Rustam Minnikhanov: 'This is not only Khairullin's work — it is common for all of us'

As the head of the ministry of digitalisation of public administration, informations technologies and communications of the Republic of Tatarstan pleaded guilty of the low rating of digital maturity, and the president pointed out the problems of cellular service and the weaknesses of state services

Rustam Minnikhanov: 'This is not only Khairullin's work — it is common for all of us'

Tatarstan aims for 97% wired Internet coverage, but today only 57% of households are connected to the World Wide Web via a high-speed line. The figures were announced at the final board meenistry of the ministry of digitalisation of the Republic of Tatarstan. It is planned to connect another 250,000 households this year, besides, the republic is going to receive 1 billion rubles from the federal budget for connecting social and cultural objects to the Internet. What the ministry still has to work on — read in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Only half of the villagers have high-speed Internet

There are almost 3,000 companies in the IT industry of Tatarstan, which employ 41,000 people, or 3% of the total working population of the republic. The average salary of an IT specialist is 50,000 rubles, which is by 8% higher than last year, the head of the ministry of finance of the Republic of Tatarstan, Ayrat Khayrullin, said at the board meeting. The gross revenue of IT companies is going to exceed 90 billion rubles by the end of 2020, according to experts.

  • The minister reminded that since this year the regional programme kITyk has been implemented in Tatarstan, which sets a reduced tax rate of 1% for republican IT companies.
  • Khayrullin proposed to launch the support programme 'Becoming an online entrepreneur' together with the KazanExpress marketplace. The average income of the seller on KazanExpress reaches 100,000 rubles a month. The programme will give the opportunity to involve up to 10,000 Tatarstan citizens in the new digital economy.
  • In 2020, more than 22,000 people were trained in digital competencies. Two hundred and thirteen million rubles have been invested in the development of human capital. In this work, Tatarstan is ranked the first in Russia, ahead of Moscow and St. Petersburg.
  • In the near future, the task is to achieve an increase in the share of households with wired Internet access to 97%. Today, 77% of households in Tatarstan have Internet access: 57% — via a high-speed optical line, and 20% — via ADSL technology. In the next three years, the Internet is to appear in another 250,000 households. In 2021, the network will be laid in 70,000 households.
  • In 2020, 733 social facilities of the republic were connected to the high-speed network. Given the good results of Tatarstan, Russia's minsitry of digitalisation additionally has allocated 1 billion for connection to 2,500 objects of socio-cultural sphere in 2021.
  • Tatarstan has become the first Russian region where all schools have been provided with access to the high-speed network. And 499 schools that were not included in the national programme Digital Economy were connected at the instruction of President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov.
  • In the republic, new base stations are being built (more than 1,000 — last year), towers are being built along the highways (18 towers).
In the chart of digital maturity of the authorities, the ministry of digitalisation turned out to be, in the words of Khayrullin, “a shoemaker without boots” — with a low rating of 2,7

Rating of the ministry of digitalisation — 'a shoemaker without boots'

For the first time in Russia, the IT Park of the republic has conducted a comprehensive work to assess the digital maturity of state structures in the republic. All departments are characterised by the lack of a unified system of data exchange in different information resources, the minister said. In the chart of digital maturity of the authorities, the ministry of digitalisation turned out to be, in the words of Khayrullin, 'a shoemaker without boots' — with a low rating of 2,7.

'This primarily indicates that the very internal work of the ministry requires serious efforts from ordinary employees,' said the head of the agency.

At the same time, the ministry of social protection is among the leaders in the use of IT solutions in its work. The full-time number of social security workers in the republic is almost two times less than in other regions.

On January 28, the federal law 'On Experimental legal regimes in the field of digital innovations in the Russian Federation' came into force. Ayrat Khayrullin, together with Minister of Healthcare Marat Sadykov, proposed to initiate an application on behalf of Tatarstan for the establishment of an experimental legal regime in telemedicine and artificial intelligence, which will give the opportunity to work out and remove restrictions in these areas.

  • The Centre for Digital Transformation has developed five digital platforms that combine disparate services: 'I am a school student', 'My subsidies', 'Care', 'I build' (registration of construction and communications) and 'Locolo' (solution of general household and communal issues).
  • On the portal of state and municipal services of the Republic of Tatarstan, 307 different electronic services are implemented: from payment for communication services to registration for car maintenance and repair. The annual socio-economic effect of using electronic services in Tatarstan amounted to 14,5 billion rubles.
  • Several hospitals in the republic have implemented a system for recognising chest pathology with artificial intelligence technology. Since the beginning of using the service, 50,000 CT studies on Covid-19 have been analysed. Now more than 450 studies are analysed daily. The analysis time was reduced to 10 times, sorting and routing of patients — by 7 times.
Several hospitals in the republic have implemented a system for recognising chest pathology with artificial intelligence technology

About 'Smart City', the total Internet and the situation centre

Representatives of various structures and companies shared their experience of the past year. For example, last year, Nizhnekamsk, among the five pilot districts, was included in the programme for converting state and municipal services to electronic form, 79 out of 365 services were optimised, said the head of the Nizhnekamsk district, the mayor of Nizhnekamsk, Aydar Metshin. According to him, Nizhnekamsk is ready to act as a pilot platform for the implementation of the Smart City programme. The complaints of Nizhnekamsk residents about the city economy led to the decision to create a unified information system in the housing and communal services, similar to the one in Moscow. There, the task implementation accelerated twice faster, the quality of work was tripled due to the growth of labour discipline and a 50% reduction in the time for registration, assignment and control of work. In Nizhnekamsk, this system began to be implemented on the example of two management companies. So far, cleaning of garbage bins, container sites, disinfection of communal areas, cleaning of house territories is being worked out. Aydar Metshin asked Rustam Minnikhanov to support the project, which can be used in other regions.

Nizhnekamsk has joined the programme for the conversion of state and municipal services to electronic form, 79 out of 365 services have been optimised, Aydar Metshin informed

One of the important tasks of last year was to organise distance education, said Ayrat Nurutdinov, CEO of Tattelecom PJSC. At the same time, it was possible to connect all schools to the high-speed Internet by September 1.

'Last year, we upgraded 390 schools in the access point and 190 schools where there had had no Wi-Fi at all,' said Nurutdinov.

Tattelecom has won an important state contract, under which it must connect 1,900 objects, including this year. To do this, the company increased its turnover and last year laid more than 1,000 km of networks underground. Due to this, 733 objects, including 556 schools, received access to the Internet space in 2020.

'Moreover, the ministry of finance of the Russian Federation has allocated an additional volume of 120 objects, in 2021 it is planned to increase the objects by 1,755, thanks to the work that has been done, more than 1 billion rubles will be additionally attracted for this,' said the head of Tattelecom.

Rifkat Minnikhanov, the director of the State Budgetary Institution Road Safety, who joined the working group on its creation, told about the situation centre of the Republic of Tatarstan. The platform has shown its effectiveness, and monitoring is being developed to assess the effectiveness of the activities of the heads of regions, the speaker said. He noted that this is a complex model that includes more than 3,000 initial indicators, which revealed problems: the federal authorities do not have a unified system for evaluating indicators. Many initial indicators do not affect the assessment of the top official, in addition, it is difficult to correctly develop a calculation method.

For example, when calculating the assessment of the activities of managers through the ministry of culture, it is enough to take as a basis 32 initial indicators out of 459, and the rest do not have a connection, Rifkat Minnikhanov believes. At the same time, he noted that large human resources are required to collect all this data for all ministries. Rifkat Minnikhanov proposed to reduce the list of initial indicators. He also listed several points that have not been fulfilled to date when creating a single platform for the transport system.

Director of the State Budgetary Institution Road Safety Rifkat Minnikhanov told about the situation centre of the Republic of Tatarstan

'Services are not for show — they must work'

Carefully going through the points of the digitalisation programme, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov wished the IT parks, Kazan and Naberezhnye Chelny sites to become more active.

'Development should get implementation. We sometimes make developments, but then their implementation is forgotten, new tasks appear. As for the quality of state and municipal services, it has already been said that we have fallen from 22nd to 34th place in the federal rating. After all, by and large, this is not the fault of the Multifunctional Public Services Centres and not only of the ministry of digitalisation. It is our ministries and departments that are not working well. It is necessary to clearly describe who must do what. We should have a roadmap for each department and ministry. Here, the ministry of economy should determine the task. The ministry of finance is an implementer, and the Multifunctional Public Services Centre is also an implementer. If there is no interest from our ministries and departments, this work will not be possible,' the head of the republic pointed out the shortcomings

He gave the task to Minister of Economy of the Republic of Tatarstan Midkhat Shagiakhmetov to clearly describe the instructions for each department.

The head of Tatarstan reminded that last year the Multifunctional Public Services Centres had a huge load, the offices were visited by almost 17,000 people. According to the speaker, the centres will work effectively when all services are available, understandable, and convenient. The ministry of digitalisation as a customer and the Multifunctional Public Services Centre as a contractor should inform the population in detail about them, said Minnikhanov.

The republic has a huge potential in digitalisation, the president noted

The announced super services have a huge potential in various industries, the president of the Republic of Tatarstan believes, but, in his opinion, it is still unclear how these services will reach the general consumer.

'Digital education — huge funds — now all schools are connected, but it must work effectively… This is not for show, but working services, and they should be convenient,' the head of Tatarstan addressed the minister of education and science of the Republic of Tatarstan.

Rustam Minnikhanov cited the example of the service 'Buying tickets to museums and exhibitions'. It works in theatres, but not in museums.

'Where is the ministry of culture looking? If you are not interested in this, no one needs it, but it should be convenient for people,'the president stressed.

It is necessary not to wait for the scheduled dates, but to be ahead of them

Each ministry has identified those responsible for the tasks of digitalisation, 'on whom they should rely', the head of Tatarstan noted. Educational processes on digital technologies in relation to deputy ministers have begun, but it is necessary to train employees in municipalities, the president gave the task to control this direction to Ayrat Khairullin. 'We do not have other people and will not have them, we need to take and train those people who are working with us today,' Minnikhanov said.

He drew attention to the fact that 200,000 rural families still use the Internet via telephone lines. 'We need to see when the optics will be there,' the head of the republic ordered.

The president also mentioned the urgent problem of the quality of cellular communication, 'white spots' on the map of the republic, as Realnoe Vremya has repeatedly written. Rustam Minnikhanov reminded that there are a lot of such 'spots' on the new and long-standing highways of Tatarstan:

'In terms of the quality of cellular communication, there are a lot of 'spots' on the routes. Now we have the new route Shali-Sorochyi Gory-Almetyevsk. The M12 is about to go. Well, and our existing routes,' the president drew attention.

There are not many personnel in the field of digitalisation, said Minnikhanov, turning to the issue of the lack of IT specialists:

'Even in the US, there is a huge shortage of IT specialists. Therefore, we will not be able to train everyone, but we need to create conditions, retraining centres. And we have enough educated, competent people who can be brought to a certain condition in three months or six months, who will solve these problems. We should have a clear programme in this direction,' the head of the republic said.

The deadlines set by the Russian president for providing the population with accessible Internet 'cannot wait, we should do it much earlier', said Minnikhanov. To make domestic software available, 'offers of these programmes that could compete are needed, and for this, it is necessary to create conditions for developers'.

'Today, the issue of exporting the developments is being under discussion. We don't know how to sell. We looked at the video communication system — it is much better than foreign ones. And many software solutions will be in demand in many countries, because our product will be much cheaper,' said the president of the Republic of Tatarstan.

He drew attention to that the ministry of finance coped with the problems in the most difficult period of 2020 — during self-isolation, 'when there was a collapse'. The republic has a huge potential in digitalisation.

'But so far, I must say, not all of our colleagues, heads of ministries and departments are aware of the challenges that we face in terms of digitalisation. This is not Khairullin's work, this is the common work of all of us,' Rustam Minnikhanov said.

By Yekaterina Ablayeva. Photo: