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Tamil Nadu Changes The IT-Sphere

- ANUSHA ASHWIN x-anushaa@cybermedia.co.in

Recently, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswam­i on behalf of the Tamil Nadu E-Governance Agency (TNeGA) announced two new E-governance measures for better E-service delivery to the State’s citizens. Spearheadi­ng this IT services led operation is Indian Administra­tive Service official Dr. Santhosh Babu, Principal Informatio­n Technology Secretary to the TN Government. Recipient of the Dataquest Magazine E-Governance Champion Award, South India, 2008, Dr. Santhosh Babu in an interactio­n with us reveals all about the scaling up or rather, re-imagining of e-services offered by the government and its impact on strengthen­ing the State’s startup ecosystem

Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswam­i has made a key announceme­nt at the Assembly. This announceme­nt is by the far the best in terms of scaling up of IT infrastruc­ture the State possesses. The State’s IT department has conceived and developed a new Blockchain Backbone infrastruc­ture that will be set up for enhancing the e-services offered by the Tamil Nadu government. The Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (TNeGA) will build this Blockchain platform for Tamil Nadu at a cost of approximat­ely Rs 40.80 crores. The technology will be offered as a service to all government department­s.

Blockchain being an emerging technology has several potentials especially that it can be deployed wherever genuine transactio­ns need to be establishe­d. Since the data stored using Blockchain technology cannot be altered, TN’s IT department wanted to fully exploit this powerful technology. The IT department has developed a system that

Blockchain being an emerging technology has several potentials especially that it can be deployed wherever genuine transactio­ns need to be establishe­d

eliminates the need to maintain a Blockchain node. The officials will be able to verify their data in the Blockchain independen­tly without hosting the node. What we have in mind is that the Blockchain technology should be able to provide a tamper-proof digital data to citizens without dependence on any third party. It also provides cybersecur­ity and data integrity to applicatio­ns focused on citizen engagement and experience.

What we have in mind is that the Blockchain technology should be able to provide a tamper-proof digital data to citizens without dependence on any third party.

Citizens are entitled to these services and it is incumbent on any government to make this interactio­n between government and citizen as hassle-free as possible A system on Blockchain, without human interventi­on, will prompt the software of each Government Department/Agency to issue the certificat­e/document as and when the citizen becomes eligible for it More specifical­ly, the Government has establishe­d several Centres of Excellence (CoE) in emerging technologi­es to encourage industries to collaborat­e with colleges in creating in new technologi­es

ALONG WITH DEVELOPING A BLOCKCHAIN BACKBONE, TNEGA IS ALSO CREATING A ZERO KNOWLEDGE PROOFBASED PREDICTIVE SERVICES DELIVERY PLATFORM FOR ALL GOVERNMENT SERVICES. HOW IS THIS PREDICTIVE SERVICE UNIQUE TO TAMIL NADU?

On the same day as the Blockchain Backbone announceme­nt, Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister announced the launch of the plan by TNeGA to create a zero-knowledge proof based predictive services delivery platform for all government services.

This service is very unique to Tamil Nadu and I can admit that we are the pioneering state to offer such a technology for the benefit of a common man. My motto is very straightfo­rward. As a government, we are indebted to offer our citizens convenient procedures and services that ease their life and not make them run pillar to post seeking essential certificat­es/documents that validate their birth, caste, and education. I want to save the reputation of Government office bearers by making available several statutory certificat­es on the click of the mouse rather than waiting for ages to receive a hard copy of those essential certificat­es.

Even though several certificat­es from birth to death are registered online and can be procured online each of those certificat­es has to be procured from different intra-department government websites. In the current scenario of E-governance, citizens have to apply for various Government services like certificat­es, documents, licenses, etc to various government department­s and its agencies, either by going over to their offices or through Arasu E sevai centres or from their homes. Citizens are entitled to these services and it is incumbent on any government to make this interactio­n between government and citizen as hassle-free as possible.

With the technology available today, it is possible to ensure that citizens need not apply for any statutory service, rather the Government takes responsibi­lity to provide it as a predictive service, from birth to death. The applicatio­n software used for issuing certificat­es will be suitably modified so that the document issued shall electronic­ally hit the Makkal Number already created by TNeGA for 7 crore people of Tamil Nadu and electronic­ally reach a Citizen Vault to be created for each resident of Tamil Nadu.

The resident can view his certificat­es/documents in this vault using his mobile number as a user ID and OTP as a password. Right from the Birth Certificat­e to the Death Certificat­e and numerous certificat­es/documents in between issued by various Government Department­s/Agencies, a system on Blockchain, without human interventi­on, will prompt the software of each Government Department/Agency to issue the certificat­e/document as and when the citizen becomes eligible for it. For example, if a child’s birth certificat­e is issued, the system at our end will send vaccinatio­n informatio­n through an SMS at the 6th month of age of the child. Likewise, when the child turns 5, an SMS to the parents is sent for creation of Aadhar Card. This single unified portal can also issue certificat­es of caste/community/educationa­l degrees and several other statutory certificat­es electronic­ally thus reducing the paper consumptio­n and saving the citizen’s time. It is also possible that Government department­s/agencies/private employers can with the consent of the applicant to verify the genuinity of his/her qualificat­ions, electronic­ally. This scheme will soon be rolled out at a cost of Rs 90.00 crores.

THE BLOCKCHAIN AND PREDICTIVE SERVICES DESIGNED BY THE TN GOVERNMENT REQUIRE A LOT OF WORK. DOES THIS MEAN THAT THESE TECHNOLOGI­ES WILL OPEN AN AVENUE FOR STARTUPS IN THE BLOCKCHAIN SPACE TO INNOVATE FOR TAMIL NADU?

Of course, yes! To achieve rapid developmen­t of IT & ITeS sector in Tamil Nadu, the state is identifyin­g innovative startups in the Blockchain, AI space to partner or collaborat­e. The two unique services also seek support from innovative startups. The Government in Informatio­n Technology Department has accorded administra­tive sanction and approval for establishi­ng a Warehouse for Startups at Chennai and Coimbatore and a state Startup Warehouse Board. Infrastruc­ture facilities required for SMAC and Data Centres are being provided by the Government. It has also set up rural BPOs and Common Service Centres.

More specifical­ly, the Government has establishe­d several Centres of Excellence (CoE) in emerging technologi­es to encourage industries to collaborat­e with colleges in creating in new technologi­es and research. The National Knowledge Network (NKN) which is a National Level High Speed Network for connecting academic institutio­ns across India and also for linking with the global scientific community, will be leveraged for industry-academia interface.

Tamil Nadu Government in partnershi­p with FICCI and CII is organizing a series of 5 startup events called CONNECT. There would be roadshows, investors meet and mentoring sessions as part of these events.

The Government is soon going to begin the necessary co-ordination and groundwork to improve tele-density and broadband penetratio­n and ensure 100% reliable and efficient telecom network.

WHEN YOU SAY RURAL BPOS AND PREDICTIVE SERVICES, ARE THEY NOT DEPENDENT ON INTERNET CONNECTIVI­TY? HOW IS TN’S INTERNET INFRASTRUC­TURE PLANNED FOR THIS NEED?

The Government is soon going to begin the necessary co-ordination and groundwork to improve tele-density and broadband penetratio­n and ensure 100% reliable and efficient telecom network throughout the State including through the Tamil Nadu State Wide Area Network (TNSWAN), National Knowledge Network (NKN), BharatNet and TamilNet Projects. The government will soon sanction a project worth Rs 2400 crores to lay 55,000 km of cable to carry internet to more than 10,000 Panchayats. MPLS-IP technology would be leveraged for this deployment. About 1 Gbps of the internet can be delivered to each Panchayat building. This internet availabili­ty will open up to the Government rendering services like e-education, entertainm­ent, IP TV and several other essential e-services.

Increased impetus on emerging technologi­es such as mobile technology, localizati­on, virtualisa­tion and cloud computing will be constantly aided by the IT sector.

The Government of Tamil Nadu has set up a state Datacentre and Disaster Recovery Centre, Cloud computing facilities, Common Service Centres etc. for enhancing citizen access to online Government services. Increased impetus on emerging technologi­es such as mobile technology, localizati­on, virtualisa­tion and cloud computing will be constantly aided by the IT sector.

TN’s IT department is working round-the-clock in associatio­n with other department­s to re-imagine and bring about a transforma­tional E-governance system that enhances our citizen’s digital experience and easing their lives to a great extent.

 ??  ?? DR. SANTHOSH BABU Principal Informatio­n Technology Secretary, Tamil Nadu Government
DR. SANTHOSH BABU Principal Informatio­n Technology Secretary, Tamil Nadu Government
 ??  ?? DR. SANTHOSH BABU Principal Informatio­n Technology Secretary Tamil Nadu Government
DR. SANTHOSH BABU Principal Informatio­n Technology Secretary Tamil Nadu Government

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