Registration Name : eINDIA2011/AN/130
Project Category : eGov::Best Government to Citizens Initiative of the Year
Project Name : ePASS
Details of Applicant :
Name : Padma M
Address : I Floor, DSS Bhavan, Masab Tank
City : HYDERABAD
State : ANDHRA PRADESH
Country : INDIA
Zip Code : 500028
Details of Project/Implementing Agency :
Name of Organisation : Centre for Good Governance (CGG)
Address : E governance block, CGG, Dr MCR HRD Iap Campus,Road no 27, Jubilee Hills,,
City : HYDERABAD
State : ANDHRA PRADESH
Country : INDIA
Zip Code :
Name of the head of Organisation : Chakradhar
Brief description of the programme/project/Initiative :
The broad vision is to have low cost and fail-safe technologies that will have a more efficient, strategic and inexpensive way of (i) Putting the student at the centre of operations. (ii) Expediting payments and disbursement cycle to ensure timely and correct payments to Students/colleges â€¢ (iii) Providing a system driven accountability mechanism, wherein there is no scope for any discretion. (iv) Ensuring open access to information to all stake holders (v) Enabling reliable, timely and comparable information from the â€œground-upâ€ (vi) Minimizing leakages to ensure that the benefits reach the students / colleges
Why was the project started :
Earlier during Manual disbursement of scholarships there was no scope for systematic monitoring and maintaining transparency in transactions. The whole process was cumbersome and time consuming. Checks of students were given to colleges who often collaborated to misappropriate. So misappropriation, embezzlement, fictitious claims, irregular and irrational drawals of scholarship amounts by certain unscrupulous persons resulted in depriving of scholarships to genuine SC, ST and BC students
automation to give the much needed decision support system was department driven
Target group : All students under social welfare scheme
Geographical reach : Entire Andhra Pradesh
Date from which the project became operational : 4 September 2009
Is the Project still operational : YES
10 points that make the programme/project innovative?
- Time – The simple and user friendly workflows in ePASS help the District officers to quickly process the applications and pay the scholarships. In the earlier system of payments, once the scholarship was sanctioned it took nearly 3 months for the amount to reach the account holder.
- Cost: The stakeholders are experiencing a lot of savings and convenience in accessing the benefits: Middlemen are eliminated. Application by the student is directly received online and sanctions are given as per as per time schedule. There is no need for personal follow-ups thus saving on the time, effort and money needed for such trips to the offices. The application is web based. Students can browse for information from their place of stay and irrespective of location or time all the stakeholders can seek information and offer their feedback for further improving the system. Personalized services through call centre and help desk at PMU has helped to reach out to the students and colleges whenever they do not have access to internet and immediately need information
- Efficiency: The computer based acceptance of applications ensures that it is complete in all respects since the inbuilt validations do not allow the application to be saved unless all the parameters are fulfilled. The transaction based reports are helping in improving the efficiency of the system. As the information is readily available in web site and a call centre is established at PMU, the field officers are getting quality time to concentrate on their inspections and increase their output.
- Fairness and equality â€“ The student applies online without interference from any one and the onward processing of the application happens automatically without any individual discretion. Once the sanctions are given by the District officer, the sanction proceedings and the bills are auto generated based on the fee structure available in masters. So students studying in the same college, same year and same course get the same fee and all the students who applied are given scholarships unless they are disqualified for sanction
- Accountability: Details of personnel and officials involved in implementation at each stage are being logged into the system increasing the accountability. Time lines for each stage of processing are set in and strictly monitored. Alerts in the individual logins and exception reports to higher officials help in streamlining the administration. Effective Decision Support System to avoid slippages in implementation. Earlier while calculating the demand under PMS programme the following projections were made.
- This initiative is first of its kind in India covering 4 major welfare Departments (SCs, STs, BCs, OBCs, and Disabled) and linking Treasury and Banks. It is also for the First time that maintenance fee is disbursed using eZ-Pay (Pre-loaded) ATM cards of SBI for student bank accounts. 16.5 lakh accounts of eZ pay cards are being operated. Change requests from HoDâ€™s are gathered through email and call centre is established for grievance redressal of students, colleges, officers. VPN for security is established between CGG and Treasury also among the Sanction level officers using APSWAN. Interface through web-services with Universities/Boards for Attendance, Performance, Fees etc and Interface with Counseling Centerâ€™s is being developed for getting direct access to the data thereby minimizing data entry errors and saving lot of time that was otherwise spent for getting the data.
- This is a simple easily replicable total web based initiative from Student application to transfer of Tuition / Maintenance fee to College/Student bank Accounts directly. The disbursement of fees to students studying in national institutes outside the state also takes s place though this system. The students apply for fresh registration and renewals online by keying their SSC/ Inter Hall Ticket Number through which their name and other personal details are retrieved. They must have a bank account and those who do have an account are given eZ pay card of SBI(State Bank Of India). Scanned images of photo and testimonials are uploaded, thus avoiding earlier problem of District officers not receiving the hard copies of the application forms. Students can access the site though a user id (email id) and password (sent to email accounts) and know the status of their application and the stage of funds transfer.
- Â Colleges must register on the website. Give details of recognitions, capacity, bank accounts, management details etc. Principals of colleges will have to verify each of the student applications, Print and prepare booklets for fresh and renewal students department wise and Contact the verification officer for getting the verification done for sanction of scholarships. Since the workload is heavy and meager staff of welfare departments cannot complete the work within the short time, the verification officers are drawn from other departments also and appointed by the collector. Results of verification are updated online. Recommended candidates are sent to the district officer. Rejected applications are either sent to the colleges or students for rectification.
- Â Processing & Sanction of bills online happen at the District Officer level and the bills are forwarded to treasury through the web service established between ePASS and treasury server. From treasury the money is released directly into college / student accounts through common internet banking interface and Return confirmations is obtained to track the success/ failure of the transactions.
- Â The extent to which this eGovernance initiative is integrated with other internal and/or external ICT systems
List the 5 achievements of the programme/project?
- Automated Solution: The programme of automation to give the much needed decision support system was department driven. The Departments had less staff and they were unable to cope up with the work. Further during 2010-11 there was a backlog of PMS (Post matric Scholarship) amounts of Rs. 2183 Crs accumulated over few years and there was financial crisis in colleges as 90% of colleges depended on the fee reimbursement.
- In order to manage this large programme involving huge volumes of data it was felt that only an end to end student / college centric G2C ICT (Information and Communication Technology) solution will build the much needed confidence among the stakeholders and confirm the seriousness of Government in its commitment to welfare. Hence ePASS has been developed with workflows dealing with the processing of students applications for scholarships, their sanctions and passing of bills for disbursement. Integrated solution for tracking scholarship information of a student throughout his career is evolved with unique identification number. Role based logins are created for all the stakeholders.
- The project mainly focuses on students. The fee structure is available in public domain. So neither the students nor the parents can get cheated. The students are able to get the scholarship directly into their accounts. They are able to concentrate on studies as the status of their application is available on internet at the click of a button and they need not run around the offices. Indirectly their parents are benefited since they are able to send their children to higher studies without any worry about finances. The funds are directly placed in the college accounts and the status of sanctions and release is available. Thus the colleges are updated about the processes thus increasing their comfort levels.
- The officers at all levels are also benefited as the workflows in the ePASS application are user friendly and decision enabling. The reports are transaction based and they need not waste their time in preparing the reports. These reports help them to monitor the programme efficiently.
- Present those services that are enhanced/introduced/functionally extended during the year. What services are planned to be delivered through ICT in subsequent stages / phases; The services offered through ePASS are– â€¢ College Registration Module for colleges â€¢ Student Scholarship Application On-line Registration module â€¢ On-line Verification and Forwarding module for verification officers â€¢ On-line Scholarships Sanctions module for District Officers â€¢ Payment release module with Internet Banking Payment system through the Treasuries and Accounts department â€¢ User Interfaces (Dash Boards) to all HODs of Client Departments with various MIS reports such as Financial Report â€“ Budget received Vs Releases Status MIS- Performance Reports (Field Officers wise/DAH) and GroupWise Financial Report Reports â€“ Abstract report on Students, Amounts. Bank wise and College wise Releases
List the 5 key challenges faced while implementing the programme/project/initiative :
- Â Computer Awareness
- Â De-Duplication
- Â Continuation in education
- Â Adopting from Manual to Automation and Minimize Fraud
- Â Maintenance of integrated database
List the 5 points how can the programme serve as a model that can be replicated or adapted by others?
- Workflow based management
- Service at citizens local area
- Process & Sanction of bills online
- Scholarships would be replicated directly to the concerned accounts
List 5 points to elaborate on the scalability of the programme/project/initiative :
- To bring the intermediate nominal rolls also under ePASS
- Link with aadhaar database
- Direct link with CET databases through web services
- Digital certification will be introduced and the District officers will have to upload sanctions by using digital signatures