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e-Governance: Empowering India

India is gearing up for an era of increased digitalisation, heralding the advent of Industry 4.0, powered by new age technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.

March 7, 2019 | Updated 20:03 IST
e-Governance: Empowering India

Governance is a challenge in a country as vast, diverse and rapidly developing as India. That's where new technologies can intervene, enable large scale transformation, and help in the implementation of ambitious government plans. Policymakers have been formulating innovative ways to usher in progress on paper. What they rely on is a robust infrastructure and smart solutions to translate inspiring plans to reality.

While India is among the fastest developing economies in the world, it ranks 58th in this year's Global Competitiveness Index, up five places since 2017, (Source: Global Competitiveness Report, The World Economic Forum, 2018), and equitable growth remains a critical imperative. The government has been spearheading radical digitalisation to induce economic inclusiveness and social transformation through initiatives like 'Digital India', 'Make in India' and 'Skill India'. India, as a result, is gearing up for an era of increased digitalisation, heralding the advent of Industry 4.0, powered by new age technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. Hitachi, a leading Japanese conglomerate with a notable global footprint and a forerunner in digital innovation, has been an active partner in this ambitious plan.

Hitachi, with its dual strength in Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT), bolstered by its Social Innovation Business, has been uniquely poised to assist in this journey. Being a century-old player in the manufacturing, power, and transportation sectors, with over five decades of IT leadership, Hitachi is able to offer an unparalleled 'single eye view of macro solutions'. A diversified group with established strengths in infrastructure, railways, energy, construction machinery, healthcare, IT, and automotive systems, its perspective is markedly well rounded. Understandably, its significant contributions span solutions for issues as diverse as urbanisation, water management, sustainable transportation, robust security solutions, smarter manufacturing, and the core nature of financial solutions. Hitachi, in myriad ways, is bringing about positive changes in the standards of day-to-day living.

The complex nature of governance in India demands a holistic approach. Shedding silos and embracing the principle of 'Collaborative Creation', Hitachi and its group companies are partnering with governments and private companies, to work faster, smarter, to  to be prepared for future challenges.

Driving the digital revolution

According to International Data Corporation, digital transformation is expected to add an estimated $154 billion to the Indian GDP. In 2017, while 4% of India's GDP came from digital products and services, such as mobility, cloud, IoT and AI, in the next four years, it is estimated this number is set to increase to almost 60% of the country's GDP

Hitachi's Social Innovation Business is enabling a seamless digital transformation for its customers. The initiative has been a part of the e-Governance initiatives of multiple governments in the country. The big data-heavy projects it has undertaken include the digitalisation of land records, the single-window handling of grievances and the maintenance of essential services; easing tax payments and government dues, and internet-based delivery of services to citizens.

At the helm of a catalytic shift that's underway, Bharat Kaushal, Managing Director, Hitachi India predicts that 'society will change much more than we ever imagined.'

Hitachi's high impact solutions for a developing India

The implementation of digitalisation to impact governance is an endeavour fraught with challenges.

The sheer scale of operations, the resistance to new technologies and the need for seamless, transparent operations at all levels are key concerns the government has to contend with.

Hitachi has been fortunate to be a part of the ambitious Digital India initiative that the government has embarked upon. Its focus has been on a wide range of projects. The three core pillars include infrastructure development to empower every citizen at any point in time, governance and services on demand to offset the burden of inequitable access among the weaker sections of the society, and digital empowerment of citizens whether they are buying a product or enjoying a service.

Large scale government initiatives, both at the central and the state level, in sectors like electrification, agriculture, and healthcare, are also areas where Hitachi's multiple businesses have brought in specialised expertise. While some initiatives are in the planning and execution stages, a few transformative citizen centric initiatives have already been implemented, and are impacting the way CEOs are setting goals, city planners are building cities, and farmers are accessing social benefit programmes.

Transforming businesses

Hitachi Systems Micro Clinic (HSMC), a market leader in providing end-to-end IT solutions and services, helps businesses of different verticals thrive by integrating end-user computing, virtualisation, networking and resilient IT infrastructure in conjunction with professional security services. The company's vast range of technical and service delivery expertise assists in driving value driven and customer-centric IT solutions, pivoted on Hitachi's spirit of Social Innovation.

The company's solutions are highly in demand as they combine Business Intelligence & Machine Learning, Managed Services & Cloud Solutions.

Meanwhile, Hitachi Vantara with big data know-how, IoT insights and rich industry-specific knowledge, is positioned to enable businesses to use innovation to leverage growth.

Transforming lives: e-Governance in Andhra Pradesh

With a people-first motto, the government of Andhra Pradesh strives to provide an agile and efficient public service delivery system benefitting nearly 50 million citizens, in a 360-degree life cycle approach through its Real Time Governance (RTG) initiative. With the help of Real Time Governance, and in partnership with Hitachi, the Andhra Pradesh government can now swiftly resolve citizen grievances and monitor infrastructure projects, incidents, weather and climatic events across the state in real time, leveraging technology services.

Big data sets gathered from various sources with the help of Hitachi are leading to insightful decisions to vibrantly transform citizen services. Blending technology and citizen centricity, Real Time Governance is set to revolutionize governance in Andhra Pradesh, catalyzing government operations to create a safer, more efficient and sustainable society.

Aadhaar & UIDAI, Unique Identification Authority of India

A historic move initiated by the government was the implementation of Aadhaar across the country.

One of the first nations in the world to embark on an initiative so far reaching and seemingly impossible, India has, despite the concerns about privacy, ploughed on to get the entire nation connected to the Aadhaar system.. A one-of-its-kind biometric based authentication system, Aadhaar has gone where even developed nations are yet to venture.

The UIDAI relies on Pentaho software from Hitachi Vantara which provides a powerful big data analytics platform to support a government data set for more than 1 billion citizens.

EPFO, Employee Provident Fund Organisation

For the entire registered working population in India, their hard earned savings accumulating in a company's provident fund form a secure nest egg for an uncertain future. In keeping with the Central Government's policy of 'Information for All', Hitachi Vantara helped with the digitalisation of EPFO records. With constant access to their pension accounts and deposits, people can monitor their funds and feel reassured. . The initiative has also simplified and hastened transfers, bringing in the much-needed efficiency into the organisation.

Hitachi Vantara facilitated seamless information management, so that the EPFO was able to digitise most of its services. It joined hands with local partners and alternate platforms to deliver an optimised solution.

Positive learning in the digital age

For a developing nation, while economic concerns are high on the nation's agenda, sectors like education and social empowerment are strong focus areas for creating a better future. The 'National Knowledge Network'(NKN) has benefited greatly by opting for Hitachi Vantara's data management solutions, custom built for their unique needs.

NKN is a multi-gigabit platform meant to provide a unified high speed network backbone for educational institutions in India. Hitachi Vantara provided the digital transformation platform for an advanced network that will transform education across a large number of educational institutions, through never before ease and connectivity. is a crowdsourcing platform created by the government to inform citizens on policy issues and governance. It has helped initiate a healthy exchange with citizens who can even share their ideas here. The initiative has paved the way for a more democratic framework, empowering the common man to Influence polides and implementation.

The website is hosted and managed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), and also allows users to upload documents across formats. Hitachi worked closely with NIC to host the platform and manage the applications. It did so by providing information and infrastructure layers that helped to store, protect and retrieve data, as and when required, and provide seamless access to information.

Hitachi is also taking decisive strides towards digitalising India's agricultural landscape.

With an intention to stabilise agricultural production, the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) by Hitachi has helped improve productivity, and empowered farmers by using sustainable, economical and eco- friendly technology. GIS applications are being used to understand and manage crop yield estimates. In May 2017, Amnex Infotechnologies Pvt Ltd was awarded the project of 'Crop area estimation and loss assessment using remote sensing & geospatial technology for the state of Gujarat', under the purview of the Gujarat Agro Industries Corporation Ltd., a government of Gujarat undertaking. Amnex used Hitachi's GIS platform to implement government projects.

With climatic uncertainties and socio-political fluctuations, rural India faces the daunting challenge of non-availability of credit at the right time, rate and quantum. In 2016, Government of India opened up the banking sector to rural citizens and offered licenses to small time financial institutions to function as full-fledged banks. This financial push not only supported the farmers in further augmenting the agriculture sector but also offered them financial inclusion and stability.

What's noteworthy is that Hitachi's multidisciplinary and collaborative approach has been in perfect sync with the government's own imperatives to stay open to multiple possibilities and a macro perspective. The outcome is a new level of e-Governance.

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