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Karnataka set to launch mobile governance to fight corruption
Publication Date : 24-12-2013
Tainted and scarred by allegations of corruption, the Karnataka government is all set to see a sea-change in governance in the next few days. To encourage transparency, paperless administration and to reduce corruption, the state is set to introduce mobile governance covering over 50 government services for the common man to start with, before the number is raised to 600.
This form of governance, for instance, will enable farmers to switch on their water pumps through their mobiles without going to their fields, help government employees get information about their leave balance and HR related information and allow contractors to know the status of tenders they may have bid for.
In addition, for the common man, it will become possible to pay his water, electricity bills and property taxes, besides knowing when exactly water or power in his or her house, area would be cut or restored.
In short, the government is heading for a paperless and automated governance to benefit over 49.8 million mobile subscribers out of a population of 61 million. The logic is simple. Compared to Internet penetration which is pegged at a bare 10 per cent, the government wants to tap mobile users as more of them have access to the Internet compared to those owning PCs.
According to a senior official here, this would mark a new paradigm in citizen service delivery. “In loose terms, M-governance is largely a matter of getting public sector IT systems geared to inter-operability with citizens’ mobile devices.
“The drivers of mobile governance would be the government’s mandate for inclusive growth, increased mobile penetration, uptrend in availability of smart phones at low costs and growing consumer demand and awarenesss. Above all, there is a need for automation driven by the strides in information and technology,” the official said.
Explaining the operation, the official told The Statesman that mobile governance would even help to capture the visits of government revenue officials to the site to collect and record the land details, and even capture the visits of inspectors to anganwad is or load the activities of healthcare workers on the mobiles.
The system would be based on the information that would be provided including bill presentation, payment reminders by service providers, SMS alerts to citizens on a particular epidemic or, for that matter, passage of government employees’ salary by the departments concerned.
In the same way, citizens would be able to check the status of their grievance redressed by different officials; query details of their bills by IVR or short codes; the business and industry would be able to check the status of its earnest money deposit refund to its account by the e-procurement division, to mention but a few.
In other words, anything that is being done on the Internet and PCs now would be available on mobiles, leading to a spurt in servicing a larger number of people as mobile penetration covers over 70 per cent of the state’s population . The government proposes to allot URL to mobile owners which can be used for accessing all the 50 services that are proposed now.