The Mission Mode Projects

Mission Mode projects is a topic that comes under polity and governance in the UPSC exam. This article discusses in detail about this topic including types, examples, etc. for the IAS exam.

The present status of implementation of the MMPs at the Union and State Government levels and the integrated MMPs is described below- Integrated MMPs

  1. CSC: The MMP is a part of the core and support infrastructure of NeGP. These CSCs will offer e-Governance services to rural citizens. In many States, Service Centre Agencies (SCAs) have been selected. In the remaining States/UTs, action is also progressing well.
  2. e-Courts: The MMP aims at utilising technology for improved provisioning of judicial services to citizens. In the first phase of this project, 700 courts in metro cities and 900 courts in capital cities barring those in the North-Eastern region, Ahmedabad and Patna have already been computerized and funds have been sanctioned for computerisation of the remaining 13000 district and subordinate courts and for upgrading the ICT infrastructure at High Courts and the Supreme Court. Site estimates of 618 Court Complexes have been prepared. The second phase of the MMP is in the implementation stage in which the services, which are proposed to be offered include availability of copies of judgments and staggered cause list, e-filing of cases, video conferencing of outstation witnesses, issue of notices to clients through e-mail etc. The network plan and the strategy for integrating it with SWAN are also being worked out. Pilot implementation will be undertaken at the High Courts of Chennai, Mumbai, Cochin, Gwalior, Dehradun and Nagaland.
  3. Electronic Data Interchange/e-Trade (EDI): The MMP aims at facilitating Electronic Data Interchange amongst various agencies involved in the process of Imports and Exports. This project is currently under implementation and offers services like electronic filing and clearance of EXIM documents and e-Payments of duties and charges etc. At present, 85% of EXIM business is being conducted by electronic facilities created under the project. Various licenses issued by DGFT are being done electronically. The drawback payments through net banking of exporters have started at 35 locations. e-Payment of duties for the top 50 clients of Customs Department at Nava Sheva Port at Mumbai has been made compulsory from 1.4.2008.
  4. India Portal: This MMP is in post-implementation stage and is providing a single window access to information and services of Government at all levels, in a multilingual form. National Portal Coordinators in 35 States/UTs and 63 Central Ministries are responsible for the content development, compilation, etc. The portal is available in Hindi and English. Launched in November 2005, the India Portal has been awarded the Website Quality Certificate by Standardisation, Testing and Quality Certification (Quality Level I). Special web interfaces pertaining to “NGO Partnership” and “RTI Complaints & Appeals” have been introduced.
  5. National Service Delivery Gateway: The MMP aims at providing a common interface between the service seekers and service providers (Government Departments). The project is in implementation stage. CDAC has finalised the implementation approach for NSDG and a pilot has been implemented and tested. NSDG portal has been launched in mid August, 2008.
  6.  e-Biz: The MMP aims at expediting the process for setting-up a commercial enterprise by offering an integrated platform of services across various departments both at the Union and State levels. The MMP is under conceptualization. Stakeholder workshops have been held for the project.
  7. e-Procurement: This MMP of the Ministry of Commerce aims at rolling-out IT-enabled procurement by Government Departments. The project is currently in the conceptualisation stage. Preparation of DPRs in respect of three States viz. Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is under progress. The Core Scope Document has been approved by the Department of Commerce and circulated to all the stakeholders.

State MMPs

  1. Land Records: This is one of the projects pertaining to pre-NeGP phase which covers computerisation of Land Records. In the pre-NeGP phase, two schemes of the Ministry of Rural Development – Computerisation of Land Records (CLR) and Strengthening of Revenue Administration and Updation of Land Records (SRA & ULR) – were being implemented. These are fully operational in 13 States. These two schemes – CLR and SRA&ULR – have been merged into a new scheme called the National Land Records Modernisation Programme (NLRMP). This scheme aims at providing integrated land related information and services to citizens.
  2. Road Transport: This MMP proposes to offer many e-Services and some of its components are under implementation from the pre-NeGP period. The MMP aims to induct technology in transport offices across India to offer vehicle registration, driving licenses and Smart Card based RCs (Registration Certificates) to citizens. Out of a total 763 RTOs, 486 have started offering vehicle registration services, while 440 RTOs are offering driving license related services. Six States are offering Smart Card based RCs and driving licenses.
  3. Agriculture: The MMP aims at providing information regarding farm practices, market trends, agricultural and technical know-how and other related services to the farming community. The pre-NeGP MMP has two continuing components i.e. AGRISNET and AGMARKNET. AGMARKNET aims at creating an information network which will capture/update information at various agricultural produce markets. As on date, 2500 plus mandis have been computerized for capturing information regarding prices and arrival of various agricultural commodities. The other component aims at back-end computerization of State Agriculture departments and selected districts in States for delivery of afore-mentioned services. Already, 17 States have been sanctioned money for implementation. A new initiative has also been started by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation to systematically improve the delivery of services.

The work order for Phase-II of the MMP was issued to NISG on 7th February, 2008 and an agreement was signed on 25th February, 2008. The first phase of the study has already been conducted and 23 services have been prioritised for delivery to farmers. In the second phase, the timelines have been compressed and the project is moving from the design and development stage to the scheme preparation stage.

  1. Police: Earlier the Mission Mode Project of the Police aimed at facilitating the process of civil policing and law enforcement by utilizing ICT effectively. Under this project, more than1200 police stations were to be computerized which were expected to create an information base on crimes and criminals. Work is still going on for computerization of the remaining police stations across the country. However, the Planning Commission has been approached to include the MMP as a new scheme called Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System (CC TNS) in the Eleventh Plan period instead of providing Grants-in-Aid for the earlier project called CIPA.
  2. Treasuries: This MMP aims at computerisation of treasuries involving common set of standards for seamless integration of participating agencies. Some States like Uttarakhand, UP, Maharashtra, Mizoram and Karnataka have achieved considerable progress.
  3. Municipalities: The MMP aims at providing various services offered by Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) to residents electronically. The Planning Commission has decided that the scheme would be a part of Jawaharlal Nehru National

Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for 35 cities with populations of over 10 lakh and it would be a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for other cities and towns. However, the new CSS for cities and towns other than the 35 big cities would wait till the implementation is assessed in 35 cities as part of JNNURM. MoUD has released the guidelines on the National Mission Mode Project (NMMP) on e-Governance as a part of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

  1. e-District: This MMP aims at delivery of high volume, citizen-centric services through CSCs. These would primarily be services not covered by other specific MMPs. A minimum of 7 services have been identified to be delivered in every State. The MMP is currently in the design and development stage and pilots have been approved for 14 States. This MMP is being regularly monitored so as to synchronize it with the CSC and SWAN rollout. In UP and Bihar, the BPR study has been completed and identification of vendor for data digitization, application development, etc. is underway. In Assam, the BPR is being finalized. For the rest of the States, BPR study has been initiated. In UP, the application is under development by NIC and the process for data digitization is in progress. In Maharashtra, the BPR is complete.
  2. Commercial Taxes: The MMP, which aims at providing electronic services to commercial taxes payers, is being formulated. The consultation process with the States is on-going and the Ministry of Finance has been asked to expedite the consultation process for taking it to the next logical stage and initiate implementation on the ground.
  3. Gram Panchayat: This massive MMP aims at improving governance at the grass roots and providing various e-services at the Panchayat level. In the near future, pilot projects are being planned in some States. The Core Scope Document was submitted in January 2008. The total cost implication estimated by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, is Rs 6833 crore with timelines of three years for which the sanction of Planning Commission is yet to be obtained.
  4. Employment Exchange: This MMP of the Ministry of Labour aims at providing e-services to employment seekers and employers. The process of engaging the services of a consultant for preparation of the Detailed Project Report has commenced and the techno-commercial proposal of the Consultant is being vetted.

Of the three broad components of NeGP, the third one viz. the Mission Mode Projects have the potential of creating a direct impact on citizens. Often these are sectors where the citizens’ interaction with the Government produces maximum dissatisfaction and grievances. Unfortunately, these are the very sectors where progress in implementation in NeGP is lagging. There has been an absence of a clear strategy for governance reforms based on the development of a road-map for major e-Governance projects. Poor progress is due to a variety of factors including the volume and breadth of the transactions involved, prevalence of outdated and cumbersome procedures, inertia and resistance to change, the overhang of old and outdated records, inadequate attention to BPR and lack of clear demarcation of responsibility of the project authorities. Most of the State level e-Governance projects under NeGP are still at the conceptual stage. The Union and State Governments have not been able to give momentum to these projects despite their best efforts. Many of these projects have pre-maturely gone ahead with the ICT component of the project without first prioritizing the governance reforms that are a pre-requisite for these projects. This would result in automation of the existing inefficiencies in the system . As mentioned earlier, the success of all these projects is heavily dependant on a radical overhaul of the existing systems and procedures. These projects also seem to suffer from absence of clear-cut division of responsibility and accountability as well as inadequate empowerment of the project management authorities.

What Must Be Done

a. State Governments should first provide a clear mandate for governance reforms that must precede the e-Governance initiatives. This would involve, if necessary, changing procedures and even structures and statutes. Therefore as a first step, these issues need to be analysed, decision points identified and political approval taken. b. The major decisions involved in (a) above should be identified by the State Level Apex Committee and approval of the State Government obtained within six months. c. The Secretaries of the concerned departments should be entrusted with the responsibility of project implementation in unambiguous terms. They should be provided with the requisite authority and resources for project implementation. d. Thereafter, the business process re-engineering and capacity building exercise should be completed by the concerned department within a maximum period of one year. The IT component of these projects should not be funded until this step is completed. e. The Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APR) of public servants entrusted with the responsibility of project implementation under NeGP should have a separate entry for evaluation of their performance in this regard.

Unique National Identity Number/Card

The need for a unique identity card for citizens has been considered necessary not only for security reasons but also for delivery of services to citizens and taking the development programmes to the target population. In fact, many of the developmental programmes and schemes (for example, NREGA) include provisions for identifying the target population. However, it has been observed that implementation of each new scheme culminates in a de novo exercise for identifying the target population without reference to any existing database. Even where databases do exist, their reliability remains doubtful as there is no system of continuous corroboration with the field situation and regular updation. On the other hand, illegal immigration into the country is now posing a serious threat to national security and one way of dealing with this issue is by means of a citizen’s identity number/card. Government of India has already implemented a pilot project for a ‘Multi-purpose National Identity Card’ (MNIC) in select areas of 13 districts in 12 States and one Union Territory. This project had the following aims: i. To create a credible individual identification system ii. To allow speedy and efficient transactions between the individual and the service provider (government and non-government) iii. To create a user-friendly interface between the citizen and the government iv. To facilitate improvement in services to the people in ‘Below Poverty Line’ (BPL) or ‘Above Poverty Line’ (APL) categories v. To act as a deterrent for future illegal immigration.

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