Ten questions that Cab Sec should ask his colleagues on NeGP

Governance Now gives a helping hand to Apex Committee on NeGP which reviews the plan today


Samir Sachdeva | July 16, 2010

Cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar
Cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar

The Apex Committee of the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) headed by cabinet secretary KM Chandrasekhar meets today at Vigyan Bhavan to review the Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) being implemented under the NeGP.  Considering the tardy progress of most of them, Governance Now suggests ten questions the cabinet secretary must ask if he is in mood for some serious introspection: 
1. Ladies and gentlemen, we have been working on the NeGP for five years now. All of you know the importance and urgency this government has attached to the e-governance plan in the context of inclusive growth. But apart from the phenomenal success story of MCA21, there is nothing to show. What has happening to the rest of the 26 MMPs? Why are we stalled?

2. A technocrat as accomplished as  Mr Sam Pitroda has said that all money spent on e-governance in India is waste. What are the gaps within NeGP that he was forced to make such remarks?

3. The passport seva project was supposed to be our next crowning glory after MCA21. It is running behind schedule and the full scale implementation has been delayed. The press reports from the pilot sites in Managalore and Bangalore are not encouraging. What should we do about it?

4. We approved the CSC scheme in 2006 and in four years we have achieved only 79,000 CSCs and there are very few CSCs which are offering Government to Citizen (G2C) services. How will we be able to implement the additional 1.6 lakh CSCs in just one year and how are we ensuring that G2C services are delivered? Have we also imposed some penalties on the national level consultants of this project for deficient and delayed delivery?

5. We are recruiting consultants for National e-Governance Division (NeGD), State e-Mission Teams (SeMTs), Unique Identification Project (UID), various Project Management Units (PMUs) for e-governance projects through the National Institute for Smart Government (NISG). Are we not short circuiting the laid down government recruitment process through this public private partnership?

6. NISG has facilitated private partnership in many mission mode projects. But why is it that NISG could not get more equity partnership from the private sector. Why is it that just Nasscom and IL&FS continue to hold the private sector stake in this PPP?

7. I understand the backend processes, databases and data centers are still not ready in majority of the states, then which government services are we planning to deliver through the frontends like CSCs in the rural India? Also, have we started work on the mission mode projects like Visa, Pensions, and Employment Exchange or even after five years we are just working out the scope of these projects?

8. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs is proposing a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for MCA21 project, for implementation of CSCs another SPV, CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd has been established. Then why are we still proposing the public private partnerships (PPPs) model in various MMPs and not directly implementing the projects through  SPVs when at a later stage we will be establishing a SPV ?

9. I am worried about the blame game that has started over the failure of the CSCs. From the government side we seem to be suggesting the CSCs are failing because the private parties made some unrealistic bids. The private players are suggesting that certain government agencies are derailing the CSCs project by deliberately delaying provision of G2C services. We can get over this situation only if we produce some sterling success stories urgently. Are there any quick success stories that we can showcase?

10. In short, ladies and gentlemen, the NeGP is in serious jeopardy. Any ideas on how to save it?



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