The e-District initiative of the Department of Information Technology (DIT), Ministry of Communication & Information Technology (MCIT), and Government of India has been identified as one of the Mission Mode Projects at the State level. The project aims at providing support to the basic administrative unit i.e. "District Administration" to enable content development of G2C services, which would optimally leverage and utilize the three infrastructure pillars, the State Wide Area Network (SWAN) for connectivity, State Data Centre (SDC) for secure and fail safe data storage, and Common Service Centers (CSCs) as the primary front-ends for service delivery to deliver services to the citizens at their doorstep.
e-District project involves integrated and seamless delivery of citizen services by district administration through automation of workflow, back end digitization, integration and process redesigning across participating sections/departments for providing services in a most efficient manner to the citizens.Some of the key challenges that State Government / District Administration need to consider while developing the project proposals and during implementation of project:
- Time Bound Project
- SDA and State Nodal Officer should be staffed and appointed, else there will be no body or Champion to steer the project.
- Service levels need to be defined, which would require BPR including possible Legal and regulatory changes
- The project needs to be synchronized with the rollout of the core and support infrastructure for NeGP - SWAN, CSC, SDC and SSDG.
- Ensuring administrative stability of e-Champions for ensuring time bound implementation and responsibility
- Resolve issues and conflicts related toexistence of Paper and Paperless system in parallel
- Standardization of financials, technology and applications
- Integration with existing applications with e District
- Absence of IT organization structure at the District except limited 1-2 technical personnel of NIC
- Process reforms and Change management
- Development of sustainable financial model
The scope of work, for the state-wide rollout of the e-District project are as follows:
- Modification and Enhancement of existing e-District Application
- Site preparation of all project locations
- Supply, installation and commissioning of IT hardware
- Training to equip all users
- Maintenance and hand holding support
With a wide scope that had been set, we started our end-to-end solutioning. But with such a scope, we had to set some assumptions to set a baseline for our project. Following were the set of assumptions concluded:
- CSC/FC login will be done through the Assam State portal.
- As all the requests will be routed through SSDG, e-District application will send back application status to SSDG on Approval / Reject status.
- EID will be generated at state portal and will be shared with e-District Portal. In case SP/SSDG is down. Provision for citizens to know the status of the application is made available at e-District portal. However provision for applying new application will not be available on e-District portal because of dependencies like EID creation, charges, upload of the mandatory documents for creation of the application etc...
- All applicable Service Charges / Fees will be facilitated through State Portal/SSDG.
- Single Sign On will be implemented by State Portal and would be integrated with e-district portal
- e-District application will be only used by respective officials as per the defined workflow process.
- Starting point of routing the application processing will be from APPROVING AUTHORITY level.
- SLA for service delivery shall be office wise against each service.
- Emails, SMS, communications/messages would be sent only in English.
As these were started we had several dependencies which were on our way. The EID or the Registration details of the citizens were to be provided by the SSDG team. The next was the integration of data across all services in e-District application through SSDG. This needed a centralized xml format to be used in all services which had to be sent by them. Later the SSDG had to also provide the flow for approval, revert back and reject cases with their corresponding input and output format. All these dependencies had to be sorted before the development phase.
OTHER PARTS OF OUR SOLUTIONING
- The project would require provisioning of dedicated manpower at each district to provide support for the roll out of the project. The SI would be required to position resources to provide technical support at each of the districts during the roll out period. This would be essential to ensure sufficient hand-holding is provided to department personnel in the district level offices to manage the system after the end of SI’s Contract Period.
- The Technical support resources would be required to work closely with the District Project Manager and SPMU in ensuring adherence to the project time-lines.
- The SI should ensure that the roster schedule of all deployed manpower for each day at the required locations has been communicated in advance to SDA/ DeGS. No change to the deployed staff shall be done by the SI without written approval from the SDA/DeGS
- Adherence to all laws pertaining to personnel, labour laws, etc for any manpower deployed by the SI on this Project shall be the responsibility of the SI.
- The SI would issue Identity cards to each of the staff members deployed at the districts.
- The SI will maintain adequate leave reserve for the staff, so that the work in the respective districts remains unaffected in all cases.
Training of staff
The SI should identify the exact numbers, names and contact details of officers and VLE s to be trained per district. Based on the roles and responsibilities of the government officials at various levels, the training plan has been prepared to capture the need, requirement of skill and capacity enhancement of the government officials.
Based on the organizational hierarchy and the envisaged roles and responsibilities, officials have been categorized into four bands – I, II & III and CSC operators as IV for training purpose only. This will enable to ease the training of government staff and also at the same time will integrate the understanding of various actors for consolidated service delivery.
The fully integrated Solution
The aim of the e-District project is to create an integrated IT platform for District Administration and its subordinate offices, to use IT primarily to increase information quality, improve overall efficiency and effectiveness in the Government processes, along with convenience in operations. Finally after it started on September ’15, the Pilot project to implement initially for two districts of Goalpara and Sonitpur Districts was completed successfully in a year. Following it was the roll-out which expanded our e-District to 27 districts with around 4927 officials accessing it on a daily basis.
Features of the project
- IT enabling of internal processes of District Administration and its subordinate offices to increase functional efficiency
- Automation of workflow and internal processes of District Administration
- Seamless integration of various departments for providing services to the citizens by integrating various District databases.
- Providing efficient individual department services through delivery channels like Common Service Centers (CSCs)
- To provide easy access to government services to common man, especially the people belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women.
- Creation of IT infrastructure for rolling out e-Governance plan right up to Block levels
- Develop capacities of human resources of Government to operate & maintain IT enabled systems and applications with confidence and provide services to the people effectively and efficiently.
- To utilize IT to empower the common man in his dealings with the bureaucracy.
- To make it easy for the District Administrative Officials to discharge their functions efficiently