7. Indian governments need a CTO and CIO.
To make all this happen at the central and state levels in India, qualified professionals must be involved to execute various IT projects across departments.
One Nandan Nilekani can only do so much – especially when he has his hands full implementing the UID project. What the central government needs to do (and the states need to follow) is to get full-time people from the private sector who can competently implement projects and oversee the entire IT spend of the government, ensuring that the right technologies are used and implemented on time.
Without this coordination in thinking and decision-making, each department will end up making their own sub-optimal decisions based on yesterday’s technologies. Of course, just deploying IT without appropriately training people and changing processes will not get us anywhere – as evidenced by my recent experience at the Passport Office.