After DRDO, woman chief for NIC

Neeta Verma will be director general of national informatics centre

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Pratap Vikram Singh | September 24, 2015 | New Delhi


#drdo   #nic   #neeta verma   #j manjula   #deity   #information   #communication   #narendra modi  

The national informatics centre (NIC) will have woman director general. Neeta Verma, the deputy director general of the NIC, has been appointed as the head of the informatics centre, which is the technical wing of the ministry of communications and information technology. The NIC appointment of a woman head comes after defence research and development organisation (DRDO) got its first women chief J Manjula, recently.

Neeta Verma is currently in-charge of prime minister Narendra Modi's MyGov project. She is also overseeing cloud, national data centre and open data project of DeitY.  Her appointment comes at a time when the government is planning to restructure and reorient the organisation. The department of electronics and information technology (DeitY) will soon make an announcement in this regard.

Senior officials at DeitY feel that there is a need for pumping in fresh blood in the NIC as most of its personnel have not kept pace with advancement in information technology.

The plan to revamp NIC was first proposed by a committee on human resource for e-governance headed by Nandan Nilekani in 2013. The committee observed the implementation of e-governance has increased expectations from NIC. Hence, the committee proposed that NIC should be repositioned as a technology advisor and help in retaining strategic control of e-governance systems, while leveraging the private sector to address capacity gaps.

The NIC scientists, however, feel that they have been victim to government's apathy and the highhandedness of the Indian administrative service officials working at DeitY. The scientists said that the organisation’s budget has not been increased in the last four years; it has remained Rs 700 crore (this is an approximate figure). New projects have been commenced under Digital India programme but the budget allocation has remained same, the officials said.

The last recruitment – wherein 288 personnel were hired for IVFRT project – was done in 2010. NIC manages over 7,000 websites, over 20 lakh email accounts and automation and electronic governance projects of various central and state government departments and agencies. All this work is managed by a workforce of 3,500 regular and over 10,000 contractual staff.

The NIC officials said that the teams handling cyber security, data centre and networking are understaffed. For past many years, the scientists lamented, most of officials have not been given promotions. The quality of work has gone down as contractual staff is leaving in absence of salary increments. The scientists are also frustrated because of the absence of a transfer policy.

Until now, Ajay Kumar, additional secretary, DeitY, held the additional charge of DG NIC. The organisation didn't have a permanent DG since last year.

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