will operate on the PPP model and in a first of its kind project in India, Bharti Airtel partnered with
the Gujarat government in the e-GRAM Connectivity Infrastructure Project and has set up telecom infrastructure to connect 13,716
village Panchayats, making Gujarat the only state to do so.

In Orissa, the government has partnered with BSNL for 2 Mbps Virtual Private Network (VPN) and MoPR also has LAN connectivity
at 314 Panchayat Samitis and each panchayat.

Land Records Management

An agriculture dependent economy like India coupled with sky rocketing land prices in recent years has been a source of rising land
related disputes. Moreover with some records even being more than 100 years old, chances of such records either disappearing (in
spite of best efforts) or being manipulated cannot be ruled out.

In order to address this issue, the National Land Records Modernization Programme (NLRMP) was approved by the cabinet in 2008
allocating `473 crore (in 2008-09) and it was intended to make it fully operational within the next 8 years.

The NLRMP would not only undertake computerization, updating and maintenance of land records and validation of titles, but also
act a program that will add value and provide a comprehensive database for planning developmental, regulatory and disaster
management activities by providing location specific information, while providing citizen services based on land records data.

Punjab, for obvious reasons has taken the lead by investing `115 crore for rolling out the digitization of land records, under the PPP
model and by the end of 2010, there will be online access to the land records largely benefiting the NRI population of the state.
Besides, all 153 tehsils of the state would be computerized.

Pune was chosen by the central government early this year to implement the pilot project under the NLRMP; to be executed in 3
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years at an estimated cost of `66 crore. The initiative will see
computerization of all land records, bringing in transparency in maintenance
and, at the same time reduce land disputes. Whats more an online facility
for 7x12 extracts and property cards of 7 districts has already been
launched on www.mahabhulekh.nic.in.

Initially started for Pune, it has now been extended to other municipal
corporations of Mumbai suburban, Kolhapur, Nagpur, Raigad, Nashik, and
Latur. Orissa too has joined the league with online registration of land
records earlier this year.

Finding a Job Online

Finding jobs on the Internet isnt any new trend for most of urban India, but for rural India and the semi-skilled workforce, the
neighborhood employment exchange still is the place to hunt for jobs. So when the government decided to modernize its
employment exchanges and go online, it does make headlines. The employment exchange modernization program costing `2,000
crore is to be implemented in PPP model enabling jobseekers to register online and approach any employment exchange via a
national web portal with common software.

Out of 32 employment exchanges in Tamil Nadu, only 4 have gone online from September onwards using a centralized online
service. These 4 are equipped to handle all process like registration, renewal, and updation while the Tharamani office in Chennai
can only register the engineering degree or diploma certificate and to get internship in any government organization.

However not all seems to be well on the program front. The finance ministry has reportedly found discrepancies in the program
finding a mismatch between the labor ministrys proposal and the Planning Commission approval. The Ministry of Labor has now
been told to consult the Planning Commission on the matter.

The `787 crore, e-Municipalities project under the Ministry of Urban Development, proposes to offer services like registration and
issue of birth/death certificates; payment of property taxes; payment of utility bills; grievance and suggestions and building plan
approvals.

Treasuries

A `626 crore project, the e-Treasuries, encompasses computerization of state treasuries in all 625 districts of the country beginning
from 2010-11, to be completed in about 3 years. Under the project, the state governments will be assisted to fill in the existing gap
in their treasury computerization, upgradation, expansion, and interface requirements, apart from supporting basic computerization.

The scheme includes installation of suitable hardware and application software systems in networked environment on a wide area
basis and building interfaces for data sharing among various stakeholders.

The treasury computerization project is expected to make budgeting processes more efficient, improve cash flow management,
promote real-time reconciliation of accounts, strengthen management information systems (MIS), and bring about transparency and
efficiency in public delivery systems.

In fact the Jammu & Kashmir government is already progressing on the front by conceiving a `27 crore project for computerization of
treasuries. In addition, the state also plans to upgrade to new treasury softwareIntegrated Financial Management System (IFMS). In
the first phase, 11 treasuries6 in Kashmir and 5 in Jammu divisionwould be fully computerized during the current fiscal.

The government has also given its nod for the computerization of commercial taxes administrations of state governments with an
overall cost of `1,133 crore, to help states to develop and upgrade the IT systems in their commercial taxes administrations. In
addition the cabinet has also given its consent to grant central share upto 90% of the project cost for the North Eastern
StatesArunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Meghalaya. It also approved the proposal for releasing
100% of the project cost to UTs without legislature through Department of Revenue to expedite implementation of project in the UTs
of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli.

The Commercial Taxes project will put in place the IT infrastructure to ensure uniformity and standards in commercial taxes
administration. Tamil Nadu currently seems to be the only state to have initiated the project, with the central government approving
the project for about `47.9 crore, to be shared between the Center and the State. While the central share is `32.5 crore, the state will
contribute `15.4 crore. As the first installment, the central government has released `12.4 crore as the first installment of its share in
March 2010.

As the first UT, Chandigarh too has decided to implement the project and has been sanctioned `5.97 crore. To be implemented in
the next 2 years, various e-services like e-registration, e-filing, e-payment, e-forms, e-refunds and e-redressal of grievances will be
introduced.

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For Efficient Policing

Long been accused of negligent policing system, the Ministry of Home Affairs has conceived of the Crime and Criminals Tracking
and Network System (CCTNS) for the state police to enhance their efficiency and effectiveness of policing. Under the MMP, a
nationwide networked infrastructure will be set up for evolution of IT-enabled state-of-the-art tracking system around investigation of
crime and detection of criminals in real-time.

A central sector scheme with 100% funding by the central government, the Planning Commission had approved an outlay of `2,000
crore in the 11th Five-Year-Plan. It was envisioned to cover 14,000 police stations, 6,000 higher offices including circle/sub-
division/district/ range/ zone/commissionerate/state headquarters, National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), and State Crime
Records Bureaus (SCRB) during the plan period.

Integrated MMPs

Owned and spearheaded by their various line ministries, the decisions pertaining to the Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) are taken
by the concerned central and state governments and in the case of integrated MMPs, it is taken in conjunction with both the
governments and the respective ministries. While the concerned ministry/department is entirely responsible for all decisions related
to their MMPs, the decisions impacting NeGP as a whole are taken in consultation with DIT. Additionally, wherever required by the
concerned ministries/departments, DIT provides necessary support for project formulation and development.

The Integrated MMPs include 7 projects namely e-biz, e-courts, e-procurement, India Portal, CSC, National Service Delivery
Gateway (NSDG), and EDI for e-trade.

While e-biz and e-procurement projects intend to streamline and smoothen the way business is conducted in India and bringing in
the much-needed transparency in business; the India portal and NSDG are the one-point contact for all e-governance projects.

Smoothening the Biz

In order to do away with red tapism and bureaucratic hurdles as well as for bringing down the number of days to start the business
from 30 to 3, the government in 2009 rolled out a `15 crore venturethe e-biz project for developing and maintaining a one-stop portal
to allow entrepreneurs to obtain central, state, and even municipal clearances, licenses and permitsand that too all online.

In the pilot phase, spanning over 3 years, the e-biz project will cover 5 statesDelhi, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and
Tamil Naduoffering 50 services. And when completed in 2019, the portal will include all states and central government departments
covering more than 205 G2B services, including the issue of licenses and permits needed across a companys business lifecycle.

Infosys has managed to bag the e-biz project which is expected to reform the investor environment and once the project goes live,
the company will be paid a transaction fee on a revenue sharing basis with the government.

However it needs to be clarified that the initiative will not in actuality reduce procedures, rather would ensure minimum physical
interface for potential entrepreneurs and investors. Moreover, there would be a time-bound target set for the issue of permits and
other licences. However, regulatory procedures like those involving the Foreign Investment Promotion Board will not be part of this
portal.

Mired in corrupt practices with the tender mafia dominating the tendering process, the government in 2006 undertook the e-
procurement project directing that all tenders issued by Directorate General of Supplies & Disposals (DGS&D) for conclusion of rate
contract for all items were to be invited only through e-tendering for ensuring participation from traders and suppliers based out of
remote areas. The project, which makes effective use of ICT for bringing in government accountability and making the government
procurement simplified, transparent, and result oriented is being implemented through the DGS&D, a central purchasing
organization under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, which has core competency in procurement of goods and services.

Last year, the DGS&D entered the era of e-governance by launching the live opening of e-bids for DGS&D rate contracts marking the
computerization of all of DGS&Ds major procurement and related activities. The project includes 4 components: e-purchase, e-
tendering, e-inspection, and e-payment. The DGS&D has initiated e-tendering as one of the components of its e-procurement
platform to bring in transparency and to simplify tendering process.

The total value of supply orders based on DGS&D rate contracts is valued at approximately `3,500 crore. But what makes this
project truly innovative is the fact that how a simple website can initiate a process for eradicating corruption, in turn saving money for
the government for instance in Karnataka, 20 mn land records were computerized at a cost of $4.2 mnthe annual savings add up to
$18.3 mn.

In fact DGS&D has already received many requests for e-procurement platform and MoUs were signed for using DGS&D e-
procurement platform with NCT for Commonwealth Games, Indian Navy, UT of Chandigarh, Ordinance Factory Board, and Uttar
Pradesh government.

In fact Indian Railways used e-procurement effectively for reducing the procurement and advertisement cost by approximately 30%
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and eliminating aberrations, malpractices, and reduction in procurement process in the existing procedure. The system was
implemented by HCL Infosystems covering 16 zonal railways and 6 production units along with CRIS. The offerings stack includes e-
Requisition, e-Tendering, e-Auction, e-Contract Management, e-Shipment Planning and Monitoring System, e-Receipt and
Issuance, e-Payments etc.

It provides secure and transparent platform for publication of tenders by buyer and online bidding by vendors. The site provides a
secure platform to users for online transactions for procurement. Railway users can upload their tender documents and can open
tenders online. Vendors can access the tender documents through this site and submit their bids online duly encrypted at their end.
IREPS site is being used extensively for procurement of materials by all 16 zonal Railways offices and 6 production units.

From its launch since 2008, more than 80,000 tenders have been uploaded by various offices till date and currently more than
10,000 tenders per month are being uploaded by Railways.

The e-Procurement MMP covers all aspects of procurement from indent of tender to tender preparation, bidding, bid evaluation and
award of contract. In light of the CVC mandate that all departments publish their tenders on the internet, the MMP deploys extensive
security features for encryption and decryption of bids, and digital signatures.

Courting Failures

While the government seems to have hit the bulls eye with the e-biz and e-procurement MMPs, it seems to have hit a roadblock on
the judicial reforms front. Pegged to be a ground breaking project for introducing ICT in judiciary, the e-courts project has failed to
take off with not even a single e-court established till October 2010. The government seems to have failed on all fronts including
using ICT for national litigation policy of India and establishment of an online dispute resolution (ODR). The lack of technological
expertise seems to be the culprit here as presently only Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) manage Indias only
e-courts training and consultancy center in India and PLTB is not extending legal expertise to the project.

While it may be unfair to judge that Indian courts havent progressed far on computerization, we are still far from calling them e-
courts. Even as an e-court committee was established in December 2004 to assist the chief justice of India (CJI) in formulating a
national policy on computerization of Indian judiciary and advice on technological, communication, and management-related
changes, its tenure was extended till February 2010, after which there has been no news of its renewal.

Meanwhile the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs also


revised its allocation for the e-court project to `9.4 bn, up from
`4.4 bn allocated in 2007 for covering 14,249 courts in 3,069
court complexes compared to 13,348 courts in 2,100 court
complexes approved earlier. The project would now also
include provisioning of WAN connectivity, data entry of
pending cases and provision of equipment for uninterrupted
power supply for the ICT infrastructure at the courts, and
establishment of video conferencing facilities in courts and
prisons.

Even though in February earlier this year, Indias first district


level e-court was inaugurated at district East, Karkardooma
Courts, there has been no news of any other such initiative
and we are light years away from having a full-fledged e-court
in India. The Karkardooma was a pilot project and the experience was to be utilized for making the courts paperless. At the
Karkardooma court, all existing files of a fast-track court, were digitized and a touch screen installed on the dais of the judge for
viewing any digitized file searching date-wise, name-wise or even Act-wise.

Fitting the Jigsaw

Conceived to provide a single window access pertaining to the information and government services at all levels right from the
central, state, district and even the panchayat to the citizens, business and even overseas Indians, the National Portal of Indias first
version was launched way back in 2005.

Functional in 5 regional languagesGujarati, Assamese, Tamil, Oriya and Bengali, National portal coordinators (NPCs) were
nominated from 66 central ministries and 35 state governments, who are responsible for the content development, compilation, and
maintenance. A web based secured Content Management System (CMS) and an external website that opens in a new window has
been developed to facilitate contribution of content by the NPCs.

In order to do away with legacy systems using heterogenous platforms and technologies in the government, the NeGPs ambitious
National eGovernance Service Delivery Gateway (NSDG) entails to collaborate and integrate information across different
departments at all government levels.

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The NSDG, which went live on August 2008 has been fully integrated with MCA21 while systems integration with India Portal,
Trademarks, PAN, e-district, e-Forms & State Portals is in progress and testing with eBiz for NSDG 2.0 is underway. Application
Security Testing for NSDG version 2.0 has been completed at both the DC and DR site. The objective of NSDG was to act as a
standards based messaging switch for providing seamless interoperability and exchange of data across the departments.

Sea Trade

For simplifying procedures and introducing electronic delivery of services by regulatory as well as providing 24x7 access to users,
increasing transparency in procedures, reducing transaction cost and time in the clearance of export/import of cargo, the Ministry of
Shipping is aggressively pursuing the Electronic Data Exchange (EDI) for e-trade among the trade regulatory agencies, export
promotion organizations, exporters & importers, agents and banks to expedite the clearance process and electronic payment.

Pursuing the initiative of centralized web based Port Community System


(PCS) under the e-trade project, the PCS is intended to integrate the
electronic flow of information and function as the centralized hub for all the
Indian Ports and other stakeholders like Customs, Shipping lines/Agents,
Surveyors, Stevedores, Banks, CFS, Customs House Agents,
CONCOR/Railways, etc through a common interface.

Initially, all 12 major ports have been identified for connecting electronically
with PCS like Kolkata (Kolkota Dock System, Haldia Dock Complex),
Paradip, Viskhapatnam, Chennai, Ennore, Tuticorin, Cochin, New
Mangalore, Mormugao, Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and Kandla.
Implementation of PCS has been envisaged in following 3 phases: the first
phase consists of 33 messages covering vessel and container related
messages among Ports, Shipping Agents, Shipping/Container Lines,
Container Freight Station and Customs House Agents; the second phase
consists of 17 messages covering Transport, Cargo, and Finance related
and e-payments. Three additional stakeholders viz, CONCOR/Railways/Pvt
Carriers, Stevedores, and Banks also to be covered; and finally, in the third
phase around 43 messages will be covered related to Customs and other
regulatory agencies such as Port Health Organization (PHO), Mercantile Marine Department (MMD).

It is expected that once PCS is implemented, Indian ports will be transformed to modern entities by bringing in a paperless regime,
minimizing transaction time and cost to Indian export-import trade. And whats more it is expected to reduce transaction costs at
ports at least by 10% and empower Indian ports to join the league of international technology advanced e-ports.

Central MMPs

With a large number of e-governance initiatives having been rolled out in the last few years by state and central ministries, e-
governance in India has certainly moved ahead from its computerization phase to include the finer points of Governance like citizen
centricity, service orientation and transparency. Inclusive of 10 MMPs, the Central MMPs boast of some well known projects like
MCA21 (one of the earliest e-governance projects to have made headlines) or the Unique Id project (re-named Aadhar), one of the
few projects that have been achieving milestones on schedule.

Creating the Aadhar

As one of the most talked about e-governance projects in recent times, the Aadhar project, part of the Unique Identification Authority
led by Nandan Nilekani, was in the news recently when it issued its 100,000th Aadhar number to Lakshmamma from Tumkur in
Karnataka. Crossing the one-lakh enrolment mark is no mean feat considering that the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had only on
September 29, 2010 issued the first Aadhaar number to Ranjna Sadashiv Sonwane, a tribal woman from Tembhali village in
Nandurbar, Maharashtra.

The UIDAI intends to issue 600 mn Aadhaar numbers in the next 4 years to citizens. The project is seeing an
increase in enrollments in seven states including Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Karnataka,
Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra.

In fact UIDAI has also signed agreements with the Life Insurance Corporation of India and Indira Gandhi National
Open University to serve as registrars for Aadhaar numbers and these institutions have started enrolments.

The UIDAI as part of its plans to join hands with public sector banks to create financial products suited to Aadhaar
is signing MoUs with leading public sector banks including Allahabad Bank (to work as registrar and identifying
account holders for facilitating issuance of UID) and Indian Overseas Bank for setting up a core team (by the bank)
to oversee the implementation of the UID project among the constituents (account holders, nominees and others)
of the bank. State Bank of Hyderabad too has signed an agreement for taking forward the authoritys enrolment process through its

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1,200 branches. The SBH has also been entrusted to implement the smart card project for EBT (electronic benefits transfer)
payments across 5 districts of Andhra Pradesh where it mainly operates.
The UIDAI will also boast of the largest biometric database in the world, once completed.

Taxing the Income

Tagged as the poster project of the government, the MCA21 under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs project offers availability of all
registry related services including filing of documents, registration of companies and public access to corporate information through
a secure interactive portal.

Considering that the stakeholders including corporate entities and the public would face difficulties initially in switching to an
electronic filing system, a network of facilitation centers were set up at 52 locations across the country for offering services free of
cost for e-filing of documents for a period of 3 yearswhich got over in January 2010. Now, while 48 of these centers have been
closed, helpdesks have now been set up at ROC locations for providing level-1 information services.

However the showcase facilitation centers at major metropolitan cities of Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai would be continued
till the end of the project cycle and in these centers the e-filing services would be offered free of charge.

Apart from the facilitation centers, a scheme for Certified Filing Centers (CFCs) managed by practicing professionals like company
secretaries, CA, cost & works accountants was also introduced and about 965 such CFCs were authorized. The scheme was
further extended for another 3 years from July this year, however only 200 CFCs are now in operation.

Taking a cue from the ongoing success of the MCA21 project, the CBEC too introduced the Automation of Central Excise and
Service Tax (ACES) as an MMP for allowing manufacturers, service tax providers, and distributors to file their central excise and
service tax returns online.

Rolled out in September 2008 in selected commissionerates, after the initial phase, ACES was rolled out nationally in June 2009.
Developed by Wipro, it is an initiative for improving taxpayer services, transparency, accountability, and efficiency in the indirect tax
administration in India. Being the second generation software, ACES is expected to replace the current applications of SERMON,
SACER, SAPS, STREMS, used in Central Excise and Service Tax for capturing returns and registration details of the assessees. It
includes the entire range of Central Excise and Service Tax processesregistration, returns, accounting and reconciliation, refunds,
dispute resolution, audit, provisional assessment, exports, claims, intimations, and permissions.

Post the deployment, one is seeing reduced tabulation times and reduced paperwork as a result there is less chances of human
errors.

ACES has a centralized web-based application accessible through the Internet and the number of active users comprise of around
1,500,000 external and 7,000 departmental users.

The popularity and the success of the portal can be accessed from the fact that from go-live the portal has managed to receive in
access of 11 crore hits and the number is growing. While the Central Excise & Service Tax registrations by users filed in ACES has
crossed the 2-lakh mark, Central Excise & Service Tax returns filed online in ACES is also 2 lakhs.

Banking on IT

Recognizing that Indian banking industry has undergone a huge transformation with the arrival of computerization, the government
has rightly identified banking as an MMP. Even though private sector banks may have an edge when it comes to computerization,
the public sector banks too arent far behind and have been investing for upgrading their operations by way of computerization. Of the
total number of public sector bank branches, 97.8% were fully computerized at end-March 2010 while all branches of the SBI group
were fully computerized.

And the cumulative expenditure on computerization and development of communication networks by public sector banks from
September 1999 to March 2010 aggregated to `22,052 crore, with the expenditure on computerization and development of
communication networks registering a growth of 23.2% in 2009-10.
A technological development closely related to computerization in bank branches is the adoption of the Core Banking Solutions
(CBS). An important development last year was a significant increase in the percentage of branches of public sector banks
implementing CBS. The percentage of such branches increased from 79.4% at end-March 2009 to 90% at end-March 2010.

Another key development in the banking industry has been the formation of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) under
RBIs Payment Systems Vision 2009-12. With Infosys chairman NR Narayana Murthy heading NPCI; it recently launched the
Interbank Mobile Payment Services (IMPS), Indias first instant, real-time, 24x7 fund transfer facility in the retail payment sector. Co-
created by NPCI along with its partners, participating banks, their service providers, MPFI and IDRBT, it provides an interoperable
infrastructure for the banks to offer real-time money transfer facility to their customers through the mobile channel. IMPS rides on
the existing NFS Interbank ATM transaction switching infrastructure and the message format which was co-developed with MPFI.

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Currently all public sector banks are now on the National Fund Switch network (NFS) with the number of member banks of NFS at
51 and the number of ATMs under the network
standing at 63,800, accounting for over 90% of
the ATMs in operation in the country.

Global Reach

The 26/11 terrorist attack at Mumbai changed


India and also the mindset of the Indian
government. And among the many security
related initiatives that the government undertook,
the most significant one was the Immigration,
Visa and Foreigners Registration and Tracking
(IVFRT).

Estimated to cost around `1,011 crore, this MMP


will be implemented in a phased manner over a
period of 4.5 years beginning from April, 2010 to
September, 2014 to modernize and upgrade the
range of immigration services.

Once the project is implemented, all 169 Indian


Missions across the globe, 77 Immigration Check
Posts (ICPs), and the Foreigners Regional
Registration Offices (FRROs)/Foreigners
Registration Offices (FROs) in the country would
be linked with the Central Foreigners Bureau.

The first phase of the project would be


implemented in Dhaka, London and 4 Immigration
Check Posts (ICPs) including Delhi, Mumbai, and
Kolkata and 3 Foreigner Regional Registration
Offices at these 3 metros. The second phase
would cover all other missions in India and
abroad.

Of the total cost, `132 crore would be spent


during the first phase till June 2011 and the
remaining `879 crore in the second phase up to
September 2014. The primary objective of IVFRT
is to develop and implement a secure and
integrated service delivery framework using
biometric systems and intelligent document
scanners to authenticate the identities.

While IVFRT is in the pipeline, another ambitious


project launched with much fanfare by the MEA
in 2008 was the Passport Seva project. Pegged
to cost around `1,000 crore, TCS had bagged the
project to open passport seva kendras (PSKs).
The passport was delayed owing to several
reasonsfirstly the software was to be made error
free and then security concerns were raised in
the parliament over the inclusion of a private
partner.

The project will reduce


the waiting time for
applications to 45
minutes and is the first
national level project
capturing biometrics
and has also set up
the first government

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call center in 18 languages.

As part of the pilot project, 4 PSKs were opened in Karnataka2 in Bengaluru and 1 each in Hubli and Mangalore a few months back.
In addition there will be 14 mini-PSKs, most of them in the northeastern region. It is expected that by early next year, the PSKs will
be opened pan-India.

Modernizing the Office

A traditional government office is characterized by piling paper documents and desks overloaded with files and the reality is not too
different. However the government initiated a rather unique projecte-office in 2008 for transitioning to a paperless office within the next
5 years and would be crucial in shaping the Government Process Reengineering (GPR), which eventually enhances the quality of
services delivered to the citizens. The Department of Administrative Reform and Public Grievances (DARPG) is the nodal agency for
implementing the project.

India is no stranger to several experiments in the e-Office domain namely, SmartGov in the AP Secretariat and iWDMS in the
Gujarat Secretariat. Various state governments spend annually approximate `300,000 crore on staff.

Currently e-Office is under the design stage and the deliverables of AS IS, Best Practices, Technology Standards for eOffice MMP,
Technology Architecture, Functional Requirements, Change Management report etc are completed. In October, the NIC unit of
Kerala implemented it across the state units.

Stuti Das
stutid@cybermedia.co.in

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