Dr Vasanthakumar N, Delhi’s IT secretary, talks about IT-enabled initiatives undertaken by the state government
| March 29, 2016
How would you describe the last one year in terms of rolling out e-governance services and various ICT interventions in Delhi?
The government of national capital territory of Delhi (GNCTD) intends to convert all services including internal functioning on the e-platform in a time-bound manner. As part of the e-governance initiatives for G2C and G2B, free Wi-Fi is available at the premises of Delhi secretariat. Both officials and the visitors can access free unlimited internet in a secured manner. Steps have also been taken to modernise the fire service department in the state. Therefore, to set up a state-of-the-art ICT enabled control room and automation of work functions of the Delhi fire service, a request for proposal (RFP) will be floated in two weeks.
For an integrated citizen health information management system, the RFP for selecting the implementing agency has been floated to ease interaction of citizen with the healthcare system in Delhi. The single online platform will be available for all public and private health institutions in Delhi. Past health record of citizens shall also be available online on citizen vault.
An RFP has been floated for selecting the implementing agency, which will automate functioning of the registrar of cooperative societies (RCS). Starting from registration of societies, tracking and facilitating audit functions of societies, ensuring timely elections, dispute resolutions, handling legal cases, etc. everything will be automated.
Currently, most of the processes at the forensic science laboratory (FSL) are manual and paper-based. A cloud-based forensic case management system is envisaged to automate the workflow of various divisions of FSL viz. case receiving, chemistry (toxicology & narcotic), ballistics, physics (audio & video), photo, biology/DNA, documents, computer forensics unit, forensic psychology, quality management system, crime scene management, etc. An RFP has been floated for the same.
An RFP was also floated to use CCTV and monitoring software to improve education quality in schools by a pilot project in five schools for period of six months. We are in the process of its evaluation. Apart from security and safety of children, the project intends to improve quality of education delivery and teachers shall be guided for improvement. The concept shall be scaled up in all schools.
Please share the details of the new e-Health system you are developing for Delhi.
It shall be single and sole, end-to-end health management information system for all hospitals. It shall be deployed centrally and would be accessible over internet. Every citizen shall be given a unique health ID or Aadhaar number to access health records available in the vault. Private health institutions will also get the platform for free to update and view patient medical data. It shall not only give better patient experience but also help health professionals in treating people by seeing patient history. Real-time reporting and efficient analytics shall support health authorities in better health care management and decision making. The RFP for the project has already been floated and very soon system integrator will be on board.
What are the objectives of the e-Mandi project and how would farmers benefit from it?
The e-Mandi system shall be an online portal comprising electronic provisioning of all functionality of mandi operations, viz. electronic auction and electronic payment settlement. It would be a single system for all mandis and sub-mandis of Delhi. Such a system will bring efficiency in managing commodity price spikes and will also help farmers get better pricing and will elevate their confidence in mandi as a marketplace. The RFP for e-Mandi and associated services has been floated for selection of system integrator.
What are the key Digital India initiatives undertaken?
We are keenly leveraging readily available infrastructure under the Digital India programme, viz. SWAN, MeghRaaj, NSDG, etc. Wherever integration with central government programmes is needed, we promptly respond and integrate like: integration of around 84 services of 45 departments with e-TAAL; digital locker integration with e-District application, etc. We are also interested to implement and integrate our scholarship scheme on national scholarships portal, e-Gazzette, e-Granthalya and e-RTI.
What is the status of e-SLA (Right to Service)?
Till date, total 361 services of 37 departments have been covered under e-SLA. In a recent development, the Delhi legislative assembly has passed an amendment bill to the Delhi (Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Services) Act, 2011. The notification of the amendment is still underway. Within 30 days of the notification each department of the government and each public authority shall issue a ‘citizen charter’ that shall set out in detail the citizen-related services that are to be provided by the department, the time stipulated for provision of such citizen-related services and the officers who shall be responsible for providing that service. It shall also make way for automatic and compulsory payment of compensation to citizens for delayed delivery of services.
The government has also undertaken the e-District project. What are the latest developments on that?
It is a comprehensive and web-enabled service portal, which provides end-to-end integrated solution to avail various services of the government at the click of a button. Online verification of various certificates, documents issued by various departments is also a key feature of e-District as it saves enormous time. Digitally signed documents are available on portal. Digital locker has also been integrated with e-District.
Governance in Delhi is now moving to apps. What are the various apps – G2C and G2G – developed? How it has changed the face of governance in Delhi?
GNCTD is keen to bring its initiatives on mobile. Mobile Par Sarkaar (mobile governance) is the mantra. Various apps have been developed and launched. The ‘DVAT Bill’ app has been developed by the Delhi government’s trade and taxes department for tax collection and to bring in transparency. The department of trade and taxes has notified a scheme introducing an award for the general public titled “Bill Banvao, Inaam Pao” [Get a bill, upload on mobile app and earn a ward]. Then there is ‘Swachh Delhi’ app enabling residents to upload pictures to apprise authorities about areas that needs to be cleaned.
As more and more services are becoming digital, how do you ensure cyber security?
A comprehensive cyber security plan has been developed by an expert agency. GNCTD is in process to adopt the plan. We are becoming proactive towards all reports and incidents regarding cyber attacks, reported time-to-time by CERT-In and NIC. We have developed an internal standing arrangement to ensure timely security audit of each and every website/web application. Enormous capacity building efforts have been made to train concerned government officials.
What is the current status and plan for the free Wi-Fi project and security and surveillance camera project?
The government is interested to offer quality internet services to citizens through free Wi-Fi. In this regard, GNCTD has conducted a three-day stakeholder consultation meeting for exchange of knowledge, identification of challenges, best practices and to discuss and finalise the implementation approach. We are at a very mature stage and an RFP will be floated soon.
Would you like to share other important initiatives of GNCTD?
Enormous good work is happening. The list is too long. Some worth sharing are: e-RTI, under which filing of application to complete processing and delivery of information shall be electronic. Then there is drug control – the NIC system has been adopted here at drug control department.
Under e-Prosecution, we have decided to adopt NIC-developed system named ‘Integrated Criminal Justice System’. The one part of this system caters to prosecution department’s needs. Customisation is going on, and soon it will be made functional.
The cabinet of GNCTD has approved implementation of e-office in all departments. Already, more than 50 percent of GNCTD departments are on board and in another six months other offices will be on e-office.
The licensing modules of the weights and measures department have been developed in-house and will be inaugurated shortly.
Also, the health department website has been made disabled-friendly and all GNCTD websites will be made disabled-friendly by the year-end.
Under PSARA, registration of security agencies has been made online and will be inaugurated shortly.
(The interview appears in the March 16-31, 2016 issue)
Do new norms for political donations hurt transparency?
With commissioning of 800 MW unit at Kudgi in Karnataka, 250 MW unit at Bongaigaon in Assam and 20 MW at Bhadla solar in Rajasthan, the total installed capacity of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) group has reached to 49,943 MW. The 12th plan cap
Aadhaar is arguably one of the most convoluted public policy interventions in India’s history. It has been more than eight years, yet there is little clarity on the exact purpose of the biometric-based unique identification project. Let me take you through an event which I witne
The airports authority of India (AAI), a Miniratna PSU, has undertaken operation, development and maintenance of Diu airport from Diu administration. A memorandum of understanding demonstrating the responsibilities was inked on March 20 between the union terri
Central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) have done quite well despite facing headwinds, according to the Public Enterprises Survey (2015-16) that was tabled in parliament on March 21. The net worth of all the CPSEs have gone up and the overall net profit has zoomed. Their contribution to the cen
After much discussion and pondering over for more than two years, the cabinet has approved a new National Health Policy, scrapping the old one which was formulated in 2002. The government aims to increase the public health expenditure to 2.5% of the GDP by 2025. The policy formulated in 2002 aimed