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October 30, 2002 | 1436 IST
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Andhra Pradesh to launch SmartGov from Nov 1

Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad

The Andhra Pradesh government is all set for the formal launch of SmartGov, the online Secretariat project, on November 1, the state formation day.

SmartGov is an integrated product for the AP Secretariat developed by Tata Consultancy Services, India's largest software solutions and services provider.

TCS plans to market the solution to other state governments and countries after required configuration and customisation.

Giving details, V Chandrasekhar, Global head of S (smart) Governance at TCS, said the AP government had given the contract for implementing the SmartGov project to TCS on January 11 last year for Rs 45 million.

The state secretariat has 33 departments and 551 sections. The product is being used fully in six departments for three months now and another 14 departments have also started using it partially.

Already, 1,100 workstations are in place and the number will go up to 2,100. TCS has imparted hands on training to 2,100 employees and officials at the Secretariat.

"The product is designed to enhance the internal efficiency of the secretariat. It basically improves back-office functionality. Tangible savings will pay off the investment within two years. Intangible benefits are much more," Chandrasekhar explained.

The system automates all the functions and working procedures of the Secretariat and provides an effective method of storing, maintaining and retrieving the huge volumes of data.

It integrates workflow, knowledge, database and security management and core, central and departmental applications.

"It creates an office management system that enhances productivity by providing mechanism for information and sharing experience and help exploit the networking for better communication. It also helps in prioritizing work and preventing unnecessary work," the TCS official pointed out.

The SmartGov makes interactions between the government and citizens (G2C), government and business (G2B) and inter-governmental agencies (G2G) convenient and transparent.

The system is highly scalable and extendable to the heads of department (HOD) offices, collectorates and mandal offices.

"This is the most difficult and complicated work of integration ever done in e-governance anywhere in the world. It was a challenging job for us and the product we delivered fits into any commonwealth government," Chandrasekhar claimed and added that a similar system for Jammu & Kashmir government is awaiting inauguration.

"We are in talks with the state governments of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh to implement similar projects for them.

Besides the Government of India, the governments of United Kingdom, Canada and Sri Lanka have also shown interest.

They are keenly awaiting the implementation in Andhra Pradesh to study its impart on government functioning and efficiency levels," he disclosed.

TCS and the state government jointly own the intellectual property rights to the product.

As such its implementation anywhere, either in India or abroad, would bring in part of the revenues to the AP government also, Chandrasekhar added.

TCS has deployed about 40 professionals for maintenance and support services for SmartGov. However, the hardware component of the project is being implemented by another company.

TCS is also responsible for the working of APOnline, the state government's interactive portal. The portal offers 19 services as of now and 32 other services are ready, out of which 10 are likely to be launched soon.

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