E-Management of Visitors System (E-MVS) for connect programme of the highest constitutional office w
President's Secretariat, Rashtrapati Bhavan

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
RashtrapatiBhavan has a hallowed existence in the annals of democracy for being the residence of the President of the largest democracy in the world and a living heritage. Few official residential premises of the Head of the State in the world will match the RashtrapatiBhavan in terms of its size, vastness and its magnificence.It is a historical monument with immense significance in Indian social and political life. It is open for public viewing on selected days with a view to educating the public on various aspects of its archaeological, historical and social significance. The erstwhile manual system was opaque and inefficient.People in general, from India and across the globe, were unaware about the system and the procedure to visit this highest office of the country. Lack of dissemination of adequate and appropriate information to people kept this place out of bound for commons citizens. People were required to send request letters in writing, which was a time consuming process. There was no proper mechanism to track the status of their request, as the entire system was manual.It was difficult for people / visitors from far off places to plan and confirm their visit well in advance. No written confirmations and instructions were sent to the visitors. Further, RashtrapatiBhavan was earlier closed on Sundays, which being generally a holiday, is a more convenient day for people to visit. From the organization point of view, there was no systematic and rational approach to the entire process. From the security point of view, visitors’ data base was not available for prior scrutiny and verification. In the present age of globalization, knowledge, information and technology; the importance of making the doors of this living heritage open to more and more number of people from different strata of society for equity and access, through use of technology was realized. A need was felt to address the problems being faced by the visitors which include men, women, children / students, senior citizens and also people from diverse cultures and to provide them complete information and confirmation about their visit to RashtrapatiBhavan well in advance, followed by providing quality service. This required ‘whole of the Government approach using Information Technology’. This required coordinated approach for security, information-technology, administration, coordination with multiple stakeholders, an eye of heritage status of the building, deployment of scholarly guides, use of social media and publicity, handling of important persons for the visit, communications to various Ministries, Departments, Peoples’ Representatives and creation of mementoes and souvenirs to make people happy and carry fond memories of their visit.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
A solution to the shortcomings in the form of online system using ‘whole of the Government’ approach was proposed by Shri Suresh Yadav, Officer on Special Duty to the President, President’s Secretariat. The President of India in his assumption speech mentioned about the motto - ‘All for knowledge and knowledge for all’ and also about ‘good governance and India as a model of modernity’. Taking an inspiration from this philosophy, it was decided to make access to this institution transparent, easily accessible, equitable for the citizens using the tools of modern technology and at the same time, ensuring security of highest level and at the same time providing quality services to the visitors. The project was conceived to provide equitable access to all people with a unique experience for enhancing their knowledge about the Indian democratic system and constitutional values showcasing the heritage nature of the building. The objective of the project was to bring this living heritage, which is the living abode of the Head of the State of largest democracy in the world close to the people, from India and across the globe, particularly, the younger generation through modern technology. The system has been designed to ensure that it promotes democratic connect with those sections of society who are at the bottom of the pyramid and always need intermediary to connect. It also lays special emphasis on school children by providing them free access to those below 12 years of age. This project was conceived and implemented in the beginning of the thirteenth Presidency of India. For this project, the following strategy was adopted – (1) Use of e-governance for equitable access to the citizens (2) Registration process to be free from human intervention at the receiver’s end. (3) On-line approval to avoid bureaucratic delays (4) Creation of front office and back office to cut down on the hierarchies (5) Revamping the entire structure for taking around the visitors to the museums and the Mughal Garden by creating two defined circuits (6) Engagement of young generation, fresh from universities as Scholar Guides for the visitors (7) Comprehensive data structure at the time of registration to address the security concerns in the current security environment. (8) All information available on the website of the President of India through a web-link ‘On-line Booking to visit RashtrapatiBhavan’. (9) Advance information to the public in the form of press release and through social media for educating them to the new procedure. (10) Transition to the new procedure through effective change management (11) Regular interaction with all internal stakeholders like Police, Military Wing, Household section and e-governance (12) Facelift of souvenir shops and the basic amenities like drinking water and tea/coffee etc. to the visitors at strategic locations. (13) To equip the Scholar Guides with latest top of the line Walkie-Talkie to communicate, coordinate and to show round the visitors. Through the online system, visitors can book their visits from anywhere, almost two months in advance and can also track the status of their visit. Once online registration of visit is made by visitors, it is processed electronically and approved/ regretted by Administrator of the system.The electronic confirmation sent to the visitors through the systemby email provides detailed information about the visit. SMS alerts with Registration No. is also sent to visitors at the time of registration as well as approval.Online mechanism has ensured easier, faster and reliable solution to the problems being faced by the visitors in the erstwhile manual system. The systematic handling of visitors during their actual visit and proper management / deployment of Scholar Guides has made the E-Management of Visitors System efficient and user-satisfactory

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The system uses bar-coded security features used in the industry to establish identity of the visitors and also to generate the Pass at the Reception. This system is integrated with Aadhar Card No. (issued by UIDAI) which is available to a common man and in the process of connecting with Criminal InformationTracking System to filter criminals. Information to security agencies in the form of Advanced Passenger Information System for prior screening of visitors, efficient communication in the form of sms at the time of registration, approval and online tracking of the request are some of the unique features of the project to facilitate the common man and integrate them by connecting to the highest constitutional office in the largest democracy of the world. Creativity of the project lies in utilizing industrial applications and tools for promoting good governance for the common citizens for connecting them to almost an unreachable zone on the planet. This project operates on the concept of ‘whole of the Government approach in Information Technology’ as it integrates information technology, culture, human resource, change management, heritage and conservation, environment-friendly approach, security concerns, scholarly guides, planning and coordination, connect and communicate with the citizens and relevant stakeholders.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The key differences between erstwhile and present system are as under : Erstwhile System Present System Access to RashtrapatiBhavan was restricted to limited number of visitors. Online Booking System has widened its scope and reach to people from all parts of country and world. Visitor was required to send written / physical request for which no acknowledgement or reference number was given. Visitor now submits request online and get registration number for reference. It was not possible for the visitor to track the status of request and had to rely solely on telephonic communication for knowing the status, causing wastage of time and money. Visitor can online track the status of their request, which is faster, time saving, reliable and cost-effective way of communication. No time frame to send confirmation / denial to the visitor. Confirmation / Regret is sent instantly and maximum within 2-3 working days of request submission. Non-availability of written confirmation to visitor led to ambiguity about information to reach the place and instructions to be followed. Confirmatory mail received by the visitor contains date and time of visit, route / gate no. and all other required information and detailed instructions. Difficulty in accessing the place at the time of visit due to non-availability of written permission Since the visitor carries a copy of confirmation email and visitor’s details are already available with security, access of the visitors to the place becomes hassle-free. No prior availability of visitors’ data to security for advance scrutiny and verification on arrival. As the online registration form contains photograph, address, contact numbers, ID card and other details, data is available to security in advance. Availability of details through bar coded-feature also leads to faster yet reliable completion of formalities at the time of visit. No systematic plan for deployment of guides based on number of visitors. According to the number of visitors per slot, Scholar Guides are deployed, leading to better management of visitors. Cumbersome exercise to get visitors’ data such as number of persons visited per day or during desired period etc. Visitors data is electronically stored and available at the click of button. (2) A team constituted to maximize the positives of the new system and work out the system in a modular manner and subsequently the modules were integrated to see the full the system. (3) Seminar and training for change management of all stakeholders in the presence of top management. The stakeholders were motivated to adopt the best practices in the governance interest. (4) Identification of motivated manpower to run the system and project. A suitable infrastructure for this new project and staff was created. (5) Refurbishment of visitors’ areas and routes with proper labelling. (6) Regular interactions and training with staff members and Scholar Guides to keep them abrest with the activities in RashtrapatiBhavan. (7) Creation of audio-visual media for the Visitors in Reception area and for the Guides. (8) Establishment of rejuvenated Curio Shop to provide insignia / mementoes to visitors. For this, Management Committee of Curio Shopwas energized and informed about new system and requirement of Curio Shop to move in line with emerging requirements of visitors and also their expectations. (9) Identification of routes with description to be followed by Scholar Guides for the visits and placing them on the website for prior information of Visitors. (10) Continuous monitoring of the feedback received through online and in physical format. (11) Communication strategy with State Governments, Members of Parliament, various departments of Government of India, Offices of Governors and Chief Ministers etc. about changed procedure. A schematic diagram is separately uploaded.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
Role of various stakeholders – most importantly, role and details of involvement of the nominee(s) in the initiative (1) Security team, Delhi Police – to gear up for this change and be ready to use bar-code system (2) Household team of RashtrapatiBhavan – for identification of in- house guides, providing basic amenities like drinking water facility and tea/coffee etc. (3) CPWD – ambience improvement and designing of museum and garden routes (4) Art Section – upkeep of museums (5) E-governance – Development, design, implementation and monitoring of online system for Visitors’ E-management (6) Press Division – for press release prepared by E-governance section for educating the citizens about the change of procedure for use in electronic and print media (7) Various Ministries/Departments of Govt. of India, State Governments, CM Offices, Governors’ Offices, Members of Parliament Display of leadership / Team work by the nominee(s) This was a multi-disciplinary Project involving different organs of RashtrapatiBhavan under the mentorship of Secretary to the President. The Project was executed, designed and developed under the leadership of Shri Suresh Yadav, Officer on Special Duty to the President. The Scholar Guides were trained by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts. Apart from this, we also received several suggestions and feedback from NGOs engaged in imbibing heritage and constitutional values amongst the underprivileged and physically challenged children.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The project was designed and developed in-house. Software applications were developed by in-house technical team to suit the online requirement and also to have MIS for continuous monitoring of the progress, pendency of the requests and feedback. Human Resource was managed through change management by the project leader and no external funding was required. The project was implemented on the concept of low-cost solutions. The only requirement related to procurement was of hardware, in the form of computers, printers, walkie-talkie sets etc. These hardware requirements were met from the internal resources. As this project was conceived as a creative and innovative project with low cost solution, funding was never a constraint and no external funding was needed. This project is a role model for adopting whole of the Government approach in delivering quality services which are intended towards developing the heritage and democratic values by connecting citizens and children to this constitutional office

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
(1) The ease and convenience with click of a button is one of the important outputs that have contributed to the success of the initiative.The communication and connect strategy at each level of the process with prospective visitors have generated and established faith in the system. It has also reinforced that transparency clubbed with a very strong communication strategy can make any complex change project a success. (2) The engagement of young and enthusiastic Scholar Guides with the faith in system transformed the whole environment of delivery services to appropriate persons at the appropriate times. (3) The concept of advance information to the security team on the lines of Advanced Passenger Information System of the Airlines reinforced the belief of the security set up that system is secured and is compatible with security requirement of this highly secured building of the country.It has also helped in strengthening the security at this most sensitive and secured place, due to its bar-coded security feature and prior availability of visitors’ data for necessary scrutiny and verification. (4) The instantaneous response to the feedback and difficulties expressed by the online visitors concretized the belief that the system is responsive, transformative and really focused to the need of the common man who aspire and dream to visit this living heritage building.In the period of almost 15 months, over 160,000 visitors have availed this facility keeping in view the fact that there is a daily limit on visits and number is restricted to 700 per day. (5) The most intangible output is the connect of constitutional and democratic office to the citizens who are at the bottom of the social pyramid, school children, villagers as well as physically challenged persons who would have otherwise found it difficult to approach this unreachable zone. This has been made possible because of the paper-less management of visitors system, which has generated efficiency and productivity and at the same time made the whole process environment-friendly. Tonnes of papers have been saved over a period one year during the process.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The progress of the project was monitored using PERT-CPM technique to following the timelines for completion of the project. Regular stakeholders meetings were held to adhere to the timelines. Testing of each component was carried out to ensure reliability of the system. Regular presentations were organized with the team members and stakeholders to evaluate the progress and the completion of activities. Regular reports were submitted to top management for their guidance, mentoring, support and critical analysis. The expert agencies in each field like heritage, technology, training, security were consulted for their expert opinion to ensure that product developed is best in every respect and conforms to the demands and expectations of the citizens. The feedback received from visitors in the form of emails, entries in visitors’ book as well as through scholar guides were assessed, evaluated and implemented. Apart from this, the project leader and other team members interacted personally with the visitors after their visits and obtained personal feedback and suggestions to make changes and corrections to improve the system further. This live feedback has benefited and project in a big way and at the same time ensured the participation of the citizens in developing a governance model which is for the citizens, of the citizens and by the citizens. This has ensured true empowerment of citizens in a democratic system through direct participation

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The following were main obstacles during implementation of the project : (i) Migration from an opaque and discretion based system to a transparency based online platform (ii) Bureaucratic approach in granting approval to the visits (iii) Multiple stakeholders with multiple views and ideas (iv) Lack of knowledgeable guides with historical perspective (v) To meet the security concerns of security agencies in the heightened threat perception environment (vi) Heritage and conservation issues These obstacles were tackled in a strategic manner in the following way : (i)&(ii) An open house meeting in the presence of top management with an action plan and intended output. A change management approach was adopted with flexibility towards others to make them fall in line for the new system. (iii) Presentation of new system to all stakeholders and redressal of all their concerns by offering solutions to them that the new system will not only take care of the existing problems but will also offer a better solution and efficient management of their responsibilities and duties. (iv) University graduates were enrolled and interviews held for Scholar Guides with attractive remunerations. They were provided with uniforms, training material and also hand-holding through training to bring them to a particular level. (v) Security concerns were addressed using bar-coded technology and by sharing MIS of the visitors with security agencies. A training programme for them was also organized to make them appreciate benefits of the new system. (vi) Heritage and conservation issues were studied by a reputed organization INTACH and they endorsed the e-governance practice by stating that the system meets the requirement of conservation and footprints of the visitors are adequately regulated and well organized.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The new system has increased efficiency exponentially. The registration process is without human interface and registration and approval processes are intimated through SMS and also a final mail is sent. The requirement of manpower is less now and the approval can be done on the same day. Therefore, the new system has brought increased efficiency, less human resources and faster approval and registration process. The outcome has been highly effective and the same has been widely appreciated by the visitors by sending positive feedback. The changed system has generated patriotism amongst the visitors after visiting the Office of Head of the State, which is seen as a living heritage. The key benefits vis-à-vis the erstwhile system can be summarized as under : Parameters Erstwhile System of Visitors’ Management (Before implementation of E-MVS) Present System of On-line Visitors’ Management (After implementation of E-MVS) Transparency and Improvement in delivery time of services No Check was possible as the system was manual and opaque. It used to take days or months for approval. Also In case of requirement of re-scheduling or cancelling the approved visits due to some important developments, no mechanism to intimate the visitors in advance, causing inconvenience to the public. Transparent system. On-line approval process can be done instantaneously and in most of the cases it is being done on the same date. This has improved the delivery time of services. Also in case the visits are to be re-scheduled or cancelled due to unavoidable circumstances, advance intimation is sent to the visitors electronically to avoid their inconvenience. The overall system ensures faster communication of information. Measurable indicators for monitoring and improving the system No Measurable indicators available in the manual system. Measurable indicators in terms of – MIS generation, database creation, instant availability of status report on number of visitors per day and also during the entire or desired period, report on number of requests received and actual number of visitors, on-line monitoring of system functioning and electronic feedback (emails) being received. This has resulted in improved delivery of services and better visitors’ satisfaction. Pre-defined format and simplified procedures No defined format was available to the visitors for sending requests. No mechanism or procedure for time slot management. Requests in prescribed format with pre-defined parameters, along with digital photographs to be submitted online. Visitors can also choose desired time slots, dates and routes. Entire process of request submission and approval communication is online. This is a highly simplified procedure for enabling visit to one of the highest security zone buildings and office of the Constitutional Head of India. Feedback from beneficiaries No system of feedback Electronic feedback (through emails) as well as physical registers kept at the Reception for comments. In the initial phase of the Project, the Project leader also interacted with the visitors to understand their requirements and get direct feedback. Feedback from visitors through scholar guides are also being taken regularly. Surprise visits are conducted to check the overall effectiveness of the new system. Positive Socio-economic impact Access was limited to restricted number of persons On-line process has widened the scope and reach of this service to common citizens. The improved access and quality of services has ensured wide demand for visit to RashtrapatiBhavan. The average number of visitors has doubled in comparison to the previous system. It has also introduced paper-less access to the citizens irrespective of their economic and social status. Strengthening security No database of the visitors was available to the security personnel. The security personnel has access to the data-base of visitors including photographs, contact numbers, address, ID proof etc., which is important in view of the high security zone. This project was in news in media as well as social media. This project also received e-India Award for its innovative approach in connecting citizens with the highest democratic institution of the country using a low cost solution and whole of government approach.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
This initiative is fully functional and irreversible. It has got the attention of the public and the media. This is a low cost solution and already sustained for over a period of fifteen months, since its conceptualization in August, 2012. This Project was conceived, designed, developed and implemented in a short period of time. It has been recognized through awards by e-India, a national platform for e-governance in the media. This project has also been appreciated widely in the media and social media. This project has potential to be replicated in all the high offices which has requirement for stringent security and want to open up to the public at the same time. These conflicting requirements can be met by using the system developed in the project. This project also offers big opportunity in terms of big data analytics where a profiling can be made to understand that what kind of people in the society want to connect with a democratic institution to further their interest in the constitutional norms and values. Any democratic institution which wants to connect with those segments of population who are at the bottom of pyramid and want them to bring to the mainstream through exposure to the democratic system then this system can be used as a model of integration and connect. For a country like India with of population of over 1.2 billion, with huge diversity and low rate of literacy, but with aspirations to new livings in the knowledge society, this can be a model for mainstreaming for generating nationalism and inclusion. This Project is financially sustainable and socially acceptable. It is environmentally sustainable as it has done away the paper work and moved to paper-less environment. It has institutional acceptability from the highest office i.e. the President of India. It promotes the cultural and heritage values amongst the citizens and also promote patriotism and nationalist feeling and help India emerge as a stronger nation through assimilation of all patriotic and cultural values. Further, this project is based on internal resources and is technology oriented and hence threat-free from all external elements as well as internal elements due to support of highest leadership.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
This project has been a great learning experience in terms of managing a complex change project which involves visitors’ management, heritage conservation, guide management, security management, curio shop management, route management, sanitation facilities, training, stakeholder consultation and top management guidance. The complexity of the project was further compounded by the fact that it involved change in attitude and behaviour for respecting and honouring a common man on the same footing as with an important person. This project was not only of changing the system through technology but also changing the human attitude and behaviour to make the technology based system successful.The success is not only defined by technology implementation, but also implementation of human elements involved in the project. The implementation and success of the project was further a challenging task keeping in view the social media where even a small mistake could go viral and make the job difficult, as this project was on the social media through which younger generation and student community was able to explore its full potential. It is also challenging to implement the change management system and keep it effective, sustainable, secured and yet citizen-friendly, in this connect-project of the highest constitutional office of the country with the visitors from within the country as well as from other countries, including those from the offices of Ambassadors and High Commissioners. The process has also reminded the team to be always on toes and highly alert along with an inclusive attitude to help the system sustainable and adaptable. The most important lesson learnt in the entire process right from its conceptualization, design, development and execution is that it’s not only the technology which defines the success of any change project but also the human element, their role and participation which can make or break a project. This project is fortunate that in spite of so much of conflicting requirements and competing demands can make its path stable and meet the expectations of the project planner as well as the intended beneficiaries of the project. The project leader has to keep abreast with the latest technology in future to ensure that there is no technology obsolescence and the project always uses the top of the line technology solutions and equipment for retaining the faith of the citizens which has been generated by the project.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   President's Secretariat, Rashtrapati Bhavan
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Suresh Yadav
Title:   Mr  
Telephone/ Fax:   +91-11-23015685
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   osdtopresident@rb.nic.in  
Address:   Rastrapati Bhavan
Postal Code:   110004
City:   Delhi
State/Province:   Delhi

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