Cloud Telephony & IVRS Based Daily Monitoring Systems: A Revolutionary Approach For Monitoring Huge Government Pprogrammes :: Mid Day Meal Authority, U.P.

  • Written by wes
  • June 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm
  • Project Category : Government Sector Initiative :: Best Government Sector Initiative in Education

    Details of the Applicant:

    Organization: Mid Day Meal Authority, U.P.
    Address: 3rd Floor, UPTRON Bhawan, Gomti Nagar,LUCKNOW, U.P.. 226010
    Country: India
    Organization Website:

    Details of the Agency implementing the Project/Initiative:

    Name of the Organization: Mid Day Meal Authority, U.P
    Address: 3rd Floor, UPTRON Bhawan, Gomti Nagar
    City: Lucknow
    State: Uttar Pradesh
    Zip Code
    : 226010

    Project Website:

    Details of Programme /Project/Initiative:

    Brief Description:

    Daily Monitoring System is a unique process innovation, with no parallel in world, through which real time, grass-root level data is collected systematically from over 1,50,000 schools spread throughout U.P. on a daily basis for monitoring Mid-day Meal scheme. The data gets automatically available on a website which is accessible at all levels and helps in monitoring the progress efficiently through customized MIS/DSS. It marks a paradigm shift in the process of data collection for many huge/decentralized government and even private programmes with huge scope and replicability. GOI has already decided to use this system to monitor MDM in the whole country. Conceived on interface of computer and mobile, IVR calls are daily placed on teachers’ mobiles via PRI lines. Teachers either key-in students’ number availing mid-day meal or ‘0’ if meal was not served. Data-base is thus appended and MIS for all schools is generated by evening on website.

    Reasons for Starting Programme/Project/Initiative:

    The problem which the Project addresses lay in the process of traditional and primarily manual system of monitoring schemes. Although e-governance has progressed a lot, yet the scenario was largely the same for monitoring mid day meal scheme also. Info-flow in traditional system is quarterly/monthly, multi-tier and unable to identify problem area thus jeopardizing immediate corrective interventions. School-wise reports were not available at the district/ state level; further, the time lag in receiving the data from school to state level might leave scope for data manipulation/ corruption/ distortion. Moreover, physical inspection/ monitoring of the scheme was based on random selection basis and not on exception basis. A major bottleneck due to which meal was not cooked in schools was ignorance about such schools at block/district level. Thus, non- availability of a systematic mechanism for furnishing of such data on a regular basis was the challenge which needed to be addressed.


    Lack of accurate and timely information has always plagued the MIS of large scale government operations. Cloud Telephony and IVRS (Interactive Voice Response System) based Daily Monitoring System (DMS) has been devised by Mid Day Meal Authority, U.P. as a solution to these impediments. The Mid Day Meal scheme is a noon meal programme financially assisted by Govt of India and implemented by state Governments. It was launched in the State in 2004 in government, government-aided and local bodies’ primary schools. In 2007, it was extended to upper primary schools also. At present about 1.52 lac schools are covered under the scheme and the number of children covered are abot 2.25 crore albeit, the number of students availing MDM is about 1.35 crore due to the percentage of attendance in schools hovering between 55 to 60 %. In U.P an MDM Authority, registered as an autonomous society under Socities Act has been constituted since 2007 to monitor the Scheme. The objective of the Initiative is data collection directly from grass-root level (without any intermediary level e.g. block, district or division etc) on real time basis and for monitoring programme implementation efficiently and effectively. As implemented for Mid Day Meal Scheme in U.P. the System tracks the number of schools that served mid day meal on any particular day. It also tracks the number of children who have had lunch in the school on the prescribed working days. The process innovation introduced with the help of the latest ICT and Cloud telephony and IVRS using SIP model (SaaS-Software as a Service, Iaas-Infrastructure as a Service & PaaS-Platform as a Service) can very well be applied in any government department where data requirement is less than or equal to three. Some such examples can be 1. Development programmes with one/two parameters e.g. MNREGA 2. For info of daily collection of revenue viz. for Excise, Commercial/Entertainment Tax, Mandis etc 3. For daily no. of F.I.Rs, no. of Challans by traffic police, OPD/IPD of hospitals, data from ANM for Health programmes etc 4. Surprise checks based on exception reports. (PROJECT WEBSITE:, LOGIN: cfo, PASSWORD: trips)

    Target Group:

    About 1.35 crore children studying and availing meals on daily basis in Government, Local Bodies’ and Aided schools in U.P.

    Geographical Reach within India: Entire state of Uttar Pradesh for monitoring the Mid Day Meal programme in more than 1.5 lac government, local bodies’ and government aided primary and upper primary schools.

    Date From which the Project became Operational: 06/01/2010

    Is the Project still operational?: Yes

    Highlight 10 Innovations of programme/project/initiative:

    • Data collection and MIS/ DSS available on real time basis; real time performance evaluation
    • Data ‘pull’ vis-à-vis data ‘push’ methodology; User of Information controlling the information flow instead of the sender
    • Teacher not to spend a single paisa
    • Use of SIP model (SaaS-Software as a Service, Iaas-Infrastructure as a Service & PaaS-Platform as a Service) of service delivery in e-governance
    • Costing is done on the basis of receipt of data; no data means no cost to the client irrespective of the number of calls placed by the vendor
    • Direct & instant info mechanism from grass-root to the State without intermediate levels; Creation of a media for the apex level to directly reach school functionaries
    • No need for mobiles to be given to teachers
    • Exception report based monitoring vis-à-vis random selection based
    • GOI can directly monitor without any reports from State Govt
    • ICT based social audit once the system is put in public domain

    Highlight 5 achievements of the programme/project/initiative:

    • Much improved control and implementation of the Mid Day Meal Scheme; Substantial reduction in number of schools not serving meals to about 8 % in Jan-Mar 2012 vis-à-vis about 35 % in Jun-Jul 2010.
    • Various analytics/ inferences on efficiency/ efficacy of MDM implementation available on the portal 24×7 for information and remedial action
    • Instant and direct communication possible with the school teacher for knowing the reasons if meal was not served in his/ her school. The teachers also feel assimilated in the process of governance.
    • Transparency & neatness of data resulting into truthful information; Instant info leading to check on distortion/ manipulation of data; Elimination / reduction in Leakages;
    • Sanitised and authentic data for policy inputs. Data on enrolment and total meals served to be used for planning of Mid Day Meal implementation. GOI now approves Annual Work Plan on account of the system generated data.

    Highlight 5 Key challenges faced while implementing the project/programme/initiative and how they were overcome:

    • Arriving at a suitable/viable technology for the System, given the huge number of schools from where data was desired to be captured on real time basis. It was overcome by zeroing-in on a matrix of technology (viz. Telephony Cloud and Interactive Voice Response, Cloud Computing with Web Based SaaS (Software as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Hindi Text To Speech, Internet, use of PRI lines, hosting on Tier III Data center etc.)
    • Arriving at a solution wherein the sender of data does not spend a single penny. This was necessary to ensure meaningful participation of data giver. Overcome by – Collection of data through IVR calls.
    • Focus on ‘pull’ rather than ‘push’ method of data capturing so that data is captured from maximum teachers and it was not left to their will to send it on their own. Overcome by – Outbound dialling Solution.
    • Data needed to be collected within the given timeframe after the meals are served and before the school is closed for the day. Overcome by – hiring sufficient number of PRI lines for routing several calls simultaneously.
    • Selling the idea to the teachers’ community and making them own the idea was a very major management challenge. Overcome by – teachers union were taken into confidence and their feedback/suggestion incorporated in system design.

    List 5 points on how the Project/Programme/Initiative can serve as a model that can be replicated or adapted by others?

    • The process innovation that the System ushers in can be applied in any government department where data requirement is less than/equal to three. e.g. MNREGA, ICDS, info of daily tax collection, number of F.I.Rs/ Challans, OPD/IPD, data from ANM for monitoring Health programmes and for monitoring e.g. rural retail sales data even in private sector.
    • Solution being based on Cloud computing technology, updation etc is not an issue and the latest offerings are ensured. Further Text to speech ensures that vernacular language is used in the IVR.
    • The System being highly scalable in the sense that (1) rescaling to a larger size or volume is possible, and (2) full advantage of the system it in terms of performance is possible.
    • Cost effectiveness and simple procedure of payments. If the data is received, payment is due, otherwise not. Number of calls/ efforts the vendor has to make to capture data is not relevant.
    • Completely outsourced. At the clients’ end no involvement of capital expenditure/infrastructure. GOI is replicating it for MDM in the whole country.
    U.P. Government has replicated it for monitoring book distribution under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and for daily monitoring of implementation of ICDS programme.

    List 5 points to elaborate on the scalability of the Project/Programme/Initiative

    • Adaptability aspect built into the System. e.g. local language support in IVR through Hindi Text to speech, links/ menu in website given in Hindi.
    • Rescaling to a larger size or volume is possible since the System is based on Cloud Computing technologies.
    • The Initiative is able not only to function well in the rescaled situation, but also enables the user to actually take full advantage of it in terms of performance. Thus Each school’s complete database including food-grain lifted/consumed, Cooking cost received/spent, teachers’ attendance, students’ attendance, reconciliation of CBS accounts etc can be built with time into the System
    • SIP model of service delivery ensures standardization of technology used in the Initiative.
    • In case of Primary Education sector in the State, data relating to various other dimensions of schools/ instant uploading of photographs for monitoring physical presence/ assets etc. and for that matter any related activity can also be captured through this System. The same can be replicated for monitoring other activities at Panchayat level.
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