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E-Governance

National e-Governance Plan

The Government of India has approved the NeGP in May 2006 with the vision: "Make all Government services accessible to the common man in his locality, throughout common service delivery outlets and ensure efficiency, transparency & reliability of such services at affordable costs to realize the basic needs of the common man".

The NeGP currently consists of 27 Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) and 8 Support Components to be implemented at the Central, State and Local Government levels. These include Projects such as Income Tax, Customs & Excise & Passports at the Central Level, Land Records, Agriculture and e-District at the State Level and Panchayats and Municipalities at the Local Level. There are also a number of Integrated MMPs like e-Procurement, Service Delivery Gateway and EDI which are integrated MMPs where delivery of services envisaged in the project entail coordinated implementation across multiple Departments of Government.

The Service Delivery Infrastructure

While the mission Mode Projects would enable the backend computerization of various departments, thereby e-enabling them for any time anywhere service delivery, to achieve the vision of providing government services at the doorstep of the citizen, a common service delivery platform is being created. The three important elements that form the basis of this effective service delivery framework are, State Wide Area networks (SWANs), the front-end outlets for the service delivery i.e. Common Service Centres (CSCs) and the State Data Centres (SDCs), as detailed below:

  • State Wide Area Network (SWANs)

    Government has approved the scheme for establishing State Wide Area Networks (SWANs) in 29 States and 6 UTs across the country at a total cost of Rs.3334 crore. This scheme envisages establishment of an intra-government network with a minimum of 2 Mbps connectivity from the State Headquarters to Block Headquarters through District Headquarters. The SWAN project provides the connectivity to facilitate the rolling out of citizen centric services under various Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) under NeGP. The scheme has two implementation options -

    • PPP Model: The first option is to call for a bid from private entities, which would set up and operate this SWAN in the State for a period of five years. The payments to the successful bidder would begin only after the infrastructure has been set up. The contract signed with the private party provides for strict Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and there is a provision of penalties to be imposed on the party should it fail to meet those service levels.
    • NIC Model: In the second model the State has the option for going directly to the NIC and the NIC would set up and maintain the SWAN for the State for a period of 5 years.
  • Common Services Centres (CSCs)

    Government of India has approved the scheme of establishing Common Service Centres (CSCs) across the country. The CSC scheme envisages the establishment of 100,000 broadband Internet - enabled kiosks in rural areas, which would deliver government and private services at the doorstep of the citizens. An additional 10,000 CSCs would be set up in the semi-urban/urban areas. Visualizing a honeycomb pattern with one village surrounded by 6 villages, this implies that each village would have a CSC either within its own area or in an adjoining village. The CSC scheme would be a bottom-up model for delivery of content and services like e-governance, education, entrepreneur driven, Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. Under the scheme, the Government is again not required to incur any capital expenditure up front. The State Government would call for bids from private parties called Service Centre Agencies (SCAs). The bidding parameter is the quantum of support that the SCAs would need for setting up and operating and running these centres over 4 years. The CSCs are also expected to be operational in most States by end 2008.
    Currently, the bid process for selection of the Service Centres has been completed for a total of 92560 CSCs in 19 States. Out of this, the work has been actually awarded in 11 States covering 61491 CSCs.

    • Connectivity for the Last Mile: The CSC scheme requires broadband connectivity infrastructure in rural areas reaching up to the village level. Towards this end the DIT and the Department of Telecom (DOT) are in the process of implementing a connectivity plan dovetailed with the roll-out of the CSC scheme, which would not only provide connectivity for these CSCs, but would make broadband connections available in those areas for any other agency, whether government or private, should it so require.
      Thus while being the end user of broadband; the CSCs have also to act as a catalyst in ushering in broadband into rural areas. The connectivity infrastructure is being created through three distinct initiatives. the first two seek to use the infrastructure already created by the BSNL for last mile connectivity, and the third seeks to use the resources available under the USOF.
    • Leveraging BSNL rural exchanges: Existing BSNL rural OFC- exchanges (approximately 20,000) are being upgraded to allow them to provide broadband (512 Kbps) connectivity to about 25,000 CSCs, with partial funding support from DIT. These exchanges once upgraded would also be able to provide connections within a radius of 4-5 kms to other users as well.
    • Wireless Connectivity from BSNL: In those areas where there is no other existing telecom service providers (TSPs), BSNL towers are being used to provide wireless broadband connectivity with partial funding support from DIT. It is expected that a further 25,000 CSCs would be able to be connected in this manner.
    • Last mile connectivity through USOF: The USOF will be inviting existing TSPs to provide last mile connectivity with funding provided by the USOF. This initiative would provide connectivity to the remaining 50,000 CSCs.
  • State Data Centres (SDCs)

    State Data Centres are proposed to be established across 29 States & 6 UTs in the country along with Disaster Recovery (DR) in order to provide shared, secured and managed infrastructure for consolidating and securely hosting State level data and applications. SDC would provide better operations and management control and minimize overall cost of Data Management, IT management, deployment etc. SDCs would ordinarily be located at the State Headquarters and help the State Government, State Line Ministries and Departments in providing central repository (database consolidation), application consolidation, State Intranet/Internet portal. State messaging infrastructure, remote management, business continuity site etc. needed for their G2G, G2C and G2B services. The various Mission Mode Projects (MMPs), both at the Central level, State level and also the integrated services of the NeGP are expected to use SDCs to deliver their services. The SDC scheme was approved by the Government in January 2008 at a total cost of Rs.1633 crore. DIT has sanctioned SDC proposals of 23 States at a total cost of 1077 crore.

  • Capacity Buliding

    In order to implement NeGP pervasively and vigorously there is a felt need to build capacities to conceptualise and develop e-Governance initiatives and thereafter monitor and supervise its time bound implementation. Specialized skills are required at the State/UTs as well as at the Central level to provide technical support to the policy & decision-making process as well as to manage implementation and oversee the transformation. The skill sets that are typically needed are in the areas of Programme Management, Developing Business and Financial Models, Technology, Enterprise Architecture, Business Process Re-engineering and Change Management.
    Except certain technical competencies, these skills typically are largely missing within the government. In this context, Capacity Building has been included in the 'implementation approach and methodology' of NeGP and addresses the 'Human Resource Development' and 'Training' Components of NeGP. Government of India has in January 2008 approved a Capacity Building Scheme for setting up State e-Mission Teams (SeMT) at a total cost of Rs.313 crore. The objectives of the Scheme are:

    • Establishing of institutional Framework for State Level Strategic decision making including setting-up of State e-Governance Mission Team (SeMT), initial handholding for State MMPs etc.
    • Imparting specialized training for SeMTs & decision makers & knowledge sharing.
    • Strengthening of Training Institutions in States.

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Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on: 10-01-2011