Friday, May 9, 2008

Helping PMC achieve it's IT vision

Reposted from

Pune now has has a CIO - whose job it is to guide all use of information technology related to PMC. This includes external facing services like property tax payments, marriage/birth/death registration, and also internal use of IT like MIS and ERP. Dr. Anupam Saraph, who has been appointed the CIO of PMC, is an industry veteran with a good understanding of the latest trends in both technology and e-governance. As a result, his vision for PMC goes far beyond simple computerization of services - this includes initiatives to encourage citizen participation through the use of wikis and social networking, games and competitions to increase citizen involvement, use of maps, GIS, and mashups to increase usability and usefulness of the services and websites.

However, I don’t think this is something that can be done without active community participation. For really successful implementation of some of these ideas, what is really needed, in my opinion, is the involvement of the tech community to help with the execution - frontends, backends, usability, evangelization. I would like to start a discussion on how we can help.

Dr. Saraph has agreed to attend IdeaCampPune for a few hours in the first half o the day. If we can get a few discussions started around this topic, he can participate, clarify his vision for us, and answer questions. I have also requested him to write an article giving some more details on his ideas and initiatives, so we can start thinking about how best the community can help in each of those areas. He hopes to have it done by Monday or Tuesday, and I’ll post it here as soon as I get it. Please check this site again on Tuesday.

If you have any immediate questions or suggestions please post them in the comments below, and I can have Dr. Saraph answer them.

Related articles:
PMC to re-charge Pune wi-fi project
Pune Municipal Corporation gets CIO, new website, wiki


Atul said...

First of all thanks to everyone behind IdeaCampPune, for creating a platform where people are encouraged to share their ideas and see how we can make those ideas productive.

Regarding using IT in PMC, I don't believe in applying technology just for it's own sake. I believe technology gives us many 'tools' which 'we' decide to 'apply' to 'specific problems'.

So lets look at the problems we are facing today in Pune. And the first one that comes to mind is traffic jams, which are increasing day by day and are responsible for bringing down productivity of our work foce.

Solution is:

1. Streamlining the traffic flow,
2. Studying traffic patterns
3. Connecting all the signals, and synchronizing them based on 'Current' traffic situation. (Some experiments were done in past near Hinjawadi)

Regarding signal, punekars are always blamed for breaking signals. And it is true most of the time. But as I know it, no one 'willingly' wants to break signals (of course there are exceptions,otherwise what Police mama will do :)). Large chunk of community is willing to follow signals. Speaking of me I would like to follow signals, but I will break them when:

1. Seconds on the dials are not correct, and they are confusing.
2. I am waiting on a signal where there is no traffic. ==> this is where we can use IT to synchronize signal, detecting severity of signals, using this information to route the traffic.
In essence behavior of traffic signals should be 'dynamic' and not static.

One point I want to add is that, punekars don't 'Trust' technology implemented by government. Meaning if newly installed signals start failing from day two,they will act as if it's normal. We should change this perception.Because we will need people's contribution to this project. I believe people will respond positively, if they see a sensible and effective working system in place, after all we are punekars :)

Having said that, they say 'ideas' are cheap it's 'execution' that matters. So I would like to contribute to this PMC project, when we will start implementing it.


Navin said...

Atul, sorry for not having responded earlier. I somehow missed your comment.

Anyway, I fully agree that ideas are cheap and execution matters. I have just posted a list of active projects that are in (or soon will be in) execution phase at
It would be great to see more people involved in these projects.

Navin said...

Atul, I forgot to mention this in the previous comment - since you are so interested in traffic, are you a member of the Save Pune Traffic movement? If not check out Those guys are actively working on the kinds of things you mentioned.