The Local Government Minister, Punjab, Navjot Singh Sidhu called on Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of Infosys to discuss the transformation through e-governance mode in all the 167 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of Punjab. The minister took up the issue of operationalizing the Infosys Campus in Mohali. Nilekani said that inspite of growth rate showing downward trend from 35% to 5% in IT Sector, he would speak to the CEO of Infosys to expedite the project. He said that though this project would take some time but he assured action in this regard. It is significant to mention that Infosys has a campus in Mohali spread over 55 acres of area which is still not functional.The discussion between both the dignitaries centered around enabling delivery of the government promise of ‘Captain Government at your doorstep’. In this context eGovernance will play a critical role by increasing transparency, simplifying service delivery and driving efficiency. The representatives of Punjab stated that their vision would not be merely technology enablement but the start to process reengineering.
On this note, Mr. Sidhu pledged sufficient manpower and capacity building to drive change across the state. The entire exercise will result in manifold increase in revenue collection which in turn will enable delivery of high quality of service to the citizen. The Minister also reaffirmed the importance of digital service delivery to citizens, with an initial focus on improved lighting, controlling mosquito menace, managing stray dog menace, improved waste management and reducing potholes. Mr. Nilekani, drawing on his cross sectoral experience with digital transformation at scale, concurred on the need for capacity building to ensure long term statewide benefits arising out of this program. Team PMIDC and the the Minister, on the close of the successful meeting remarked that the session with Mr. Nilekani proved the truism that ‘a conversation with a wise man is the same as a month’s education’.An MoU was signed in February with eGovernments Foundation, also co-founded by Nandan Nilekani, to provide solutions for e-governance of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) throughout Punjab.
eGovernments foundation since its founding in 2003, has enabled urban transformation in 325+ ULBs and has now partnered with Punjab Municipal Infrastructure Development Company (PMIDC) for the provision of 67 services online under 12 modules namely Property Tax, Water & Sewerage Management, Complaints and Grievance, Licensing, Fire Service, Verification, Birth and Death, ULB web portal, Mobile App, State and ULB Dashboards, Payroll and Financial Accounting and a Public Grievances App would be rolled out pertaining to these services enabling the people to lodge their complaints in case they encounter any problem.Mr. Sidhu further added that 500 I.T. savvy experts would be hired through TCS for the capacity building of ULBs. He also said that 10 experts each would be deployed with each of the Municipal Corporations while 5 experts each would be assigned to each medium level Municipal Councils and 2 each for the each smaller Municipal Councils/Nagar Panchayats.Prominent among others who were present in the meeting included Mr. A. Venu Prasad, Principal Secretary, Local Government Punjab, Mr. Ajoy Sharma, CEO, PMIDC, Mr. Angad Singh Sohi, Advisor to the Minister, Mr. Viraj Tyagi, CEO, eGovernments Foundation and Mr. Bhargava EM, Director of Partnerships eGovernments Foundation.The PMIDC team, specifically Mr. Ajoy Sharma, Mrs. Simarjeet Kaur & Mr Rahul Sharma were commended for their full fledged support to this process.