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#DelhiVotes13: BJP Wants Common Smart Cards, Congress Wants To Set Up Venture Funds, Aadhaar PDS

The manifesto’s for the Delhi government, for India’s two main national parties, have very little when it comes to promises of use of technology. We went through the manifesto’s of both the Congress and the BJP, and here’s what they plan to do, from a digital perspective:

Congress Manifesto (download)

– Public Distribution System: Complete computerization of the entire Public Distribution System, linking it to Aadhaar
– Biometric Authentication: Installment of modern Biometric Authentication Facility in 2500 Rashan Shops
– Computerization: Computerizatoin of revenue records to be completed
– Smart Electricity Meters: Promote use of Smart electricity meters for improved transparency and optimum utilization
– Venture Funds: Set up for Venture Funds for small entrepreneurs with focus on intellectual property creation and jobs
– Incubation Centres: Develop technology by setting up incubation centres to strengthen Delhi as a hub of knowledge based industry, and to give boost to creation of new knowledge based firms leading to creation of new job opportunities for the youth.
– Innovation Centres: Knowledge and innovation centres to be established in Delhi Technological University (DTU), Indira Gandhi Technical University for Women (IGTUW), Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU), Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology (NSIT) and IIIT Delhi
– Digitize Services: “move towards higher levels of e-governance with an aim to cover 90% of the government services, and to bring them under an e-SLA. This would create the necessary efficiency, simplification and transparency while addressing the needs of a “Smart City”.

BJP Manifesto (download)

– Common Smart Card (CSC): will be introduced for use in Metro rail, Metro-feeder buses and DTC buses. Students shall be provided smart cards at concessional rates for their education.
– Tendering process to be digitized, recorded: “Promotion of e-governance to ensure transparent, responsive and corruption free administration. All tenders shall be available on the website and the process of awarding big tenders shall be video- recorded.”
– Public Distribution System: The whole process of acquisition and public distribution shall be computerized and made available on internet to ensure transparency. PDS system modeled on Chhattisgarh Pattern shall be implemented in Delhi.
– IT Zones: Setting up of IT zones in Nazafgarh, Narela and Bijwasan areas
– VAT: Entire VAT process to be simplified and rationalized.

Our Take

From a business opportunity perspective, the Congress appears to offer the digital industry much more than the BJP does, but much of this – from digitization of PDS, computerization of records, digitization of services – has been heard of before. The setting up of incubation centres and Venture Funds sounds promising, but little has been heard of, when it comes to similar initiatives at the central level. There’s more to a “Smart City” than just digitization of services, and the inclusion of smart electricity meters is promising, but more could have been done.

From the BJP’s manifesto, the Common Smart Card is a great idea, and there’s no reason why the Metro card in Delhi cannot be converted into a common card for government services. The rest of the BJP manifesto – from a purely digital perspective – shows lack of imagination and vision.

Both manifesto’s disappoint, even though we’re glad there isn’t the hollow promise of public WiFi in the city.

Note: We’ll follow this up with a story on the Aam Admi Party’s manifestos – there are 70 manifestos, one for each constituency, and in Hindi only.

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