Yojana July 2019 - Citizen Centric E-Services (Part 2) (Download PDF)


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Digital Infrastructure: Core of Governance: -Pan India Network: NICNET, Pan India communication network for exclusive use of Govt. has continuously evolved since 1980s in terms of its geographical expansion, state of art technology, reliability as well as security architecture. Today it connects Govt. offices across length & breadth of India using a combination of technologies viz. fiber optic, copper cable, VSAT, Radio Frequency based on availability & suitability of technology to terrain of land.

  • National Knowledge network (NKN) is another important initiative which provides Multigigabit nationwide network connected thru 10G backbone. It extends high speed connectivity to leading Research & Academic Institutions of country.

Data Centres: A Host to e-Governance Applications

  • Data Centres are ideal solutions for offering a robust, highly available infrastructure w/adequate redundancy to enable Govt. to effectively render a variety of services to citizens.
  • Realizing importance of Data Centres, National Informatics Centre (NIC) has established large Data Centres at Delhi, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar & Pune, Which are offering robust, resilient & secure set-up for e-Governance applications, web portals & websites w/high availability & accessibility.
  • e-procurement, Public Financial Monitoring System (CPSMS), eLekha, e-Panchayat, Aadhaar Enabled Biometric Attendance System (AEBAS), Immigration Visa Foreigner Registration Tracking System, Public Distribution system, national Portal of India, Jeevan Pramaan, e-Courts, National Agriculture Market, mobile Fertilizer Mgmt. System, Cyber Swachhra Transport Project, Human Resource Mgmt. Systems & a number of Govt. websites.

Command & Control Centre

  • Command & Control Centre have been set up at NIC Headquarters which has increased agility of NIC’s ICT infrastructure.

National Cloud (MeghRaj)

  • GOI initiated a Govt. Cloud initiative titled “MeghRaj” in 2014. earlier provisioning of a digital infrastructure was an extremely time consuming process for every individual project.
  • Setting up of a secured cloud infrastructure has reduced considerable amount of time in provisioning of digital infrastructure.
  • Various Govt. initiatives & schemes, such as Swachh Bharat Mission, My-Gov, e-Hospital, National Scholarship, e-Transport etc. have been successfully launched due to a robust & agile cloud infrastructure.

Geospatial Technology

  • Geographical Information systems (GIS) have improved accessibility of various e Governance services by offering location based access, visual gap analysis & actual on site representation of various activities.
  • Initiative such as Digital India Programme has made extensive use of geo spatial technology for effective service delivery.
  • One such successful implementation of geographic information system has been in rural development scheme MGNREGA.
  • GIS is helping MGNREGA workers to get information about availability of work in near locations, work site location information, real time transparent attendance & payment information.

Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT)

  • Public Finance Mgmt. System (PFMS) electronically interfaces w/all banks & gives a holistic view of overall flow of funds in Govt. thereby eliminating delay & increasing transparency.
  • Under Swachh Bharat Mission, beneficiaries had to declare progress of amenity construction. All it took for beneficiary was to upload pictures of construction in phases & post validation & geographical location, money was directly credited to beneficiary’s account.

Email Services

  • X400 email services were launched for Govt. of India officials in late 1980s for providing an open source based secure & unified messaging platform to Govt. officials at all levels.
  • As part of mandate under Digital India Programme, Govt. provided a secure email service to all for official communication.


  • NIC has been offering Video Conferencing services since 1995 for connecting & bringing administration close to each other.
  • Video Conferencing is now extensively used at all levels of governance i. e. Centre to State, State to District & Sub districts, & Govt. to public providing state-of-art, high definition, multi-party, anytime, anywhere video conferencing services.

Cyber Security

  • Cyber Security is one of key concerns of any digital infrastructure today & it becomes all more pertinent when it comes to Govt. infrastructure.
  • Cyber Security has evolved from just being about to network security to application security.

Computer Emergency Response Team (NIC-CERT) group has been constituted w/an objective of analyzing, monitoring & responding to cyber threats on critical govt. cyber infrastructure, like websites, emails & various services.

Digital Platforms

  • These platforms have addressed issues of inter operability, seamless integration & consolidation by creation of National Registers for vehicles, houses, toilets, ration cards, etc.
  • w/a stable, reliable & best-in-class digital infrastructure, GOI along w/NIC & other key stakeholders have successfully set up various services such as e-office, e-transport, e-Hospital to name a few.
  • Initiative saw an extensive array of G2G, G2B & G2C services benefitting citizens, transporters, vehicle dealers, manufacturers, police & security agencies, banks, insurance companies, various Govt. Departments at State & Central level.
  • New citizen focused initiatives like mobile-based traffic enforcement solution thru e-challan, mobile extension for services in form of Parivahan app.
  • E-Way Bill system has been a key lever in success of Goods & Services Tax (GST) implementation.
  • For rural development, govt. has harnessed technology for implementing various ICT applications in over 10 programs including Pradhan Mantri Aawaas Yojana- Gramin (PMAY-G), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), National Social Assistance Program (NSAP), Deen Dayal Upadhyay Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDUGKY), Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana- National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM), a project to profile all GPS & villages on various social, economic & infra parameters (Mission Antyodaya), etc.

Way Forward

  • NIC is in a unique position to cater to ICT needs at all levels of governance, i. e. central, state, districts & sub-districts as well as at executive, judiciary & legislative layer of Govt.
  • Digital Empowerment through ‘Maximum Governance, Minimum Government’
  • Digital Empowerment thru ‘Maximum Governance, Minimum Govt. ’ is not a mere slogan.
  • Instead it is a conscious strategy towards ushering reforms in governance & transforming India by making governance simple, fast, flexible & effective by application of innovations & technology. This leads to participative governance, a key element of a responsible democracy.
  • Aim is not just to reduce human interface in delivering services to people but to enhance experience of citizens, while providing them with enormous opportunities.
  • Combination of Jandhan bank accounts, mobile phones & digital identity thru Aadhaar i. e. JAM trinity is helping poor to get benefits directly into their bank account.
  • Common Services Centres (CSCs), as Digital kiosks, are providing more than 350 types of services to citizens in rural areas. CSCs are a unique PPP model where micro entrepreneurs are creating sustainable livelihoods & bringing about a digital revolution in villages of India.
  • World’s largest digital literacy programme, Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Sksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA), is bridging digital divide & helping people to access benefits of digital world.
  • Digital India Programme has resulted in rolling out of public digital platforms & use of public data for open innovation models to create new a fresh approach to problem solving.
  • Experience of UPI has transformed digital payment ecosystem in a span of two years, various private players are creating a new ecosystem for new business models, such as flow-based lending credit scoring, insurance writing etc. ,
  • Transactions on BHIM/UPI platform have increased in volume from 70 lakh to 7996 lakh per month over last two years.
  • Govt. e-Marketplace is attempting to increase efficiency in public procurement by increasing transparency thru an online platform for sourcing.
  • This is boosting growth of MSMEs, small manufacturers & other sellers.
  • DigiLocker, cloud based platform provides secure access to billions of documents/certificates online issued by various authorities, thereby eliminating need for physical documents.
  • Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance (UMANG) that offers over 360 services of 73 Departments & 18 States to citizens thru their mobile phones.
  • Emerging Technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of things (IoTs) & big data analytics are expected to bring in mass disruption.
  • To leverage Artificial Intelligence & related emerging technologies in interest of citizens & businesses, a National Programme on ‘Artificial Intelligence’ has been envisaged to be catalyzed by establishment of National Centre on Artificial Intelligence as a hub along w/Centres of Excellence.
  • Under Digital India Programme, Government is working on privacy protection thru enabling Personal Data Protection Framework.
  • National Policy on Software Products has been formulated that envisages creation of a robust India Software Product development ecosystem, thereby enabling IP driven holistic growth of IT industry.
  • Aims to develop India as global software product hub, driven by innovation, improved commercialist ion, sustainable Intellectual Property (IP), promoting technology start ups & specialized skill sets.
  • National Policy on Electronics, 2019 aims to further promote domestic manufacturing & export to achieve a Turnover of approx. Rs. 26 lakh cr. By 2025

Less Cash India: Vision to Reality

  • India has traditionally been a cash based society. This dominance of cash has been primarily due to three reasons –
  1. Lack of payment acceptance infrastructure
  2. Bank accounts perceived as accounts for savings rather than accounts for payments by a majority of population
  3. Cash based payments seem to be zero cost & hassle free as cost of cash is distributed & invisible.
  • After Jan Dhan Mission, number of customers using bank accounts for digital payments is less than 5 cr.
  • Advent of UPI has payments for people who are comfortable to pay directly from their bank accounts. UPI have been leading growth of digital payments in addition to traditional modes like net banking, debit card & crore edit card.
  • Cash mgmt. infrastructure includes cost of printing cash, bill collection centres for utilities, network of ATMs & cash deposit machines, cash in cash out counters in banks etc.
  • In P2M (person to merchant) digital payments, there is a central neutral party which facilitates arbitration & provides a channel for dispute resolution w/merchants.
  • Digital payments platform, this greatly removes fraud/spurious merchants as due diligence is an extensive exercise on part of acquiring banks/financial institutions since fly by night merchants can cause greater damage to acquirers than customers in a cumulative way.
  • 4 key elements of financial inclusion are payments croreedit, investment & insurance; Jan Dhan programme focused on opening bank account for at least one member of every Indian family.
  • Benefit of Govt. schemes & subsidy now flow directly into bank account of beneficiary, thereby eliminating middlemen.
  • Poor of country can now do digital transactions history which can enable banks & other financial institutions to determine croreedit worthiness & offer loans, thereby preventing poor from unregulated money lenders & high interest rates on loans that have been extended.
  • For a citizen, digital payments offer several uses, from payment of utility bills to booking train/movie tickets & payment of school/college fee etc.
  • Indian Govt. has relaxed additional factor authentication requirement for transactions up to Rs. 2000. These risk based solutions work best since they balance safety as well as user experience.
  • Banking & financial services industry is eagerly awaiting passage of Personal Data Protection Bill in Parliament.
  • Entities in digital payments space should be given freedom to enable merchants to accept digital payments in whatever way they deem fit be it wallet, UPI or any other new innovation which can scale up number of merchants accepting digital payments even further.
  • Certainly w/constant innovation in technology & increased awareness about digital payments, time is not far when this trust factor truly enables realization of vision of less cash India.

- Published/Last Modified on: July 22, 2019


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