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Digital Technology Sabha 2022: ‘Taking The Next Digital Leap’

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With the theme ‘Taking The Next Digital Leap’, Digital Technology Sabha 2022 was organised as a virtual conclave from February 22, 2022 to February 24, 2022. The flagship event of Express Computer, brought government thought leaders and experts from the technology industry to discuss digital transformation in the government sector.

Over the past one and a half decade, e-governance in India has continuously evolved into a progressive government program, from being an initiative for computerisation of government departments to governance initiatives that focus on citizen centricity, service orientation and transparency.

It has been more than six years since the Government of India launched the landmark Digital India project that was created with a vision of transforming India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. Today, the Digital India project has turned out to be one of the biggest success stories with several successes and landmark digital initiatives that have perhaps no parallel anywhere in the world. 

To enlighten about the various digital health initiatives, the first day of the conference began with Keynote Address titled, ‘Reimagining the Healthcare order built on Trust and Technology’ by Dr Ram Sewak Sharma, CEO, National Health Authority (NHA), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

“Under the Digital India program, digital infrastructure, software as services on demand and citizens empowerment are the major keys for development. India has 1.2 billion mobile phones and the cheapest data rates in the world. Under Digital Identity Infrastructure, we have 60 billion authentications that have been done in the last seven years. Digitisation of healthcare under Ayushmaan Bharat is a game changer for Indian healthcare and it is important for us to have an interoperable and scalable digital health system,” explained Dr. Sharma, in his session.

“The future assured in science, technology and research is already here, but unevenly distributed. It becomes necessary for policy makers to bring silos from the science labs to reality, for service of the society,” emphasised Mugdha Sinha IAS, Secretary and Commissioner, Department of Science and Technology, Government of Rajasthan.

Mayank Chaturvedi, Country Manager, Public Sector Sales, HPE India spoke on the topic, ‘Accelerate your digital transformation with Hewlett Packard Enterprise’.

According to Chaturvedi, the companies with resilient future ready models have moved ahead even further. He added, “Experience is the key to expanding services. With data being the fuel to innovation, speed is the new currency for winning brands. Digital transformation is incomplete without data first modernisation.”

The event moved ahead with a Special Address titled, ‘How Odisha is using digital technologies to raise the bar for e-governance excellence’ by Manoj Kumar Mishra, Secretary, Department of Electronics and IT, Government of Odisha.

The forced nature of the pandemic has pushed the government to innovate for complete touch free services, said Mishra. He further commented, “Today, every person has a digital identity and the key to digital governance is people adopting the digital practices. We have saved about 11 lakhs trees by going completely digital. Odisha has connected gram panchayats with broadband connectivity.”

Further, Kamaljeet Singh, Customer Advisory Head, Public Sector and Utilities, SAS India gave his session on the topic, ‘Innovating Public Sector with Improved Decision Making, through Embedded Analytics’.

Singh expressed that India is the first country to use Artificial Intelligence for taxes. He elaborated, “The Indian government believes that AI can boost the country’s GDP with US$ 957 bn by the year 2035. For the first time, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. More than 10 per cent of the global gross domestic product is spent on healthcare and cloud is playing a vital role in boosting technology and helping the citizens.”

Following, Varun Taneja, Head, Solution Engineering – North India and Public Sector, Freshworks spoke about data privacy in his session titled, ‘Modern Public Service Delivery with Freshworks for Government and Public Sector Agencies’.

“Softwares should be fast and flexible, quick to provide value and democratic in design. Data privacy is the key factor to address in any business. Extend and customise your product for making it an ecosystem. Omni channel platform means unified customer services, quick replies to queries and connecting business apps through APIs and enterprises should use AI chatbots and helpdesk automation to scale service to millions,” emphasised Taneja.

Next, there was a session titled, ‘Built in, Not Bolted on: Detect and Respond to Advanced Threats at Scale’ by Ajay Kumar, Director, Pre Sales, APAC and Middle East, Securonix. Kumar pointed out that legacy operation teams are struggling to keep up due to increase in targeted attacks and overworked analysts. He added, “Security tools need to be managed with integrated resources. An average median time of threat detection is five days. Today, a lot of malwares use automation. Extortion attacks are multi-stage, providing opportunities for detection.”

The conference went forward with a power-packed panel discussion titled, Creating a foundation for accelerating digital initiatives’. 

Rishikesh Patankar, COO – Education, CSC Academy, CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd, MeitY, Government of India; Rama Devi Lanka, Director, Emerging Technologies Officer on Special Duty (ITE & C Department), Government of Telangana; Inder Pal Singh Sethi, Deputy Director General, NIC, MeitY, Government of India; Gobind Khattar, GM – IT, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Government of India; Dr. Shailesh Kumar Shrivastava, Scientist-F & Head, Digital Government Research Centre, National Informatics Centre, Government of India; 

Anoop Chaturvedi, Country Manager – Public Sector Business, Pointnext Services, HPE India and Himanshu Singh, Head, Solution Engineering and Public Sector, Freshworks participated in the panel discussion.

Rishikesh Patankar, Chief Operating Officer – Education at CSC Academy, CSC e-Governance Services India Limited, MeitY commented, “Tele-law programme provides pre-litigation advice to citizens in the rural areas.”

“We formulated policies for AI, drones and blockchain to set up frameworks for areas like healthcare, education, agriculture and other departments,” ‘stated Rama Devi Lanka, Director, Emerging Technologies & OSD (ITE & C Department), Government of Telangana.

Gobind Khattar, General Manager (IT), Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) said that different enterprise resources have been unified under an integrated umbrella. 

According to Dr. Shailesh Kumar Shrivastava, Scientist-F and Head, Digital Government Research Centre, National Informatics Centre, Government of India, “Digital services should be made mandatory for every level of government.”

Anoop Chaturvedi, Country Manager – Public Sector Business, Pointnext Services, HPE India indicated that application architecture should provide seamless experience backed by robust infrastructure.  

“Data analytics has been used for analysing data for various programmes using APIs under a unified platform,” said Inder Pal Singh Sethi, Deputy Director General, NIC, MeitY.

Himanshu Singh, Head, Solution Engineering and Public Sector, Freshworks expressed that scalable solutions on cloud should be focused for seamless experiences. 

Post the panel discussion, a fireside chat titled, ‘Constant digital transformation will make Kerala a Numero Uno digital state’ was scheduled with Snehil Kumar Singh IAS, Deputy Secretary – IT, Government of Kerala and Director, Kerala State IT Mission.

“The E-office initiative for the entire state of Kerala has simplified operations even at district and village levels. Citizen services are provided into an integrated platform for quick services. The state dashboard tracks progress and improvements for digital services. Kerala Start Mission deals with incubators and accelerators with ready made offices for startups. Cyber security is crucial for the government to protect public data,” Singh informed audiences.

Next scheduled was another panel discussion titled, ‘New Threats, New Cyber Defence Strategies: What Government Executives need to know’. 

Vijay Devnath, GGM, Infra & Security, MDMS and CISO, Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS); Golok Kumar Simli, CTO, Passport Seva Programme at Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India; Sanjeev Banzal, Director General, ERNET; Amit Sinha, Director at Information Technology Development Agency (ITDA), Uttarakhand; Tulika Pandey, Scientist ‘F’ & Director, MeitY; Alain Sanchez, EMEA CISO, Senior Evangelist, Fortinet and Raakesh T, Principal Technical Officer, CDAC, MeitY participated in the discussion.

“The top management should look at the viability of digital assets, assess risk and make human resources aware about the threats,” stated Vijay Devnath, GGM, Infra & Security, MDMS and CISO, Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS). 

Golok Kumar Simli, CTO, Passport Seva Programme at Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India mentioned that security has to be made inclusive of design and cannot be left for the audit process.

According to Sanjeev Banzal, Director General, ERNET, “At least 10 per cent of IT budget should be spent on cybersecurity.”

Tulika Pandey, Scientist ‘F’ & Director, MeitY stated,  “It is important to look at monetisation of infrastructure and identify critical resources to prevent exploitation of vulnerabilities.” 

“We are moving towards a very holistic cyber security approach with visibility, innovation and integrated cyber platforms,” highlighted Alain Sanchez, EMEA CISO, Senior Evangelist, Fortinet.

Raakesh T, Principal Technical Officer, CDAC, MeitY, Mumbai said, “A strong evolving process for audit and visibility will bridge the gap between technology and security.”

Followed by the panel discussion, Mukesh Bajpai, Marketing Director, AMD India spoke on the topic, ‘Accelerating Innovation in High performance and adaptive computing’. He stresses that Government departments are leading the way in terms of adoption of emerging technologies such as AI and Blockchain. He further said, “AMD is pleased to associate itself in honoring and recognising some of the leading projects from the e-governance space in India and wants to help Government departments scale the frontiers of innovation.”

 The conference moved ahead with the session titled, ‘Technology platform powering digital governance’ by Varun Thamba, Director, Data and Analytics CoE, Indian Subcontinent, SAP India. He said, “Government is prioritising digital transformation by putting citizens at the centre and leveraging data assets. Reimagining business is important post pandemic. We need to rethink traditional approaches. Data driven policy design drives the future decision making by governments and intelligent enterprises need a robust technological foundation.”

In his session titled, ‘Digital Transformation is incomplete without Resilient and Sustainable Data Centres’, Mustapha Louni, Senior Vice President, Middle East, Africa and Greater India, Uptime Institute explained, “The key challenge is achieving highly resilient and sustainable data centres. Global capacity growth has led to higher scrutiny of resource use by customers, pressure groups, media and policy makers. Immaturity in adopting comprehensive sustainability is reflected in low tracking of emissions and disposal of end-of-life kit. Outages remain common and their impact is rising and 44 per cent of all outages have a significant impact in cost, time and reputation.” 

Next was a panel discussion on how technology can help in raising the bar for improving efficiencies in social welfare schemes. 

Sandeep Poundrik, IAS, Principal Secretary, Social Welfare and Women Empowerment Department, Government of Bihar; Vinay Kumar, Secretary, Food & Civil Supply, Government of Bihar; Manoj Kumar Patnaik, Additional Secretary and CEO, OCAC, Government of Odisha; Rahul Bojja, IAS, Secretary, Department of Social Welfare, Government of Telangana; Kapil Mohan, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Food, Civil Supplies, Government of Karnataka; M Girija Shankar, IAS, Commissioner of Civil Supplies, Government of Andhra Pradesh and Ankit Jain, Director – Public Sector, SAS India participated in the discussion.

Ankit Jain, Director – Public Sector, SAS India commented that the data is the new oil driving benefits with AI and Analytics.

Girija Shankar IAS, Commissioner of Civil Supplies at Government of Andhra Pradesh highlighted, “It is crucial to integrate multiple databases for social welfare schemes.”

Vinay Kumar, Secretary, Food & Civil Supply, Government of Bihar said that blocking, checking and engaging eligible people for social benefit welfare became possible only because of digitalisation.

Manoj Kumar Pattnaik, Additional Secretary and CEO, OCAC, Govt of Odisha expressed, “We are developing applications for personalising databases to use analytics for welfare schemes.”

Sandeep Poundrik IAS, Principal Secretary, Social Welfare and Women Empowerment Department, Government of Bihar said that Aangan app and Common Application Software have helped the citizens for social welfare, using their smartphones. 

Rahul Bojja IAS, Secretary, Department of Social Welfare, Government of Telangana implied, “We have 360 degree linkage applications of databases to simplify various government schemes.”

Kapil Mohan, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Food, Civil Supplies, Government of Karnataka mentioned that adopting e-KYC and linking databases for analytics would help the citizens.

Dr Samit Sharma IAS, Secretary, Social Justice and Empowerment Department, Government of Rajasthan stated that data and analytics go together for social welfare schemes.

Post panel discussion, there was a session titled Digital platform for the Digital Era – ServiceNow by Venugopal S Arcot, Senior Director – Solution Consulting at ServiceNow. He said, “IT remains the backbone of any business. Any service provided should be regulated and customised as per every individual. Digital era is marked with experience from contact to contactless. The technology is leveraging faster and accelerated digitisation and people and culture are coming together for seamless experiences and services.”

Next, Puneet Dhar, National Product Manager, Crestron India explained digitisation in his session titled, ‘Workplace Digitalisation with Technology You Can Trust’. 

“Solutions should be designed for easy installation, management and support. Consistent and easy to use technology empowers teams to be productive and effective. Products should be engineered to meet enterprise security standards. Technology operations management includes remote support and enhanced usage insights and content distribution challenges remain scalability,” explained Dhar.

The first day of the conference came to an end with the awards ceremony presented by AMD. The team of Express Computer felicitated the award winners, from the government agencies for their excellent contribution to technological support to citizens. The list of the award winners is as following:

Organisation Category
National Health Mission, J&K Unified Communications
Gujarat Informatics Limited Document Management
Chhattisgarh State Electricity Regulatory Commission Enterprise Applications
Ministry of Panchayati Raj Enterprise Applications
Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre, Revenue Department (DM), Govt. of Karnataka Enterprise Applications
Andhra Pradesh Space Applications Centre (APSAC), ITE & C Department, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh Analytics / Big Data
AP Crime Investigation Department Cloud
NIC, Chhattisgarh Enterprise Applications
P&AR and Home Department, Government of West Bengal Enterprise Applications
Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation Enterprise Applications
Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Enterprise Applications
Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Enterprise Applications


DAY 2

The second day of the iconic Digital Sabha began with a keynote address by Arvind Kumar​,  the Director General​, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), MeitY, Government of India and he spoke on the topic titled “Stepping up product focus to drive digital inclusion in India”.

In his talk he emphasised on how the Digital India program was aimed at creating India a digitally enabled nation and how successful it has been creating digital inclusiveness for all. Moreover, he reminded, “The Government of India has created BharatNet to ensure all villages of India are connected to the broadband highway.” 

Next, there was a special address by Anna Roy, Sr Advisor, NITI Aayog on the topic titled, “Solving e-Governance issues in the age of technology”. She said, “E-governance should be seen as a well designed product strategy and road map based on digitisation and India’s rapid transformation towards a Digital First Nation will soon transcend the public, private boundaries and permeate into our everyday lives.” 

Following this was a talk by Sunil Gupta, Co-Founder & CEO, Yotta Infrastructure on ‘Trailblazing the next-gen Digital India’. Talking about the sheer magnitude of India’s digital presence on a global scale, he said, “The number of digital transactions done by Indians is one of the highest in the world, even surpassing other major markets like China and US.” 

Following Gupta’s session, Rakesh Singh, Technical Consultant, Uptime Institute and Jay Dietrich, Research Director, Sustainability, Uptime Institute spoke about ‘Best Practices for Building Sustainable and Resilient Data Centres in India’.  

In the talk, Jay Dietrich, Research Director, Sustainability, Uptime Institute said, “Sustainability requirements are likely to expand and become mandatory over the next ten years. Singh stressed on the overall efficiency factors for data centres, “Climatic conditions and design parameters are the major contributors for data centre energy efficiency.” 

The conference moved ahead with a brainstorming panel discussion on the agenda, where we had multiple speakers from the various prestigious institutions of the government talk on the topic titled, ‘Best practices for using emerging technologies to raise the bar for e-Governance’. 

The first speaker for the discussion, Loknath Behera, MD, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd spoke about how drone based survey systems were used during establishing Kochi metro. 

Brijesh Singh, Additional Director General of Police, Government of Maharashtra talked about the importance of Artificial intelligence in the discussion. He said, “AI is being increasingly used to model the adversary play book.” 

Sameer Unhale, the Joint Commissioner, Directorate of Municipal Administration, Government of Maharashtra stressed on the fact of being updated and in line with the latest technology. He said, “Urban India needs to be in parallel with the emerging technologies.”

Ranganath, Addl Central PF Commissioner, Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), put forth his set of points for the panel discussion. He said, “Imbibing the latest technology horizontally and vertically in our everyday work, should be the need of the hour.”

The next speaker in the panel discussion was Mr Sunil Gupta, Co-founder and CEO, Yotta Infrastructure, and he spoke about the growth prospects of data centres in India. He commented, “The data protection bill will bring many revelations in the growth of data centres in India.” 

And finally, Anuj Singh Rathore, ASM-IT, Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA), Government of Punjab concluded, “The use and growth of technology should be parallel to the nation’s and state’s development.” 

Next in the conference, there was a special address by CJ Venugopal IAS, the Additional Chief Secretary, Chief Administrator, KBK region & Chief Resident Commissioner, Government of Odisha on the topic titled, ‘Odisha’s digital transformation empowering citizen service delivery’. In his speech he highlighted the key areas that his company is focusing with respect to the usage of emerging technologies. He mentioned, “We are focusing on data authenticity and usage security to check the data breaches during the adoption of emerging technologies.” 

Following, Anandh Samy, Sr IT Security Solutions Consultant, ManageEngine spoke about  mitigating cyber threats and improving network security with intuitive SIEM. He stated, “An effective security solution should help enterprises overcome network security challenges and strengthen their cybersecurity posture.”

Subsequently, there was an address by Anindo Roy Das, SAP Industries and Customer Advisory, Public Sector, SAP India on the topic titled, “Improve customer experience to make lives better”.  He said that there was a need to make integrated information available in real time across the entire government hierarchy and stressed on the need of developing data driven governance in India. 

After Das’s session, Suryanarayan CS, Country Category Manager, Aruba, A Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company spoke on ‘Role of IT-Networking for good governance’. In his addressa, he said, “There is a need to unify network operations across all domains and locations and digital is past, smart is present and autonomous is the future.” 

Thereafter, we had a special address given by Rakesh Maheshwari, Sr Director and Group Coordinator, Cyber Law & e-Security, MeitY, Government of India on the topic titled, “Creating a secure and safe Digital India ecosystem”.  He stated, “Computer emergency response team provides on a periodic basis: regular advisories, vulnerability notes and advisories for the general user.” 

Up next, there was a magnificent panel discussion on the topic titled, ‘Adopting a proactive cybersecurity posture’ by various experts. The first panelist, Anil Sagar, Director (Scientist ‘F’) – MeitY, CERT-In, said that there has been a constant rise in supply chain and ransomware attacks all across channels. 

Dr Yask Sharma, CISO, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) averred, “The attacker is always one step ahead of the technology or the security planned to handle them.”

Rohit Malpani IPS, SP CID, Cyber Crime Shimla, Himachal Pradesh commented, “The main problem is the lack of dedicated and specialised manpower, technology alone cannot be blamed for all the wrongs.” 

N Raman, Group GM – CISO, ONGC seconded with Rohit and said, “Technology alone cannot provide the solutions, people management is also an integral part in security management.” He further added by saying, “The information flow has to be continuous and should be passed on from organisation to organisation for a comprehensive solution.”  

However, Dipesh Jain, Chief Manager (MS), Power Finance Corporation Ltd spoke about the nature of attacks. He expressed, “AI and ML based attacks have been on the increase”. Then Harshil Doshi, Country Director – India & SAARC, Securonix heard the prudent points by all the panelists and responded by saying, “Organisations need to be more predictive and less reactive.” 

Lastly, Romanus Prabhu, Global Head – Technical Support, Unified Endpoint Management & Security, ManageEngine summarised the panel by saying, “The attack surface has changed a lot since the last two years, starting from the pandemic. So, we need to be more prepared and  agile while dealing with adversaries.”

Next was the fireside chat with Lily Prasad, CTO, FSSAI and Vineet Khanna, Executive Director, SAS India on the topic titled, ‘Using analytics for enhancing food safety standards’. Prasad said that there is a need to have an integrated dashboard which could give proper insights about the project and having a cloud along with data analytics has really helped her company  in accessing data at a fast pace. 

Whereas Khanna spoke for the business owners and users. He said, “The content that is accessed by a business user should be very prioritised and business specific”. He further added, ‘Using a ‘Hybrid Approach’ rather than having a preference for one technique over the other, has given a tremendous boost to ROIs.” 

Then we had a special address given by Abhishek Singh, ‎CEO, MyGov President and CEO, NeGD, MeitY, Government of India on the topic titled, ‘Paving an inclusive growth path for India’s digital economy’. In his talk, he said, “The Aadhaar project has over 1.22 billion enrollments so far and in the near future, I think India will become the AI garage of the world.” 

Following, there was another special address given by Dr. Abhishek Roy, Head – SeMT, Dept of Personnel & Administrative Reforms & e-Gov, Government of West Bengal on the topic titled, ‘Building resilient e-Governance services to combat the covid crisis in West Bengal’. In his talk he talked about how the Government of West Bengal leveraged technology in managing the situation in the state during the lockdown period. He also said, “The Whatsapp Bot not only benefited the rich and the able, but also for the poor and marginalised in the state.”  

Thereafter was the talk by Vishal Gupta, Founder and CEO, Seclore on the topic titled, ‘Data security vs Infra security: Defining the priorities for Indian privacy compliance’. Gupta spoke about the intricacies of security. He stated, “The only way to protect data is to focus all the security initiatives on the data itself.” He further added, “At the end of the day, it’s all about securing one’s data, infrastructure security doesn’t count much.” 

Next, there was an insightful fireside chat with Golok Kumar Simli, CTO, Passport Seva Program, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India on the topic titled, ‘Passport seva programmes’ endeavours to match up to digital best practices’. Simli spoke elaborately about various programs and steps taken by his department to make passport facilities more flexible and reachable to the people. He added, “The increased usage of AI, advanced analytics, cloud, big data and many other emerging technologies will help us to harness for the future.” 

The conference moved ahead with yet another fireside chat with Rohan Vaidya, Regional Director, India and SAARC, CyberArk Software on the topic titled, ‘Importance of Identity security in new digital era’. Vaidya said that there has been a massive increase in cloud adoption among people. He summarised all his points by saying, “Human and machine identities are transforming the way we do business nowadays.” 

The second day of the conference came to an end with the awards ceremony presented by AMD. The team of Express Computer felicitated the award winners, from the government agencies for their excellent contribution to technological support to citizens. The list of the award winners is as following:

Department of School Education, Government of Chhattisgarh Enterprise Applications
Industry, Commerce and Enterprises Department, Government of West Bengal Enterprise Applications
Kadapa Police Department, Andhra Pradesh Enterprise Applications
Information Technology Department Govt of J&K Blockchain
AP POLICE DEPARTMENT Unified Communications
Andhra Pradesh Police Department Enterprise Security
ANANTHAPUR DISTRICT POLICE Document Management
ANDHRA PRADESH POLICE DEPARTMENT IoT
Smart City Ahmedabad Development Limited IoT
Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation Enterprise Applications
ANDHRA PRADESH POLICE DEPARTMENT Unified Communications
VIJAYWADA CITY POLICE COMMISSIONARATE Unified Communications


DAY 3

The last day (February 24, 2022) of the Digital Technology Sabha conference started with a keynote address titled, ‘Role of Information Technology in Public Policy Formulation and Implementation’ by Dr. Neeta Verma, Director General, NIC, MeitY. 

Dr Verma stated that real time capturing of data coupled with infrastructure capabilities to analyse key insights shall make different schemes more effective. She further explained, “Under the Digital India program, the mobile network expanded across the country for direct transfer of benefits. Availability of stacks like Aadhar, UPI, E-sign, Digital payments have enabled us to move towards cashless, faceless and paperless economy. Schemes like Pradham Mantri Awas Yojana and MNREGA enabled completely digitally from concept to conclusion having technologies like Geo tagging, mobile apps etc. Scholarships are given to students digitally using their bank accounts on a common platform which prevents frauds.”

Next, Sandeep Kondvilkar, Country Pre Sales for Server and Storage, Savex Technologies Pvt. Ltd addressed the conference on ‘Hybrid Cloud accelerates Efficiency and Governance’.

“Business workloads need the agility of the cloud experience to beat the competition. Organisations need to cut costs, conserve capital and align costs to the business. Digital business must scale quickly ahead of demand. Complexity of multi-cloud with hybrid IT operations increases cost and risk and customers need configurations based on modular building blocks like compute and storage,” expressed Kondvilkar.

The conference moved ahead with a special address titled, ‘Digital Adoption and Transformation is the Future of Mobility’ in which Ashish Kumar Singh, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Transport and Ports, Government of Maharashtra discussed the future of mobility.

According to Singh, The future of mobility is smart, electric, shared, autonomous and sustainable. He elaborated, “Maharashtra government has extensively invested in mobility space via products and services like Electric Vehicle policy, enabling technological reforms. The digital process of vehicle registration is seamless because of reduction in time. Power of technology will bring efficiency for citizens using AI drivers, automation tools, AR/VR skill test platforms. Technologies like GIS, modelling, tracking, yard management system, mapping of assets, terrestrial planning and traffic analysis are used by the IT Department of Maharashtra for ports management.”

Following, there was a powerpack panel discussion titled, ‘How Analytics Can Improve Results for Revenue Management’. Sushil Kumar Lohani, Principal Secretary, Department of Excise, Odisha; Neetu Prasad, Commissioner, Commercial Taxes Department, Telangana; Dr Deepak RL, Special Commissioner, Revenue, Bruhat Bengaluru Municipal Corporation; Vilas Kanade, Joint Municipal Commissioner, Property Tax Dept, Pune Municipal Corporation; Padmakar R Kulkarni, Additional Commissioner, Commercial Taxes Department, Karnataka; Anand Kumar Tiwari, Additional Commissioner, Department of Trade & Taxes, NCT (Delhi) and Manshu Bansal, Sr Business Manager – Fraud & Security Management, SAS India participated in the discussion.

Sushil Kumar Lohani, Principal Secretary, Department of Excise, Odisha expressed, “We are using Drone Technology for locating cultivation favourable areas in our state.”

“Digital Technology has played a significant role in today’s organisational setup in most companies and to achieve digital democracy in a holistic manner, the technology should be simple, user friendly and should provide comfort,” stated Neetu Prasad, Commissioner, Commercial Taxes Department.

Dr Deepak RL, Special Commissioner, Revenue, Bruhat Bengaluru Municipal Corporation commented, “We have moved Bangalore City Corporation, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to an effective online system.”

Manshu Bansal, Sr Business Manager, Fraud and Security Management, SAS explained that advanced analytics should be imbibed in our everyday work culture to achieve efficiency. 

“We have engaged all major banks with Pune Municipal Corporation, to facilitate payment by our citizens,” said Vilas Kanade, Joint Municipal Commissioner, Property Tax Dept, Pune Municipal Corporation.

“Originally GST was a contribution from Karnataka. It was based and inspired on the idea and functioning of e-Sugam,” mentioned Padmakar R Kulkarni, Additional Commissioner, Commercial Taxes Department, Karnataka.   

Anand Kumar Tiwari, Additional Commissioner, Department of Trade & Taxes, NCT (Delhi) concluded, “We have to start with digital compliance and work on capacity building training for our employees.”

Neeraj Athalye, Managing Director, Indian Subcontinent, SUSE took the conference ahead and spoke about Open Source Open Doors. He said, “Packaged food distribution became a challenge during the pandemic. Bhim Unified Payments interface has crossed the US$ four billion transaction mark. Today, every government organisation requires multi-cloud management options. AL, ML and Analytics will help in real time decision making to remove time poverty. Zero Trust ensures code is risk free and the supply chain is secured.”

Next, there was a special address titled, ‘Using emerging technologies to enhance the security of Digital Identity- Aadhaar architecture’ by Dr. Saurabh Garg, CEO, UIDAI.

Dr. Garg highlighted that Aadhar 2.0 would focus on better real time feedback on residence services. He adds, “Our robust governance system takes care of Information Security and Cyber Security. Videos are being used to teach both operators and users for smooth operations. More than eight crore authentications were made on a single day in 2021. We look forward to improving resident services using an omni channel platform and QR code facility.”

Following, there was yet another special address by Mugdha Sinha IAS, Secretary and Commissioner, Department of Science and Technology, Government of Rajasthan, where she talked about ‘Science and Technology: The Lever of Development’.

“Research of yesterday is science of today and technology of tomorrow. Solving the problems of society and moving science from labs to reality is our primary focus. Technology is helping us to build a citizen centric government. Algorithms, APIs, AR/VR, AI and ML are some key technological tools used to connect citizens to the beneficiary services. Science curriculum has been recorded into a podcast for school kids to support the E-vidhya program to curb digital divide,” stated Sinha.

Next, Sandesh Nayak IAS, Commissioner and Joint Secretary, Department of Information Technology & Communication and MD at RajComp Info Services Ltd, Government of Rajasthan explained advanced technologies’ role in e-Governance in a fireside chat.

Nayak elaborated, “We have captured the socio-economic data to reduce documentation for beneficiary services. An integrated recruitment portal has been made for all the government bodies for better communication services. We have extensively used drone technology in 3D city models, wildlife surveillance and agriculture. The E-bazaar platform has been initiated for startups and The Rajeev Innovation Award has been initiated for best technological solution providers.”

The last speaker session of the conference was taken by Kumar Vineet IAS, Special Secretary, IT & Electronics and Managing Director, UPDESCO & Shreetron India Limited, Government of Uttar Pradesh. He spoke about ‘Making Technology Central to Enabling Change in Uttar Pradesh’.  

“Our main objective is to provide digital infrastructure like E-offices in the remotest of areas. Amalgamation Blockchain, AI/ML, IoT and Automation is helping the government to bridge the gap between citizens and the beneficiary services. Information Technology in a nutshell is strongly supported by academia in UP. Umang app and Digilocker are helping citizens to connect on a common platform and IoT based infrastructure is the future of the mining industry,” stated Vineet.

The final day of the conference came to an end with the awards ceremony presented by AMD, where a team of Express Computer felicitated the award winners, from the government agencies for their excellent contribution to technological support to citizens. The list of the award winners is as following:

Tirupati Urban Police Enterprise Mobility
Tirupati Police Department Enterprise Mobility
Andhra Pradesh Police Department Unified Communications
Andhra Pradesh Police Department Unified Communications
The Odisha Computer Application Centre Enterprise Applications
Prakasam Dist Police Big Data / Analytics
Department of Information Technology Electronics & Communication, Haryana Enterprise Applications
ANDHRA PRADESH POLICE DEPARTMENT Enterprise Applications
Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE) Cloud
The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Mumbai Enterprise Mobility
CID Cyber Crime Shimla Big Data / Analytics
ANDHRA PRADESH POLICE DEPARTMENT Document Management


(With inputs from Shibul Pavithran)

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