One of the basic requirement for transparent and responsive governance is to adopt e-governance by converting existing government services into e-applications for delivery of citizen centric services, promptly and efficiently with effective monitoring to minimize the gap.
Along with the implementation of the NeGP(National e-Governance Plan), it is also important to use the Information technology for automation of the back end systems i.e. the functioning of the Govt. Departments. The state has already taken up steps under NEGP, for implementation of the e-District projects in DC offices. While e-District project will take care of the automation in the District Collector's service delivery mechanism for the citizens, the operations of different departments at State Secretariat have not been covered under this. In order to make the Govt. efficient and transparent and to deliver the services to the citizens (G2C services), it is very important to automate various official procedures. It is clear that the efficiency of the system depends to a large extent on the computerization of the State Secretariat. Unless it's functions are automated, all the attempts to computerize the processes in the Directorates and DC offices under it will not result in increase in the efficiency.
In order to provide significant impetus for e-Governance, the Assam Online Portal & Secretariat Less Paper Office Project has adequate provision for building necessary IT Infrastructure in terms of hardware & networking for a true e-office scenario in the Assam Secretariat. The project envisages to provide necessary IT hardware for deployment in the Secretariat in addition to a host of e-applications based on As-Is Study conducted in 55 Nos. of Departments.
The project has following components:
1) Computerization of Assam Secretariat with IT infrastructure viz., Thin Clients,Desktops,Laptops, Printers,Scanners etc. with 24X7 facility management service.
2) A Gigabit LAN within the Secretariat with necessary network security & redundant network path for failsafe operation having 24X7 operation & maintenance service. This Gigabit network shall have fibre connectivity to AMTRON, Kar Bhaban, Staff College and Assembly Secretariat with Assam Secretariat LAN through underground micro tunneling.
3) Building support & testing infrastructure viz., e-application testing & staging area to be built up at AMTRON premises. This facility shall be made available to all the stakeholders of the NeGP applications. The certification of the applications & IT hardware shall be carried out in this facility, prior to live deployment as per guidelines of the Govt. of India.
4) Augmentation of video conferencing facility in the existing & proposed conference room of the Secretariat to facilitate video conferencing capability to the Hon'ble Ministers and Senior officials.
5) To augment capacity building of the employees of the state Govt. through intuitive IT training programme in a continuous manner as a part of the AOP Project.
6) To develop & deploy the Assam Online Portal with a host of e-services & applications covering all 55 departments in single web window for a true e-Governing environment. The Secretariat Less Paper Office shall be the flag ship application of the AOP.
7) To develop Assamese Text to Speech for integration into the portal along with Assamese,Bengali & Hindi text entry system for Linux Desktop & e-applications for the physically challenged and the rural masses.
8) To conduct an As-Is Study in each of the 55 departments to ascertain e-readiness and other relevant information pertaining to the departments.
Existing IT Scenario in the Secretariat: Top
Although the different departments have been using the desktops for a long time now, its use has been limited to word processing and spreadsheet. Thus the departments have been using the IT tool in a limited manner without a collaborative approach for a coherent resource sharing mode for a streamline, efficient & transparent governance. The work-flow of the departments within the Secretariat has never been re-engineered for ICT implementation to deliver optimum performance as per need of the hour under existing scenario.
Under the AOP & SLPO Project a through As-Is Study has been conducted in 55 Departments covering the following aspects.
1. To complete the As-Is study for all the 55 departments listed, in terms of but not limited to,
• Administrative structure and Reporting Structure
• Existing Process Flow / Work Flow
• Services and Service Delivery Mechanism (G2C, G2G, G2B)
• Roles and responsibilities of officials at various levels
2. Status of e-Readiness of each individual Department, in terms of but not limited to
• Computing resources – Server & PC, Networking hardware, software (OS, Application, DB,Office Suite, etc.)
• Applications – online as well as offline
• Web presence and web enablement of application, including the URL, if any
• Mail service and domain name; validity, space registered, platform, language etc.
• Agencies involved in Application, Data entry, Web Site, Training etc.
• Level of Computer Training and Trained Manpower resources
• Forms, Applications and their conversion for service delivery
• Status of Data Center, if any
3. Identification and creation of Meta Data for the 52 Departments
4. Design of Forms for delivery of Services based on commonality for e-Readiness
5. Number of Offices, Locations, Connectivity between offices, deployment plan of computing resources, if any.
6. Status of availability of DPR for computerization & e-Governance, Consultants for e-Governance, floating of RFP/NIT towards e-enablement, budget provisions and sourcing of funds, approvals if any.
Hardware Infrastructure for Implementation of Less Paper Office in State Secretariat: Top
So far the hardware and networking infrastructure is concerned, most of the departments are equipped with a few computers. But the vast majority of the employees of the secretariat have not been provided with computers. Similarly, the networking connectivity has been upto the Deputy Secretary level only. Even though the operations of the departments are generally initiated by the clerical staff, they have not so far been provided with computers with network connectivity. In order to implement Information technology for improvement of the departmental operation, it is essential to extend the connectivity to the clerical level and to provide computing facility upto that level.
The AOP & SLPO Project would upgrade the existing Network infrastructure to a Gigabit Network. The existing skeleton network implemented & managed by NIC shall be suitably connected to achieve a seamless integrated single network, for which NIC & AMTRON has already chalked out a technical model in this regard.
As the senior officers are mobile and need to access information even from home after office hours or during holidays, the AOP&SLPO Project has provision to provide laptop to all the officers to the level of Jt. Secretary.
Setting up of Training in State Secretariat:
One important bottleneck in the implementation of automated system is the IT knowledge of the employees. Vast majority of the employees in the Secretariat lacks basic IT knowledge. It is necessary to bring them upto a particular level quickly through extensive training so that they will be able to operate the computers. It is proposed to provide continuous training to the employees within the Secretariat campus in order to achieve this objective. One full fledged training centre will be setup in the secretariat complex for training of the employees on continuous basis. As the training centre will be situated within the complex, it will be easier for the departments to depute their employees for training without effecting their day to day work. Another step towards capacity building is to provide trainer in departments. It I planned to have 30 trainers for providing hands on training to the employees on continuous basis. This will encourage the employees to learn while working.
Software : Top
Implementation of Less Paper Office in Assam State Secretariat:
The existing systems in the department are basically manual in nature. Though Information Technology has been used for word processing and spreadsheet, none of the processes has been automated using IT till now in a comprehensive manner.
The objective of the automated system should be to implement an ERP covering all the Govt. functions across various departments. However, the existing infrastructure and manpower does not permit immediate implementation of such a system without upgradation of the infrastructure on a large scale. More importantly, it will also necessitate process re-engineering in a major way and enactment/change of relevant laws. This is bound to take long time. However it will not be prudent to wait for the changes to take place and implement the comprehensive system without taking any immediate advantage of IT. In view of this, it proposed to computerize those aspects of the system which are going to have maximum impact on increasing the efficiency of the system and does not involve extensive process re-engineering. This way it will be possible for the Government to take advantage of the fruits of Information Technology and deliver the Govt. services to the citizens in an efficient way.
The Secretariat Less Paper Office (SLPO) envisages to provide an electronics file system with build-in work-flow system pertaining to the Secretariat in general & department specific to a certain departments in particular based on the As-Is Study report.
Assam Online Portal:
Assam Online Portal will be developed for the G2C, G2B, G2G & G2E services. The portal will be used for delivering various Government services in each of the categories mentioned above. Moreover, it will be securely connected to the proposed SP & SSDG Portal to act as a single window for delivery of services.
Key objective of this portal are:
Portal will be a single platform integrating various existing as well as future websites.
Increase ease of use/access to more frequently used e-Governance information through market research, user sensitive and acceptable GUI design, user group requirements, information categorization, and creation of appropriate user group specific themes.
Adopt the Citizen life cycle approach for presentation and access to e-Governance information requirement.
Integration web pages that would link to and be accessible from the portal.
Increase portal accessibility, adoption and usage by providing multi language and voice content.
Ensure the maintenance and delivery of a visually appealing and consistent "look and feel" for the citizens and businesses visiting the portal.
Provide the capability for Portal Users to personalize their Portal Experience.
Monitor and Report portal usage statistics.
Maintain; enhance the portal based on analysis of the portal, sections, themes, page usage and adoption statistics.
It will be hosted in the Testing & Staging Centre at AMTRON and subsequently to be migrated to the State Data Centre(SDC) after it will become operational and will be connected to the ASWAN/ Internet.
Among other features of a dynamic portal, the AOP shall have additionally the following :-
1. Development of e-Forms for Departments: Top
A form based service (eForms) would have to be built for the Assam State Online Portal for the G2G, G2B and G2C services of the Govt. Departments, which are not computerized as on date. The e-Forms for delivery of G2B & G2C services will work in a system to be developed with computerized FRONT END and manual BACK END with a well defined SLA delivery of the said services.
2. Integration of Existing Application with Assam Online Portal:
The State Government Departments are in various stages of e-enablement. Several Departments have been successfully running applications (G2G, G2B & G2C) on computerized systems on Client Server or Three Tier Architecture. Notable among these are Commercial Taxes (TIMS), Treasuries (CTIMS), PWD, Transport (Vahan & Sarathi), Guwahati Municipal Corporation, Health Department (HMIS for the Medical Colleges, NIDMS etc.), Assam Agricultural Marketing Board (prices of commodities), e-Procurement & Payment Gateways (AMTRON), DHARITRI (Land Records) etc. are functional. Several other Departments and applications such as e-Districts, e-Health, Food & Civil Supplies Department, Finance Department (IGFMIS) etc. are in various stages of development. All these applications would need appropriate interfacing with the Assam Online Portal so as to enable seamless transaction of G2B services to the citizens and businesses.
3. e-Governance Modules as Central application:
The AOP, additionally, shall have modules as listed below:-
1. Schemes Module
2. Beneficiary Module
3. E Form Module
4. Constituency Management System
5. E-Board : All messages, notifications, circulars, OMs, transfer orders etc. to be posted here.
6. E-Gazette :
7. OTMS :Court Case Online Tracking & Management
8. Public Facilitation Module : CM/Ministers' /Sr.Officers Appointment Management
9. MMIS: Mahal Management System for Fishery/Revenue/ Forest/ Mines & Minerals
10. GAD Utils : General Administration Deptt Utilities
11. BPMS : Building Permission Management System for all urban bodies
12. PGR Module : Public Grievance Redressal Module & MIS
13. MP/MLALAD Module : MP/MLA Local Area Development MIS
14. CRF MIS: Chief Minister's Relief Fund MIS
15. Training module : Employees Training
16. E-Tendering : Tendering of all departments/ sale of tender etc.
17. Teachers' Portal : Appointment, Confirmation, Promotion, Leave, Pension related dynamic contents
18. Technical Institutional Portal : Portal for Technical Institutions' admission
19. Acts Online : Acts Online Portal
20. Q&A Portal : Assembly Q&A Portal
21. H.E. THE GOVERNOR'S SECRETARIAT
22. Data Archival & Storage
23. Project Management System
These modules will be so designed as to create the basic data/ meta data structures, functionalities and use cases cutting across the Departments, so that a common minimum module is developed, which then can be scaled incrementally for each of the departments as required without requiring change in the common modules and data/ meta data structures. If at all a basic change is envisaged in course of time, the system should have capability to reflect that change everywhere else as applicable.
The processes and systems shall not be hard coded, but customizable at run time with adequate degrees of freedom for adaptation by user departments without intervention of software engineer. Top