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Infosys faces NITI Aayog CEO's ire for MCA portal glitches

April 24, 2016 11:22 IST

Company says faults, which were noticed soon after system upgrade on March 27, have been rectified

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has criticised Infosys for its allegedly poor handling of Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) portal. Replying to a series of tweets by people, complaining of technical glitches in the MCA portal, Kant said Infosys, which manages the service, was letting down the country.

"I have cross-checked with secretary, corporate affairs. As (a) service provider, Infosys has let down the country," tweeted Kant, a Kerala-cadre IAS officer of 1980 batch who previously served as the secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Kant's tweet was in reply to a Twitter user named C S Rengarajan who had complained about delay in approval for INC 21, application for declaration prior to commencement of a business. "Visiting ROC Chennai daily from March 25, no relief for approval," said Rengarajan's tweet.

Kant is driving several initiatives of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, including Startup India and Transform India, a programme to improve ease of doing business for faster economic growth.

"I am not dealing with it (MCA portal), but since there were a lot of complaints on Twitter, I checked with secretary, corporate affairs. Infosys has just not been able to manage it, they have messed it up," Kant said in a short interview over the phone.

K V R Murty, joint secretary at MCA, who is responsible for the project said, after the new system went live on March 27 this year, several issues were detected in the first two weeks as it would happen with "any system of this magnitude". However, he said, things have improved in the past two weeks.

"We, in the ministry, monitor the tickets raised by stakeholders for complaints and that has also shown a definitely downward trend," said Murty.

"So, things have certainly improved though they can be better. There is no doubt about it. We have been assured by Mr Vishal Sikka (CEO of Infosys) that they would do everything possible to ensure that no further inconvenience is caused to the stakeholders. We have seen evidence of things getting better in the last couple of weeks," he added.

In 2012, Infosys had won the $50 million (Rs 272 crore) contract, replacing the then service provider Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), for a period of five years. The contract required the Bengaluru-based company to fully automate all processes related to enforcement and compliance under the Companies Act. At that time, during the transition, the portal had developed several technical snags. These were later sorted out.

On March 27, a new portal was rolled out to comply with the new Companies Act. However, Infosys said, some technical glitches were noticed and soon rectified.

"Infosys has upgraded the MCA21 system to run on the SAP platform, which went live on March 27, 2016. Post the go-live, over 1,183 Indian companies have been incorporated and 1,647 limited liability partnerships have been registered. In addition, since March 27, 2016, there have been more than two lakh filings," the company said in a statement. It added that the system is functioning normally now.

The company said if the week gone by was compared with the same period in 2015, there was an increase of more than 20 per cent in daily filings on MCA portal.

Infosys is working on several large e-governance projects in India, including the Central Processing Centre (CPC) of the Income Tax department and India Post modernisation initiatives. The Income Tax project is considered as one of the most complex transformational initiatives by the government which has helped the I-T department improve its processes significantly.

Photograph: Reuters

Bibhu Ranjan Mishra & Raghu Krishnan in Bengaluru
Source: source
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