Friday, December 21, 2012

UP government to bring more services under e-governance programme

Neeraj Chandra
State Head - SREI SAHAJ
In an attempt to ensure adequate availability and percolation of its schemes among the rural population, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to expand the ambit of its e-governance services, from the current tally of 26 running in eight departments in the next five years. The services are being delivered through Internet-enabled common service centres set up at the village level in all the districts of the state.
The services would include filing of commercial tax (VAT returns) and women literacy programmes from this month. A pilot project of this scheme is already being carried out in three districts of UP namely Maharajganj, Mirzapur and Sonbhadra and is targeting to make 10,000 women literate by March. Besides, common service centres would also be able to generate voter ID cards from February.
The state government is working in collaboration with three companies to bridge the digital gap between urban and rural India. These are 'Srei Sahaj e-Village' which looks after eastern UP, CMS which takes care of 'western and central UP' and 'Vayamtech Technologies'.

There are close to 12,828 common service centres in UP and the government plans to roll out 18,745 more common service centres by early next year.
Neeraj Chandra, state head of UP for Srei Sahaj e-Village said, "We are in talks with the Unique Identification Authority of India for converting our centres into UID registration centres. Moreover, we have also tied up with an insurance company for providing vehicle and personal insurances to rural consumers who otherwise had to travel miles for such facilities." Srei Sahaj presently has 7,000 common service centres. Its CEO, Sanjay Kumar Panigrahi says the idea is to offer convenience to the remotest villages of India. "A villager has to travel about 5-10 kilometres every time to avail necessary facilities like education, healthcare, banking etc. The idea is to save his time and provide a single window and a one-stop solution at the common service centres," he added.
Chandra also shared that they are working in collaboration with the Pension Fund Registry Development Authority to ensure that rural people get pension after the age of 60. "Normally, only government employees get pension at the time of retirement, but under our programme, villagers would also receive pension if they deposit Rs 1,200 every year at our centres. The government would pay Rs 1,000 for the next four years and on turning 60, the beneficiary would get monthly pension along with the interest," he said.
S B Singh, deputy director general of National Informatics Centre, Uttar Pradesh said, "The CM had launched 26 services in the month of September and we have plans to increase the number of these services to 60 by the end of the next year. We are evaluating all possible services, which could be rendered through common service centres in rural areas. We have also formed a committee of district magistrates in some districts to evaluate the kind of services, which can be provided electronically. We would be setting up 17,000 more common service centres in UP in near future, and are trying and testing various pilot programmes under e-governance scheme."
The companies are also offering solar lamps and other solutions to these villages through these centres. Moreover, the companies are offering professional computer courses to the villagers through common service centres now. The objective is to provide self-employment by training and turning the rural population into village level entrepreneurs.
The state government had launched 26 e-governance services under departments of food & civil supplies, panchayati raj, urban development, revenue, women welfare and child development, training & employment, handicap welfare and social welfare. This was to implement the national e-governance plan launched in 2008, which comprises 27 mission mode projects.
Though the process started around three-and-half years ago in UP, the mission has picked momentum after the CM included 26 services under this programme August onwards.

No comments: