Back office Automation System


The NSDL was appointed by the Govt of India to issue new PAN (Permanent Account Number) as unique identification numbers for Income Tax assessees. There was an Internet-facing application through which applicants could apply for a PAN or TAN. The applicant then had to submit copies of documents as proof of identity and other details through an offline process. NSDL had to collect both streams of data, reconcile them, scan the physical papers for storage and reference, and then process the data further to generate PAN and manufacture PAN cards (tamper-resistant photo ID cards). This function and all its activities needed to be computerised. This was referred to as their "PAN/TAN back-office system".


Handle new PAN applications new TAN applications, PAN record change, TAN record change.

Track payment received with each application, including paper instruments (cheque, demand drafts).

Handle ad hoc letters in the same workflow. Officers will open and read each letter received, enter data about the letter in the system, and get the letter scanned and added to the document database.

Allocate work to officers. Each application or letter is assigned to a specific officer.

Create challans (advice slip) to deposit cheque and DD into bank account

Module for bank reconciliation for cheque, DD and credit card payments received. Support for a single payment to be made for a set of transactions, including tracking of outstanding receivables against each such set of transactions.

Workflow for verification of physical documents and returning flawed applications or applications with discrepancies to the applicant by email

Tracking of performance of each officer in the team, including the number of tasks processed by each officer, number of applications verified by the officer which were later flagged by others during re-verification, etc

Generation of batch data for upload into the central tax processing system.

Integration with a status track application which allows an applicant to check the status of his application online.

MIS reports: on-demand, ad hoc and standard reports.

The feature set computerises the entire set of operations needed for operating the PAN/TAN application division.


Intel servers, RHEL v5 OS. All code in Java (servlets/JSP), IBM DB2 database on Intel servers as the RDBMS. The interface is browser based and the implementation is straightforward in most parts.
A Unix tool, transfig was used to generate page-formatted printable PDF documents from data in the system. The software generated FIG files and then used transfig to generate PDF.
Third party libraries were used to extract documents from the existing DMS for displaying on the systems interface.


This system was initially designed and implemented to enable a small team of about ten officers to use it for streamlining their processes. It has been in use for over five years now, and has grown to a team of about forty users using it from 7 AM to 11 PM every day (in two shifts) from two locations (Mumbai and Pune). The system has been extended in many ways over this period, through a maintenance and support relationship. It is in active use currently.