What is National e-Vidhan Application (NeVa)
The National eVidhan Application is a mission mode project to fulfil the “One Nation- One Application” principle. It has been designed in order to make the functioning of all Legislative Houses of the country electronic and to eliminate the usage of paper. NeVA will transform the legislative houses into digital ones in order to conduct all the government business on a digital platform. The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs has been designated as the nodal ministry for the project’s implementation as one of 44 Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) under the Centre’s Digital India Program.
NeVA stands for introducing far-reaching changes in governance across the country by making citizens well-informed and enlightened, hence reinforcing the country’s democratic roots. It will deliver greater synergy, coordination, openness, and accountability between the Legislature and the executive branch of government in each state, as well as across states. This application has made extensive use of Artificial Intelligence and Internet Of Things to create a powerful IT product.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed with eighteen States namely: Punjab, Odisha, Bihar, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Puducherry, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Sikkim, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand. Out of these, thirteen states have provided detailed project reports, including Punjab, Odisha, both Houses of Bihar Nagaland, Manipur, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Meghalaya, Haryana, and Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh. These states have been approved for funding. With the exception of Arunachal Pradesh, all of the necessary finances have been approved by the respective legislatures for the project’s implementation. Without interference from the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, all of these legislatures have started procuring various gadgets to meet their needs, following the appropriate procurement procedure and General Financial Rules/ Regulations/ Guidelines.
Aims of e-Vidhan
- To develop databases which can be shared by different State Legislatures
- To install Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Infrastructure in Legislatures of all States and Union Territories
- To set up secured WIFI network and another Network services for the use of Members of the Legislatures.
- To set up NeVA Seva Kendra, which is an electric Facilitation or e-Learning Centre in each State Legislatures.
- To set up Central Project Monitoring Unit (CPMU) at the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MOPA), New Delhi
- To install mobile-friendly portals to all the States and Union Territories Legislatures
- To develop Mobile Apps in order to access information or data immediately
Benefits of e-Vidhan
- The NeVA will result in a paperless legislative house and hence would be beneficial for the environment.
- The use of tablets and internet by the members of the legislature will by time efficient.
- All government projects will be available across states through the use of this application.
- There will be more transparency between the public and the government and would help in strengthening the country’s democratic roots.
- The implementation of e-Vidhan will help to reduce the physical visits of citizens regarding their grievances.
- The amount of time taken to move information from one legislator to another will be drastically decreased.
- Information on all government projects from all different state governments will be available on public portals.
- Indian residents will receive information on all government projects directly to their cell phones.
States which have implemented NeVA
The Bihar Legislative Council became the first House in the country to fully transition to the NeVA platform on November 25, 2021, and held its Winter Session in a paperless mode. Odisha Assembly also used NeVA to offer its budget for 2021 in a paperless fashion.
The northeastern state Nagaland made history by becoming the first in the country to execute the National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA) programme to go totally paperless in March 2021. The Nagaland House Secretariat has placed a tablet or e-book on each table in the 60-member assembly for the ongoing budget session.
Under the NeVA project, the state of Uttar Pradesh has installed tablets on 416 seats in the Assembly, and members will be able to read the papers for the first time on May 23,2022. Despite the Assembly’s 403 seats, 416 tablets have been placed to allow MLCs to occasionally attend sessions. The state has also decided to start a specific training programme for assembly members in order to assist them in becoming familiar with the new digital, paperless system. The training event, which is to be led by 30 professionals from the National Informatics Centre.
Author – Ms. Anoushka Bidwalkar, Policy Research Intern, CyberPeace Foundation
Reviewed – Mr. Abhishek Singh, Research Associate – Policy and Advocacy, CyberPeace Foundation