Learner’s Submission: Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in India

30/10/2013

“In this article, I will discuss on the topic of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act – one of the most ambitious social welfare measures of Government of India for poverty alleviation and rural development.

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, popularly known as MGNREGA, is an Act to provide for the enhancement of the livelihood security of the households in rural areas of the country by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment (through unskilled manual work) in every financial year to every household. The very purpose of the scheme is two-fold, first to provide job on demand to ensure livelihood security and second, at the same time, to create assets to augment the basic infrastructures available to the rural people. The MGNREG Act was notified on September 07, 2005.

The employment under MGNREGA Scheme (MGNREGS) is an obligation on the part of the Government to provide employment within 5km radius of the village at the minimum wage (for example, INR 174/- per day in the State of Karnataka), failing which an unemployment allowance is to be provided within 15 days.  Along with community participation, the MGNREGS scheme is being implemented primarily by the gram panchayats. Under the Scheme, mostly the labour intensive works like creating infrastructures for water harvesting, drought relief and flood control are undertaken.

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Coverage by MGNREGA Scheme:

Starting from 200 districts in Feb 2006, the MGNREGS Scheme now covers all districts of India from April 01, 2008. AS of now, the implementation status of the project (as mentioned in the official web site of MGNREGA www.nrega.nic.in) is as follows:

Number of States covered – 32

Number of Districts covered – 596

Number of Blocks covered – 6388

Number of Panchayats covered – 240233

Number of Job Cards issued- 112.90 Million

Number of Persons registered – 248.80 Million

Workflow of MGNREGS Scheme

The MGNREGS Scheme is implemented in India through a web-based Management Information System (MIS) – “NREGASoft” to address the planning and monitoring needs of the Scheme. This is a local language enabled workflow based e-Governance System and is available in offline as well as online mode to capture all the activities under MGNREGA at the Centre/State/District/Block and Panchayat level.

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Payment of Wage through Direct Benefit Transfer

The payment of wages is made by the Government directly to the worker’s account by electronic means, called Direct Benefit Transfer System (DBTS). This DBTS system leverages the payment gateways such as Aadhaar Payment Bridge (APB), National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT), Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), National Electronic Clearing Service (NECS) and Banks’ Core Banking Solutions. This DBTS facilitates the direct credit of the wage to the Bank/Post Accounts of the beneficiaries through automated processes.

As per newspaper reports (The Hindu, 15 May, 2013), Govt. of India has allocated to the State of Karnataka Rs. 2,1330 million for the implementation of the MGNREGS scheme in 2013-14. According to the Karnataka State government’s notification on April 9, 2013, the month-wise expenditure (for Karnataka) under the job scheme would be as follows:

Month Expenditure in Million Rupees Month Expenditure in Million Rupees
April 2013 133.8 Oct 2013 1601.6
May 2013 287.6 Nov 2013 2286.8
June 2013 381.9 Dec 2013 2494.2
Jul 2013 472.1 Jan 2014 2759.2
Aug 2013 713.8 Feb 2014 4058.6
Sep 2013 1361.7 Mar 2014 4778.3

Assessment of MGNREGA

The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India on the second performance audit of the MGNREGS that covered 3848 gram panchayats in 28 states and 4 union territories of India from April 2007 to March 2012 highlighted the 3 most significant factors – lack of public awareness, mismanagement and institutional incapacity. Accordingly, the 3 major recommendations were Capacity Building, Public Awareness and Effective Management.

 

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(Major Recommendations of the CAG Audit on MGNREGS)

Conclusion:

To address the lack of public awareness, mismanagement and institutional incapacity, the CAG has suggested a number of recommendations to the Ministry of Rural Development and Government of India. To increase the public awareness, it recommends intensifying the Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Activities. The CAG also recommends proper management of records at the gram panchayat level. For capacity building, the CAG recommends to fill the large number of vacancies through mass recruitment. Like any other government welfare schemes, MGNREGS is also difficult to implement due to governance challenges like elite capture, leakage and corruption. The efforts of the Government of India in implementing the MGNREGS Schemes successfully are highly appreciated.” – Srihari Subudhi – New Delhi, India

 

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Learner’s Submission: Case Study of Decentralization in Maharashtra, India

13/08/2013

Decentralization is the most revolutionary development in India because behind it are all the forces when released will change the structure of the country – Jawaharlal Nehru, Former Indian Prime Minister. This was the quote said my Indian Prime Minister while he introduced the Indian Parliament with the 73rd and 74th amendment of Indian Constitution in 1960 which marked as a pioneer stage of decentralization in India. Today has over 2.5 lakhs Panchayats in which there are over 32 lakhs of Grass-root leaders elected by the people of that village and out of it 12 lakhs are women. It is a mile stone of India and an excellent vehicle to drive decentralization at a very basic level. The main reason of decentralization is to give chance to people to govern themselves because consistent progress is what matters. Power to rule should not lie upwards with central officer but downwards with local authorities. Quantity of GDP generated is less important that quality of GDP.

Decentralization in Maharashtra started in 1961 and today there are 28,000 Gram panchayats, 350 Panchayat Samitis and 33 Zilla Parishads. But instead of this there were quarrels continuously going on in Maharashtra which we resulting in social tensions and hence the police complaints were increasing at a rapid pace ultimately creating a huge pile of court cases; Considering the huge pendency of cases in various Courts and the inevitable delays in delivering judgments, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is the need of the hour. In fact this was the reason for the formation of Loknyayalas and Fast Track Courts. Maharashtra Government made a plan called as Dispute-free village scheme also called as (Tanta Mukti Gaon Mohim).According to this Plan, a village with most number of points gained after solving the cases at village level were awarded with cash prizes hence disputes taking place within families or due to small reasons were not introduced in court and golden mean was found out by the Gram Panchayat (Village Authorities) only. It reduced the Police work to a great extent. The Maharashtra model is likely to be replicated in other developing countries, where logistics and infrastructure of the judicial machinery were weak, Mr. Dighavkar said. He will also spend time with social scientists, reformers and peace makers in various universities and share the model and his experiences with them. Speaking of the achievements of the scheme, he cited figures in Pune district where 790 out of 1,134 villages have become ‘dispute-free’ in the last two and a half years and hence the district received Rs. 19,31,000,00 ($4.4 million), as the prize money from the State government. Since October 2009, 36,294 conflicts at the village-level were resolved and now, 28,084 cases were awaiting resolution, he said.

The salient features of this mission are:

1. Formation of Tanta Mukt Samities at each and every village in the state.
2. Identification of existing disputes, classifying them into criminal, civil, revenue and noting

3. Them down in a register maintained by the Samitis.
4. Preventive schemes and measures to ensure that disputes do not occur.
5. Resolution of existing and new disputes in a democratic, fair and participative manner.

Decentralization is the backbone of democracy because it really proves the meaning of democracy- For the people; by the people.” – Ameya S. Kulkarni – Maharashtra, India


Learner’s Submission: Social Media Channels in India

02/08/2013

“1950s marked the emergence of a new global communication way called as Internet and the first message to be sent by using Internet was from UCLA by Prof.Leonard Kleinrock. Though it was till 1997 the modern kind of social media wasn’t involved and the team who named the modern social media network as ‘Six Degrees’ did it and emerged the new face of social media. As rightly said by JP Rangaswami “Social media offer the government a much better picture of what the citizen looks like. There is a better engagement process between the citizen and government. Social media can create a level of interaction with consultations that just wasn’t possible before.” Social media can also be used for harvesting collective ingenuity of the public in much more efficient and paperless way. Government of India is making tremendous efforts in conveying messages to its citizens with the help of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Ministry of Finance Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ministry-of-Finance-Government-of-India/172154416195975 is able to connect with the citizens of India and is also very much useful in marking the foundation of E-Governance. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting under Government of India is the first Ministry to create its Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/inbministry and Twitter handle @MIB_India to get connected with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Constant updates relating to many departments of the Government of India are constantly updated on Facebook and tweeted in Twitter so as to let the Citizens of India know the events happening in their country. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting recently undertook a Digital Internship Program by which they were connecting youths all over India to get connected with various. Many videos regarding India’s progress and cultural diversity and videos of recent events are uploaded on the You Tube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/INBMINISTRY . Currently Ministry of Information and Broadcast is the only ministry to use social media at such a larger prospect. During the conversion of signals from Analog to Digital, Government of India used the tool of social media to efficiently spread the message of how Digital technology is going to be proved very useful in near future through its Facebook page www.facebook.com/DigitalIndiaMIB. And it proved to be quite useful for the Government to eradicate all the doubts and confusions which the Cable Operators all over India were having, only due to efficient use of social media.

The Prime Minister of India Dr.Manmohan Singh is also one of the most followed person on Facebook and the page of Dr.Manmohan Singh is https://www.facebook.com/dr.manmohansingh and he has a follower database of around 3,70,000 and that of Gujarat Chief Minister 25,00,000 likes and his Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/narendramodi and he is the first chief minister of any state who is more popular than  the Prime Minster of the Nation. Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat is having heavy follower number and he has1.95 million followers on Twitter and the handle used is @narendramodi  . The Prime Minster of India is widely recognized as Man of Economic Reforms and all the events where Prime Minister of India is going to take part is updated on the Facebook page and also on Twitter. This allow people to hear the speeches given by him in various events and also to read the articles which are published by the Prime Minister’s Office also the events are continuously updated on his twitter handle named as @PMOIndia.

The Planning Commission of  India has also created their won Facebook Page as https://www.facebook.com/PlanComIndia and many activities regarding the activities or publications of the planning commission are updated on the Facebook page. They also invite comments and suggestions regarding India’s future developmental plans and people are overwhelmingly respond to the questions or polls put forth by the planning Commission. Tourism Ministry has created a brand for promoting domestic as well as international tourist to visit different parts of India and the name of the brand is “Incredible India”. The Facebook page which is devoted to promote the brand is https://www.facebook.com/India.IncredibleIndia and it is also continuously updated by uploading images of various scenic beauties of nature and delicious food preparations from all over India like Pani Puri from Bhopal, Rosgulla from Kolkatta, Vada-Pav from Mumbai and Dhokla from Gujarat. For having strong international recognition you need to have strong ties with other nations and that work is carried out by Ministry of External Affairs under rule of Mr. Salman Khurshid who is the current Minster of External Affairs. The Facebook page for Ministry of external affairs is https://www.facebook.com/MEAINDIA . India’s bilateral relations are put forth in front of all the citizens of the world by using this Facebook page. This page also serves as major source of information for students studying in the field of Political Science and International relations in eminent Indian Universities like South Asian University, Jawaharlal Nehru University or Tilak Maharashtra University.

. Even if we talk about Facebook it is estimated that over 10 Crore Indians have opened their Facebook account and are active on it. But we look at the figures of followers even to the Prime Minister of India it’s just 0.37 Million which is way to less than that of Indians having their account on Facebook.” – Ameya S. Kulkarni – Maharashtra, India


Learner’s Submission: The Online Public Service I use in India and How Do They Work

23/07/2013

“I have used an online public service to apply for fresh passport and fresh PAN card, reservation of  tickets in Indian railways ,online education and training , paying utility bills, filing income tax return, applying for queries under Right to Information Act and for making new voter’s ID.

Passport  Seva portal (http://www.passportindia.gov.in)under Ministry of External affairs,Government of India is an online facility for applying for fresh/reissue of normal/tatkaal passport. I also used the online services of the portal  http://www.utitsl.co.in/pan/  for online applying for my Permanent Account Number.

Indian Railways have a very vast network of public transportation in India which I frequently refer. Indian Railways provide the services of ticket booking/cancellation, PNR Status, Train routes, Seat Availability, Fare Enquiry and arrival/departure status etc. through two of its portals

http://www.indianrail.gov.in/ and https://irctc.co.in/ . Payment can be made through internet banking ,debit/credit cards of Master/Visa.

I enjoyed this free online education programme ‘Online Certificate Course on RTI’ (http://rtiocc.cgg.gov.in/home.do) for various stakeholders launched by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India (GoI) has launched  it in association with the Centre for Good Governance, Hyderabad.The most attractive part of this programme is to audit the proactive disclosure made by any public authority under section 4(1)(b) of the RTI Act.

I usually pay my MTNL(Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited) mobile and landline bill online through its portal http://mtnldelhi.in/paynow.htm . I also pay my electicity bill online on  the portal of Delhi Government (http://delhigovt.nic.in/bijli.asp). Payment can be made through internet banking,debit/credit cards of Master/Visa.

Every year I file my Income Tax Return on the Portal of Income Tax Department,Government of India  i.e. https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/ .

Being an effective citizen of a democratic nation I have every right to know the work of government and its agencies and this right has been given to every Indian citizen under RTI Act 2005. A public portal http://www.rtionline.gov.in/ helps me in  filing RTI applications/first appeals online along with payment gateway.The requisite fee can be made through internet banking of SBI & its associate banks and debit/credit cards of Master/Visa.

The Election Commission of India through its portal http://eci.nic.in/eci_main1/index.aspx# has provided the facility of online voter registration which facility I availed.” – Vivek Kumar Singh – Bihar, India


Learner’s Submission: Online Public Services in India

18/07/2013

“Public Service means any service provided by the specific government either directly or through any service provider, which includes, inter alia, the receipt of forms and applications, issue or grant of any license, permits, certification, sanction and approval and the receipt or payment of money by whether name called in a particular manner.

Electronic/Internet Service Delivery means the delivery of services through electronic mode including inter alia, the receipt of forms and applications, issue or grant of any license, permits, certification, sanction and approval and the receipt or payment of money.

The government of India provided several public services to Citizens, Business Community and also to the government body. India is developing its infrastructure for e-governance in several departments of Central Government as well as State Government by providing online services. Few of them, Services which I used are as follows:

  • Indian Railways Online Services: Indian Railways is the most important public transport department. Which provide many online service among them I always used online reservation service. Indian railway provides their services mainly through 2 websites, http//:www.indianrail.gov.in/ and http//:www.irctc.co.in/. Through these websites we can get information’s about Trains between Stations, PNR Status, Seat Availability, and Fare Inquiry by using internet.

http//:www.indianrail.gov.in/ is mainly provides information’s to make a travel plan. It proved beneficial to common public.

Before the introduction of these websites online services, getting information’s was very difficult for public, public have to wait for long hours to get information’s from limited information centers. And today, it can be done by few mouse clicks.

 

Online Reservation can be done by http//:www.irctc.co.in/. Services offered in the websites are booking of E-Ticket/Season Ticket/ I-Ticket; and Cancelling E-Ticket/I-Ticket, Compatible browser, and Tatkal Reservation can be done through it. It is very helpful; we can book ticket from home, internet café, and mobile SMS through Register with http//:www.irctc.co.in and paid money online by using credit card, debit card or net banking and new innovation of services by Indian Railway is SMS service for taking the Reservation. Before the introduction of these services, Booking or Cancellation of Ticket was very difficult. People were compelled to stand in lines at reservation counter for several hours. Lack of information used to make situations worst. And nowadays these services are very productive and are proved very effective and helpful to common people.

  •  Right to Information (RTI):

The Government of India, has Passed a Act in Parliament for Government department, any common people can ask information under Right to Information Act. Through online http//:www.rtionline.gov.in/.  It is really a great step towards Right to Information for a common people. This service, I always used for taking the information’s.

  •  Income Tax Return e-Filling:

Today Income Tax Return can be filled online by using http//:incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/. This facility is really beneficial for citizen who wants to file their income tax return; this website gives opportunity to fill income tax return from any where you are you can use it.

  • Passport Seva: 

http//:passportindia.gov.in/ through this passport seva portal we can apply online application for Passport. Ministry of External Affairs is trying to make passport application process is easier for common citizens of India. However there are many things should be workout to make this process perfectly online.” – Mukesh Kumar – Jharkhand, India


Learners’ Submission: E-Governance in India

21/05/2013

E-governance has been considered as the best way for good governance. Communication and internet Technology has brought world near and has great impact on the life styles of people. The mode of obtaining services and its delivery has undergone tremendous changes with the improvement of technology that covered almost all types of services whether banking, insurance, other financial services or services from local corporations and government bodies. The relationship of service provider to that of service taker has also changed and has brought changes in quality of the service and its timely delivery.

Indian government has planned for e-Governance and initiated actions to improve delivery of Government services to citizens and businesses with the vision to make all Government services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets and ensure efficiency, transparency & reliability of such services at affordable costs to realize the basic needs of the common man. Government of India decided to promote e-Governance through a centralized initiative to ensure citizen-centric orientation with decentralized implementation model. It will help realize the objective of inter-operability of various e-Governance applications and ensure optimal utilization of ICT infrastructure and resources. It also aims at identifying successful projects and replicating them with required customization wherever needed.

Accordingly the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) has been formulated by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY) and Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG). The Union Government approved the NeGP, comprising of 31 (originally 27) Mission Mode Projects (MMPs). Various Indian Union Ministries/Departments and State Governments are involved in Implementation of the e-Governance plan and the need for overall aggregation and integration at the national level was important.

NeGP comprises 31 mission mode projects (MMPs), which are further classified as state, central or integrated projects. Each state government can also define five MMPs specific to its individual needs.

e-Governance in India has steadily evolved from computerization of Government Departments to initiatives that encapsulate the finer points of Governance, such as citizen centricity, service orientation and transparency. The projects are expected to reduce number of trips of service users to service provider as also the waiting period apart from reducing the corruption and providing quality service.

I am describing the e-Governance in Urban Local Bodies:

“e-Governance in Urban Local Bodies” is a unique initiative of the Government of India conceptualized under the umbrella of the overall National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) and the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM) aimed at improving operational efficiencies within Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).

It has been observed that

  • Presently there is very limited or no computerization across ULBs in different States.
  • There is very limited or non-existent staff with IT know-how
  • There is lack of standardization of processes; and
  • The processes are primarily operated in a manual mode

There are following services which should be provided under this MMP:

I. Citizen Services (G2C)

  1. Birth & Death Registration – Information, Application download, online application, payment and printing of certificates with Digital signature
  2. Trade Licensing –Accreditation of vendors, Licensed shop owners and technical/professional, online submission and receipts (including renewal etc.) of licenses and printing with digital signature
  3. Building Plan – Single window based – Online submission through accredited/licensed Architects, online check and permission, Field check through Handheld device (GPRS & GPS based photos and measurement device) and authentication. NOC from Various dept. would be obtained through SLA based Input screen and secured VPN links.
  4. Tax and Fees & Fine/Penalty Payment – Enquiry – GIS based system – Self calculation, payment through secured payment gateway, Printing of secured digital receipts
  5. RTI – Online application, application status tracking, pendency tracking
  6. Grievance /Service request/Feedback – Online application, application status tracking, pendency tracking.
  7. Helpdesk – ULB –wide – single helpline no

II. Employee Service:

  1. HRMS with Employee Self-service incl. leave, Personal HR (PIS) , parks and Payroll linked
  2. Smartcard/ Biometric based access system linked with HRMS

III. Shared Service /Backend Departmental Services:

  1. Double Entry Accrual based Accounting System
  2. E-Tendering
  3. HRMS with Payroll integrated with attendance system, Recruitment , Training, Assessment/Performance Management Module
  4. Inventory/Asset Management including vehicles
  5. Project Management with Field Monitoring support and Field service support
  6. Enterprise GIS  with Property Tax, Solid Waste Management  Vehicle /Fleet Management
  7. GPS/GPRS based Fleet Management
  8. Backend Intra and Inter departmental workflow, with communication, document Management, K-Bank and Portal and Information/Content Management
  9. Operational & Tactical/Mayors Dashboard” – Sachin Murari Patrikar – Maharashtra, India

Learner’s Submission: Online Services that I would Like to Have in India

29/04/2013

“Online services that I would like to have:

Few lines about India and literacy:

Since independence though India has impressively progressed in terms of literacy Thanks to initiatives of Government of India. Yet India continues to face tough challenges. Despite growing investment in education, 25% of its population is still illiterate; only 15% of Indian students reach high school, and just 7% graduate. As of 2011, there are 1522 degree-granting engineering colleges in India with an annual student intake of 582,000,plus 1,244 polytechnics with an annual intake of 265,000.India’s post-secondary institutions offer only enough seats for 7% of India’s college-age population. India’s government plans to increase the proportion of young people going to university from 12% at present to 30% by 2025

Government of India student Scholarships available:

National Merit-cum- Means Scholarship Scheme, National Scholarship for Persons with Disabilities, Post-matric scholarship for students belonging to Scheduled Castes for studies in India, Indian Oil Academic Scholarships, National Talent Search Scheme by NCERT, National Talent Exam, Incentives to Girls Students, Educational Scholarship to School Students .belonging to economically backward communities, Integrated Education for the Disabled Children ( IEDC)
And many more…

As already mentioned in the above paragraph Scholarship are many and its target beneficiaries are not fully aware of existence of such scholarships. At least 42% of students are ignorant of available scholarship to pursue their entire education. In fact government has ambitious plans in place for female literacy starting from primary schooling to graduation and beyond. Parents are also are not aware of existence scholarship. Schools have much information of available scholarship but dissemination of information is not equal among the students due to some of the inherent issues. Considering many issues mentioned it’s students who are the ones missing out the opportunities which gives rise to improper employment, livelihood. and other social problems facing the society.

To overcome ignorance of available scholarship information a government sponsored student focused ON-LIN E portal must be established with the sole objective of disseminating the educational scholarships –fellowship –internship and university course related information to students.
Objective of On-line portal must not only be a scholarship Information source but also students must be able to fill in the online scholarship application, authenticate, processing and finally be awarded the scholarship and money credited to his bank account. In addition to scholarship course, university admissions, fellowship and internship must also be available on this portal.

How can this be done? Online portal must be built to accommodate all the flavors of regular E-mail account generation process, social media, blog and all other regular features disseminating all available government scholarship. .

Any student right from school to university must be made mandatory. register at this online portal with all the information, student’s family financial status and also acute requirements to continue the education. This registration process is linked to the school records and awaits authentication from the school. Once authenticated system generates the E-mail login ID and password .which students uses this for rest of the academic years. Online Portal also generates a student bank account for crediting the financial proceeds of the scholarship.

Depending upon the student’s requirement requested during the registration process system generates a relevant mail and send the scholarship application to the student’s mail account and encourages the student to fill it up and submit. This application will again follows through the process of authentication, eligibility conditions, student’s academic performance and finally crediting the scholarship to his bank account.

In addition to the scholarships information and disbursement online portal also helps the student to find the proper school-university-course-tuition-online courses. University applications are made available and entire process of admission happens will happen online.

This student focused portal has its built in following advantages: student does not have to depend on chance to know the scholarship information, avoid all sorts of red-trapezium to lay hand on scholarship information and award and not depend on clerks, internship information is no more a privilege to few but available to all.” – M.S. Rajesh – Bangalore, India


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