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Issue of November 2006 

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“The portal should be the online face of the country”

Dr Vijayaditya, Director-General, National Informatics Centre (NIC) details his plans vis-à-vis the government’s recently-launched portal enabling anytime, anywhere, delivery of government services to the common man.

What are the objectives of the portal?

We have launched the portal with the objective of acting as a single point of interaction with citizens as well as NRIs and foreigners who plan to visit India. We want the portal to be the online ‘face’ of the country and eventually the homepage of every Indian across the globe. It will include all the rules and regulations and legislation on education, tax and law along with all the possible information users would like to know about India. It will also help entrepreneurs to establish businesses within India.

Could you elaborate on its features?

The portal is currently in English. We are working on launching it in Hindi. Eventually it will be made available in all the Indian languages. The portal is device independent so that a user can reach us through mobile phones, handhelds and PDAs. Users will be able to edit and moderate contents based on levels assigned to them. Services can be rated by netizens. In order to improve our performance and services, we will periodically evaluate the rating. Currently the portal is linked to 5,000 government sites. We are looking at linking the Web site to other central and state government portals.

What kind of technical and security features did NIC deploy for the portal?

We have collaborated with IBM to set up the portal and it is based upon open standards and a Service Oriented Architecture from IBM. This will help us scale up services and features on the portal. The Web site can also be utilised for various e-governance projects and initiatives. The security is based on five levels with IDS and IPS deployed. We also have a third-party security check on the portal to keep it functional throughout the year without any Denial of Service errors.

We have deployed Red Hat Linux on the servers. IBM WebSphere application server, Workplace Content Manager for Web publishing and personalisation, DB2 database and IBM Rational application developer for application development have also been used.

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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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