KARNATAKA: IT At The Helm Of Affairs

The
education department, with technical assistance from National Infor-matics
Center (NIC), has es
tablished a com-puter center at the office of the
Commissioner for Public Instruction (CPI). The primary objective was to spread
computer awareness among various sections of the department to speed work and
automate routine jobs, along with eliminating delay in related work. But later
on, the emphasis was shifted to make use of computers for decision making
processes and making department work more transparent. This was done by
computerizing the recruitment process of primary and secondary school teachers,
officers’ posting and transfer of teachers.

Computerization has helped the
education department in the monthly monitoring review, maintenance of officer’s
database, documentation, pay-roll, generation of list of grades of ministerial
staff and secondary school teachers, teachers’ recruitment to primary and
secondary schools, posting of teachers using online counseling and email network
facility for all the districts. Commenting on this, CPI’s Upendra Tripathy
says, "All the above projects were developed and implemented by NIC,
Bangalore, with cooperation from the education department. Initially,
computerization work was limited to the CPI’s office, as the necessary
infrastructure was not available at the lower level. Now, as all the district
offices have the necessary infrastructure, computerization work is decentralized
and recruitment, posting and payroll are done at the district levels. District
NIC officers are involved in district level implementation and maintenance. All
the education offices in Bangalore and district head quarters are equipped with
Pentium systems with Windows-based operating systems and necessary peripherals
like printers, UPS and networking components.

With this, the email network
facility for all the districts has been made available. All the 190 block
educational officers are provided with computers during 1999-2000. Two
departmental computer training centers have been opened and a ‘class project’
to train 1,000 teachers in a year, has been organized.

Computerization of Treasuries

With an
investment of over Rs30 crore, Karnataka’s Department of Treasuries will be
computerized by November 2000. This process will comprise installations of
around 250 VSATs all over the state. Speaking on this, Vivek Kulkarni, IT
Secretary, Government of Karnataka, says, "Through this, we can provide
real-times updates of around 633 returns from all the districts to the
accountant general’s office."

Presently, the treasury is going
in for a second round of computerization, though it continues to use the earlier
computerization process dating back to 1994-95. Currently, all the district
treasuries use computers to compile the accounts. The state ‘Huzur’ treasury
has an online system that records transactions. The compilation is done on an
Oracle-based database and requires data entry.

This method has some of the
system deficiencies. The treasury submits actual expenditure to the accountant
general. All the drawings and disbursing officers also submit actual expenditure
via their controlling officers to the accountant general. These two figures have
to be reconciled. Typically, this should take place within 75 days after booking
the expenditure. Even though several procedures are stipulated, the treasury
system has a few drawbacks. Some unscrupulous elements have taken advantage of
these and embezzled the government. Hence a new computerization process has been
designed to eliminate these deficiencies.

E-governance Projects

  • Computerization
    Of The Education Department:
    The
    education department with technical assistance from NIC established a
    computer center at the office of the CPI to speed up work, automate
    routine jobs along with eliminating delay in related work and spread
    computer awareness.
  • Computerization
    of Treasuries:
    Rs30 crore has been
    invested in Karnataka’s Department of Treasuries to computerize it
    by November 2000. This computerization will comprise installations of
    around 250 VSATs all over the state to capture every single
    transaction accounting for over Rs20,000 crore at all 31 district
    treasuries and 184 ‘taluk’ treasuries. Accounts will be updated
    instantaneously.
  • Vidyutnet for
    KPTCL:
    India’s first VSAT-based communication network–Vidyutnet–to
    support real-time data applications for power generation and
    distribution to be commissioned in KPTCL. The network is also used for
    voice and fax communication.

The new process will capture
every single transaction accounting for over Rs20,000 crore at all 31-district
treasuries and 184 ‘taluk’ treasuries. The accounts will be updated
instantly. All the treasuries will have VSAT terminals and will be connected via
satellite. There will be a main database center at Bangalore and a disaster
recovery center at Dharwad. As a result, all the District and ‘taluk’
treasuries will capture every single transaction and compile accounts for both
the drawing and disbursing officers and accountant general. The signatures of
all drawing and disbursing officers and the countersigning officers will be
electronically stored.

Full-fledged budget control will
be introduced with the noting of quarterly and half-yearly budget allocation in
computers. The treasuries will provide statements of accounts required for
reconciliation by the drawing officers. Active cash and treasury management will
be undertaken. The treasury will provide the necessary MIS reports for
Karnataka.

The treasury handles transactions
of over Rs20,000 crore annually through 31districts and 184 ‘taluk’
treasuries, serves, 34,000 drawing and disbursing officers of both government
and ‘zilla panchayats’, over seven lakh employees of the Government of
Karnataka and grant-in-aid institutions. It also acts as a banker to 2,200
personal deposit accounts of various government authorities, 4,500 ‘zilla
panchayats’, ‘gram panchayats’, Municipal Corporation, ‘Muzrai’ and
other funds, sending information in 633 schedules of accounts and returns to
prescribed authorities including the accountant general of the state.

Vidyutnet for Karnataka Power
Transmission Corporation Ltd

India’s first VSAT-based
communication network–Vidyutnet–to support real-time data applications used
for power generation and distribution will be commissioned in KPTCL shortly. The
first phase involved setting up of the hub station at the load dispatch center,
Bangalore, and 40 remote sites covering the generating and 400-220 KV receiving
stations all over the state. The satellite data channel will replace the
existing data channels using power line carrier circuits. The data channel
supports Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems that KPTCL is using
for load dispatch operations. The network is also used for voice and fax
communication.  

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