Centre looks to revamp National Informatics Centre, its tech arm

The center is trying to remake the National Center for Informatics, its technology arm

The government has issued a request for proposal (RFP) to select a consultant for the organizational restructuring of NIC.

Almost half a century since its inception, the government is now looking to revamp and restructure the National Information Center (NIC) – its technology arm – to help the organization keep pace with the country’s growing need for digital technology.

The government has issued a request for proposal (RFP) to select a consultant for the organizational restructuring of NIC.

NIC falls under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and was established in 1976 to provide technology-driven solutions to the Central and State Governments. It is tasked with designing and developing IT systems for the government and providing ICT infrastructure to the government. It also acts as an advisory unit to the government on adopting the latest technologies and ensuring cyber resilience.

“For NIC to play its intended role and fulfill its mandate of providing technology-driven solutions to central and state governments, a complete overhaul of the organization, operating model and ecosystem integration is essential. There is a need for a thorough review of the NIC with respect to its structure, size, quality of personnel, human resource policies, roles and responsibilities, and other technical and non-technical prerequisites that help the organization function effectively and achieve targeted results,” the RFP document said.

The document called for proposals from “qualified management consulting firms” to help develop a comprehensive restructuring plan and implementation plan to ensure NIC is well equipped to deliver on its strategic vision.

Noting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision is to make India a $1 trillion digital economy by 2024-25 and strengthen the country’s digital ecosystem to support India’s transition to a developed nation, the document added that in order to “position NIC so as to meet the growing expectations of citizens from digital government services and the requirement of a digital ecosystem at the national level for a 21st century Digital India, there is a need to suitably restructure NIC to achieve the desired goals.

As for the challenges facing the NIC, the document states that there is a significant gap in the existing NIC workforce and the workforce needed to support ongoing and planned initiatives. In addition, the current skill set of NIC officers needs to be reviewed in lieu of transformational changes in software technologies and key skills needed to design and build public digital systems today.

The organization employs nearly 4,000 people and more than 3,500 people in technology-related positions. About 25% of the current workforce is expected to retire in the next few years.

“Currently, many NIC services are offered free of charge to government entities and states and are funded from the central budget. Most of the budget goes into maintaining the existing network, infrastructure and staff salaries, leaving very little room for upskilling, investment in new technologies such as the cloud, etc.,” the document said.

Further, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the Center and the States 40 years ago needs to be reviewed to clarify the responsibilities and mandates of the NICs in view of the evolving demand and supply environment in the current context.

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