The lockdown and the efforts of minimizing human/physical contacts in workplace has pushed up the digital platform usage of Southern Railway (SR) replacing the manual filing system. With usage of digital filing increasing rapidly, Southern Railway is on a fast track of adapting paperless office culture which will not only save operational cost but also reduce the carbon foot print. Due to the availability of e-office platform, majority of file work in Southern Railway now can continue smoothly without physical presence in offices which is a boon in these times of crisis.
The number of digital files of Southern Railway offices on NIC e-office platform has increased more than 4 times during the past 4 months (April-July 2020). Before lockdown, the number of e-files generated by SR was 9964 and by the end of July 2020 the number of e-files created by users of SR has increased to 43557. The number of e-receipts generated by users of SR have also increased approx. 3 times during this period. Also, 1414 new e-office users were registered during this period.
It is noteworthy that Tiruchchirappalli Division of Southern Railway has become a pioneer in e-office. The division has successfully completed 100% digitization of records and has uploaded all the physical documents into e-office database by 31st July, 2020. Tiruchchirappalli Division was earlier nominated by Railway Board to standardise the steps and complete the digitization process setting the lead for other railway units to follow suit.
Southern Railway officers and Staff have been imparted training by RailTel teams to handle e-office platform efficiently. Training modules in the form of videos uploaded on Youtube enables Railway Staff to improve their knowledge on the usage of e-office. The officials have been conditioned to give up the habit of using manual file system. There are Helpdesks to assist staff in trouble shooting.
Southern Railway has expedited e-office with the support of Rail Tel limited. RailTel, a Miniratna PSU under Ministry of Railways, is implementing the NIC e-office suite for Indian Railways in a phased manner. All over IR, currently there are 105110 users in 106 units of Indian Railways (Zone HQ, Divisions, PU,CTI etc) and as on 7.8.2020 a total number of 1768780 e receipts and 571665 e files had been created. RailTel has also provided Virtual Private Network connections to Railway officials for enabling them to process the file works remotely. Quick disposal of files and systematic, timely monitoring of pending files are some of the other immediate advantage of NIC e Office.NIC e-Office is a cloud enabled software developed by National Informatics center(NIC) that is being deployed/hosted from RailTel Tier III UPTIME USA certified data centres at Secunderabad and Gurgaon.