Gov­ern­ment of Te­lan­gana Aims to Ex­tend its Gov­ern­ment Ser­vices Plat­form on Mo­bile

Af­ter suc­cess­fully de­liv­er­ing ci­ti­zen ser­vices over MeeSeva plat­form for 5 years, Te­lan­gana govt. is busy set­ting up T-Fo­lio to ex­tend the same over smart­phones

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Mak­ing gov­ern­ment ser­vices avail­able to cit­i­zens is some­thing that has been and continues to be un­der­taken by both cen­tral and state gov­ern­ments very se­ri­ously, as a part of the NeGP (Na­tional eGover­nance Plan). These ini­tia­tives aim to pro­vide uni­ver­sal and non-dis­crim­i­na­tory de­liv­ery of gov­ern­ment ser­vices to cit­i­zens with more ef­fi­ciency, trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity.

One such praise­wor­thy ini­tia­tive is the govt. of Te­lan­gana’s MeeSeva plat­form. The ini­tia­tive won the Gem of Dig­i­tal Award at a con­fer­ence that was hosted in Jan 2018by CMR and Coeus Age, in as­so­ci­a­tion with HP Inc. The word MeeSeva stands for “At your ser­vice” in Tel­ugu. It’s an on­line plat­form that ag­gre­gates var­i­ous G2C and G2B ser­vices and pro­vides them to cit­i­zens any­where and any­time. What’s note­wor­thy about the plat­form is the

pace at which it has grown. In 2017 be­gin­ning, MeeSeva of­fered less than 50 ser­vices, but by the end of the year, this num­ber crossed 600+ser­vices from 30+ gov­ern­ment depart­ments.

A SUC­CESS­FUL PUB­LIC- PRI­VATE PART­NER­SHIP

MeeSeva is be­ing run by a semi-gov­ern­ment agency called the MeeSeva Fran­chise Own­ers Wel­fare As­so­ci­a­tion. In Nov last year, six years af­ter it was es­tab­lished, the as­so­ci­a­tion cel­e­brated 10 crore trans­ac­tions across Te­lan­gana on the plat­form. Since its in­cep­tion, the fran­chises that me­di­ate these ser­vices have ex­panded to 4,758 across 31 dis­tricts in Te­lan­gana. This is quite an achieve­ment con­sid­er­ing that the as­so­ci­a­tion is semigovt. The govt. at­tributes the suc­cess to the fact that it has been pe­ri­od­i­cally in­creas­ing the com­mis­sion charges to the fran­chise own­ers.

The govt. plans to im­ple­ment a state-of-the-art ap­pli­ca­tions sys­tem by this year to make more ser­vices avail­able at the cen­ters, thereby help­ing in­crease the com­mis­sion earned by the fran­chise own­ers.

EX­TEND­ING GOVT. SER­VICES OVER MO­BILE

This in­te­grated ser­vice de­liv­ery plat­form has trans­formed gov­ern­ment-ci­ti­zen in­ter­face at all lev­els of ad­min­is­tra­tion. Fur­ther, to meet the goal of any­time, any­where ser­vice, the Te­lan­gana govt. is mak­ing all MeeSeva ser­vices avail­able on mo­bile by de­vel­op­ing a mo­bile app called T-Fo­lio. This is a smart move con­sid­er­ing that more peo­ple ac­cess the In­ter­net from their smart­phones as com­pared to com­put­ers. More­over, T-Fo­lio has a multi-lin­gual in­ter­face, which will im­prove the app’s pen­e­tra­tion across the state. This move is also ex­pected to bring down the cost of ser­vice de­liv­ery and even en­able real-time mon­i­tor­ing of feedback and griev­ances. T-Fo­lio was ini­tia­tive last year and the govt. of Te­lan­gana is likely to launch it this year.

With reference to T-Fo­lio, Sri. G T Venkatesh­war RaoIRS, Com­mis­sioner ESD and MD, Te­lan­gana State Tech Ser­vices said that “in or­der to pro­vide a high class mo­bile ser­vice to cit­i­zens, a mo­bile app must have an IVRS, SMS gate­way, pay­ment sys­tem, and USSD. The IT depart­ment of Te­lan­gana has cre­ated a com­mon mo­bile ser­vices gate­way in­fra­struc­ture, which has all these in­fra­struc­ture el­e­ments ready. Once T-Fo­lio is ready, other govt. depart­ments sim­ply have to build their re­spec­tive mo­bile apps on top of the in­fra­struc­ture, and all the ser­vices will be avail­able from day one”. This will pro­vide a seam­less ex­pe­ri­ence to cit­i­zens across all govt. apps that be­come avail­able. Sri Rao fur­ther added that MeeSeva will be first user of this T-Fo­lio, and they’ll move about 150 ser­vices to mo­bile in the first phase.

SE­CU­RITY OF BOTH END­POINTS AND THE BACKEND ARE CRIT­I­CAL

All these in­no­va­tions can pro­ceed suc­cess­fully only if they’re se­cured with the right tech­nol­ogy. On this, Sri Rao said that they’ll soon be launch­ing a Se­cu­rity Ops Cen­ter (SOCS), which will have the lat­est SIEM mo­d­ules. Cur­rently, only one or two states in In­dia have this. The SOC will help the govt. of Te­lan­gana get much bet­ter abil­ity

MEESEVA WILL EX­TEND ITS SER­VICES VIA A MO­BILE APP, A MOVE THAT’S EX­PECTED TO BRING DOWN OUR COST OF SER­VICE DE­LIV­ERY AND EX­TEND THE REACH OF GOVT. SER­VICES CON­SID­ER­ABLY - Sri. G T Venkatesh­war Rao-IRS Com­mis­sioner ESD and MD, Te­lan­gana State Tech Ser­vices

to de­tect, mon­i­tor and counter se­cu­rity threats. Sri Rao also added that be­sides SOC, se­cur­ing end-points like print­ers is also im­por­tant. “We have a clear ob­jec­tive on how to build stronger and safer sys­tem for all ap­pli­ca­tions that are hosted on SDC, as well as cover our end­points like from a se­cu­rity per­spec­tive”, he con­cluded.

Com­ment­ing on this, Nikunj Thakkar, Coun­try Lead­So­lu­tion Con­sult­ing, Man­aged Con­tent Ser­vices, HP Inc. said the next ‘mantra’ for se­cu­rity is to go be­yond the ob­vi­ous tar­gets. He said that se­cu­rity shouldn’t be looked at merely from point prod­ucts or tech per­spec­tive, but it should be looked at from the point of view of gov­er­nance risk. He felt that risk assess­ment should be built into the gov­er­nance cul­ture and be driven from top-down. Only then can re­quired lev­els of struc­tural re­sources and mech­a­nisms be in­vested at par by the govt.

Risk Cul­ture has to have 3 key met­rics to se­cure con­tin­uum for Govt. Sys­tems i.e. Ac­count­abil­ity, Re­spon­si­bil­ity and Em­pow­er­ment (ERA). Right from top line of au­thor­ity to bot­tom line of worker should have cas­cad­ing ERA to call out risk assess­ment, iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and mit­i­ga­tion to en­tity clos­est to the event. Es­pe­cially for IT Risks, since IT in­fra­struc­ture and end­points are the back­bone of NeGP. HP is lead­ing the stack with End­point Risk Ad­vi­sory Ser­vices, self-heal­ing end­points, cy­ber se­cu­rity preven­tive tools to au­to­mate reg­u­lar risk assess­ments, re­me­di­a­tion and foren­sics. With global ac­co­lades with ex­po­sure, HP proves to be a cy­ber com­bat to pro­tect Govt. Sys­tems in In­dia too. Cit­ing this with an ex­am­ple, he said that a Joint ex­er­cise be­tween Immigration Depart­ment and New Delhi Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion dis­cov­ered 60 fake birth cer­tifi­cates at the root of 600 sus­pect’s pass­ports is­sued. HP Inc. im­ple­mented a so­lu­tion that added mul­ti­ple lay­ers of con­tent se­cu­rity while print­ing those birth cer­tifi­cates. “Sim­i­larly, there are so many other doc­u­ments that can be faked, like land pass­books, farmer I-cards for DBT schemes, etc. Pro­tec­tion has to there­fore be ex­tended at all lev­els”, he added.

IT IN­FRA­STRUC­TURE AND END­POINTS ARE THE BACK­BONE OF NEGP, SO THEIR RISK ASSESS­MENT SHOULD BE BUILT INTO THE GOV­ER­NANCE CUL­TURE AND BE DRIVEN FROM TOP-DOWN - Nikunj Thakkar, Coun­try Lead-So­lu­tion Con­sult­ing, Man­aged Con­tent Ser­vices, HP Inc

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