RailTel has successfully completed the phase 2 of implementing NIC e-office. RailTel started work of Phase 2 (46 Divisions with 31,637 users) in the month of February 2020 with a target of completion by June 30, 2020. But despite lockdown restrictions, RailTel continued the pace of implementation and completed the work 55 days before deadline.

Total 17,981 users of 25 divisions offices were enabled with e-office platform, along with user trainings over video conferences, during the lockdown period.  In two phases, RailTel has enabled 87,629 users across 105 establishments of Indian Railways (Zonal HQs, Divisions, CTI, PUs, Workshops etc.) to handle all their manual file work remotely on digital platform. Till date 163,658 e-Files and 504,777 e-Receipts have been created, replacing the manual work mode by railway officials. RailTel has also provided virtual private network connections to railway officials for enabling them to process the file works remotely.  Due to availability of e-office, majority of file work in railways can continue smoothly without physical presence in offices which is a boon in a time of crisis like this.

NIC e-Office is a cloud enabled software developed by National Informatics center (NIC) that is being deployed/hosted from RailTel Tier III UPTIME USA certified data centres at Secunderabad and Gurgaon. The aim of e-Office implementation is to provide reliable, efficient, and effective way to handle office files & documents. There is an absolute transparency as anything once written on the file cannot be changed or undone. There is also a monitoring mechanism to check where the files are held up.

Talking about completing the work during lockdown, Puneet Chawla, CMD, RailTel, said, “It was big challenge for RailTel team to complete the work during the lockdown phase as resource movement was restricted. RailTel team couldn’t visit the division offices due to the lockdown and the implementation work needed to be done remotely and it was very time consuming as well. RailTel team completed the majority of the work remotely in coordination with Railway officials over phone and email. The crucial part of implementation is the training of officials to handle the platform.  Since physical presence of RailTel officials and Railway users were not possible, the entire training was also done remotely using video conferencing and on call support. Training videos were prepared so that users can see them again and again to get a grip on the e-office usage procedure.”

It is a big challenge to transfer the entire manual filing system of Indian Railways on to one digital platform. However, the bigger challenge is to train the workforce so that they can handle the system efficiently. The most difficult part is to condition the users to give up the habit of using manual file system and adapt the new system of paperless working. RailTel team has managed to complete the implementation before the deadline and also managed people by retraining and handholding for roll out.

Quick disposal of files and systematic, timely monitoring of pending files has been the other immediate advantage of NIC e Office. With above advantages, Indian Railways is all set to change the work culture for providing better services to public.  e-Office fosters paper-less culture which will not only save operational cost but also reduce the carbon foot print.