About eSangam

Introduction

The National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) of the Govt. of India aims to make all Government services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets and ensure efficiency, transparency & reliability of such services at affordable costs to realize the basic needs of the common man. One of the goals of the Government to meet this vision is the need to cooperate, collaborate and integrate information across different departments in the Centre, States and Local Government. Government systems characterized by islands of legacy systems using heterogeneous platforms and technologies and spread across diverse geographical locations, in varying state of automation, make this task very challenging. eSangam : e-Governance Services Integration Framework, formerly called National e-Governance Service Delivery Gateway (NSDG), a Mission Mode Project (MMP) under the NeGP, is simplifying this task by acting as a framework for integrating government services by centrally hosting adapters and acting as a standards-based messaging switch providing seamless interoperability and exchange of data across.

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Vision of the eSangam

The emergence of many e-governance applications for different departments to provide online services to citizens, businesses and government would require increasing interactions amongst departments and with external agencies at various levels in Government. Departments would need to develop connectors/adaptors for point to point connections between departments creating a mesh as shown in figure and also tight coupling between applications.

NSDG

This would lead to applications difficult to maintain and upgrade in case of version change and change in government policies and business rules. eSangam is an attempt to reduce such point to point connections between departments and provide a standardized interfacing, messaging and routing switch through which various players such as departments, front-end service access providers and back-end service providers can make their applications and data inter-operable. eSangam aims to achieve a high order of interoperability among autonomous and heterogeneous entities of the Government (in the Centre, States or Local bodies), based on a framework of e-Governance Standards. eSangam also provides a framework for integrating the services with minimal impact at the department end by providing the centralized connector hosting support. Integrated service delivery with long running asynchronous service workflows can also be provided and managed easily through eSangam.

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Objectives of the eSangam

The objectives of the eSangam are
  • To act as a core infrastructure for achieving standards-based interoperability between various e-Government applications implemented at various levels and geographically dispersed locations.
  • To evolve Gateway messaging standards and build a government owned Central Gateway based on these standards.
  • Act as a catalyst in enabling the building of Standards based e-Governance applications with Gateway as the middleware to ensure interoperability.
  • Enable integration across Centre, State or Local Governments thereby enabling Integrated Service Delivery and a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) leading to joined up government .
  • Help protect the legacy investments in software and hardware by easily integrating them with other technology platforms and software implementations .
  • De-link the back-end departments/Service Providers (SP) from the front-end Service Access Providers thereby
    • Ensuring separation of concerns of service access from the service implementation i.e. separates the Portal, CSC, Kiosks etc from the government services which reside in the backend departments.
    • Encouraging competition at the front-end by allowing independent service access providers to provide services with varying levels of complexity, cost and service quality levels.
  • Shared services can be added on to the core services as and when required, as special common services of the Gateway without affecting the core functionality of the Gateway, thereby providing flexibility and modularity.
    • encourage back-end services to be plugged into the infrastructure as and when they are ready,
  • Reduce the cost of e-Governance Projects by rationalizing, distributing and optimizing the services framework
  • Use PKI infrastructure for secure transactions. Provision exists for encryption of department payload to ensure confidentiality of department data. The gateway provides digital signature and certificates to all stakeholders interacting with the gateway for identification, authentication and authorization. Transaction and audit logs help track government data.
  • Enable transaction logging and time stamping for tracking of transactions and centralized control
  • Help the Departments backend workflow evolve gradually as the Gateway acts as a middleware de-linking the backend from the front end. This means that even the Departments which do not have the complete automation or work flow at the back can still deliver e-Service to the citizens in a limited manner through the Gateway. To cite as an example, a server may be put up at the department for message exchange with Gateway in absence of readily available infrastructure at the department.
  • Facilitate integrated service delivery and support long running asynchronous service workflows.
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eSangam Conceptual Architecture

eSangam as a eGovernance service delivery framework acts as an intelligent hub and routes service requests from a Service Seeker (Service Access Provider) to a Service Provider (typically a back end Government department that puts up its service for electronic delivery) and in return sends the response back to the Service Seeker through the Gateway.

The first version of gateway enabled integration amongst diverse set of applications built on varying platforms through compliance with a set of e-Governance Specifications- Interoperability Interface Protocol and Interoperability Interface Specifications (IIP/IIS) that are based on open standards such as the W3C XML and SOAP specifications. This required adapters to be deployed at the departments’ end for integration and message exchange for packet encoding and decoding. The latest version of eSangam now enables message exchange using very lightweight message structure in both SOAP and REST protocols and intends to extend the support for even any other standard protocol and data format implemented by departments in addition to the IIP/IIS and IGIS standards.

eSangam facilitates link between two major entities:

  1. Service Providers (SP) : The back-end government departments or any other third-party agencies offering e-services to citizens and businesses, and to other government departments, are collectively referred to as Service Providers (SP) . Third-party SPs may offer specialized services such as authentication, payment gateway services, or joined-up services.
  2. Service Access Providers (SAP) : A Service Access Provider is an entity, which facilitates government service access by Service Seekers, by providing a front-end infrastructure. Linked to the Service Access Providers will be the Delivery Channels, which would be the access mechanism for the citizens and businesses to avail the e-governance services.
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