Thursday, June 21, 2012

Know about Thiru. C. Umashankar IAS

Name: C.Umashankar IAS.,

Service: Indian Administrative Service (IAS) – Tamil Nadu Cadre (1990)

Current Position:
Commissioners of Disciplinary Proceedings 

Guest lecturer for Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore on
1) e-governance training program for senior officers of Government of India and
2) Reinventing government – Post Graduate Diploma program.

Qualification: B.Com., (1984)

Additional Qualification:
19 years of public administration – as Indian Administrative Service Officer.
The Week, a popular weekly magazine in India chose me the man of the next millennium from among the Civil Servants in India in the year 2000.
Designing and implementing multiple e-governance ERPs at field level and State headquarters  with effect from February 1999 onwards.

Designing and implementing commercial ERPs for Universities and manufacturing companies.

Expertise in designing and implementing linux / Open Source Software (OSS) powered application software in Government.

Experience in heading a 40 member software development team that developed web based application software for government using Linux/open source software tools.

Date of Birth: 21-05-1964

Native :  Tirunelveli, Tamilnadu, India

Languages known: English, Tamil and Hindi.

Contact address:
33 Balakrishnan Road,
Flat D1, 3rd Floor,
Valmiki Nagar, Chennai 41.
Tel:91-44-42020543; Mob.No: 91-94443 00123

l  To make India a corrupt free nation, using among other things innovative and outcome oriented Information Technology / e-governance tools.
l  To see India a discrimination and poverty free nation.
l  To popularise the use of free and open source software and thus reduce the cost of implementation of information technology solutions in Government and private sector.

  1. Acting as change agent in a typical Government set up and help the bureaucratic minded employees realise their potential, using simple motivation strategy.
  2. Acting as change agent to bring  in new concepts in Government such as Linux operating system for desktop use and Open source software (OSS) powered application software. 
  3. Designing a variety of ERP applications with financial accounting linkage for government use, especially in areas of land administration, civil supplies - family card and fair price shop administration, rural development administration, local body administration, social welfare scheme administration such as National Old Age Pension scheme, office establishment including pay roll processing, Road Transport licence administration etc. 
  4. Leading of a team of over 40 software engineers in the development of e-governance and core commercial ERP applications. Ability to handle over 15 e-governance projects  (development and implementation) simultaneously.
  5. Configuring a strategy for successful implementation of complicated e-governance and commercial IT projects within a limited time frame.
  6. Motivating the first time computer users in Government and private sector to accept the manual register free e-governance/IT  system.
  7. Specialisation in e-security to ensure not only security of the database operations but also to achieve user acceptance in typical government activities. 
  8. Specialisation in disaster recovery (received Government of India award).
  9. Specialised in open source software (Ubuntu/RH/SUSE Enterprise Linux) based application design and implementation.  Special skill in open source databases such as Postgres  and Mysql.
  10. J2EE application software design skill set.
  11. Skill set in multiple databases such as Postgres, mysql, Oracle and DB2.
  12. Apache Tomcat/Jboss/Jasper report – under Linux environment.

Administrative experience (in the Indian Administrative Service)
1.    Aug, 1992-Jan, 1994 - Sub Collector, Mayiladuthurai, Nagapattinam Dist.
2.    Feb, 1994 to June, 1994 - Sub Collector, Cheyyar - Thiruvannamalai Dist.
3.    July, 1994 to Jan, 1995 - Additional Collector, Revenue, Tiruchirapalli District.
4.    Feb, 1995 to Oct, 1995 - Additional Collector, Development, Madurai & Chief, DRDA ERP development.
5.    Nov, 1995 to Feb, 1996 - Additional Director, South Asian Federation Games (SAF), Chennai.
6.    Feb, 1996 to June, 1996 - Joint Commissioner, Land Revenue, Chennai-5.
7.    June, 1996 to 22-10-97  - Joint Vigilance Commissioner, Vigilance Commission,  Secretariat, Chennai.
8.    22-10-97 –Feb 1999       - Joint Chief Electoral Officer (Computerisation) – in charge of computerisation of electoral rolls and setting up of Wide Area Network (WAN) in TamilNadu.
9.    Feb 1999 – June 2001 – District Collector , Tiruvarur & Head, District Welfare Committee - Software development wing. The District Welfare Committee developed ERPs for Revenue office administration, DRDA administration, Block office administration, local body administration and Police Station administration. I headed the team in the design, validation and implementation of the e-governance applications. The district had been rated as 20 years ahead by the Times of India during 2001.
10. Aug 2001 to 25th May 2006 – Commissioner for Disciplinary Proceedings, Salem.
11. 26th May 2006 to 5th August 2008 - Managing Director, Electronic Corporation of Tamil Nadu Limited (ELCOT) - 
12. 6th August 2008 to 3rd August 2008 – Managing Director, Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation Limited (TIIC).
13. 3rd November 2008 to 29th January 2009 – Managing Director, Arasu Cable TV Corporation ( Fully owned undertaking of Government of Tamil Nadu)
14. 29th January 2009 onwards – Commissioner of Small Savings, Chennai.
15. 03/09/2010 to 11/09/2011 - Managing Director - T.N. Small Industries Corpn (TANSI)
16. 11/09/2011 to 26/12/2011 – Commissioner - Urban Land Ceiling & Urban Land Tax
17. 26/12/2011 onwards - Commissioner - Disciplinary Proceedings, Chennai

Banking and Financial accounting experience:
Served in three different nationalised banks in India before joining the IAS.

The details are as follows:
  1. 1985-86 - Central Bank of India (Tamil Nadu- Tirunelveli District, India).
  2. 1986-87 - Canara Bank (Karnataka, India) - Probationary Officer
  3. 1987-90 - State Bank of India (Madhya Pradesh, India) -
Probationary officer

Experience in e-governance and Information Technology

The following ERPs / e-governance software packages were designed by me and developed by a team of Programmers under my supervision:

v  Development and implementation of web based application software for running the family card system online (January – May 2008). This software as well as database is fully powered by Open source software tools.

v  Development of web based application software for automating the operations of commercial Taxes department (dealer VAT registration, online filing of VAT file returns and online financial accounts)

v  Anywhere property registration software (web based) including financial accounting relating to property registration process.

v  Web based Old Age Pension Administration software (under pilot implementation in Chennai district) – March 2008.

v  ERP for Taluk office administration where land records, land revenue and financial accounting, issue of various certificates, social welfare schemes such as National Old Age Pension scheme, Distress Relief Scheme and Accident Relief Scheme, Patta Pass Book scheme etc. (VB6/DB2) – design, validation and implementation (1999-2000)

v  ERP for  District Rural Development Agency with linkage to its constituent offices. (VB6/DB2) – All centrally sponsored rural development schemes and State sponsored schemes - design, validation and implementation. (2000)

v  Design, validation and implementation of Block Automation Software with linkage to DRDA server. All Centrally sponsored  rural development schemes, State sponsored schemes, Noon mean scheme, HRD admin and Panchayat monitoring Software (2000)

v  Regional Transport Office (RTO)- public interface software in Tiruvarur Collectorate (1999). This software successfully manages the receipt of application for all classes of licences (learner and well as permanent driving licences), registration of vehicles etc. PPP model.

v  Core banking software for Agriculture co-operative banks. (VB6/DB2) – 1999-2000

v  ERP for Local body automation (Town Panchayat).This includes HRD, Financial accounting, purchase and stores, automated tax computation and  online grievance handling. (VB6/DB2) – 1999-2000

v  HRD software for Government offices titled OFFICE MANAGER. (J2EE/Postgresql 8.0 for Linux; VB6/DB2) – 1999

v  ERP for  Police Station administration. (VB6/DB2) – 2000

v  Design and implementation of Optical Mark Reader based computerisation of Fair Price shops at Tiruvarur. (Successfully implemented in 55 Fair Price shops) - (VB6/DB2) – 1999-2000

v  Design and validation of Paperless office cum document management solution for Government and large private organisations. (J2EE/Postgresql 7.4 for Linux) – 2000, 2003.

v  Design for GIS based application for capturing Field Measurement Books (maps) of villages. (SICAD-OPEN – GIS software / DB2) – Implementation in Kodavasal Taluk of Tiruvarur district. 1997, 1999-2000.

v  Design and validation of HR management solution with budget and financial accounting linkage for Orissa Government titled PROSPER (PROcess based PERsonnel automation System), using open source technology (linux/postgresql).  - 2004

Tools / Equipments designed/developed:

Low cost ATM powered by Linux OS (2007)

Development/Customisation of a hand held device to work as GPRS enabled hand held device to handle the entire functionality of a typical fair price shop with linkage to the Server. This equipment has full scale interface with Linux server. Under implementation in 55 Kerosene bunks across Tamil Nadu and work is on to replicate it in 28000+ fair price shops. The cost of each hand held device is Rs.5750. This has done away with the need for a computer at the shop level, need for a printer, UPS and the need for training the fair price shop officials in the use of computers. It requires less than 2 hours to train the officials in the use of the billing machine.

Experience in Wireless Networking

Implemented 802.11b wireless networking connecting all Taluk offices, Block offices and Revenue Divisional offices with Collectorate  in Tiruvarur district (April-2001).

14 Wireless towers/20 offices/3 base stations and 11 access devices. 
Implementation of wireless LAN to connect all the field level offices of Tamil Nadu using Wireless Mesh Technology. This is an extension of Tamil Nadu State Wide Area Network (TN-SWAN) project. (Under implementation-Aug.2008)

Configured wireless mesh architecture based last mile connectivity to extend Tamil Nadu State wide Area network during the tenure in ELCOT.

Experience in Data Centre implementation

India's  first Linux powered IBM Mainframe server data centre was configured and commissioned by me when I served in ELCOT (April 2008). Two enterprise class IBM Mainframe servers powered by Suse Linux OS are operational in ELCOT's data centre from April 2008 onwards.   This data centre is meant to support the Government in automating its operations. Currently it hosts the civil supplies department e-governance system online among other software packages.

Accomplishments so far:

The first e-district was conceived and implemented in Tiruvarur when I served as District Collector there during 1999-2001.

The district was rated  20 years ahead of rest of India by a leading newspaper “Times of India”.

Tiruvarur achieved over 85% paperless automation level in all its seven Taluk offices during that time  and it continues to maintain the lead over rest of India.  Manually written registers in conventional Taluk services have been done away with. In their place system generated registers are being used. The transition commenced on May 16th 1999 when the National OAP (Old Age Pension) software was formally commissioned by the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu Mr.M.Karunanidhi. The process reached full circle with the commissioning of annual audit of village accounts – Jamabanthi software during February 2000.

The Taluk offices use an ERP specifically designed to cater to their requirement. The ERP titled, Taluk Automation Software has modules for HRD, Land record administration, National Old Age Pension scheme, Distress and Accident Relief Scheme administration, Agricultural Labourers’ insurance scheme, Community certificate issue, income and solvency certificate issue, birth and death registration and issue of certificates  etc.

These packages were developed with bilingual data entry interface.
The district uses the award winning disaster recovery tool named SUPERCOP. The Government of India gave away merit citation award during November 2003 for the write up on the disaster recovery software used in Tiruvarur district.

In the rural development scenario, Tiruvarur piloted India in automating all the activities of the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) which is the nodal agency for rural development at the district level. The DRDAs were inter linked to all the 10 Block offices spread over the district which  are its direct executing agencies. The ERP titled Valarum Ooragam (Rural Development) has scheme (project) handling, Finance, HRD, technical estimate preparation and social welfare scheme automation modules. There is hardly any other matter that had been left out from the Rural Development ERP. This was accompanied by a comprehensive ERP for handling projects, financial accounting, noon meal scheme, HRD admin, social welfare schemes such as marriage assistance scheme, etc.

An innovative hand held solution for automating fair price shop administration:

The innovative solution designed and implemented by me using Open Source Software technology in Tamil Nadu to automate the fair price shop operations is the first  successful effort in India. Automation of the fair price shops, otherwise is not possible. With a low cost – all in one solution, a solution had at last been reached to the vexatious pilferages and corruption in fair price shop administration.

Technical competence:

Linux/ J2EE/Netbeans/Jobss/Postgres/mysql/Jasper report/Mainframe server powered by  linux

Founder member  and one of the moderators of India e-gov group on Yahoo.

The egovINDIA group had been formed by experts in the field of e-governance to discuss, share and promote e-governance in India.

Open Source Software (OSS) Initiative in ELCOT: (May 2006 to July 2008)

          ELCOT ( is one of the prosperous Public Sector Companies in India.  It is a fully owned Government of Tamil Nadu undertaking. ELCOT handles the entire IT activities of Government of Tamil Nadu.  ELCOT also owns 9 IT Specific Special Economic Zones across the State of Tamil Nadu.  ELCOT has migrated to OSS with effect from May 2006 under the leadership of C.Umashankar. Within a period of 12 months, the entire operations of ELCOT were migrated to Linux Operating System.  A full fledged software development centre was set up powered by OSS. The Software Development Centre is being headed by the MD himself.  The success story of ELCOT's migration to OSS has been published through a Corporate Video which makes it a unique experiment in India. (  ELCOT also started spreading the OSS technology to other wings of the Government.  Currently, ELCOT supplies Desktop Systems and Servers only with OSS based systems such as Suse Linux and Ubuntu.  Over 50000 Desktop Systems were supplied to Government, including schools, powered by linux.  12,500 Panchayats have already been supplied with Desktop Systems with Suse Linux and Redhat Operating Systems.  I.A.S. Officers in Tamil Nadu Cadre have been trained in the use of Suse Linux through an orientation programme on 05.07.2007.  As a result, the entire State Government Departments have started looking at OSS an attractive and better desktop operating system.

          ELCOT set up 30 computer training centres for the exclusive use of Government employees to teach them Linux operating system and Open office suite. This was done during my stay at ELCOT. These training centres are located in the District Collectorate of each district and at Nandanam in Chennai. These centres are powered by 1200 Linuc laptop computers. No other State in India has done such an exercise. This is a futuristic step because Gartner has predicated the end of Microsoft Operating System by 2017.
          A leading IT magazine CIO published a cover story on ELCOT's successful OSS experiment in its Indian edition (December 2007) and US edition (February 2008)

Other accomplishments in ELCOT
  1. Implementation of Tamil Nadu State Wide Area Network project covering 708 locations in a record period of 12 months. (September 2007)
  2. Tamil Nadu is the first Sate to implement the State WAN project using Open source software technology
  3. Implementation of IBM mainframe server powered data centre (Z9) in Chennai. The two main frame servers are powered by Suse linux (April 2008)
  4. Discarding CRT monitor systems in Government with effect from 2006 and bringing in LCD technology for all levels, at a cost of 40% below the CRT monitor systems.
  5. Gave a push to a further green technology – laptop computers in place of desktop computers to save power. 11000 laptop computers are being despatched to 2200 middle schools. High end laptops were made cheaper than desktop computers through a transparent procurement process which enabled the Govt of Tamil Nadu to decide in favour of laptop computers. All these laptops are powered by Linux OS.
  6. Implementation of 30 new branches for ELCOT, one branch in each district in a record time of 6 months.
  7. Setting up of 31 state of the art linux software training centres for training the Government officials in Chennai and all the district headquarters (Collectorate) – May-July 2008.
  8. Development and implementation of web based application software for running the family card system online (January – May 2008). This software as well as database is fully powered by Open source software.
  9. Development of web based application software for automating the operations of commercial Taxes department (dealer VAT registration, online filing of VAT file returns and online financial accounts)
  10. Anywhere property registration software (web based) including financial accounting relating to the registration process.
  11. Web based Old Age Pension Administration software (under pilot implementation in Chennai district) – March 2008.
  12. Development of an innovative hand held machine for running fair price shops. Under implementation in 55 kerosene bunks in Tamil Nadu. (June 2008). Large scale roll out in 28000+ ration shops planned. Tender rates finalised.
  13. Development of a linux powered ATM for handling bank requirements. Second proto type ready (July 2008)
  14. First Indian to appear in cover story of CIO magazine (India and USA) for successfully implementing linux in Government in large scale.
  15. Demonstrated that Ubuntu linux with ORCA software (free and open source) can change the life of the visually challenged by conducting three free training programmes for the visually challenged teachers of Tamil Nadu. (
  16. Implemented 9 Information Technology Special Economic Zones in two years in Tamil Nadu for ELCOT. IT parks in tier 2 cities such as Coimbatore, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Salem, Tiruchy and Hosur became a reality during this period (May 2006 to July 2008)

Books published so far:
E-governance – the success story of Tiruvarur , the road covered and the road ahead – April 2001.

Articles/papers written/published:

The nuts and bolts of e-governance – Oct 2000.

Land Records Systems revisited: A technical paper on how to capture map details of lowest village land record maps – Field Measurement Book (FMB) using GIS. Paper published GIS@Development, October, 2003 issue.

Awards received:
1.    Selected by THE WEEK, a leading English magazine in India as the Man of the Next Millennium (who has the potential to change the face of India during the next millennium) from among all the bureaucrats in India. This selection came on the eve of their Millennium edition during the year 2000.  (scanned image attached)

2.    ESCAP – a wing of the UN chose Thiru.Umashankar to represent Tiruvarur in an exhibition cum Seminar that was held in Bangkok to show case Tiruvarur e-governance successes.
3.    The government of India awarded merit citation award for the paper written on the Disaster recovery tool used in Tiruvarur. The award was handed over to me on 13th November 2003 at Chennai by the Deputy Prime Minister of India.

Press clippings and news coverage:
  1. Government of  India – Certificate of recognition on best paper write up – Disasters and Data Protection – the way shown by Tiruvarur – Nov.2003.
  1. Tiruvarur initiatives – the Contribution of then Collector Mr.C.Umashankar IAS., - NIC server.
  2. Consultant for UNDP to map the processes of  Panchayati Raj department, Orissa.
  3. Land Records Systems revisited: A technical paper on how to capture map details of lowest village land record maps – Field Measurement Book (FMB) using GIS. Paper published GIS@Development, October, 2003 issue.
  4. The Hindu dated 15th June 2003: “you could get someone like C. Umashankar, an IAS officer who established Tiruvarur in Tamil Nadu as the first e-district in the country, possibly the first in Asia. His e-governance made procedures simpler for the public and introduced transparency in the administration. Could his background have included electronics? If it didn't, did it matter?”
6. Indian state goes for open source,39044164,61981452,00.htm

By Aaron Tan, ZDNet Asia
Friday, January 12, 2007 06:47 PM

The Indian state of Tamil Nadu is making a move to adopt open source software, due to concerns over security and the high cost of Windows systems.
According to C. Umashankar, managing director of Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (Elcot), government departments across the state will switch from Windows desktops to Novell's Suse Linux and OpenOffice from this year. Elcot is Tamil Nadu's state-owned IT supplier.    



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