Context: As one of the biggest reforms, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has gone Fully Digital.

How has this happened ?

  • The authority has launched a unique cloud based and Artificial Intelligence powered Big Data Analytics platform – Data Lake and Project Management Software.  
  • The entire project management work flow of NHAI is transformed from manual to online portal based, wherein the complete project execution operations including ‘workflow with time lines’ and ‘alert mechanism’ have been configured. 
  • All project documentation, contractual decisions and approvals are now being done through portal only. 

Utility of the move:

  • Flexibility in Storage and Restoration: The complete project documents and correspondences will be stored in Digital format in the cloud-based ‘Data Lake’ linked with GIS tagging and Unique Project ID.
    • This will ensure that the project data can be easily retrieved as and when required from any location
  • Augment Transparency: As all officers and stakeholders connected with the project can see what is going on a real time basis which will amount to concurrent performance audit by the seniors and ensure transparency.
  • Reducing Disputes: Majority of the disputes are generic in nature like delay in handing over of encumbrance free site, shifting of utilities, idling charges of plant, machinery, equipment, manpower and delay in decisions etc. 
    • These disputes can be minimized as the Data Lake software has provisions to keep track and check on all these constraints so as to ensure work is carried out within the deadlines in a transparent manner. 
    • This will eventually diminish chances of litigation in future.
  • Better Coordination: NHAI’s e-Office module is also integrated in the system so that all correspondences can flow digitally in a secured manner from field units to HQ seamlessly.

The lockdown period was used by NHAI to train its employees about using Data Lake which will bring revolutionary changes to NHAI with benefits like No delays, Quick decision making, No question of missing records, Work from anywhere/anytime.


  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is an autonomous agency of the Government of India, set up under the provisions of National Highway Authority of India Act, 1988.
  • It is responsible for management of a network of over 50,000 km of National Highways out of 1,15,000 km in India.
  • It is a nodal agency of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. 
  • Sukhbir Singh Sandhu (IAS), is the present Chairman of NHAI since October 2019.


Key Terms:

  • Big Data Analytics: It is a field that treats ways to analyze, systematically extract information from, or otherwise deal with data sets that are too large or complex to be dealt with by traditional data-processing application software.
  • Artificial Intelligence: It refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions. 
    • The term may also be applied to any machine that exhibits traits associated with a human mind such as learning and problem-solving.
  • Cloud Computing: It is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage (cloud storage) and computing power, without direct active management by the user. 
    • The term is generally used to describe data centers available to many users over the Internet.
  • Cloud Storage: It is a cloud computing model that stores data on the Internet through a cloud computing provider who manages and operates data storage as a service. 
    • It's delivered on demand with just-in-time capacity and costs, and eliminates buying and managing your own data storage infrastructure.
  • Data Lake is a repository of data. It allows to store all structured and unstructured data at any scale.