Information Kerala Mission

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Information Kerala Mission [1] (IKM),Is an Autonomous Institution under Local self government Depart ment, Govermnet of kerala, for computerisation and networking of local governments in Kerala (India) and has been in existence for a decade since August 1999. The purpose of the Institution was to "facilitate easy and prompt communication between State Planning Board (SPB) and 1215 local 'bodies' for swift monitoring".[1]

Basic objective[edit]

The basic objective of IKM is to provide vibrant Information technology e-governanceto  the local governments in Kerala.

IKM attempts to strengthen local self-governance or third tier governance and development through ICT (Information and Communications Technology) applications. It envisages computerising and networking the 1223 local self-government institutions (LSGIs) in Kerala. It is the largest and most comprehensive local government computerisation project in India. It addresses the entire gamut of issues concerning local governance, decentralised planning, and local economic development.

Executive Director Of IKM-Dr.M Shamsudeen

Phased implementation[edit]

IKM envisages a phased transformation of the existing systems to electronic systems. It has developed methodologies that suit this purpose. IKM has adopted a human-centred approach to e-governance. This approach is characterised by the holistic and proactive evaluation of existing systems and legacy systems, attempts to simplify and transform existing systems and effecting integration of systems. Systematic attempts at process reforms are also part of it. These would enable faster and objective decision-making, more citizen-friendly interfaces and better accountability.

IKM Methodology places the employees and functionaries at the central stage of this transformation and focuses on their empowerment and capacity building as the mechanism for improving performance. The software applications are developed through active user participation. Emphasis is placed on demystification of technologies and establishing adequate technical support systems. Training and hand holding are given high priority. IKM has taken out extensive pilot deployment of its application suites.

Application Software[edit]

  • Sulekha : Plan Monitoring for decentralised planning at local level
  • Sevana : Civil Registration - Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration
  • Sanchitha : Repository of acts and rules relating to local bodies
  • Soochika : Work flow application. Status Monitoring over web, and eSMS integration
  • Sanchaya : The Revenue & Licence System
  • Saankhya : Double entry accrual based accounting for all local governments
  • Sthapana : Payroll, PF accounting (Municipal and Panchayat employees PF accounts)
  • Samvedhitha : LSGD web portal for all local governments and the Department
  • Sachithra : Map suite (GIS) and asset register for local governments
  • Sevana Pension : Disbursement of social welfare pensions, with electronic money order (eMO) integration
  • Sakarma : Handling of council/committee agenda, minutes, etc.
  • Sugama : Cost Estimation tool for public works
  • Sanketham : Ensures transparency in granting Building Permits (KMBR)
  • Subhadra : Financial Management System
  • Samoohya : Citizen database
  • Saphalya : Human resource package

Online Services[edit]

Website for all local governments[edit]

The Government of India envisaged a plan for creating a portal for rural local governments in the entire country including the State of Kerala, for which webserver was set up and templates for uploading of each website by the respective local government was envisaged. But it remains in cold storage now.

Now the Government of Kerala, as part of the activities of IT Mission focusing on FOSS promotion,started working on a project for creating a website of each local government in Kerala. A few websites in Malayalam were created by using the Content Management System Joomla, as part of it.

Audit charges against IKM[edit]

Snapshot from Audit Document of Comptroller and Auditor General of India

The public audit agency of Govt of India, Comptroller and Auditor General of India [2] had indicted charges of omission against the activities of Information Kerala Mission, after conducting detailed investigations into the affairs of the functioning of IKM.[3] In the audit document, CAG mentioned that the entire project had amongst many shortcomings,

  1. 'Absence of a well-conceived project report',
  2. 'Inconsistent procurement policy',
  3. 'Non-utilisation of Central Govt's assistance',
  4. 'Wasteful expenditure expenses on technical persons',
  5. 'Lack of Supervision', amongst other charges, and
  6. 'Inconsistencies in its software'.

CAG hasn't lifted these audit observations till date.

Information Kerala Mission is widely accused [4][5] of developing software solutions deploying proprietary services from Microsoft Inc, which goes against the 'letter and spirit' of the IT policy [6] promulgated by the State Government. The IT policy insists that all public software solutions be developed only with Free Software.

Awards[edit]

  • Sulekha (Plan Formulation and Monitoring System for Decentralised Planning of Local Governments) won the Gold Medal in National Awards or e-governance 2009-10 by Government of India for under the category "Excellence in Government Process Re-engineering". Sevana (Civil Registration System and Hospital Kiosks) won Brownze medal under the category "Outstanding performance in Citizen-Centric Service Delivery"
  • CSI Nihilent e-governance Awards 2008-09 for Sulekha Plan Monitoring System for Decentralised Planning, Kerala

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  1. Website of Information Kerala Mission
  2. Information Kerala Mission : Vision, Mission and Reality, A study commissioned by FSF
  3. A Response of Professionals in Information Kerala Mission to the points raised in the study commissioned by the Free Software Foundation
  4. Websites created by IKM for Municipalities in Kerala
  5. Website of Local Self Government Department, Government of Kerala
  6. Website on Decentralisation and Local Goverance in Kerala