How Uttar Pradesh is building e-governance dominance

Uttar Pradesh threw up many startling surprises at a ‘Government-Connect Roundtable’ here, the very first in a series to promote Digital India program.

How many would know that Uttar Pradesh, which has elbowed its way to front ranks of e-governance, organises as many as 300 video conferences, the maximum for any state in a year, between various principal secretaries and the district magistrates, saving the government Rs.36 crore in expenses, annually.

The state which had advertised 3,000 vacancies for lekhpals (accountants) in the recent past, received as many as 1.2 million online applications on the very last day, out of a total of 3.2 million.

Surprisingly, the website did not crash even once, after handling such a huge volume of traffic, thanks to the maintenance and upkeep of the IT infrastructure by the state wing of the National Informatics Centre (NIC).

NIC-UP also helped save the state Rs.522 crore in a single programme by weeding out fictitious beneficiaries involving school education.

These surprising facts were made public by Saurabh Gupta at the ‘Government Connect’ Roundtable here on Friday night, inaugurated by state Tourism Minister Om Prakash Singh.

Saurabh Gupta is an IT and computer engineering expert, who heads the state unit of the National Informatics Centre (NIC).

Similarly, the state also offers India’s best 3G connectivity on the prestigious Noida-Agra Expressway.

It is networked with hundreds of cameras that keep an eye on traffic, track violators who are fined at the next toll, said Raman Bountra, Dell-India senior executive and a panelist.

“Technology is a pre-requisite to transform the country, its businesses, and the quality of life of its citizens by enabling electronic delivery of government services,” added Bountra.

The session was hosted by Gurgaon-based CyberMedia Research (CMR), a unit of Cyber Media Research and Services Ltd., a member of the Market Research Society of India and global IT major Dell.

Research conducted by CMR has identified a number of challenges that stakeholders both in the Uttar Pradesh government and public sector units are facing.

CMR analysts pointed out that 29 percent of the stakeholders wanted creation of robust data centres that functions round the clock without any glitches.

Twenty-six percent stakeholders favoured use of virtualisation, a method that permits sharing of IT resources, for delivering multiple government services. It not only cuts costs but serves a larger number of citizens within the same IT budget.

Twenty-four percent users suggested that a Cloud-based, shared infrastructure and citizen-friendly data access over the Internet would go a long way in mitigating many operational irritants and improve overall productivity.

Akhilesh Yadav with HP laptop
CMR and Dell will be hosting a series of Roundtables in various state capitals, to apprise the elected leadership and decision makers of the transformational role of technology in achieving critical governance goals.

The Lucknow Roundtable also brought out the benefits arising out of building robust, flexible and secure platforms to meet the emerging needs of governments and public sector firms.

The panellists spoke on e-governance and information and communication technology (ICT) initiatives of the UP government and the need for creating the right climate for research in science and technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Panellists included Tourism Minister Om Prakash Singh, CMR chairman Pradeep Gupta, principal secretary for information technology and electronics Rajendra Kumar Tiwari, Dell India senior executive Raman Bountra, and Saurabh Gupta of the NIC.

Pradeep Gupta said: “We are committed to encouraging debate on and adoption of scalable ICT infrastructure and solutions, to deliver convenience to citizens, customers and stakeholders.”

Gupta hoped that collaboration between government organisations, the vibrant public sector and technology providers would lead to emergence of many transformative models.

The session concluded with a panel discussion on use of ICTs to improve delivery of e-governance projects, and fostering a robust knowledge ecosystem in Uttar Pradesh.

File photo