The Indian government\u2019s National Informatics Center (NIC) has partnered with IBM to add new capabilities to the country\u2019s national portal that enables it to deliver government services to Indian citizens.The Indian government first set up the National Portal of India in 2005, but it was a static website providing information from the various departments and agencies of the Indian government. The government then floated a tender for technology providers that would make this portal more dynamic and interactive, and IBM won the tender. The redesigned portal went live over the weekend. The enhanced portal, based on open standards and with a service-oriented architecture, provides a single point of entry with a single sign-on to government information and services, R. Dhamodaran, vice president and country executive at IBM India for software group\u00a0and developer relations, said Monday. The portal links users to about 5,000 websites in India, he added.The portal has new features such as search and personalization, and localization of content to suit the diverse requirements of the country\u2019s citizens. Users of mobile phones and other handheld devices with a browser and connection to the Internet can also access and transact on the portal, Dhamodaran said. The portal, which uses IBM technologies and software, runs on hardware built around architecture from Intel and running the Linux operating system. "NIC has built the portal around open standards, as it does not want to be tied down in the long term to a single vendor," Dhamodaran said. The portal is hosted by NIC.The National Portal of India is part of a wider e-governance program of the government of India. The NIC, a part of the country\u2019s ministry for communications and information technology, is providing network backbone and e-governance technology and services to the federal and state government and other government agencies. NIC in Delhi and IBM are now planning to introduce a payment gateway to the National Portal of India, Dhamodaran said. The portal will also provide access to the physically challenged through voice-recognition software, he added.IBM is already involved in other e-governance projects in India, including a project of the irrigation department of the state of Uttar Pradesh, and an agriculture portal for the government of the state of Uttaranchal.-John Ribeiro, IDG News Service (Bangalore Bureau)Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.