ISiM -- CXO Lecture Series -- 1
Date & Time: 9th October 2009, 3.00pm to 5.30pm
Topic: eGovernance in India: challenges and opportunities.
Speaker: Mr. M. N. Vidyashankar, Principal Secretary, Dept. of e-Governance
Guest of honour: Mr. A. S. Srikanth, IAS, Secretary, Education Department (Higher Education), Government of Karnataka
Presided by: Prof. V. G. Talawar, Vice Chancellor, University of Mysore.
Venue: International School of Information Management (ISiM),
University of Mysore.
The event started of with Prof. Shalini. R. Urs, Executive Director, International School of Information Management (ISiM) welcoming the dignitaries on the dais and introducing them to the gathering.
Mr. M.N. Vidyashankar, began his talk by stating that eGovernance is more about Governance and less about ‘e’ and that the citizen is in the center stage in any eGovernance initiative. He also pointed out that “e-Governance is an added dimension of comfort that Government is committed to offer to the citizens”. In his talk that lasted for about an hour, he introduced the audience to some of the important initiatives of the government including Bhoomi, Kaveri, Khajane, Bangalore One, Nemmadi, E-Procurement, Human Resource Management System and Karnataka State Wide Area Network among others. He stressed the relevance of each of these initiatives and the challenges that were encountered in their way of successful implementation. He also spoke passionately about the “Bangalore One” initiative going mobile and also the additional features that would be incorporated into this popular initiative. He also revealed that initiatives like “Bangalore One” would be extended to other districts of Karnataka.
Speaking of efficiency within the implementation of eGovernance, he pointed out that “Human Resource Management System (HRMS)” project, after having failed in its implementation with three other states in India, was successfully rolled out in Karnataka. He also highlighted that Karnataka is the only state in the country to implement total HRMS, using which salaries of 5 lakh employees of the state are being processed by 25,000 drawing and disbursing officers.
As expected, the one topic that caught most of the interest was the Unique ID project. The speaker suggested that Karnataka was chosen for the pilot project based on its track record of effective implementations of eGovernance initiatives. He also suggested that the project guidelines may arrive at the end of October 2009. Speaking passionately about the project he revealed the fact that UID Authority was only entrusted with assigning a ‘Unique Identification Number to each individual’ and not any card.
The lecture was followed by a very enthusiastic Question and Answer session. The audience expressed concerns about issuing an UID to all the people in the country, given the fact that we have still not being able issue the Election ID card to everyone. To this issue, Mr. Vidyashankar spilled the beans by pointing out that UIDA does not make it mandatory for all citizens to have an UID. Elaborating further, he pointed that the onus of getting a UID will rest with the individual. However, the government agencies, service sector and the corporates will make the UID mandatory to avail any of their facilities. It is by this means that the UIDA is hopeful of reaching out to all the existing citizens. However, after rolling out the UID project, the newborn’s will be assigned an UID at birth. The speaker also said in a lighter vein, “Going forwards all children in India would be born with an UID”. Addressing the security issues related to the UID project, he said that biometrics in the form of fingerprints(all 10 fingers) of the people would be collected and archived along with other details and maintained in a new database.
Replying to a question about UID reporting to any agency, he said that UID shall under no circumstance share the data or any other information even to the government of India. The usage would strictly be restricted to the identification of the person’s name with the UID.
The speaker passionately spoke about the UID project as it is expected to touch the lives of the last person in the queue. The audience had many questions to ask about UID and other eGovernance initiatives but to the constraint of time few of them could not be addressed. However, the questions can be submitted at the official blog of ISiM - http://isim-uom.blogspot.com/2009/10/cxo-lecture-series-1.html. Mr. Vidyashankar expressed his willingness to answer them.
After the lecture by Mr. M. N. Vidyashankar, the guest of honor, Mr. A. S. Srikanth also spoke about few of the initiatives of the eGovernance and highlighted the challenges and importance that is attached with them. Prof. V. G. Talawar, the Vice Chancellor then presented the presidential addres in which he pointed out that efforts were in place to implement 100% of eGovernance within the University of Mysore. The event concluded at about 5.45 pm with huge appreciation for the passionate lecture by Mr. Vidyashankar.
Mr. Vidyashankar addressing the audience Mr. Srikanth addressing the audience
Mr. Vidyashankar interacting with the audience