Department of Food & Public Distribution has been playing a pioneer role in propagating IT based development, solutions to facilitate rapid growth and transformation in the ICT culture for efficient and effective delivery of services. Department is constantly in the pursuit of developing/implementing state of-the-art application software related to various areas of importance. It has also undertaken various projects related to capacity building and is also following Central Government e-Governance action plan. Various initiatives taken under e-governance to make Digital India Programme successful are as follows:
Department is implementing a Plan Scheme on ‘End-to-end Computerisation’ of TPDS Operations on cost sharing basis with States/UTs. Costs are being shared on 90:10 basis with North Eastern States and on 50:50 basis with other states/UTs. The scheme is a Mission Mode Project (MMP) under the National e-Governance Programme. The progress of implementation of Component-I of the scheme is as follows:
Digitization of FPS database godowns database has been completed by all States/UTs. Digitalization of ration cards/beneficiary data base has also been completed in 36 States/ UTs. Upto May, 2016, overall Aadhaar seeding of 56% has been achieved across States/UTs.
Online allocation of foodgrains has been implemented fully in 25 states/UTs. Supply chain has been computerized in 13 States/UTs.
Toll free helpline for TPDS and Online grievance redressed mechanism for registration and tracking of grievance is available in 36 Sates/UTs.
The Department in consultation with NIC, Deity and UIDAI, has prepared and circulated Guidelines for Fair Price Shops (FPS) Automation and the same were shared with States/UTs in November, 2014 and updated in May, 2015. Consultations were held with States/UTs, UIDAI and NIC etc. to discuss various aspects of FPS automation rollout in November, 2015. Upto May, 2016, 1,21,942 FPSs have been automated across the country, and this is likely to be increased to 3,06,526 FPSs by March, 2017. Communication regarding providing of financial assistance to States/UTs for FPS automation has been issued.
The ‘Cash Transfer of Food Subsidy Rules, 2015’ was notified on 21.08.2015, under the National Food Security Act, 2013. The Rules stipulate that the DBT Scheme shall be implemented in identified areas for which there is a written consent of the States Government for implementation of the scheme. Section (5) of the Rules stipulate that the amount of food subsidy payable to beneficiaries shall be computed by multiplying entitled quantity of food grains with difference between 1.25 times applicable Minimum Support Price (MSP) and the Central Issue Price (CIP) or as may be revised from time to time by the Central Government. Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) is being implemented on pilot basis in UTs of Chandigarh and Puducherry w.e.f. September, 2015. In Dadra & Nagar Haveli, it is being implemented partially w.e.f. 1.3.2016.
In order to provide transparency in the data management of sugar mills as well as Government’s working, the Directorate of Sugar has developed a web based platform (esugar.nic.in/sugar_pii) for online submission of inputs by sugar mills on monthly basis. This has helped the Government to take prompt and informed policy decisions for better management of the sugar sector. The portal also provides windows for online connectivity with the State Governments for getting inputs regarding production, stocks utilization of levy sugar for PDS, cane price arrears of sugar mills on fortnightly basis etc.
Bio-metric attendance, Aadhar Based Attendance System (ABAS) has been installed in the Department to enforce punctuality. Effort is being made to make e-Office fully functional. Many initiatives have been taken in this direction under supervision of senior officers. All Sections have been instructed to ensure that whenever new files are opened they may be opened electronically. Further, all the employees are being provided DSCs and other basic requirements with a view to make e-filing fully operational. The e-Office products like File Management System (FMS) is being implemented partially while Knowledge Management System (KMS), e-Leave is fully functional and being implemented in the department. User can also view their Pay-Slip and Income Tax details through the DFPD e-office portal. Effort is also being made to make Personal Information Management System (PIMS), e-Tour operational. In this regard necessary training with help of NIC has been imparted to Sr. PPS, PPSs, PSs and PAs and other concerned personnel. Online ePAR (SPARROW) has been implemented since August, 2014 for senior officers. Further, Department has decided to get all the existing old files/records/documents digitized through outsourced firm. Tender for the purpose is to be floated by department for outsourcing the digitization of existing files/records/documents. Steps towards digitization of service book have also been initiated in the department. RTI request and Appeal Management Information System (RTI-MIS) web based software developed by NIC is installed in the central server to track the RTI requests and appeals. Public Grievance portal is available on official website of the Department. Other initiatives taken in the Department are as under:
Constitution of a Core Team to handle Social Media Activities in the Department.
A Core Team has been constituted in the Department under the charge of a Joint Secretary & consisting of 3 Director level officers to deal with Social Media Activities.
A Twitter Account has been opened for the Department.
The following initiatives have been taken under the e-Governance/ Digital India Programmes by the Department.
The Department’s Website (http://www.dfpd.nic.in) has been re-designed/ updated to make it GIGW (Guidelines for Government Indian Websites) compliant in May, 2015.
A beginning has been made in opening e-files. 1790 number of files have been opened in this format so far. Efforts are on for digitization of various documents & records.
The DFPD takes active participation in the e-Governance activities/ programmes etc. organized by the DeitY etc. by way of an adequate representation of its officers in them.
Food Corporation of India (FCI) is one of the first Government organizations to start using the “MyGov” platform for involving citizens in the governance process. Depot online project is being implemented with an objective to automate all operations of FCI at the depot level which would include procurement, storage and movement of foodgrains. FCI has also implemented e-tendering and in the last 3 years 10037 tenders have been floated on e-tendering. FCI has also implemented Integrated Information System for Foodgrains Management (IISFM) under which information with regard to receipt and issue of foodgrains and stock position is received daily from all the depots. An Online Procurement Monitoring System has been launched for reporting and monitoring procurement of wheat, paddy and coarse grain in the country on daily basis.
Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) is exploring implementation of Integrated Business Management Solution (IBMS) project. This project envisages linking all the operations units of the Organization to facilitate faster decision both at the Corporate Office and Regional Offices level.
Warehousing Development & Regulatory Authority (WDRA) has undertaken a transformation plan which envisages IT based system for its major activities. The plan inter alia includes online application for registration, online registration of warehouses and issue of negotiable warehouse receipt in electronic form for which draft rules are to be finalized shortly. A consultant has been selected for writing Detailed Project Report for building IT based system.
Continuous efforts are being made in the Department and its Organizations for exploring more items which can be made online to make the Digital India Programme successful both at the National and State/UT level.