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NHA reveals six IT firms shortlisted to provide tech support for Co-WIN’s expansion to other countries

For the Co-WIN empanelment, the shortlisted companies are expected to complete a few more steps like attending a three-day training session and signing a non-disclosure agreement.

In a new report, the National Health Authority has revealed the names of the IT firms it has shortlisted for empanelment to provide customisation, implementation, and roll-out of Co-WIN as it begins offering the technology to other countries. The list released last week includes six IT firms, some of whom are international consultancy groups while others are homegrown IT firms.

Why it matters? Co-WIN, the digital platform handling India’s vaccination drive, was extended as an open-source, digital public good to foreign countries during the Co-WIN global conclave last month. As a result, countries would be able to get the Co-WIN platform and then, customise it to manage and roll-out their own vaccination programmes. During the event, Indian government officials said that the countries that implement Co-WIN can be provided assistance from empanelled IT firms for installation, customisation, etc. The NHA has now revealed the names of the IT firms that will provide the assistance. These agencies will receive confidential technical details about the Co-WIN software, receive training, become System Integrators or consultants for foreign governments, and receive payments from them.

Names of the Agencies

In its report, the NHA said that all the interested agencies had been given approval and shortlisted for the next steps.

  1. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP
  2. KPMG Assurance and Consulting Services LLP
  3. NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited
  4. PricewaterhouseCoopers Private Limited
  5. Tata Consultancy Services Limited
  6. Trigyn Technologies Limited

What’s next for these agencies?

Now that these agencies have been shortlisted, as per the EOI published by the NHA, they will now have to complete a few more steps to receive confirmation of empanelment.

i) Undergo a three-day online training

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  • Up to five employees from the shortlisted organisations will have to undergo a three day-online technical training programme.
  • This programme will be conducted between August 4 and 6, 2021.
  • An evaluation will be carried out post-training.
  • On successful completion of the training, the trained employees will receive a certificate.

ii) Sign a non-disclosure agreement

“The Agency will treat as confidential all data and information about the NHA and any other information/data etc. furnished/obtained in the execution of its responsibilities, in strict confidence and will not reveal such information to any other party without the prior written approval of the NHA.” — NHA’s EOI

After completing the above steps, the EOI said that the names of the trained employees, along with their agencies, will be published on the Co-WIN portal and NHA websites as a confirmation of their empanelment.

Eligibility criteria for agencies

It is important to note that the first request for Expressions of Interest (EOI) issued by the government on July 2 was corrected with a revised EOI issued on July 15. This, the NHA said, was because:

i) the number of expressions received was not sufficient to hold a fair and equitable representation of system integrators and consultancies for the countries that may be interested in using the Co-WIN platform in their respective countries.

ii) The NHA found that the eligibility criteria may be restrictive in creating a level playing field.

The original EOI required the following:

  1. The agencies should have 1000 permanent employees (without mention of level) and 150 with the B.Tech/ B.E./M.C.A/M.Sc. degrees, in the areas of Computers/IT/Electronics.
  2. Interested agencies had to have an international presence in at least 3 countries
  3. Interested agencies were previously required to have been in business for 10 years
  4. The interested agencies were to have had a turnover of Rs 150 Crores or higher in the last three preceding years.

But the final requirements were:

  1. Should have turn over of minimum Rs 50 crores or higher from IT implementation for the last three preceding years
  2. Should be at least five years in business
  3. At least three software implementation projects should have been completed in the last five years. 
  4. Should have at least 250 permanent employees at domestic and/or international level and at least 100 employees of the aforementioned number with recognised B.Tech/ B.E./ M.C.A/ M.Sc. degrees, in the areas of Computers/ IT/Electronics. Clause no. 2 on international presence of agencies was deleted

Other specifics in the EOI for Co-WIN empanelment

Time period: The empanelment will be for two years and might be extended later.

Fees: No amount will be paid by the NHA to empanelled agencies. If foreign governments use their services, the fees will be decided between the agency and that government. However, they will not be allowed to charge more than the NICSI Tier-I empanelled rates.

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No obligation: Empanelment with NHA does not guarantee that any or all of the interested agencies shall be awarded any project/assignment as a result of this empanelment.

Information/Resources provided:

The government will make the following resources available to the empaneled agencies:

    1. Complete technical documentation
    2. Installable version of the software
    3. Source Code
    4. Two-week training on Co-WIN platform and its architecture

Indemnification:

The NHA will be indemnified against any third-party claims arising from:

  1. Infringement of patent, trademark/copyright, or industrial design rights arising from the empaneled agency’s use of software/ hardware/ manpower, etc., and related services or any part.
  2. Any claims that the hired manpower may opt to have by virtue of working on the project for whatever period.
  3. Any compensation arising out of accidental loss of life or injury sustained by the hired manpower while working on the project.

Conflict of Interest:

  • The selected agency shall publish a statement that it has no potential or existing conflicts of interest due to its current or past affiliations with the NHA.
  • It shall not take up any work that can cause such conflicts to arise in the future.

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Written By

I cover health and education technology for MediaNama. Reach me at anushka@medianama.com

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