Government’s DeitY Comes Up With IT Agenda For 2013; Astounding Products Promised!

The Government’s Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) has released its IT Agenda for this year & it sounds as a start-up’s promise of launching many wondrous products.

Apart from some regulatory information like the Budget Spend, Sub-sectors which are going to be revamped, DeitY has some very interesting products lined up. In fact, one of them; e-gov app store is already developed, albeit partially. Covering about 18 sectors in myriad policies like Information Technology policy, Electronics policy, R&D Policy, Cyber Security policy and development of people-oriented IT solutions, DeitY will initially focus on Mobile Governance (m-Governance).

The top three agendas worth a mention are: National Rollout of Mobile Service Delivery Gateway (MSDG) also commonly known as an App-Store & Mobile payment, National Information Infrastructure (NII 2.0), National cloud initiative & setting up academy for e-governance.

From the above three we gave the e-gov app store a quick visit & came back a bit miffed. The app-store currently has a total of 76 applications most of which are developed by Government’s own Center for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC). However, more than 80% (about 60) are mere ‘demo’ apps, while the rest are supposed to be ‘live’. Since they originate from the Government’s own app factory, we cannot immediately expect the UI to be smooth or the functioning to be top-notch. In fact, the ‘app-store’ is not really a store at all. It is, at present a mere website & clicking on the apps is followed by a download window. The setup file for Android (APK) & a few Java Applications (JAR) then have to be downloaded & subsequently installed to be used. Despite such efforts, majority of the applications are merely informative that showcase the various Government processes like applying for a fresh or duplicate Passport or Ration Card via images & audio-visual presentations.

Apart from the app-store, DeitY has promised a Mobile payment gateway. Mobile Wallet (m-Wallet) & even a personal safety device in the form of an indigenously developed Android based watch! Looking at the app-store, we would advise our readers to simply have patience with the rollout of apps & other initiatives.

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