Digital India Current Affairs - 2020

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Government implements Project ‘SPARROW-CBIC’ for online writing of APAR

Government of India has now implemented Project ‘SPARROW-CBIC’ for online writing of Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR) in SPARROW, for over 46,000 Group ‘B’ and Group ‘C’ Officers of Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) working in its various formations all across India. The term SPARROW stands for ‘Smart Performance Appraisal Report Recording Online Window’.

Key Features

  • Background: Online writing of Annual Performance Appraisal Report’s (APAR) in SPARROW for IRS (C&CE) Officers has already been implemented in year 2016-17. The Indian Revenue Service C&CE handles set of indirect taxes namely Service Tax, Central Excise, Customs etc.
  • Implemented By: The Directorate General of Human Resource Development (DGHRD), the Human resources Management (HRM) arm of Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) of Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance (MoF) is the implementing agency. It is being implemented in more than 400 formations of CBIC throughout India.
  • About SPARROW-CBIC: It is a project for online writing of Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR) for Officers of CBIC. It is one of its kind project in terms of number and scale of employees covered as far as Central Government Departments are concerned. It seeks to bring a complete change in APAR management of large number of Group ‘B’ & Group ‘C’ Officers and Staff of CBIC. This would in turn lead to better Human resources
  • Significance: Project leverages modern technology for enhancing morale and overall efficiency of everyone working in Central GST and Customs formations of CBIC. It serves as an important milestone in journey towards digitisation and paper less working.

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e-Vidhan: Kerala Assembly to Digitize all its Records

The Kerala Legislative Assembly recently announced an initiative to digitize all its records and proceedings under its ambitious project called E-Vidhan which enables state legislature to go fully digital and completely paperless.

Key Highlights

  • Time: The first phase of digitization project is expected to be completed in next 14 months. But for functioning of library and all departments attached to Assembly to go completely paperless, it would take around two years.
  • Project Execution: Earlier, the state government sought Central governments aid to execute the project but it is now being executed by the state-owned fund. The mammoth work of digitizing has been awarded to Cyberpark, which is run by Ooralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society.
  • Once the project is completed, all the Assembly proceedings like submission of notice by a member, question and answers, and all the other correspondence and business concerning the Assembly will go paperless.
  • Significance: The state Assembly handles hundreds of various Bills, notices and committee reports which demands massive paperwork. With this digitization project the assembly will completely get rid of paper in all its business transactions.
  • Benefits: It is expected that if Kerala Assembly shifts completely into e-space it will save time as well as printing costs of about Rs.35 crore to Rs.49 crore annually.

About e-Vidhan

  • The e-Vidhan in State Legislatures and e-Sansad in Parliament are mission mode projects under Digital India. The aim is to digitize and make their functioning paperless which means make both Parliament and state legislature documents, including speeches, committee reports, questions and debates available on internet.
  • This will make their functioning transparent, responsive, productive, more accountable and participative to public.

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