National Informatics Centre (NIC) was established in 1976, and has since emerged as a "prime builder" of e-Government / e-Governance applications up to the grassroots level as well as a promoter of digital opportunities for sustainable development. NIC, through its ICT Network, "NICNET", has institutional linkages with all the Ministries /Departments of the Central Government, 36 State Governments/ Union Territories, and about 688 District administrations of India. NIC has been instrumental in steering e-Government/e-Governance applications in government ministries/departments at the Centre, States, Districts and Blocks, facilitating improvement in government services, wider transparency, promoting decentralized planning and management, resulting in better efficiency and accountability to the people of India.
"Informatics-led-development" programme of the government has been spearheaded by NIC to derive competitive advantage by implementing ICT applications in social & public administration. The following major activities are being undertaken:
- Setting up of ICT Infrastructure
- Implementation of National and State Level e-Governance Projects
- Products and Services
- Consultancy to the government departments
- Research and Development
- Capacity Building
During the last three decades, NIC has implemented many "network centric" application software for Programme implementation in various ministries and departments, using state-of-the-technology software tools. During 1980s and early part of 1990s, the policy thrust was on creating "Management Information System (MIS)" and "Decision Support System (DSS)" for development , planning and responsive administration in governments which led to the genesis of present day "e-Governance" / "e-Government". "Bridging the Digital Divide", "Social and Financial Inclusion through ICT" and "Reaching- the-Unreached" concepts were tried and made operational in the late nineties. NIC has vast expertise and experience in the design, development and operationalisation of various e-Government projects in the areas of Public Administration and Governance like Agriculture & Food, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Forestry & Environment, Industry, Health, Education, Budget and Treasury, Fiscal Resources, Transport, Water Resources, Court Management, Rural Development, Land Records and Property registration, Culture & Tourism, Import & Exports facilitation, Social Welfare Services, Micro-level Planning, etc. With increasing awareness leading to demand and availability of ICT infrastructure with better capacities and programme framework, the governance space in the country witnessed a new round of projects and products, covering the entire spectrum of e-Governance including G2C, G2B, G2G, with emphasis on service delivery.
NIC provides Nationwide Common ICT Infrastructure to support e-Governance services to the citizen, Products and Solutions designed to address e-Governance Initiatives, Major e-Governance Projects, State/UT Informatics Support and district level services rendered.
NIC has set up state-of-the-art ICT infrastructure consisting of National and state Data Centres to manage the information systems and websites of Central Ministries/Departments, Disaster Recovery Centres, Network Operations facility to manage heterogeneous networks spread across Bhawans, States and Districts, Certifying Authority, Video-Conferencing and capacity building across the country. National Knowledge Network (NKN) has been set up to connect institutions/organizations carrying out research and development, Higher Education and Governance with speed of the order of multi Gigabits per second. Further, State Government secretariats are connected to the Central Government by very high speed links on Optical Fibre Cable (OFC). Districts are connected to respective State capitals through leased lines.
Various initiatives like Government eProcurement System(GePNIC), Office Management Software (eOffice), Hospital Management System (eHospital), Government Financial Accounting Information System (eLekha), etc. have been taken up which are replicable in various Government organizations.
As NIC is supporting a majority of the mission mode e-Governance projects, the chapter on National e-Governance Projects lists the of details of these projects namely National Land Records Modernization Programme (NLRMP), Transport and National Registry, Treasury Computerisation, VAT, MG-NREGA, India-Portal, e-Courts, Postal Life Insurance, etc. NIC also lays framework and designs systems for online monitoring of almost all central government schemes like Integrated Watershed Management (IWMP), IAY, SGSY, NSAP, BRGF, Schedule Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act etc.
ICT support is also being provided in the States / UTs by NIC. Citizen centric services are also being rendered electronically at the district level, such as Income Certificate, Caste Certificate, and Residence Certificate etc. along with other services like Scholarship portals, permits, passes, licenses to name a few.
In executing all these activities, NIC has been given recognition in terms of awards and accolades in International as well as National levels, which are listed in the Awards Section.
Thus, NIC, a small program started by the external stimulus of an UNDP project, in the early 1970s, became fully functional in 1977 and since then has grown with tremendous momentum to become one of India's major S&T; organizations promoting informatics led development. This has helped to usher in the required transformation in government to ably meet the challenges of the new millennium.