How GIL is improving govt-citizen interface in Gujarat through e-Governance

“Being the IT nodal agency, GIL has positioned Gujarat, as a key state in the knowledge sector and acts as a medium to make government-citizen interface more effective, transparent and efficient through various tools of eGovernannce and IT, says Roopwant Singh, managing director, Gujarat Informatics Limited. In conversation with Ankush Kumar, he elucidates on the rapid transformation that the state has witnessed in just few years time and the role of GIL in making it digitally enabled. As a nodal agency, GIL has played crucial role in setting up of core ICT infrastructure projects in the state like GSWAN, State Data Centre, eGRAM, and CSC etc.

What is the current mandate of GIL ? Tell us about some of its key achievements under your  leadership ?

Gujarat Informatics Ltd (GIL) is the nodal agency for development of IT in the state of Gujarat being established by the Government of Gujarat in Feb-1999 under Dept. of Science & Technology with an objective to promote IT and accelerate the process of ICT-based eGovernance initiatives across the state. Since its inception, GIL has worked aggressively to make stunning forays in the implementation of IT in the state. Having made a promising beginning with projects like, GSWAN, GSDC and the GR Book, GIL is gaining significant ground with its endeavors for digitization of government departments, training of CIO’s, developing applications, forming mergers and signing MOUs with leading national and international companies.

What are the steps taken to promote IT and accelerate the process of eGovernance in Gujarat?

Being a nodal agency, GIL has always played crucial role in setting up of core ICT infrastructure projects in the state like GSWAN, State Data Centre, eGRAM, and CSC etc. with the use of advanced technologies like GIS and mobility solutions, to provide smart Governance to its citizens and businesses. GIL, with the adoption of innovative, constructive and result-oriented policies for use of ICT as facilitator, have helped government leveraging significant benefits on the front of eGovernance or digital governance.

Some of our prime initiatives in order to continuously accelerate development of IT in the state and provide backbone support to the startups in eGovernance and to dovetail the state e-Governance model with the ‘Digital India’ programme, is to revise government strategies by publishing new guidelines and polices time-to-time and create a conducive ecosystem to propel growth of IT sector.

In order to do this, we along with, Dept. of Science & Technology, have last year formulated and declared some crucial policies for the period 2016-2021; IT / ITeS policy, Electronics policy, Startup and Innovation policy, and Bio-technology policy.

We have received tremendous response to these policies and many major, as well as small startup companies have already leveraged benefits under these policies, right from the industry leaders to small startup firms. Besides providing support and assistance for growth and expansion of operations, one of the major benefit the state will receive is employment generation through these initiatives, which is really notable.

What is the focus of the state on PPP (public private partnership)? In what way it can be beneficial to your state?

Public participation has always been in priority for any governance initiatives for our state. Gujarat has been the first state to build the first state data center of the country under NeGP. Apart from this, we have also started online eProcurement for government tendering from very early days of eGovernance. GIL, along with DST has created excellence in human resource and encourage strong public private partnerships within state to leverage ICT resources. This has helped successful roll-out of e-Gram’s, being operated through Village Computer Entrepreneurs (VCEs) on a revenue sharing basis under PPP. Also there are more than 6000 VPs working under Common Service Centers (CSCs) NeGP.

How much is the state’s thrust on capacity building, as it is seen as the major pillar for e- Governance project in terms of conceptualization and implementation in the state ?

The thrust and focus on capacity building for the state through IT, reflects in GIL/ DIT’s vision statement. Realizing to the fullest possible extent the infinite potential of the equation: IT + IT = IT. This means, Indian talent + information technology = India’s tomorrow to create and build a vibrant and sturdy edifice of IT/ITeS eco-system on the basis of innovation and knowledge capital, to utilize huge young talent pool of the state and to contribute to the overall economy and prosperity of the state and the nation.

To meet with the challenging expectations of the ever changing requirements, it is necessary that IT/ITeS sector plays a lead role for both employment creation, economic growth, etc. and also for upskilling and capacity building leveraging demographic dividend of the state. Considering the emerging trends, it has become imperative to revisit the provisions of the IT / ITES policies of the state (2014-19), for which GIL assisted DST / GoG in formulating and implementing state-level policies for IT/ITES, electronics and startups.

How are MMPs being implemented in the state ? What is the current progress of their implementation?

Gujarat has always played a significant role in pioneering & implementing e-Governance initiatives in the state in line with various Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) under NeGP. Gujarat has been considered as aspiring leader state in e-readiness assessment being conducted by MeitY. Awarded as the best e-governance state, Gujarat is a frontline state in the implementation of e-Governance policies & projects and setting up of key infrastructure for e-Governance. Some of the flagship MMPs being rolled out successfully across the state with assistance of GIL are CCTNS, CSC, eCity, eCourt, eDhara / eJamin, Garvi / CSIS, e-District, eGram, etc.

What are the projects that has been initiated by GIL with respect to the state IT Policy (2014-19) launched in 2014 ?

Government of Gujarat has always being proactive and have adopted innovative, constructive and result oriented progressive ICT policies for the promotion and implementation of e-governance initiatives across state. Being the IT nodal agency, GIL has positioned Gujarat, as a key state in the knowledge sector and acts as a medium to make government-citizen interface more effective, transparent and efficient. Some of the flagship district-level eGovernance projects being implemented successfully in the state during pas 5-7 years are; AIMS (Aapno Taluko Vibrant Taluko – ATVT Inspection Mobile System), E-Mahiti Shakti (e-Broadcast), Employee Work Management System (EWMS), E-Waste (Electronic / IT Waste Disposal Management System), UDANT (Livelihood Portal), GujCop and SASGUJ (Safe And Secure GUJarat) applications.

What are some of the other initiatives and projects that is transforming the state with the help of Information Technology?

As stated earlier, to foster the growth of IT sector in Gujarat, DST has recently revised and upgraded various policies for the promotion of ICT-enabled governance. GIL has contributed in state-level policy up hauling by publishing revised policies for the period 2016-2021, which will help transforming various IT-enabled sectors in the state as under: biotechnology (Gujarat State Bio-Technology Mission); remote sensing, space application and seismology (Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Application and Geo-Informatics – BISAG); inculcate scientific temper among students (Science City); and encourage research and emerging technologies (Finishing Schools, CoEs).

How has Gujarat aligned its vision with Digital India programme ?

We want to be an inspiration for other states and want them to know how digitally enabled Gujarat is as a state and what a pivotal role does GIL plays in taking forward the vision of Digital India programme. GIL has helped envisioning a robust, long-term and effective, “Digital Gujarat Vision” in alignment to the Digital India Programme vision and its key areas. The Digital Gujarat vision is focused on to provide reliable and secure backbone for internet connectivity to reach till last mile making all G2B and G2C services available all across the state. It aims to establish a highly reliable, robust and secure communication corridor.

Also efforts are being made to create single unified effective intranet for the government thereby facilitating effective communication and creating less paper environment. The focus is also to facilitate electronic delivery of government services to citizen, government to businesses services and to provide connectivity to all the e-Governance applications of the state. It is important for us to provide low-cost & alternate means of communication with internet connectivity during normal time and also at the time of any disaster. Last but not the least we want to create a plug-and-connect environment for all government departments / PSUs so as to provide bandwidth on demand.

CSCegovernanceeGRAMGSWANGujarat Informatics LimitedICTIT PolicyManaging DirectorRoopwant SinghState Data Centre
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