back to article Indian government promises One Portal To Rule Them all in support of colossal infrastructure build

India's government yesterday announced a massive new wave of infrastructure investment, and a portal it says will ensure co-ordination among multiple government departments so that new builds avoid overlap with other plans and contribute to a national modernisation drive. Launched yesterday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > "For example, once a road was constructed, other agencies dug up the constructed road again for activities like laying of underground cables, gas pipelines etc.

    This not only caused great inconvenience but was also a wasteful expenditure."

    Sounds just like the USA.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Yes I am seeing that near where I live. Huge project to raise a flood prone road 10' and completely rebuild it, completed three years ago after two years of major disruption. Last month they've been closing one lane because they are digging just off to the side (where I presume utility conduits and/or storm sewers were run) along the entire road!

      Not sure if they are running additional underground utilities, fixing/expanding the storm sewer, or what, but it sure seems far too soon for a road that they planned for years and took two years to build but apparently still forgot something or screwed something up!

  2. sanmigueelbeer

    But who will develop and operate the portal ... was not revealed

    No need to be revealed when everyone knows it will be Infosys. Again.

  3. Dark Eagle

    Years later...

    The entire thing panns out as nothing more than a money sinkhole. That is, if it ever expands beyond the paper.

  4. elsergiovolador Silver badge


    For example, once a road was constructed, other agencies dug up the constructed road again for activities like laying of underground cables, gas pipelines etc.

    Isn't that how corrupt local governments work anywhere? If they know that cables etc. have to be laid, it's a perfect opportunity to get a mate's company that barely knows how to build roads, pour tax payer money on it and then other construction company will destroy all evidence. Blame on communication issues and then get a real contractor to do the road again. Profit!

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Somebody looked at gov.ulk and thought "Yup, that looks good.", let's do that?

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Indeed - and "colossal infrastructure build" is music to Boris' ears - he's probably already ordered Boris Force One to be fuelled up for a trip to visit Modi and talk up the benefits of giving the work to the experts the UK Government farms the work out to - the usual suspects such as Capita, McKinsey, the bloke down the pub that a minister knows...

      As he's fond of slogans...

      "You've tried the Indians - now try the Cowboys"

  6. TeeCee Gold badge

    Easy one.

    What could possibly go wrong on a project with vast scope, many stakeholders with different agendas, and an assumption of prompt data sharing?

    I'm sure that this question has already been asked of the various companies tendering for the work to manage and build this massive project[1] and they've all provided a definitive answer of "Nothing at all".

    [1] i.e. Infosys and some others to make it look like a competitive process if you squint a bit.

  7. katrinab Silver badge

    It is the same in England

    When the council comes round to resurface the road, you can be sure that within two weeks, Thames Water or Southern Gas Networks will be round to dig it up again.

    1. Cuddles

      Re: It is the same in England

      Your council actually resurfaces roads? We rely on Thames Water digging up the roads occasionally to get any repair work done, since at least they have to put a proper surface back on the parts they've touched.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like

    A campaign slogan with possibly money set aside for Friends of Modi.

  9. ecofeco Silver badge

    I'll believe it

    ...when I see it.

    Is there any organization on earth who has gotten this right?

  10. Raj

    Context matters

    This article wastes time contextualizing this IT plan against the experience in the west. It would do better to compare against what has been built in India in the past 7 years.

    Ever heard of something called Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) infrastructure ? Almost every Indian adult resident has a unique ID (Aadhaar) now, 450 million new bank accounts to rural adults since 2014, 600 million debit cards called RuPay and currently ~800 million smartphone holders. There are ~925m adults in India.

    Upon this, the UPI digital payments infrastructure has been built. It did 36 billion transactions in the past year, and will total ~$1.25 trillion in transactions this year. Second placed China did 18 billion transactions. UPI volume has doubled each year the past 4 years, and today accounts for 20% of M1 data and will likely overtake cash transactions in under 2 years. Pushcart vendors offer QR codes for epay.

    The same infrastructure also hosts the CoWin vaccination registration and reporting platform. At the onset of Covid, the government transferred $25 billion directly into the accounts of those below poverty line. No middlemen.

    Several states no longer issue paper certificates (birth, death, marriage, vaccination) but QR-based digital records. There's no interaction with anyone to bribe.

    Numerous departments now have dashboards tracking progress. CoWin, rural electrification, the national piped water connection program, and more. Connecting departments together to manage coordinated activity is simply further integration of an already vast platform.

    You talk about some siloed IT platform being trouble to upgrade. You missed the news about the entire transactional economy and interface to government being replaced with a far more pervasive digital interface these past 7 years.

    1. nielhirjee

      Re: Context matters

      Also within context of what the Modi government has built in the last seven years and then bungled up, consider the Aadhar data leak and denial of the data leak by the Modi government; the recent fiasco with the income tax portal for which the Modi government had hired a contractor who let them down and the Supreme Court of India had to intervene to prod Modi to demand specific performance from said contractor - I am not naming names in order to avoid being sued but in light of the legal proceedings against comedian Vir Das that members of Modi's political party are initiating because he spoke against India on foreign soil, I fear I might be prosecuted by Modi before I am sued by his contractor for posting this comment on a foreign website and defaming Modi / India - the two are now synonymous. He is the state.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meh. Some Indian consulting firm probably said it would be "easy" when the rupees were dangled, and Modi's government believed them. A match made in heaven.

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