The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has made the use of E-office mandatory for all its employees. This has resulted in free flow of work and subsequently facilitated quicker granting of permissions from various other government agencies and within the departments of MMRDA, without affecting the progress of public projects.
After the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus induced lockdown all movement of files/proposals to Hon. MC, AMC-I, AMC-II and HODs were submitted through E-Office only to minimise the exposure. This implementation was, however, done from September 15 onwards.
The World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2020 declared the COVID19 Outbreak as a pandemic. GoI by its order dated 24th March 2020 declared a Nationwide Lockdown for a period of 21 days starting from 25th March 2020 which was further extended till 31st May 2020. Further, the Nation has been gradually advancing towards Unlocking. Therefore, to ensure free flow of work from Work from Home initiative, the MMRDA upgraded its existing IT infrastructure to avail E-office services for its employees. Resulting in, it has given numerous administrative approvals of various projects on Emails only. Moreover, to ease the Work From Home for its employees during Lockdown, the implementation of E-Office was prioritised.
The E-Office initiative was made functional through NIC in accordance to the GoM G.R.s dated 6th August 2012 and 09th August 2012 which mandates its implementation in Government Departments and Authorities. The MMRDA has appointed 5 manpower of NICSI (Manpower service vertical of NIC) for remote technical support and software maintenance of E-Office application, which is Simplified, Accountable, and encourages E-Governance. While prior to the Lockdown, the E-Office application was accessible to employees through Local Area Network (i.e. staff working in Office).
It is to be noted that MMRDA commenced E-Office on pilot basis with 3 departments and after learning’s and data analysis, MMRDA and NIC mitigated the exact requirement and customized the E-Office software as per MMRDA’s working framework. MMRDA launched the customized version of E-Office during lockdown and is huge success amongst employees as they can work on E-Office on any platform with internet connectivity also the E-Office is compatible with Mobile and Handheld devices thus working on E-Office is expediting work and reducing delays also fulfilling MMRDA’s vision of bringing eGovernance and reducing carbon footprint by reducing less paper in office operations.
In lockdown infact the MMRDA had effectively utilized the video conferencing tools to conduct various sessions and presentations. Besides, 600 employees were also trained online only about how to use E-office by using digital applications. The authority also enabled Aadhar verified Digital Signature i.e. e-sign services from C-DAC for the employees. The entire system was integrated so to facilitate DSCs signature and e-sign signature in E-Office application for MMRDA, thus empowering all employees to use E-Office application using secured Digital Signature options with convenience. 500 DSCs were procurred and 80 per cent of that have been made active for the E-Office users in MMRDA. Also, administration division was deployed as staff to bifurcate the Tapal and guide Central Registration Unit (CRU) resources to distribute it to respective departments to avoid any chaos.
Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA RA Rajeev said, “In the last few years, our focus has been on efficiency and timely completion of all ongoing projects. With Pandemic induced lockdown the MMRDA’s IT cell underwent a massive improvement so to ensure free flow of work and in lockdown E-office implementation was important. The introduction of digital working has led to a huge growth in projects as well as the ability to use latest technologies to implement them successfully.”
He further added, “My office doesn’t take physical files at all and only accepts e-files, which has motivated all divisions to send files online. This has certainly helped faster decisions in MMRDA.”