With cloud, only sky is the limit

Cloud computing is already here and happening. Given its benefits, e-governance initiatives should make best use of it

samirsachdeva

Samir Sachdeva | April 16, 2012



Getting a flat in Delhi is a dream for everyone. In its housing scheme of 2010, Delhi Development Authority received over seven lakh applications for just 16,000 flats on offer. On April 18, 2011, when the results of the lottery draw were announced, the DDA website remained unavailable for the crucial few hours as everyone from across the country was trying to access it. The system crashed as it could not handle the heavy user traffic. If DDA had opted for cloud computing, people would have been spared of those heart-stopping moments.

Putting emphasis on e-governance, the government approved the national e-governance plan (NeGP) comprising 27 mission mode projects (MMPs) and eight components on May 18, 2006. As part of the e-governance infrastructure the government is in process of implementing the state wide area network, state data centres (SDC), national and state service delivery gateways and the common service centres (CSCs). Each state is setting up its own e-infrastructure as part of NeGP with substantial funding from the department of electronics and information technology (DEITY) of the central government.

However, the question remains whether a state requires a separate infrastructure in the form of a separate SDC or not. Not only states but even the central ministries handling various MMPs are investing in creating data centres and data recovery centres which can easily be shared. 

Jammu and Kashmir has become the first state to share resources: it is using the SDC of Madhya Pradesh for its e-governance initiatives. This has been made possible by use of cloud computing. Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh are also contemplating using the cloud infrastructure rather than establishing their own e-infrastructure.

Even though cloud computing is offering cost and time advantage, its adoption by various ministries and states is limited. One key reason behind is that there is no roadmap from the central government on adoption of cloud computing. The perceived security concerns and loss of control of data is another key factor. The third issue is that of vendor lock-in.

But then cloud computing has a huge advantage of replicability. The e-district application of one district can be used by other districts in the country. Not only this, the state wide applications like treasury, land records and transports developed by one state can be shared by another using the cloud platform.

There are numerous applications which are best suited for cloud environment. The applications like the declaration of election and exam results, filing of tax returns and admission process witness peak traffic on a particular day. They have to be designed in a way that they withstand the peak demand. Such applications can be shifted to a cloud platform, sharing resources, servers, software and even data. That way, the end users will be able to access these applications and get better service and performance. Even the applications like railway ticket booking through IRCTC website can benefit by sharing additional IT infrastructure in the morning hours when the reservation of tickets start.

In an innovative move, the ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises is working on an initiative towards providing cloud-based services (software, IT platforms and IT infrastructure) to the MSMEs so that they can increase their efficiency and reduce their costs on IT infrastructure. The project Baadal as conceived by the ministry will ensure that the small enterprises will have access to latest computing technology, software and server by sharing the IT infrastructure facilitated by government. 

Even the rural India will benefit greatly by the cloud platform as the applications like e-learning, tele-medicine, weather information, credit approvals, commodity exchanges and agriculture information can easily be made available on above platform.

What is important is that the government needs to work on a blueprint for adoption of cloud. The government needs to evolve standards, guidelines and regulations which are to be followed by agencies/vendors for adoption of cloud. It also needs to designate a nodal agency which can issue these guidelines and resolve inter-agency issues.

NeGP needs to be relooked as the introduction of cloud computing will change the dynamics of its implementation. Also, there are no cloud computing regulations in India which are needed to be evolved to address challenges of privacy, data security and cyber security.

Comments

 

Other News

NCP’s Ajit Pawar is LoP in Maharashtra assembly

After the Bharatiya Janta Party orchestrated rebellion in the Shiv Sena partly led by Eknath Shinde who took away with him a majority of MLAs, the Eknath Shinde-BJP government proved majority in the state assembly floor test, crossing  the midway mark (144) getting 164 votes in their favour. The Natio

Why sanitation should matter to you

How many times a day do you flush the toilet? This number is probably between five and eight times for an average person. How many times a day do you spare a thought towards what happens to the human waste after you flush it away? The answer to this is likely to be close to zero for most people.

Who is Eknath Shinde, the auto driver who became CM?

Hailing from Satara district of Maharashtra, Eknath Sambhaji Shinde had to leave his education midway to financially support his family. He worked as an auto rickshaw driver, a lorry driver and also said to have worked in a brewery before he came in contact with Anand Dighe, Shiv Sena’s Thane unit pr

Metro 3 car shed to stay at Aarey, say new CM Shinde

Former Maharashtra chief minister Davendra Fadnavis stunned all at a press conference Thursday and named Eknath Shinde, the rebel MLA from Shiv Sena, as the next chief minister. Though Fadnavis said he would stay out of the government, a few hours later the BJP leadership announced he would be the deputy c

Uddhav Thackeray resigns as chief minister of Maharashtra

Minutes after the Supreme Court ordered a floor test on Wednesday night, Uddhav Thackeray in a televised address resigned as the chief minister of Maharashtra and also as a member of legislative council (MLC). He later drove down to Raj Bhavan and tendered his resignation to the governor Bhagat Singh Koshi

Gig workforce expected to expand to 2.35 crore by 2029-30

The gig economy has arrived in India, as the Covid-19 pandemic has propelled a flexibility of employment. As many as 77 lakh workers were engaged in the gig economy, constituting 2.6% of the non-agricultural workforce or 1.5% of the total workforce in India. The gig workforce is expected to expand to 2.35

Visionary Talk: Sanjay Pandey, Mumbai Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter