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Monday, March 23, 2015

A Successful E-Gov Project since 15 last Years............backbone of other E-Gov projects

In the series of SWAGAT, IWDMS and many other E-gov projects, writing on SICN project here. 

SICN: Sachivalya Integrated Communication Network, Gandhinagar-Gujarat, INDIA
SICN is a network owned by Government of Gujarat for their Voice, Data & Video Communication needs in 2001 (just like Gujarat Government’s private BSNL). This is Asia’s biggest network of Govt. of its kind. This Network is spread in the periphery of 12 kms. Connecting almost all the Govt. Boards and Corporations offices in capital of Gujarat Gandhinagar. This project has benefited Government almost Rs. 60-70 Crore per year till date. Implementation cost was 9-10 Crore in year 2000. While maintenance cost is around 65Lakh rupee per year.

If you are interested in technical and implementation detail of project then you can find information here:

If you interested in published articles about this project officially and from media, please go through here:

First of all, little information is required to understand what is this project, why it is required. Information needed is like; what is Government, how it works and standards followed till date. So that we can go ahead comfortably and you can compare better;

· There are total 26 Govt departments in Government of Gujarat and their headquarters are located at Sachivalaya, Gandhinagar. There is over 20-25 Thousand employees work in various Govt offices in Gandhinagar.
· These departments further divided in to Commissionerate offices, Superintendent Offices, Collector offices, Section offices etc which are located in Gandhinagar but not in Sachivalaya. It is spread all over Gandhinagar, in different sectors etc.
· Now each department has some Corporation, Company, Boards work under it. Roughly there are more than 60 such offices in Gandhinagar.
· Earlier each office has their own budget for light bill, electricity bills and other maintenance stuff. They take some lines from BSNL as per office need and pay monthly bills to BSNL with fixed rent. This was around Rs 5-6 Crore/month before 2001. Yearly nearly 65Crore for all offices in Gandhinagar.
· Maintenance of BSNL was typical government style. Complain today, response after 10 days and repair after 20 days.
· GR and GOs were old dated and not clear much in required actions.

What is SICN:
It is a simple intercom of more than 230 offices spread all over Gandhinagar. Currently there are more than 7500 telephone lines used in various offices, residence of MLA and govt officers, disaster control, helpline etc. As a backbone around 100 Kms. Of Optical Fiber has been laid and 150 Kms. Of JFC has been laid with Structured cabling for Voice & Data nodes. There are 7000+ Voice Nodes and 5000 Data Nodes. This project is done by M/s Avaya Global, a leader in telecom domain in 2000 and till date they are maintaining this project. This is done on BOOT base and there is contract of 10 years initially which need to be renewed each year with added or modified conditions.

Advantage of SICN:· Unlimited internal calls within more than 230 offices.
· Any analog phone can be used and we can apply restriction to any number(s) like internal only, local call only or STD calls or ISD calls or MOBILE calls only
· Daily detailed usage available call to which number (s) , how much time etc for any SICN number just like our mobile bill
· Can be configured for helpline number, toll free number, emergency response system etc. Call record is also available against high level requirement.
· Digital phone available with caller id, voice multiconferencing (upto 7 lines) facility and many more advantages. These digital phones given to higher rank officials and ministers.
· Scalability is there up to 25,000 lines and more.
· Maintenance is the key issue and it is very well done here, call resolving within an hour’s or max a day. SLA is strictly followed by third party. (99% up level )

· All inter-office call are free, there is one fixed annual maintenance charge which is hardly 3-4% of what if Govt pays to BSNL. Currently there is more than 2,00,000 internal calls within various Govt office per day, which is totally free.
· There are nearly 1,00,000 outgoing call from the all office daily. This is again routed from different operator lines (Reliance, Idea, Airtel, Tata), with optimum use and optimum saving plan configured at Centrex level. One Routing table configured there for maximum saving. Earlier bill for outgoing charges were around 5-6crore per month, which is now reduced to 15-20 L per month. Which is just 3-4% of earlier.
· There are daily around 50,000 incoming calls from outside the network.
· Much is saved by restricting the number for local call only or mobile only. So no misuse by peons or outsiders. There is also locking facility available with personal password.
· Threshold is set for higher usage numbers and informs them to reduce the usage or track the same. So individual can also use as per his designation.
· Charges are strictly levied from MLA and from Govt officers whose usage is above the prescribed limit.
· Initially there was some incoming line and outgoing line from BSNL, in which now outgoing lines are divided into multiple vendors like Airtel, Reliance, Idea,TATA so that on net call will be free just like Corporate cards in big corporate companies. And Govt has negotiated very well so that maximum gain can be attained for Govt.

Some Key points and personal experiences:· Situation is changing rapidly, earlier people use the phone keeping in mind that it is his right, he can use unlimited, no one is watching, no one is recording. Now all are aware that somebody is watching other than GOD. So there is automatic control.
· Earlier MLA’s attitude was like they are king. They don’t have to pay for anything which government provides. Now each have to pay telephone bill for their home phone usage otherwise no objection certificate is not given when they vacate the home at the end of their term. I have seen over 1L rupees bills paid by MLAs in recent times.
· There is no bill for all 26 departments in Sachivalaya, then also some proactive official ask for the bill and accordingly told their subordinates to control the usage.
· It is possible to limit the unofficial usage through policy guidelines and I have seen and feel that.
· I would like to assure you all readers that there is no corruption in this project at all at any stage.
· Now, there is policy guideline for each and every thing like who are eligible for normal phone, digital phone, who have to pay or not, complain response time and solution etc.

I have tried to search out for such network in other states, but could not find any credible information. What I found is that there is this much bill pending of MLA, MP , Govt Offices in various states with BSNL,MTNL etc. Link of same report is also mentioned in above article links.

SICN Further Planning:
It is in pipeline to integrate existing VOIP network which is already implemented up to village level will be connected with this SICN network soon, so that virtually there be no charge to call within all Govt offices in the state. Currently whole Gandhinagar is intercom, in near future whole Gujarat state up to village level will be intercom. Just imagine how much saving on telephone bill front. There may be some differences in figures mentioned above but not much.

Further reading:
Those who have read till this line are surely interested in further reading of other project which is more interesting than SICN. These are like GSWAN, Video Conferencing, IWDMS, SWAGAT etc. I will cover that in near future as per response received. I had worked in Govt Company for four years at various positions and related with all above projects at some stages.

Please don’t stop yourself to write a comment and also if possible click on Google ads, I am going to donate the earnings from adsense to mentally retired people and Panjrapol (shelter for holy cows) as mentioned at top right corner.

For further details contact  Written for   #DigitalIndia  You can click on e-gov tag for more EGOV projects of Gujarat. 


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