Express Computer
Home  »  Columns  »  eGovWatch: Modi set to replicate Gujarat’s model of eGovernance in other states

eGovWatch: Modi set to replicate Gujarat’s model of eGovernance in other states

0 484

When it comes to egovernance, the latest buzzword in the corridors of power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a firm believer of its force multiplier effect.

By Nirwa Mehta, Jyotsna Bhatnagar

And having walked the talk in Gujarat, a state he led from the front for the past 13 years, the PM is now all set to replicate Gujarat’s model of e-governance in other states as well in a bid to catapult the country to the next level of development using this potent tool of easy, effective and economical governance.

Once a laggard in the IT arena, Gujarat today has the largest optical fibre wide area network in the whole of Asia, stretching over an area of over 50,000 km. This provides government functionaries with a platform to interact not only with the lowest-rung officers all throughout the state but also with the people in rural areas through video conferencing. The state has made e-governance functional in all its 141 municipalities with Citizen Facilitation Centres functional in all the major centres of Gujarat. At the district level, taluka level and in municipal areas, computerised civic centres have been established where the concept of one-day governance has been implemented. This experiment has been further taken up to the village level by establishing e-grams equipped with computers and internet connectivity. All 14,000 gram panchayats have been made e-grams. The E-dhara project for total computerisation of land records has been extremely successful and widely acclaimed.

Other areas of egovernance include electronic weighbridges and smart cards for driving licenses, online and roaming ration card system, online filing of sales tax returns, connectivity between courts and jails, creation of huge data base of youths available for employment, online availability of government resolutions and forms in digital format, departmental websites disseminating information on various government schemes and activities.

In view of its stellar track record, Gujarat has been widely felicitated, the most recent feather to its much-adorned cap being the best e-governed state award from the government of India in January 2007. Jyotsna Bhatnagar & Nirwa Mehta take a look at some of the projects which make the Gujarat model of e-governance worth emulating:

E-Gram Vishwagram

Connecting villages

Gujarat has put in place a model IT infrastructure providing connectivity to thousands of villages across the state. Though part of the national e-governance programme (NEGP), unquestionably one of the most ambitious programmes launched by India, Gujarat’s implementation has been spectacularly successful largely on account of some proactive measures taken by the state government.

Thus, while common service centres, part of the NEGP delivery mechanism, in large parts of the country are either not yet functional or have begun closing down on account of the unviability of the model, the Gujarat initiative, christened the eGram Vishwagram project has become a case study showcasing how such projects can be implemented and run successfully.

The success of the eGram project is a result of the convergence of efforts and active involvement of the stake holders namely the eGram Vishwagram Society, the department of panchayats and the Gujarat government at the macro level and the village computer entrepreneur, technical support and training service provider and the connectivity partners, auditors and government officials at the micro level.

What has also contributed to the glitch-free running of the project is the provision of proper infrastructure by the state government which includes uninterrupted power supply, internet connectivity and essential equipment such as PCs, printers, scanners in all the 13,685 eGram CSC centres across Gujarat.

In another first, in view of the asymmetric geographical area of the country, every village eGram centre of Gujarat got connected with VSAT which brought video conferencing and VoIP phone facility right upto village level. This has not only enabled villagers to see all educational, informative and awareness programmes at their village itself by viewing PAWAN channel available on eGram connectivity network but they can also use free IP telephone to remain connected with all other eGram villages as well.

In fact, so efficient is the eGram scheme that village video conference is now part of the daily affair of eGram CSC centres where authorities talk to rural citizens as per predefined schedule and address their issues and keep tabs on implementation of various schemes.

Further, in an attempt to milk the employment potential of the scheme, village levels teams of technical support and training service provider teams are deployed to each eGram once a month compulsorily and give technical as well as training support to village computer entrepreneurs which is creating employment in rural areas. The scheme, which ensures that all services are delivered at village level through online portal, has helped to transform gram panchayats into gram sachivalayas..

Among the government to citizen services being provided by eGrams in Gujarat are birth and death certificates, farmer’s status certificates, document for caste certificates and eRation card. Additionally, VCEs are also generating revenue by offering some business to customer services including e-ticketing of railways, airlines etc, utility bill payments (electricity, mobile etc), online results of different exams, matrimonial services and market linkages for agri commodities. VCEs charge anywhere between R3 to R15 for such services and share approximately 20% of their income with the gram panchayat.


Empowering the administration

With an aim to address the need of modernisation of the intra-governmental communication setup to improve administrative efficiency and bring across accountability and reliability in overall functioning of the government, the GSWAN (Gujarat State Wide Area Network) was set up in 2001-02. GSWAN is an advanced communication infrastructure extensively used for exchange of data, voice and video, between two or more locations separated by significant geographical distances. As of now, 33 districts and 248 talukas are covered by the optical fibre network connecting 4,500 offices with over 50,000 nodes. GSWAN has leveraged ICT to provide a robust communication backbone and effective support for e-governance for State government and other government bodies including over 250 websites of various government departments, offices, boards and corporations. All these websites are hosted on GSWAN server and more than 20,000 e-mail accounts are created for government officers all over the state.

Rolled out to provide quality connectivity for facilitating implementation of e-governance applications and to support uninterrupted and easy IP (internet protocol) based video-conferencing between various government offices, Gujarat’s GSWAN grid provides a large pool of bandwidth which can facilitate future requirement of service on demand. Since 2011, the GSWAN bandwidth has been increased from 4 Mbps to 34 Mbps (750% increase) at all district centres to state centre and from 2 Mbps to 10 Mbps (400% increased) in taluka centres, along with from 4 Mbps to 34 Mbps (750% increased) in clusters—27 links at district leading almost 100% uptime performance of the network.

With over 32,000 users and over 45,000 emails getting processed on a daily basis, the grid is also clocking an impressive daily average usage of 55% of bandwidth of GSWAN for data processing in all districts. The strong GSWAN backbone facilitates higher processing power which averages at 85 giga data frames at state level, 3 peta data frames at district level and 11 giga deta frames at taluka level on a monthly basis.

GSWAN intranet provides secure access to various applications such as Public Distribution System (PDS), Garvi (Registration of Documents), Land Record Information System (E-dhara), Electoral Roll Management System (ERMS), e-Mamta, IWDMS-Integrated Workflow

Courtesy- Financial Express

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

LIVE Webinar

Digitize your HR practice with extensions to success factors

Join us for a virtual meeting on how organizations can use these extensions to not just provide a better experience to its’ employees, but also to significantly improve the efficiency of the HR processes
India's Leading e-Governance Summit is here!!! Attend and Know more.
Register Now!
Attend Webinar & Enhance Your Organisation's Digital Experience.
Register Now
Enable A Truly Seamless & Secure Workplace.
Register Now
Attend Inida's Largest BFSI Technology Conclave!
Register Now
Know how to protect your company in digital era.
Register Now
Protect Your Critical Assets From Well-Organized Hackers
Register Now
Find Solutions to Maintain Productivity
Register Now
Live Webinar : Improve customer experience with Voice Bots
Register Now
Live Event: Technology Day- Kerala, E- Governance Champions Awards
Register Now
Virtual Conference : Learn to Automate complex Business Processes
Register Now