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Project to network AP Secretariat begins

Our Bureau

HYDERABAD, Oct. 29

THE Rs 4.5-crore e-governance project to network the Andhra Pradesh Secretariat through the SmartGov initiative, which was earlier named SKIMS (Secretariat Knowledge Information Management Services), is set to go live shortly in about 20 departments and is awaiting formal launch by the State.

The head of S-Governance practice, Tata Consultancy Services, Mr V. Chandrasekhar, said that out of the 33 departments, 14 departments have started using this e-governance facility, which eventually is expected to locate about 2,100 workstations. Of these, 1,100 are already in place and about 2,100 employees of various departments, senior officials and Ministers, including the State Chief Minister, in the State Secretariat have been trained thus far.

The project will ensure that the Government would be able to achieve return on investment in less than two years. Following the successful implementation of this project, the functional version will be deployed in other States. Since the intellectual property is jointly shared by TCS and the Andhra Pradesh Government, for similar deployments, the State will benefit by way of royalty from this, he explained.

The project has been developed such that eventually the State will be able to extend this and connect even the remotest mandal. This will ensure that there is no duplication of work anywhere and the interface is seamless. The SmartGov project leverages the APSCAN (AP Secretariat Area Campus Network) infrastructure.

Alongside this initiative, a pilot that extends beyond the Secretariat has been taken up. Under this initiative, about 10 heads of departments (HoD) out of 200 are to be covered. Work on this initiative will extend the network to the HoD, which will facilitate quick decision-making and also enable centralised monitoring, he said.

Meanwhile, AP Online, the integrated services portal developed by TCS, is all set to offer about 10 services out of the 32 citizen services by next month. With this facility, a citizen can access the portal and avail any of these services to be offered by the Government, Mr Chandrasekhar said.

The portal has been adjudged as the best portal at the sixth e-Government meet held at Chandigarh. The portal was awarded Golden Icon Award, Mr Chandrasekhar added. Further, the portal developed for the West Bengal Government, is to be commissioned shortly.

With regard to the introduction of value-added tax regime across the country in April 2003, TCS is working with several State Governments in their effort to transition to the VAT system, he said.

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