In a unique initiative, Coeus Age Consulting led research discovered 41 transformative digital governance initiatives. These are christened as the Gems of Digital India, the crème de la crème of eGovernance projects. The Gems of Digital India are playing a significant role in the emergence of a new paradigm of governance that is more responsive, accountable, transparent and strengthens the institution of democracy.
Based upon a rigorous research exercise that spanned across 13 months and involved 30 man months of efforts, the Gems of Digital India were discovered through a process of classification, shortlisting, and jury selection from a repository of 1600 eGovernance projects in India. The panel of jury consisted of eminent names from the government, industry and the academia.
‘The Gems of Digital India were identified through a discovery process, not through a nomination process. That sets our initiative apart from other award functions. There is a lot of rigour that has gone behind the process. The red seal Gems of Digital logo has today emerged as the symbol of excellence and quality”, said Dr. Kapil Dev Singh, CEO, Coeus Age Consulting, in his welcome note.
The process did not stop at just discovering the Gems of Digital India, rather it also ventured into documenting their journey by writing insightful case studies on each one of them. These case studies are compiled in the form of a book written by Dr. Kapil Dev Singh and titled 41 Gems of Digital India – Actionable Insights for the EGovernance Leaders and Nation Builders.
The book was also launched at the awards function that was graced by Dr Ajay Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, as the chief guest. “When I came to know of Coeus Age Consulting’s intentions to discover the Gems of Digital India and celebrate their success by recognizing them and documenting their stories in the form of a book, I was extremely happy. Though recognition through awards is important to acknowledge a good work done, documenting the success is equally important from a learning perspective”, said Dr Ajay Kumar in his speech. ‘The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, through its various organizations, is committed to supporting these digital journeys in every possible way, by providing the required policy, structural, infrastructural and knowledge support’, added Dr. Kumar.
Each of the Gems of Digital India can be a source of inspiration and learning for many others in the government wanting to make a difference. The Maximum Governance Leadership Keynote was delivered by Ms. Neeta Verma, DG, NIC. Speaking on the occasion, she said, ‘we must now develop applications and platforms keeping in mind the billions of citizens who are going to use them. It is very important that we think simplicity, hyper scale, mobile readiness and security as design elements from day one. Common people must be able to interface with the applications with ease’. She further added, ‘NIC has played a significant role in building the capability to drive the dream of Digital India and it will continue doing so in future too’.
A distinct feature in most of the 41 Gems of Digital India is the hybrid approach they take with respect to technology. Though they use the contemporary technologies, the architecture is also kept open to accommodate technologies that will emerge in the future.
The technology key note was delivered by Debanjan Kumar, President and Business Head, Application Services, Sify Technologies Limited (Featured in the photograph above and lighting the lamp). Speaking at the event he said, ‘every sphere of life has been impacted by digital today, be it booking airlines ticket or calling a cab or even buying groceries’. He further added, ‘Sify has transformed itself to emerge into a transformation partner for enterprises and governments in their endeavours to go digital. We have successfully handled projects by delivering clearly defined business outcomes to our clients, not just IT availability. It requires a distinct set of capabilities to manage end to end of the IT spectrum to ensure services to the consumers or the citizens’.
The awards function and the book launch function was attended by more than 100 government leaders. There was a representation from 50 + departments/ ministries across the centre and 8 states.