e-SIGMA, (e-Survey Instrument and Generalised Multimodal Application), a General Survey Solutions (GSS) is the flagship project of MoSPI’s ongoing IT initiatives. It is going to transform the survey and data ecosystem in an emerging Digital India.
The primary aim of e-SIGMA is to convert the entire data collection endeavor from its current Paper-schedule mode to Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) mode with in-built data validation to enable a faster processing and dissemination of quality data through a synchronized setup integrating the functions of four divisions of NSO – SDRD, DQAD, FOD and SCD. The overall utility of the e-SIGMA, however, encompasses a broader spectrum of functionalities. As per the plan, e-SIGMA is conceived as an integrated multimodal and modular system of multiple interacting software components (Modules) that will deliver comprehensive survey solution for the entire statistical system.

Incorporating different modes of survey

e-SIGMA is multimodal in the sense that it has the inbuilt capacity and flexibility to incorporate different modes of survey like CAPI, Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI), and Computer Assisted Web Interview (CAWI).

Initially e-SIGMA is developed as a CAPI based system, but to continue surveys with restricted movements and personal contacts under recent crises of COVID-19 pandemic, the facility of CATI mode of data collection is being incorporated within its scope.

Data collection

A NSS call center for CATI and CAWI based survey bundled with IVRS technology is in the making which will enable to conduct remote surveying to avoid visits and personal contacts with the respondents.

Data collection

Each component/module of the e-SIGMA will facilitate a process component and engage particular personnel like enumerators, supervisors, survey designers, processing staff and analytics staff among others.

Data collection

Such modules will be integrated together in a hierarchical cohesive structure and provide separate interfaces to carry out the processes like survey design and CAPI development, distribution of enumeration assignments, data collection, inbuilt and real time data validation, data processing back office, integration, interpretation and analyses of data and dissemination of real time information in both standard and customizable formats of tables, charts and graphs in an user friendly DATA DASHBOARD.

Data collection

The edifice of e-SIGMA will be built in a synchronized environment of multiple devices integrated through a secured cloud network. e-SIGMA will be a robust system with significant features like cross-platform compatibility, multi-device adaptability, troubleshooting and query resolution through inbuilt electronic communication, customization and replication to suffice for diverse surveys.

  • Interview Questions Master creation based on Survey category and sub-categories.

  • Easy selection of questions during designing of any future Survey Form.

  • Easy validation placement on each interview question.

  • Instant communication within all four divisions due to customized Workflow and notifications in which other user can see the pending action item on his/ her login’s Dashboard and necessary customization of Dashboard, for the same as per requirement.

  • Customization on each type of SMS and Email Notification.

  • Workflow creation and modification within each division.

  • Improvement of data quality with high accuracy due to incorporation of all possible validation rules.

  • Speed up data availability due to real time synchronization and validation on survey data.

  • Easy, instant and smooth coordination during survey and post survey among each division.

  • Quick Validation Change in case of any difficulties/ error found during ongoing surveys.


The decoding of e-SIGMA through 11 modules

User Management

User Management

The User module to manage and edit users with email ids and mobile numbers and creating unique user ids and password for all the users.

Survey Setup

Survey Setup

Through this module a new survey is set up in the application. Major functionalities involved here are Allocation of Cloud space, setting up of URL and creating the Database structures.


Team Formation and Allocation

This module would facilitate the NSO, FOD offices to create a team in the field among their field officials to split the survey work among the allocated members and join the data at the end of the field work again.


Self-Learning (Training)

Self-learning module gives a provision of learning activities designed for participants to do online training independently, it would remove the dependency to attend individual or group training sessions done on time interval in FOD especially. The Module will have Tutorials in PDF/Animated video/audio visual.


CAPI (Survey Forms)

This module is the backbone of the application and will mainly work on Android based tablet with at least 5’’ display. CAPI module will have the capability to ease the survey process by digitizing on-going paper survey process.


Back- Office Module (DQAD user)

DQAD Back-Office Module will be doing Real Time and online data validation of the field work through the Data Supervisors (DS). In this module there will also be scope to analyse the para data collected and report to the field offices.


Validation Change

Through this module there will be facility to modify or add, drop or modify any set of validation rules as and when required even during the course of the surveys on seeing the outcome of the data. The same will be synced with all the instruments of the field worker on real time basis.


Inspection by SSO/FO user

Inspection module is a separate module for doing inspection at field by Field Supervisor and above level officers on survey schedules or FSU.


Field Query

Maintain commonly asked Field & Survey related Questions in digitally documented as Query Section with archival for old queries. There will be scope to raise individual query from field personnel through chat-box, to be replied by his supervisors and finally vetted by SDRD on a real-time and dynamic basis.



This module will allow authorized users to view the Dashboard in Graphical view in which analysis can be done. The reports will be generated on different parameters and for different purposes like: View on-going status of the Survey, location and users of Surveys, etc.
Make My Dashboard:This is special kind of Dashboard where Admin/User will have option to create and design the Dashboard as per the required format and based on selection of data field.


Data Backup and Download

This module would facilitate with a periodic and automatic database backup every day and set protocols to keep the backup database files. The Para-data, once generated during the process of canvassing the schedule (using CAPI module), will be auto saved to the database structure as per the requirement of NSO for further use.

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Creation of users using the USER MODULE will be done first. All level of users will be created in the system with their required permissions.


All the JSOs/FIs will go through training provided in SELF LEARNING MODULE.


There will be provision for appearing in test at the end of each module. However, clearing the test for each module may be kept optional (not mandatory). After the training is completed using SELF-LEARNING module, FSUs will be allocated to JSO/FI for survey.


As per the Team formation and Allocation module, team comprising of an SSO and one/ two JSOs is formed and FSU is allocated to them. SSO will assign the FSUs to JSOs for survey process.


After Login, the JSO/FI will be able to see the FSUs allocated to them. All the survey forms will work in both Offline & Online- mode.


JSO/FIs team will gather all information and proceed to the field. Once the hamlet group(s)/sub-block(s) is formed and selected, the main FI will physically distribute different areas for listing of households/enterprises (Sch. 0.0) to other team members including himself/herself (using CAPI MODULE).


After completion of the listing of households/enterprises by individual FI/JSO, these files will be transferred to the tablet of main FI/JSO using Bluetooth. After merging the listing files, the main JSO/FI will perform the selection of household/enterprises for detailed survey using CAPI module.


Then auto-generation of SSS and auto-selection of USUs for canvassing of the detailed schedule will be done. It may be taken up after finalizing the listing job and will be done only once noted that no UPDATION/ DELETION can be done after selection of ultimate stage units(household/ enterprises) is completed. The data of listing households cannot be changed or deleted later. It can be added only, if listing is missed in the earlier stage. However, provision may be made to add a finite number of households/enterprises after selection if the SSO finds out that some part of the FSU yet to be listed. This provision will be used only in case of exceptional cases. However, it will only change the counts of households/enterprises in each of the SSS.


After selection is completed, main FI/JSO will distribute the USUs among his team members. Substitution of USUs will be done by team leader (who has performed the selection).


Households/Enterprises (USUs) for detailed schedule will be canvassed separately by each JSO/FI and data will be uploaded once the survey is completed. (Using CAPI MODULE).


The tagged Data Supervisors in DQAD Back office can view the schedule of the completed Households/Enterprises of the ongoing sample FSU in real time basis. The DS users will check the entries of each of the household/enterprise data using DQAD BACK-OFFICE MODULE and send his feedback/ comments to concerned SSO through same module.


The data will be considered frozen once it was confirmed or clarified by the JSO/FIs. Once the data is frozen, it will not be editable but can be viewed only (Using CAPI MODULE).


SRO/RO/ZO/ FOD(HQ) level users may conduct back check inspection as per norms and record their comments in the field, itself from the available device (GPS tagged) in the field using INSPECTION MODULE.


Sharing and resolving of queries will be done using FIELD QUERY MODULE.


Only DQAD survey ADMIN and Core Processing Group users can unfreeze the data of a frozen data of FSU to allow editing at JSO/FI users level using CAPI MODULE, in extreme circumstances with suitable comments.


Only DQAD Core Processing Group users can modify/add/delete validation rules of the ongoing survey, if required using VALIDATION-CHANGE MODULE and can download data using DATA DOWNLOAD AND BACK-UP MODULE.


Dynamic customized progress reports will be generated by the system and will be shown on DASHBOARD MODULE.