Minimum Government, Maximum Governance : Good Governance through e-Governance
Department of Science and Technology, Government of Gujarat

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
The project involves the convergence of the various ICT initiatives by the state of Gujarat to provision centralized the state-of-the-art ICT Infrastructure and connectivity network setup across the state to facilitate Governments’ reach to the citizens including service delivery at the rural village / gram panchayat (‘gram panchayat’ is the smallest administrative unit of Government available at village level) through eGovernance initiatives. Various initiatives have been taken up by the Government of Gujarat in eGovernance space to bridge the digital divide and spread e-service delivery base. The problems faced by Government and allied government departments before the implementation of the initiative were: • Accessibility and Connectivity: Absence of reliable centralized hosting facility (Data centre) and network infrastructure facility (OFC/WAN) available to strengthen the reach of Government through various eGovernance services. Rural network connectivity was a huge challenge. • Reinventing the wheel: In order to devise any service delivery or performance improvement initiative, government departments had to undergo the process of building up the data centre, setting up connectivity infrastructure, provisioning databases and other ICT procurements for the project. This was a time consuming process requiring investment of huge cost for the Government as various departments were duplicating the efforts and creating redundant databases. This gave rise to further challenges in managing the facilities and ensuring continuity of services to citizens. • Convenience: Service delivery at the door-step was not effective in absence of ICT channel. Citizens had to travel to district and block level to get the services of Government. Concrete mechanism was required to act as an enabler strengthening the governments’ service delivery framework and to monitor and improve the internal process performance. • Limiting the innovation: Various government departments had projects identified and planned in their respective functional domains however, centralized facility for hosting and network backbone was missing. A common reliable solution was required to address these challenges to avoid scattered investment and save time cycle of implementation. • Cost: The cost of services was high due to paper-based system, time consuming file movement and required people to travel to even over 50 miles for a single certificate in some cases. Fewer initiatives for application development for citizen centric government services were taken up considering huge cost of private data centre hosting, management and absence of network connectivity. • Infrastructure: ICT infrastructure need was felt at every level of administration and at every stage of the program implementation. • Sustainability: Sustainability and operations management of the solutions post the roll-out was difficult. After deployment of technology and applications across the state by any particular department, the monitoring and ICT support was a key challenge for ICT infrastructure. • E-literate People: Rural e-litereacy rate was poor with limited ICT means available to staff and general citizens. Limited means were available at rural level for hands-on training and seeking business opportunity/ employment in IT/computers.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The project was implemented in stages and ICT network across the state was established over the years as per the requirements of the government. The project involved various initiatives like ‘State Data Centre’ (SDC), ‘Gujarat State Wide Area Network’ (GSWAN) and ‘Sachivalaya (Secretariat) Integrated Communication Network’ (SICN). The project provisioned a world class infrastructure and connectivity backbone across districts, blocks and villages which resulted in efficient planning and implementation of various eGovernance initiatives for the state government. Various eGovernance issues using the state ICT facility include -  ‘eGRAM’ project – Bridging digital divide and taking over 180 services to 13685 villages through VSAT with footfall of 2000+transactions/month/eGRAM centre  ‘Chiranjeevi’ project - Safe Motherhood and Child Survival Programme (Aimed at reducing maternal and infant mortality, 300+ Hospitals empanelled, Beneficiary – 80,000+/year)  ‘e-Dhara’ project from revenue Department: Access to and maintenance of village land records and RoR in an easy, transparent and secured manner.  ‘Jan Seva Kendra(JSK)’ Centres for citizen service delivery - An integrated approach to public service oriented administration at District and Block offices, Reduce interface between citizen and government functionaries. Over 522 centres across blocks and district locations recording over 9 million transactions till date. It uses the GSWAN facility having 10mbps connectivity at all the blocks across the state.  ‘Krishi Mahotsav’ program for farmers - Unique month long campaign to facilitate agriculture planning and overall rural development, Guidance and demonstration of the latest advancements in agriculture  ‘Kanya Kelavani’ and ‘Shala Praveshostav’ for Education department - Promote girls enrolment in general, and enrolment of girl child in particular, in primary school throughout the State (Coverage: 5.3 Million children in all the 34,000 government schools in 26 districts, Outcome: Reduction in dropout rate for class 1 to 5 from 19.1% in 2002-03 to 2.1% in 2010-11)  ‘Mukhyamantri Amrutam (MA)’ program for medical facility for below powerty line (BPL) citizens - State Scheme covering treatment of BPL households for tertiary care. (Quality medical and surgical care for the catastrophic illnesses involving hospitalization, surgeries and therapies)  ‘e-MAMTA’ (‘Mother & Child’ name based tracking Information Management System, More than 2 million – Pregnant Women and 1.25 million children have been registered in the system)  ‘108 - Emergency Response Service’ - (Emergency Response Service are offered through toll free number 108 for Medical, Police and Fire emergencies.)  ‘Soil Health Card (SHC)’ program - IMPACT – Total Agriculture Income has increased from Rs. 140 billion in 2000-01 to Rs. 800 billion in 2010-11  ‘Online Job Application System (OJAS)’ application - Web-enabled system facilitating recruitment process - Processed more than 1.5 million applications till date  ‘eMPOWER’ project (Electronic Manpower) - Train the youth in the field of IT (Implemented in 658 centers, 247 Government ITIs, 27 Grant In-aid ITCs, 311 Kaushalya Vardhan Kendra(KVKs) and 26 Employment Exchanges).

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The solution implemented through a series of ICT initiatives to ensure end-to-end service delivery model and availability of state ICT backbone for all the government departments. The key differentiators for the project are the 360 degree outlook in provision of services. The innovation of the project is based on 4 governing principles are: • Citizen Centric Approach o Service Delivery Channel (Common Service Center, Citizen Service Portal, Mobile Apps) o Citizen Engagement o Business Process Re-engineering • Collaboration & Decision Making o Departmental IT Committee o Secretaries Purchase Committee(SPC) o Centralized e-Procurement o Standardized Approach in Project Implementation • Organization Structure o Formation of State IT Cell o Establishment of State IT Nodal Agency o Appointment of CIOs o State e-Governance Mission Team • Policy Framework o E-Governance Policy o IT Policy o Electronics Policy o Website Policy o Security Policy

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The primary objective of the initiative was to provide centralized ICT facilities and reliable horizontal and vertical connectivity within the state administrative departments to enable electronic transactions. Government of Gujarat implemented the state wide area network in the year 2001-02. Gujarat is the first state to have total IP based network for integrating whole administration and have stringent Service Level Agreements (SLA) ensuring 99.99% network availability. Over 530 district level government offices with direct fiber connectivity for data, voice and video. The primary objectives were - 1. To modernize the intra-governmental communication setup 2. To improve administrative effectiveness and efficiency 3. To facilitate improvements in the Quality of Public services The prominent steps required as a part of implementation of the initiative were to setup SDC, GSWAN and SICN. The features of the solution are: GSWAN: Gujarat State Wide Area Network (GSWAN) is End to End IP based Multi Service Backbone (IT infrastructure) that supports Voice, Video, and Data on the same Bandwidth from State Capital Gandhinagar /Center to all 26 Districts, 225 Block Centers and eGram Centers at all village Panchayats (Village level administrative bodies). a. One of the largest IP based Network b. Connects 33 Districts, 247 Talukas, 4400 govt. offices c. Co-located within SDC d. 24X7 NOC & Helpdesk e. Integrated with e-Gram Centres for service delivery across 14000 villages B. SDC a. One of the largest SDCs for Government in the Country b. 7000 sq. ft Area c. 192 Servers, 65 Racks, 100 TB Storage d. 265 Applications / Websites Hosted e. ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 Certified f. 99.74% Uptime C. Sachivalaya (Secretariat) Integrated Communication Network (SICN) a. Integrated Voice Communication Network b. Connects all Government Offices of the State Capital c. Supports 7000+ Lines & 570 Trunks d. 150 kms of OFC Connectivity D. SATCOM – Satellite Communication a. Provision distance education facility over SATCOM in Gujarat b. The project has 2 channels dedicated for the programs in Education, Training, Awareness and Development across sectors (more than 25 departments) c. Every year about 3700 hours of live programs are telecasted d. About 50,000 receiving class rooms in Ku band established by various stakeholder departments Web server, DNS server, Mail server and database servers have been installed at the State Data Center and have been integrated to the GSWAN network.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
• Department of Science and Technology – The Department of Science and Technology played a very crucial role in the conceptualization and implementation of the initiative. The initiative was conceptualized by the department with 360 degree outlook of electronic service delivery by the Gujarat government. The Department acted as a nodal agency for the implementation of this project and coordinated with other departments for rolling out their services through the backbone created under the initiative. • Gujarat Informatics Limited (GIL) – played a key role in conceptualization, implementation and monitoring of the various ICT framework and application development across the state. • Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG) – located in Gandhinagar has been a pivotal service provider for Satellite Communication Services and Geo-informatics requirements for all the Government departments. • Various government department and ministries of government using the services – After the creation of necessary ICT backbone, the various department’s utilized this common platform and provided their services through the shared ICT resources. • Citizens – As an end beneficiary of the initiative, the citizens were one of the most important stakeholders. The citizens provided their valuable feedback during the implementation and helped in overall improvements and this played a critical role in the success of this initiative.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Gujarat State had taken early steps as follows:  Initiation of Gujarat State Wide Area Network in 2001 – 2002, followed by establishment of Server Farm and State Data Center  Creation of IT Policy Framework since 2004  To oversee smooth implementation of IT strategies and e-Governance projects, technical manpower in terms of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and System Managers at the departmental level.  Creation of departmental IT infrastructure Gujarat IT Strategy & Decision Making  Each Department sketches out its IT plan through own IT Committee headed by Department Secretary  Each department is horizontally connected with DST/GIL thereby following uniform and interoperable standard for all applications as well as ensuring unified infrastructure & hardware systems  Centralized e-procurement is carried out transparently by nodal agency as GIL which has acquired now proficiency in overseeing IT demand with expertise. Outcome: As a result of all e-Governance initiatives, today, the Status of e-Transactions of Gujarat State being reflected on the portal is quite encouraging. eTaal is a National e-Services Dashboard, which is designed to provide a synoptic view of e-transaction taking place under all e-Governance initiative of the Union and State Governments. The system captures the transaction automatically from all the e-Governance site connected to it and present consolidated picture which can also be drilled down to provide more granular details such as transaction counts by State, Service, period etc in both graphical and tabular format. Gujarat is the Top performer for eTaal with over 387.62 million transactions being reported on eTaal portal between 01-January-2013 to 26-December-2013. While the total eTransactions on eTaal portal stands at 1.692 Billion. Gujarat reports: o 387.62 million e-Transactions out of Indias’ total 1.692 billion eTransactions (approximately 22.90%) o 6419 e-transactions per 1000 population o Over 15000 eService centres in place for over 60 Million population of the Gujarat State. These eService centres include 13,685 eGramVishwaGram Centres (at village level), 225 e-Dhara Centres (for Land Records), 225 ATVT jan Seva Kendra (Citizen service centres at Block level), City-civic centres at Municipal Councils and Municipal Corporations. There exists one service centre for every 4000 population of state.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The benefits accrued from the implementation of this initiative are as follows:  Cost, Quality of Service and Time – The initiative has resulted in significant reduction of cost and in improvements in the reach and quality of the public services and the time required to avail the service. The cost and time saving resulted for Government department in improving the service delivery and at citizen/staff end to avail the services.  Empowering citizens and increasing transparency – The availability of services at multiple locations have empowered citizens by reducing their dependency. The availability of information about the status and requirements of various processes has helped in increased transparency.  Re-engineering of processes for greater efficiency and productivity – The re-engineering processes have resulted in huge savings in terms of documents required for applications, steps & time required to process the applications and standardized output. This has resulted in greater productivity and efficiency of the government staff.  Participatory Developmental Planning – This initiative assisted in inculcating the integrated approach to developmental planning of e-Governance initiatives. The initiative also resulted in sector based approach to handling issues where multiple departments join hands and resolve the issues pertaining of a sector. The participatory approach also resulted in identification of issues and resolution of specific problems. Individual departments can now focus better on service planning than on ICT infrastructure.  Make stronger Decision Support System – The availability of exhaustive and real time information has enabled the decision makers to take informed decisions and verify the outcome for further interventions, if necessary. Whole of the Government departments avail the centralized facility to delivery their functional services. All of the above outcomes have resulted in the overall Good Governance.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
A standardized approach was defined and adopted in implementation of various ICT programmes in the State: • IT committee was constituted for each department and was designated the task of taking all decisions related to technical and administrative aspects of various ICT projects being implemented by the department. • Each department had its ‘IT Action Plan’ where projects which are critical to delivering services to citizens, improving internal processes or increasing revenue were defined with clear milestones and timelines. • Project Sponsor/Champion was identified from within the department to own the project and a project team was setup to assist, coordinate and monitor project. • Regular monitoring of the project was carried out and Status Reports were submitted to the IT committee for directions and corrective actions to be adopted. • A State Level Apex Committee under the chairmanship of the Hon’ble Chief Secretary was also constituted to oversee the progress of all ICT and eGovernance initiatives at State Level and to provide strategic direction to the projects/programme.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
1. Platform facility: The initiative created a common platform for all the departments. The major obstacle was to converge and on-boarding of the various government departments on this single platform. To overcome this obstacle, multi-pronged approach was adopted. Major efforts were undertaken to communicate the benefits of the platform to the departments and to the citizens. A phased approach of implementation was undertaken wherein the departments with least resistance were on-boarded initially and it demonstrated the resultant benefits derived by the departments by adopting this single platform. 2. Capacity Building – The success of this initiative was dependent upon the capacity building at the service delivery outlets. However, there was a huge limitation of low e-literacy rate at the beginning of the initiative in 1999-200o especially in rural areas. To overcome this challenge massive capacity building programs were undertaken by the respective departments and the multiple exhaustive trainings were provided to the manpower at service delivery outlets. 3. Technology – The technology has evolved over a period of time and the continuous upgradation of the technology has been included as part of the initiative to utilize the latest technologies resulting in performance, cost savings, maintenance ease, and technological sustainability.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
• Fostering Development: As the infrastructure was made available by the government, the departments started the participation of their various schemes under various government programs and resolutions to eGovern the schemes. The application development and decentralization of the powers started with the connectivity reaching out to the rural level and empowerment of citizens resulting in fostering of development. • Participation of ultimate stakeholder: The schemes for the government are successful once the benefits start to reach out to the intended beneficiary of the scheme. For example, the project eGRAM was implemented to provide over 180 services (like Marriage certificate, income certificate, birth certificate, domicile, B2C services, etc) at 13,685 villages through implementation of e-Governance. Multiple components of the initiative like SDC, SATCOM and local ICT infrastructure at rural level, converged together for providing these services. Thus, the participation from ultimate beneficiary started happening at the grass root and especially at the rural level. • Inclusive Development: The project like SDC, SWAN ensures that the participation is being covered across the departments, users, implementing agencies and local stakeholders of every scheme. This resulted in delivery of services, hitherto restricted to few, to all the intended citizens of the state. The availability of service to the beneficiaries resulted in the inclusive development of the citizens. • Fastest service at doorstep, at minimal cost and travel: The electronic delivery of services ensured that the services are delivered as per the citizen charters. This also enabled hassle free delivery of services near/at the citizen’s doorstep through utilization of CSC centres. • Geographic and demographic composition: The services and the information are made available at State, District, Block, Village & City level irrespective of the Geographic location of the citizen. This has helped bridging the Digital Divide in Government Services. • Increased reach and interaction between citizens & government: The government has a better reach to all type of communities and the peoples through City Civic Centres, ATVT Centres and e-Gram Centres. As a result of increased reach, the interaction between the citizens and government has also increased resulting in greater awareness amongst citizens about its various citizen centric schemes. • Increased e-Literacy in the State: The massive capacity building exercises undertaken by the government combined with exposure to electronic service delivery and public awareness exercise resulted in increased e-literacy in the state.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The solution and model is self sustainable and replicable across the states. The Government provisioned the ICT infrastructure which all departments started to utilized the services from. The various government departments develop the applications and host the services at State Data Centre. The facility management and connectivity services were provided from Network Operations Centre (NOC). State Wide Area Network / VSAT utilized by the departments to reach out to citizens. With respect to the sustainability of various ICT initiatives, State has ensured provisioning of sufficient resources:- Financial Sustainability – All eGovernance initiatives including the ICT infrastructure i.e. (GSWAN, GSDC and ATVT) have been subsumed within the overall framework of Governance of the State. The Finance Department of the State has acknowledged the continuity requirement and hence provisions are made in the State Budget for the initiatives Social and economical – Public (Citizens) at large have accepted the benefits of the new governance systems and hence are more than willing to adopt and access the ICT systems like SWAGAT(State Wide Attention on Grievances by Application of Technology), ATVT(Apno Taluka Vibrant Taluka), Jan Seva Kendra, City Civic Centres, eGram Vishwagram etc. Cultural – In each ICT initiative State is taking adequate care that social, cultural and digital divide is removed and benefits of reach the poorest of poor through eGovernance Environmental – State has taken due care of effect on environment and has hence adopted m-Governance as the new model for service delivery and with respect to infrastructure consolidation and augmentation of infrastructure at State Data Centre is a practice of the State since 2008 Institutional and regulatory sustainability – For institutional sustainability State has the following technical teams which manage the ICT systems (i) Chief Information Officer for each Department to facilitate overall coordination for both administrative and technical activities (ii) State NIC Team (Team of Application & Database Developers and Network Experts) (iii) State eGovernance Mission Team (Team of Technology, Change and Finance Management Experts) to facilitate departments on various strategic, technical, change and capacity building and finance related aspects of the project (iv) GIL executive to support departments in day to day operations of the projects For regulatory issues, State has issued various Government Resolutions and guidelines from time to time.

 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)
• Solutions should be Citizen centric rather than Technology centric: End results are more important than the ways to achieve them. • Provide easy and affordable access of Government Services to Citizens. This helps ensuring the participation in eGovernance initiatives from stakeholders, implementation agencies, and departmental staff and even from citizens. • Encourage participation / partnerships: PPP Model involving entrepreneurs were encouraged to increase effectiveness. The initiatives also give rise to fostering the employment opportunities in ICT space e.g. Village Computer Entrepreneur (VCE), CSC Operators, etc. • Decision Making and Policy implementation transformation: Stakeholder participation and involvement in decision making was to be raised from various cross-sectoral offices, staff and citizens. It was also difficult for the departments to seek participation from their various officials, staff and other stakeholders in conceptualizing, planning, designing, implementation and monitoring of the programs. Service delivery dashboards and online MIS have transformed the reporting and control functions. • Address the specific needs: Appropriate measures were taken to meet the specific requirements of end users. Objective and needs vary based on the role of the stakeholder in particular programme. Hence, the eGovernance initiative should be designed to respond to their problems. E.g. MIS requirements by Administration, Monitoring dashboards for implementation agencies, Service delivery charter for citizens, etc. • Convergence issue: Government and allied departments were not having a Common hosting platform for applications and management. This was a challenge in ensuring the program monitoring across all districts, blocks and villages. Departments had to invest lot of efforts, time and money in planning technological and ICT requirements along with planning their functional solution to be implemented. Most of the time and efforts were required consumed in planning, tendering, commissioning and monitoring of the ICT framework for the eGovernance initiative. • Skilled Manpower: ICT has become an effective tool to produce skilled manpower. This helped sustainability and scalability of initiatives across the state. • New technologies: Choosing the right technology is critical considering not only short term but also long term requirements and sustainability. Technological upgradation, scaling and effective management has been a key for success of ICT backbone in Gujarat which is visible from acceptability of the solution from various government ministries, departments and allied agencies. • Access mechanisms: Multiple Service Access Points were made available to citizens and departments to host the services and access it from anywhere. This may include GSWAN, VSAT, Mobile based connectivity, etc. however, the facility management was centralized. • Ongoing Monitoring, Assessment and Capacity Building is critical to sustain the ICT initiatives • Interests and Inputs from all the stakeholders: Ensures acceptance from all stakeholders. The ICT enablement through SDC, GSWAN has helped different systems to exchange information, allocation of resources for the functional implementation than managing the technicalities of implementation. • The ICT backbone has proved to be a promising factor for eGovernance initiatives implemented across the state. This helped converging whole of Government departments together in ensuring Good Governance through eGovernance.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Department of Science and Technology, Government of Gujarat
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   S.J. Haider
Title:   Secretary DST  
Telephone/ Fax:   +91-79-23259999/ +91-79-23250325
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   Block No 7, Floor No 5, New Sachivalaya
Postal Code:   382010
City:   Gandhinagar
State/Province:   Gujarat

          Go Back

Print friendly Page