eGovernance in India

Improving eGovernance in INDIA

TCS, DGSD…the list grows : how to deprieve India in the name of technology?Re: [eGovINDIA] EGov-eBusiness Strategies For Government

Posted by egovindia on October 28, 2007

TCS, DGSD … the list grows : how to deprieve India in the name of technology? Re: [eGovINDIA] EGov – eBusiness Strategies For Government

This write up is purely in the interest of the nation and it speaks about technology. The intention is not to cricitcise Government but to tell them that they should look at the technology which is cost effective. They should also learn to look through the cost pushing design of the IT companies/PPP Partners

Government of India’s MCA (Ministry of Company Affairs) e-governance system which is  implemented by  TCS at a huge cost has built in digital signature tool which does  not work on Mozilla Firefox or linux.
TCS is unable to provide linux/Mozilla firefox support for the past 6 months.
As Director of 2-3 companies, I am unable to use the digital signature supplied by NIC (service provided by TCS) for the past 6 months.
ELCOT, as a matter of policy does not use any hardware that does not support linux.
The next thing is to issue notice to TCS under MRTP.
This is one side of the story.

The other side is the VSNL (TCS owned) supported REGINET software of Tamil Nadu which had a similar electronic signature provision. They wanted me to approve for extension of  79 such electonic signatures for the next one year. When I looked at the software design, it was meant to be used only by the intranet users and it had nothing to do with external users. But this system had been imposed by the vendors to sell over 500 such e-signatures at a cost of Rs.900 per e-sign every year. I was under pressure to approve the expenditure as the services came down after the expiry date.

I put a team to study the system design. Within two hours we got over the issue. The same e-signature dongles work for a different design. No need to pay TCS or anyone else. The beauty is that it can work forever, without payment to anyone.

Just because some American company wanted to sell its product we are blindly looking at e-signature for everything and thus end up pushing up the cost. Companies such as TCS look for pushing up the cost of e-governnace which is patriotic to the least.

TCS does not have any knowledge about platform independent technology, more so OSS technology and thus its costing is on the high side. Unfortunately the States as well as the central government do not have people who have hands on experience and hence e-gov solutions end up providing just revenues to the software companies without any tangible benefits to the citizens.

In the case of DCA, the users can simply do with user id and password. But they were forced to buy the digital signature from TCS. To use the digital signaturethe the companies have to buy Windows OS! After all these, the user is not able to get any great service from them. Every year, the companies have to shell out user charges to TCS for the digital signature. For every director on the Board the amount is collected. With over 400000 registered companies in India employing roughly 4 million directors, TCS is happily collecting Rs.10000 for one time charge and Rs.6000 per director every year! As the money does not go from the exchequer, there is no question from the CAG/AG/Audit teams. But this is a leakage of citizens money which is to be prevented.

A similar deprievation is on through VISA card system when India could have its own payment gateway for credit card / debit card payments. Everytime a VISA card is used a minimum of 1.6% of the collection goes to USA!
Japan has prevented it by not allowing credit cards in its shopping operations. But India, as usual has been sleeping by allowing the rampant use of VISA cards. It should go for its own credit card gateway or encourage cash purchase following the Japan pattern.

I am told that now DGSD is adopting a similar stand by allowing C1 India to collect annual subscription charges from bidders for using their e-procurement portal which has not been decided through open tender.
DGSD has to be asked to explain how it chose its partner and how it allows C1 India to collect at the rate of Rs.6000-9000 per bidder every year for being a bidder for DGSD?

Umashankar

C.Umashankar IAS., (TamilNadu Cadre)
e-governance expert.
& Managing Director, Electronics Corporation of TamilNadu Limited(ELCOT)
(A Government of TamilNadu Undertaking)Co-Moderator:
http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/eGovINDIA
Mankind deserves open standards and open source software. Only the chosen ones get its taste. Others just hear the taste.

Chennai:
Ph: 91-44-42054443

—– Original Message —-
From: abhijit kale <abhe_k@yahoo. com>
To: eGovINDIA@yahoogrou ps.com
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2007 2:29:23 PM
Subject: Re: [eGovINDIA] EGov – eBusiness Strategies For Government

Hi,

This was a really informative message dhirendra. Govt of india has taken the positive steps towards implementing e-Gov, by enabling e-filing of the returns using digital signatures. I feel that this is good start.

ABhijit Kale
www.elock.com

Compliance and Security

for Online Transactions

ra Krishna <dhirendrakrishna@ yahoo.co. uk> wrote:

Friends,

Aforesaid book by Douglas Holmes (Nicholas Brealey Publishing London
2001) is a “MUST” for eGovernance professionals. Following eGov
Headlines indicates overall global scenario and these facts anf
figures may have improved over the years.

# 75 percent of Australian file their income tax return online.

# Singapore provides 150 public services from one portal.

# US Federal Government makes four million online purchases for goods
and services, worth $17 billion.

# Administrative costs in US Department of Agriculture dropped from$77
per transaction to #17 per transaction, after introduction of
eProcurement System.

# It takes 25 seconds in Scandinavia to transmit fingerprint image to
another force.

# One billion health insurance claims in France are submitted
electronically every year.

# Residents in Sweden can access their medical records on line over a
WAP phone.

# University students in Germany register for exams and serch library
books, using wireless device.

# Multimedia mobile units drive around CostaRica, providing internet
access, email facility and computer training to rural citizens.

Basic objective of eGovernance projects is to (i) Cut
administrative costs and improve efficiency, (ii)Meet citizen’s
expectation and improve citizen relationship and (iii)Facilitate
economic development. There are any number of practical examples
available all over the world. Systems already developed can be
modified to meet our requirements, to reduce the time and cost of
similar eGovernment initiatives in India.

Dhirendra Krishna IA&AS (Retired)

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