A K Jain
e-Governance has been successfully implemented in certain States and is in the process of implementation in other states.
SARITA in Maharashtra
The Government of Maharashtra has computerized its property registration system, speeding up the registration process and making it easier and reliable for the public. SARITA (Stamps & Registration Department IT Application) is the stamp and registration software used by the registration department of Maharashtra for the registration of 67 types of documents, property registration as well as those of other deed mandated by the government. The documents are registered and delivered in less than 30 minutes. SARITA is an error-free registration with online monitoring and document encryption with the photographs and thumb impressions of sellers, buyers and consenters.
Bhoomi Project in Karnataka
The Bhoomi Project of Karnataka is one of the success stories of e-governance. Under the Bhoomi Project, 17 million land records have been computerized. Bhoomi kiosks have been set up in various areas in Karnataka and farmers can get printouts of their land records and revenue survey maps for Rs. 15 per copy at these kiosks. The government has recovered most of the cost of this project by selling these records.
Bhoomi is a project of computerizing land information, which was started in the year 1999, with data entry of backlog information. The project covered all taluks by 2002 and manual system of issuing Record of Rights was stopped, benefiting 70 lakh farmers. Approximately 200 lakh documents were computerized under this project. The records are updated 3 times a year. An extension of Bhoomi project called ‘NEMMADI’ was introduced in 2006, with Telecentres at sub-taluka level. 230 such centres are already working. These telecentres provide 30 services alongwith Land Records like Death and Birth certificate, Domicile certificate, Renewal of licenses, Collection of taxes etc. This project is totally outsourced.
The Computerisation of Department of Stamps and Registration – KAVERI (Karnataka Valuation and E-registration) project, started in 2003, covers all the activities of Registration department. The Registration process is completely automated which includes taking digital photos of Seller, Buyer & witnesses and also thumb impressions at the time of Registration & storing in electronic media. At present it is working in all 203 Sub-Registrar’s offices in Karnataka. The Kaveri and Bhoomi integration is achieved by electronically connected system. The sub-registrar’s office generates XML file and sends it to Taluk Bhoomi centre. By using Internet the ‘J’ slip information is electronically generated which is sent to State Data Centre first and from there through dedicated Satellite lines. The taluk office processes Registration transactions through automated process. All the 203 Sub-Registrar’s offices and 203 Bhoomi centres are interlinked through State Data Centres for online data transmission.
e-Governance in Andhra Pradesh
e-Governance in Andhra Pradesh is an excellent example how the cities can incorporate information technology in the day-to-day functioning of the government, and re-engineer the manner in which services are provided to common citizens. Under its ‘one-stop non-stop’ approach, a pilot project called TWINS (Cities Integrated Network Services) integrated 18 services of six departments over one counter. It provides fast and easy access to government services, makes the government appear much simpler, and also cuts down on corruption.
The government is able to keep database of citizens, which helps in better targeting of welfare programmes and minimise misuse of funds; Virtual town hall meetings allow citizens to watch the proceedings of municipal meetings, and also enable them to participate in decision-making, which otherwise is not subject to public debate. This participation in the form of interactive sessions, panels and discussion groups, planning consultations, chat lines, and electronic online voting is becoming commonplace. Expanding cable television networks have made it possible to deliver the electronic information into the homes of the people.
The Government of Andhra Pradesh has come up with citizen utility centres called e-Sewa Centres, which are one-stop shops for various services such as payment of electricity, water and phone bills, property tax, sales tax and getting birth and death certificates. More than 20 centres are operating in Hyderabad. These centres are being opened in other parts of the State.