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Rajasthan is the only state in the country to have implemented an integrated IT architecture creating applications and platforms while capturing various functionalities for improving efficiency, transparency and outreach. Through initiatives like Bhamashah, e-mitra and Rajasthan Sampark, the state seeks to make service delivery paperless and hassle-free. As the state celebrated IT day on Tuesday, speaking to TOI, Akhil Arora, commissioner and principal secretary, IT and communication, said the objective of the government is to improve the happiness index of the people.

Explaining why the event this year has focused on the youth and startups in the state, Arora said while the government has already built a robust IT eco-system, it is keen to use some of their innovative ideas if they can create interfaces that make service delivery more user-friendly. Excerpts...

Leveraging IT for service delivery and grievance redressal has been a big part of the state's strategy. How has the landscape changed over the last three years?

In the last three years, the number of active e-mitra kiosks has gone up from 3,000 to 40,000. Similarly, the number of services has also increased from about 50 to in excess of 270. If you compare the overall scenario in the country, Rajasthan has 25% of the total kiosks in the country.

In terms of transactions and kiosks, Rajasthan is far ahead of even five states put together. During this period, we have also built a robust Bhamashah database. Now, we have reached a stage where a person turning 60 will not be required to apply for old age pension as the database is integrated to capture birth, death and marriage certificates. This means, the person will receive the benefits automatically. Departments have been directed to change their processes to implement these new features. The system of service delivery needed a window for grievance redressal for which we have rolled out Rajasthan Sampark. It is a complete workflow where the recipient can track the action on the complaint directly through call centres, kiosks, web, or mobile app.

What kind of capacity building have you undertaken both at the levels of service providers and recipients?

For any e-governance project, the cardinal principles are accessibility, transparency and capacity building. Technology has got stabilized, people responsible for service delivery and managing the workflow are trained regularly. Rajasthan is the only state in the country to have 23,000 video conferencing points not only to monitor the progress but also build capacity. Additionally, to facilitate the process, we organise Bhamashah Suvidha Shivirs.

As the state is celebrating IT day, focus this time is on startups. How are you planning to tap the talent for solving the problems in service delivery?

We want the youths, startups and people on sabbatical to join hands with the government and make them understand the kind of ecosystem we are developing. We allow them to leverage our eco-system where they can work using our infrastructure to create interfaces which are more user-friendly.

Also, we provide them an opportunity whereby they understand the critical issues the state faces and suggest solutions and ideas. Around 600 youths are participating in the event and they would be given a chance to build interfaces around what we have already developed. There would be a competition and three winners would be given direct work orders worth Rs 15 lakh, Rs 10 lakh and Rs 7.5 lakh to engage them officially.

Simultaneously, for the skilled youths who want to join the government we have a young intern system where about 200 youths are working. We encourage the youth to engage with the government and bring in fresh ideas.

What are your targets for the next two years?

We intend to bring in standardization in all the services. In the next two years, we would like to see that the IT footprint covers all the key areas such as building core infrastructure, improving social infrastructure, and providing governance with hassle-free service delivery having an effective grievance redressal system.


Autor(en)/Author(s): Srikant Tripathy

Quelle/Source: The Times of India, 22.03.2017

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