The Digital Super Highway will enable all panchayats in the state to use an exclusive VPN to share data in a secure and speedy manner
Technology-driven governance got a major boost in Kerala with the launch of a ‘Digital Super Highway’, which enables unlimited data sharing between panchayats in a secure mode.
The Digital Super Highway will enable all panchayats in the state to use an exclusive Virtual Private Network (VPN) over broadband to share unlimited data without the need to avail normal internet bandwidth.
The facility, has been set up by the state-owned Information Kerala Mission (IKM), the flagship e-governance project of the state government. Kerala has been trying to strengthen local self-governance in the state through information and communications technology (ICT) applications with the support of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).
A major feature of VPN is that the data transfer is done in a secure, encrypted format. Unlike conventional and expensive leased line models, the VPN connectivity also offers much faster, flexible and easily deployable options.
The new form of internet data transfer, which is called VPN over Broadband (VPNoBB), will function as a private virtual network in a Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) cloud.
The VPN was in a test phase for around two years with the MPLS link having a speed of 512 kilobyte per second. Now the speed has been upgraded to 20 megabyte per second which is 40 times faster. More local bodies have also been added to this network.
IKM has developed and deployed 16 software application suits for local self-government institutions in the state.
The first application that uses this ‘highway’ is ‘Sulekha’, the plan monitoring software designed for the formulation and monitoring of nearly two lakh annual decentralised plan projects in local governments. Sulekha is tailor-made to track the plan formulation, appraisal, approval, monitoring and revision processes of plan projects as well as tracking their expenditure.
Now with the VPN facility, other applications developed for revenue processes and licences as well as disbursement of social welfare pensions, work flow and file status monitoring, and building permits will also be made available through this network in a fast and secure mode of data transmission.