| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The XLN project was implemented in 4 phases totally.
3. Legal Modules
4. MIS / RTI / LAQ related compiled Reports & Querying Tools.
With the help of the following elements, over a period of time,XLN has gradually evolved into a ruggedand stable tool.
1. Gujarat State Wide Area Network (GSWAN) infrastructure was leveraged for connectivity. Funds for manpower for preparing IT solution and funds for mass SMSwere provided by the Government of Gujarat.
2. The technicalaspects of the solution were facilitated by National Informatics Center, Gujarat. They were also responsible for data storage, mirroring of data and regular backups.
3. Active participation and firm determination of FDCA and NIC officers for implementation of XLN
4. Collaboration between all stakeholders.
5. On request from other State Drugs Controllers, in order to promote and protect public health, Government of Gujarat allowed complimentary replication of XLN in other states. XLN has been successfully replicated inten States of India and other requests from six other states are under process covering almost 70% of the geographical area of the country.
1. Gujarat State Wide Area Network (GSWAN) was setup across the state.
2. Government of Gujarat provided hardware infrastructure to all district offices.
3. National Informatics Centre, Government of India, extended technical support forsystem requirements, analysis, database designing, and development
4. All Circle Offices were instructed to key in the legacy data of existing firms as on 31st December, 2006.
5. 1st January 2007 onwards, all Circle Offices were instructed to process all applications related to Pharmacies through XLN only.
6. Gujarat State Pharmacy Council’s data of Registered Pharmacists was linked with XLN.
7. Gujarat Medical Services Corporation Ltd. (GSMCL) also linked to XLN.
8. All Drugs Inspectors and Senior Drugs Inspectors were instructed to key in the details of samples drawn by them for test & analysis and generate mandatory forms through XLN.
9. XLN was linked to Drug Laboratory and Test Results of drug samples were keyed in XLN. The facility to upload scanned copy of Test Report was later added.
10. Availability of information on the public domain for the benefit of citizens.
11. Active interaction with various stakeholders and inviting their suggestion for improvements in XLN.
12. Replication of XLN in other states.
13. Blood Banks were asked to key in Stocks of each blood group’s Blood Bags and Blood Components available with them every day in the morning and the information is also made available in public domain.
14. We have participated in several state and national level awards. The feedback received from experts during evaluation has been a valuable input for improvising on the existing solution.
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
Stakeholders involved in implementation and maintenance of XLN are:
1. All circle offices of FDCA, FDCA’s Head Office
2. Food & Drug Laboratory (FDL), Gujarat Medical Services Corporation Ltd. (earlier known as Central Medical Stores Organization - CMSO) (Government of Gujarat’s central drug purchasing & distributing agency to all Government hospitals & dispensaries)
3. Gujarat State Pharmacy Council,
4. Pharmacies (Retailers) and Wholesalers of drugs
5. Blood Banks
6. National Informatics Center, Gujarat
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
1. Gujarat State Wide Area Network (GSWAN) was already existing and hence the infrastructure could be leveraged for XLN
2. Internet connectivity was obtained through special permission from Government of Gujarat for few district offices where GSWAN connectivity was not available.
3. The computers and printers available with FDCA were made use of to reduce additional expenses.
4. We were also able to successfully leverage the experience of FDCA officials in streamlining operations.
5. National Informatics Center, Gujarat, was responsible for developing the solution, maintaining the database and supporting the technical aspects of the project.
6. Central Server hosting, mirroring of data and regular backups are being supported by NIC.
7. Arranging brainstorming workshops with FDCA officers, specially end users, and NIC team at regular intervals to upgrade the XLN.
8. Encouraging the users to communicate their feedback / suggestion through e-talk with the NIC team.
9. Encouraging the users to communicate with users of other districts through e-talk.
10. Though the software development & server hosting was done by Government of India’s department - NIC, NIC was required to appoint software engineers for several months to assist the NIC team and FDCA made payment of approx. Rs. 10,00,000 (Approx. US $ 20,000) as their salary. The funds were provided by the Government of Gujarat.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
1. Eradication of illegal multiple enrollment of pharmacists resulting in better compliance with law.
2. The system led to greater transparency, accountability and elimination of corrupt procedures.Decisions were made within the time frame. This was also the end of the so called “red tapism & bureaucracy” in the department.As a result of the system, the drug administration was better monitored. Update on the status of the application through SMS and online access was provided. eLicenses could also be printed by applicants.
3. Mass SMS alerts for “Not of Standard Quality Drug” (NSQ) is being sent to all dealers, Government Hospitals, GMSCL, Drugs Inspectors, Drugs Controllers of other States, and media personnel. This ensures immediate taboo on NSQ drugs and thus protects public health.
4. Information made available on XLN’s web site includes NSQ drugs, pharmacies, Blood Banks, upcoming Blood Donation camps, availability of particular Blood Group and Blood Component etc. On the basis of the batch no. of the drug purchased, it can be verified whether the drug has been declared as NSQ or not. This can be done through the XLN website or by sending an SMS “[XLN BATBatch no.]” to 9227500958. Other information on demand, through SMS, includes Reg. Pharmacist’s name and current location. Further, availability of particular Blood Group in nearby Blood Banks can also be checked. The applicant can also get status of his/her application information through SMS.
5. Display of real time ranking of all Circle Offices on the basis of their performances resulted into a very rare phenomenon of internal competition among government officers for better ranking.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
1. Brain storming workshops with FDCA officers, specially end users, and NIC team were arranged at regular intervals to upgrade XLN.
2. A committee of five senior officers headed by Joint Commissioner was formed to periodically evaluate the activities.
3. Users were encouraged to communicate their feedback / suggestion through e-talk with NIC team.
4. Users were encouraged to communicate with users of other districts through e-talk.
5. Incorporation of suggestions received from other States where XLN has been replicated.
6. Suggestions made by juries during spot visits of FDCA for various awards like “National e-Governance Award”, “Prime Minister’s Award for Public Administration” etc. were incorporated into the solution.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
1. GSWAN connectivity was not available in some of the Circle offices located in private buildings. Government of Gujarat granted special permission to obtain broad band internet connections to overcome this problem.
2. Government Officers and Clerical staff were not equipped with knowledge of basic computing. They were sent for computer training conducted by the Government training institutes.
3. Some of the Government Officers and Clerical staff were apprehensive about using XLN but the same was enforced by the FDCA Commissioner on all officials.
4. Computers and printers provided by Government were not sufficient as compared to the work. FDCA Officers had to wait for availability of computer even after office hours to complete the task. The FDCA Commissioner continuously followed up for sanctioning of more hardware and this was finally granted thereby bringing ease into operations.
5. Existing dealers were also issued user IDs and passwords to access the online information related to their firms, process online application and update their cell numbers. With the help of the local Chemist & Druggist Association and local FDCA officers, XLN has been able to build up the data base of mobile numbers.
6. As a part of extension of public service, it was decided to upload information of upcoming Blood Donation camps, Blood Stocks of each blood groups available with Blood Banks. All Blood Banks were personally contacted by the Circle Officers and they were given user IDs and passwords to key in daily stock of each blood group’s Blood Bags available with them. Constant pursuance by FDCA officer, Blood Banks’ willingness and positive response from citizens are the key to success for this project.