Interview with Deepak Virmani, additional secretary, Department of Information Technology (DoIT), Delhi
Samir Sachdeva | September 2, 2011
Non-availability of government information in public domain is among the key concerns of the citizens. How are you planning to address this issue?
We are planning to upload all gazettes department-wise in a comprehensive format on the Delhi government website. Various search options – including department-wise and name-wise – will also be available on the website.
Are you also planning to provide updated information on departments, schemes etc on the website?
The new portal – delhi.gov.in – is running on CMS (content management system) which is very easy to update. The CMS facilitates updation of the central database at remote locations in the department. The number of website visitors has increased substantially since introduction of the CMS. All public-related information, on orders, circulars and schemes, is
available on the portal for the benefit of people.
Delhi has been planning an SPV (special purpose vehicle) for e-governance implementation. What is the progress on this?
The government is promoting Intelligent Communication Systems India Ltd. (ICSIL), a subsidiary of Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC), to take up various e-governance projects and become the nodal agency for e-governance in the state.
What is the status of State e-Mission Team (SeMT)?
SeMT is already in place in Delhi and a pool of five-six IT professionals is placed in the state by the central Department of Information Technology for facilitating the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). The government regularly organises capacity-building and training programmes in information technology for the employees. The state is also outsourcing IT manpower from agencies like the Department of Electronics Accreditation for Computer Courses (DOEACC), NICSI and EXCEL.
What is the status of the implementation of State Wide Area Network (SWAN) and State Data Centre (SDC)?
Connectivity is not a problem in Delhi, as several networks are in place. However, with regard to the SDC, the state will be hosting its applications in the servers of the National Informatics Centre Services Inc. (NICSI) in its facilities at Laxmi Nagar and Nehru Place because of space constraints.
The CSC (common service centres) project is facing challenges across the nation. How is Delhi faring in this regard?
There are 520 Jeevan centres, or CSCs, in place in Delhi, with around 50 government services being delivered through them.
Delhi government is also working on the geospatial database project. What is this project all about?
The department is implementing the 3D Global Information System (GIS) project, which is a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country. The state has mapped all overground and underground facilities. To implement the project, the state has passed the Geospatial Data Infrastructure (Management, Control, Administration, Security and Safety) Act, 2011. The Act has been notified but the date on which it will be implemented is pending notification. The rules under the Act have been framed and the approval for these is in process. Utilisation of the data has been made compulsory for 30 departments. Connectivity of 4 to 10 mbps (upgradable to 100 mbps) has been given to the participating departments and an appellate has also been notified to resolve disputes.
What are the challenges that Delhi’s IT department faces?
There is no separate e-governance department in Delhi. Therefore, the day-to-day work, technical clearances of various IT projects, matters related to procurement of hardware and software, supply of IT manpower and implementation of various IT projects come under domain of department of IT.
How does Delhi fare in terms of e-procurement?
Delhi started with e-procurement in December 2008 and has processed over 40,000 tenders – the third highest in the country after Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. The state has shifted to the platform of the National Informatics Centre and over 100 state government departments / agencies are taking advantage of the system.
In order to ensure service delivery without delay, Delhi has also initiated an e-SLA project. Can you tell us more about the project?
Online monitoring of Service Level Agreements (e-SLA) is one of the first initiatives of its kind in the country. Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Bihar are the only other states which have taken a similar initiative. Under the project, a centralised e-governance platform has been built to monitor adherence to service levels by different departments. At this stage, 24 government-to-citizen (G2C) services are being monitored under the project. Another set of 40 services have been identified, including health, pharmacy, weights and measures etc to be monitored as part of the project.
Free and open software has always been a subject of debate. What is your take on this?
The maximum effort of the state government is to develop software on open source platform.
How is Delhi faring with regard to the Unique Identity (UID) project?
The offices of divisional commissioners are implementing the Unique Identity (UID) project in Delhi. There are seven agencies which are implementing the project in the state. Besides, the central agencies like the Life Insurance Corporation are also implementing the project. The state has asked for funding from the Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) for creating data centre for storage of the data being collected.
What is your policy on the use of social media?
The department of environment, Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation, Municipal Corporation of Delhi,Delhi Traffic Police, Delhi University and Tihar Jail are already on Facebook. The departments / agencies which have a high level of citizen interface are adopting social media. n
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