Backbone of NRC update process in Assam: Backroom Assam engineers

When most of the residents in Assam were queuing up at the NRC Kendras to submit documents to prove their citizenship, behind the backroom there were a talented bunch of engineers, from Assam itself, who became the backbone of the whole process.

While the NRC process has been dubbed as one of the biggest such exercise in India, if not the whole world, the easy processing of tangled legacy data was made possible because of innovative engineers working non-stop behind the doors.

Guwahati-based entrepreneur Abhijit Bhuyan, with his team at Bohniman Systems, worked tirelessly for almost 6 months to map around 27,000 villages in Assam through differential GPS. The output became the backbone of the NRC monitoring and decision support process as every individual data was mapped in 115 layers. “It took around 6 months for a team of around 70 experts to map every village in the state. We used 1,000 differential GPS coordinates and the mapping acted at an excellent monitoring and decision support tool during the whole process,” said Abhijit Bhuyan, founder of Bohniman Systems.

Bhuyan added that applications like eForm1, eForm2 and eForm3 are the basic layers of the NRC process where the legacy data, verification team’s report (VTR) and Family Tree completes a full-proof system for the largest citizenship verification process in the country.

The data mapping led to the formation of 27,000 booklets – one booklet for each village and a page for each family.

The NRC update process which is being done for the first time after 1951, has so far published the names of 1.9 crore individuals in Assam and the rest 1.39 are still under verification which is likely to be completed within 2018. The first draft of the NRC was published on December 31 midnight.

Bhuyan, an alumnus of Assam Engineering College, who started work on the project from September 2014, said that the NRC mapping will be an important document for the state.

“We first digitized the application forms before preparing the field verification report and then a detailed family tree data. The success of the whole process will be judged by the people, but I must say that there were a lot of people who helped one another to build the system which will go in history as one of the largest such exercises in India. I am happy that Bohniman Systems played a small part in it,” he said.

Abhijit Bhuyan, founder of Bohniman Systems

Bhuyan, an electronics and telecommunications engineering graduate, has been involved with various e-governance projects in the region. Earlier, Bohniman Systems helped the Assam electricity department in going digital while his company developed the online Inner Line Permit system for the Arunachal Pradesh government which was launched a few months back.

Acknowledging the work going behind the NRC process, Assam NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela said that the entire process monitoring was made easy with the use of technology. “That’s how a local company, though they have been doing overseas projects, has become one of our main agencies for NRC. We got tenders from across the country and finally, Bohniman qualified and joined,” Hajela was quoted as saying in a report published in the Times of India on Thursday.

With Inputs From Abdul Gani
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