The Andhra Pradesh government has approved a R2,030-crore e-Pragati project, a comprehensive e-governance project simplifying the process of delivery of government and citizen services.
Developed in association with Wipro in eight months, this project provides a comprehensive framework for implementing e-governance, transforming the state into Digital AP and facilitating electronic delivery of services to citizens. With e-Pragati, Andhra Pradesh hopes to become the first state to conceive and execute a state-wide enterprise architecture.
“This project will become a model in government enterprise architecture in India,” says N Chandrababu Naidu, chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. The e-Pragati project covers 33 secretariat departments and over 300 government agencies in the state. It seeks to provide 745 services in the government to customer (G2C), government to business (G2B), government to enterprise (G2E) and government to government (G2G) areas. It consists of 72 projects grouped into 14 packages, with an estimated outlay of Rs 2,030 crore. These will be funded and implemented over a three-year period on the basis of a public-private participation (PPP) model. The e-Pragati design consultant is Wipro which has accomplished a major chunk of the work, while the state government has engaged Deloitte, E&Y, PwC, and KPMG for preparing the commercial RFP (request for proposal).
The major components of e-Pragati revolve around seven missions, five grids and five campaigns. These include AP Fibre Grid up to all gram panchayats, AP State Data Centre to host all the data and applications, e-Highway to seamlessly connect all the departments digitally and People Hub to house all the socio-economic data of the citizens for effective implementation of welfare schemes and development programmes. Other services/projects include Lab Hub with details of land, Dial AP (a unified contact/call centre for citizens to access services) and e-Learning platform (that provides learning and online material/education aid to enhance quality of education).
In addition, the project covers social benefits management system covering welfare schemes, mSeva (a platform for providing a wide range of citizen services on mobile), e-AgriMarket (a platform that enables farmers to sell their produce online to get the best price) and e-Panchayat (enhances efficiency of Panchayati Raj institutions).
“E-Pragati is a new paradigm in e-government and seeks to integrate the boundaries of various departments, through a ‘whole-of-government’ approach,” says Sundar Balakrishna, director, electronic services delivery, Andhra Pradesh government.
The information technology (IT) initiatives in government departments began through computerisation of office records, displaying of departmental information on websites and hence, were mostly informational in nature. In the second stage, a limited number of transactions was enabled between the citizen and the government, in the form of uploading and downloading of forms, tax payments, and registering of feedback. This evolved further into the delivery of public services in the electronic form through the Meeseva project in the state.
“However, departmental boundaries exist, creating confusion in the minds of the common man. We have not fully evolved out of the silo-based approach to developing IT solutions to e-government. Through e-Pragati, we hope to evolve further, and provide a seamless experience to the citizen in her quest for availing public services, with enhanced transparency,” he said.
For instance, currently, a student needs to furnish copies of her marksheets, income certificate, caste certificate, Aadhaar details, and other mandatory requirements to the education department in a Meeseva centre for securing a new admission. After the implementation of e-Pragati project, the student needs to just furnish an Aadhaar number or some statutory identity, and the concerned department will pull the required data from the data base. This, incidentally, also realises the vision of ‘Sunrise Andhra Pradesh 2022’. “E-Pragati is a enterprise-wide resources architecture, modeled on the ‘open group architecture framework’ (TOGAF),” he adds.
The project is funded by the state government. It was estimated to cost approximately Rs 2,030 crore, out of which Rs 1,348 crore would be funded by the government. The balance requirement was envisaged to be funded through revenue collections from service providers involved in this project,” says Balakrishna.
“With reference to benefits, the analysis throws open a mixed bag. On one hand, we hope to deliver a slew of benefits, ranging from transparency, speed, and variety in e-government services to the citizen. On the other hand, through an estimated expenditure of Rs 1,400 crore over three to five years, we provide a fillip to the IT and the IT-enabled services sector, where most of the increased incomes would accrue to software and architecture employees with high computing and analytical skills,” he explains.
Through e-Pragati, the government hopes to improve its e-government ranking and also enhance the experience of citizens in day-to-day interactions with the government.