Learner’s Submission: Ways to Eradicate or Reduce Corruption in India

29/05/2014

“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”  – Mahatma Gandhi

“In this article, I will discuss about the corruption in India and some of the measures that can help in eradicating or at least reducing corruption.

Corruption in India is very widespread.  As per Transparency International Report (2013), India ranks 94 among 177 nations in Corruption Perception Index. Newspapers report a number of corruption cases involving ministers, MPs, MLAs, business houses, government offices as well as private companies. Corruption in our country has made the rich richer and the poor poorer. In our country, even after 67 years of Independence, many people in remote villages still live without Roads, Electricity or drinking water; forget about education, health or a decent life. This is a good example of how common people are affected due to corruption the country.

Let me now discuss some of the ways that can help in eradicating or at least reducing corruption in India.

  1. e-Governance

e-Governance can be used as an effective tool to eradicate or reduce corruption to great extent. E-Governance facilitates direct interaction between the Government & the citizen eliminating the interference of the middlemen.  Normally the middle-man (called “Dalaal” in Hindi) acts as an agent who collects money (bribe) from the citizen & pays to the corrupt government officials to get the work done. There are examples, where a common man can’t get his work done without the help of middlemen. Examples of such practices are seen widely in Regional Transport Office (RTO), Property Registration Office, etc. Citizens are empowered with ICT tools to interact with the Government Departments for getting various public services.

  1. Education

Education can play a great role in reduction of corruption in the society. Normally uneducated or less educated people are not aware of various government processes. Taking advantage of this, the government officials or middlemen cheat the common man & demand bribe or excess charges for any public service.  Reports reveal that the Kerala state has got less corruption compared to other states due to high literacy rate in the state. When people are educated & aware of various rules & processes, they are less likely to fall prey to corrupt practices of the public servants/political leaders. The Government should allocate sufficient budget for the development of Schools, Colleges, and Universities etc.

  1. Social Media

Social Media is fast changing the world and has a deep impact on the lives of the people in India. Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube can play an important role in educating the mass, particularly the young generation on various government processes, rules etc. which can ultimately help in reducing corruption.  Since a large percentage of Indian population is young & we should take advantage of Internet, digitalized Television & Social Media to propagate awareness on various government procedures and such awareness can also help in reducing corruption.

  1. Government Process Reengineering

Time has come to do massive government process re-engineering. There are many Government processes which are redundant or which can be done in a far better way. The processes conceptualised some 30 years back are no longer valid or effective. With the rapid advancement in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) during the last 2 decades, we should take advantages of these technologies & re-engineer various government processes for the benefit of the citizens.

  1. Reform in Judicial System

The rules framed during British Rule in India were not citizen-friendly. Those rules were intentionally framed to torture the public and suppress the opinion of the citizens. Now many such rules are still in force in India & such rules need to be changed at the earliest. Advancement in technology has also made many procedures obsolete. New Laws & simplified Governemnt-Citizen interaction procedures need to be enacted/implemented. New laws should be citizen-friendly and should aim at helping the citizens.

Large-scale corruption in the society is demoralizing the honest people. Some corrupt people think corruption is alright in this modern materialistic word. But, it is not. Corruption has led the common man to be very pessimist. We should be very optimistic and try our best in fighting against corruption. We should teach the children – the future of India- to be honest and ethical in every aspect of their life. No doubt, corruption is a huge challenge before us. Let us also appreciate that there are still enough good and honest people in our country. Each one of us should make commitment to work with honesty for God’s sake! All people in the society should be encouraged to live an honest & decent life”. Srihari Subudhi- New Delhi, India

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Learner’s Submission: Online Voter Registration – A Public Service of Puducherry Union Territory, India

21/02/2014

“Puducherry a union territory of India online voter registration is a public online service provide for the people to view the voter identity card status. It is the public service maintained by government of Puducherry

Eligibility for the purpose of enrolment in electoral rolls is.

In India, Indian citizens above 18 years of age, with sound mind should not be of unsound mind (If he/she is of unsound mind and stands declared by a competent court then not eligible to be register as voter), be ordinarily resident in the area from where application is made, should not have been disqualified from voting under provisions of any law relating to corrupt practices and other offences in connection with election that is, 171E, 171F of IPC & Section 8A(1), 125 135, 136(2)(a) of Representation of People Act, 1951 ,with all necessary documents needed for registering can register online if they are residing in the constituency .They can participate and cast their vote for the contestants.

To register the citizens have to log on to http://www.ceopondicherry.nic.in after logging in the home page which is completely user friendly .it has four options:

a) Addition of users to a specific constituency
b) Deletion of users from a specific constituency
c) Modification of existing users data if it needs any modification
d) Transposition from one constituency to another.

Further for any assistance in any of the process or doubt in this process a toll free number is given for the user convenience.
After registration the details are verified in person the date of verification is intimated to the citizen .after verification is done and if the citizen is verified by the official the EPIC (electoral photo identity card) is given to him who can also be used as an identity card for may purposes within the country

Form 6 is needed to be filled by citizen who has attained 18 years of age.
Form 6a if he /she is an non residing Indian.
Form 7for deletion of existing user names.
Form 8if any correction in the voter card details printed.
Form 8a if shifting your place from one poll booth to another poll both within the same constituency.

Uploading the scanned copy of the birth certificate, and residence proof is optional but at the time of verification by the booth level officer.

The birth certificate also can be obtained from the common service centres another public service which brings government services to the people.

For the residence proof either the ration card, or any other proof of residence like driving licence can be provided.

Another salient feature of this website is its multilingual content which helps the users to fill the forms online in their own native language.

A search option is also given for citizens to verify their name has been updated in the electoral rolls in their constituency or not.

The search can be made by either the person name or residing address which was given during the voter registration or by the EPIC card number which is available in the voter card.

From the 2014 plastic voter identity cards are given to voters who are getting registered .its integrity can be verified by checking those cards under ultra violet lights. This move by the department is highly appreciated and welcomed by the people. These electoral rolls are revised every year.” – Prabhu Djeapragassam – Puducherry, India


Learner’s Submission: Online Public Services in India

04/02/2014

“Internet as a social network evoked the world with its vast input database and knowledge sharing system. Today in the modern world, the share of public services information online has become a major important aspect.  The online service is a huge network source which provides a space for information to public, private and other resources activities.

In India, Online public services in term of availability of online data is accessible in various service providing sectors related to public, private, organational, educational, consulting, banking and others. It is important to have identity of information availability relating to the particular activities in each sector. Another important aspect about the online data is the security and worm mail threats. Every online services provider has to provide with domain to login-in to be utilized to be safer side of the site. In India after the 90s a revolution of inter user came to utilize the online resources for the online services providers on various sectors.

In India the web is now established as a mass market media channel for the wealthy. Email has become a mass market media channel for office workers and professional classes. The main changes in internet access have happened in the last five years and the internet has become an essential part of office life, and plays a key role in many homes. The number of people with access continues to rise, but so too does the time they spend online. Broadband access is growing fast, but the number of home connections lags behind comparable markets; however although the number of connections is low, a large number of people in high-end demographics have access. Significant infrastructure problems remain, creating a high cost for access compared to average wage rates.

Social Media has now become part of everyday life for a majority of online Indians, with two-thirds of the country’s web users accessing social media daily, according to new research.

Today social networking, blog and web relating sources are competition the user with fast provision of data relevant to weather, network, locality, features and other possibilities. Online data can provide knowledge sharing and also some kind of misuses the network resources. Scientists describe the internet as a prime example of large scale highly engineered yet highly complex system and is heterogeneous for instance of data transfer and physical characteristics of connections.

If the resources is utilized in a proper manner to develop the aspect, it reflect the achieving the growth of sustainable goals to take forwarding the nation to a developed world.  Security threats has to be resolve for safety and security of the web resources providers.

The internet is a gateway to world knowledge as well as a massive platform for national media and documentation. Once people start using the internet their behavior changes permanently and already in India over two thirds of people with access use it several times a week or more. Work audiences account for significant amounts of the online total population.” – Kishore Kumar Neelam – Andhra Pradesh, India


Learner’s Submission: Open Government Data in India

30/01/2014

“Area of open government data is new in India. It’s just initiated and needed to be matured enough to be proved effective. The address of the portal is https://data.gov.in/, It’s a National Level portal. India’s open government data initiative has gained momentum with the adoption of an official open data policy and the publication of nearly 5818 data sets so far on the portal data.gov.in, it has still quite some way to go in making its mark globally on this front going by the rankings of an international Open Data Index. 

It published 5818 data sets of 58 Ministry/Departments of Government of India and 4 State Government. Major participants are Ministry of Agriculture Ministry of Agriculture (1795), Department of Agriculture and Co-operation (1739), Directorate of Marketing and Inspection (DMI) (1734), Planning Commission (822), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (766), Ministry of Water Resources (644), Ministry of Power (411), Central Electricity Authority (411), Rajya Sabha (244), Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (211) (1795), Department of Agriculture and Co-operation (1739), Directorate of Marketing and Inspection (DMI) (1734), Planning Commission (822), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (766), Ministry of Water Resources (644), Ministry of Power (411), Central Electricity Authority (411), Rajya Sabha (244), Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (211) etc. Those data sets are mainly in excel and csv format and can be analyzed.
It can be used for further analysis and can be used as no prior permission is required for using those data. Definitely those data are useful an analyzing various parameter. However it is required to add more data as 5818 data sets are nothing in respect to the magnitude of the nation like India.
I like about the portal:
• Data Management System (DMS) – Backend Module for users in the standard metadata format.
• Content Management System (CMS) – Module for managing and updating various functionalities and content.
• Visitor Relationship Management (VRM) – Segment for collating and disseminating the feedback or suggestions from the stake holders on datasets and applications. Feedbacks or suggestions could be shared through feedback form, suggest datasets or apps and contact us.
• Communities – Option sharing of opinion among people with same interest, belonging to the same sector or having interest for the same datasets and to create interaction and knowledge sharing.

People are participating through the Blogs, Discussions forum however the level of participation are very low. 2,730 liked its facebook page and its participation is decreasing. 5,179 people are following at twitter, which is very low. It’s needed to be popularizing by increasing utility.
Data set related to Map, Land ownership, Government spending, Company register, Legislation, Public transport, Crime statistics, opinion poll on various issues is to be incorporated. Those data should from ground level up to the central level and recent updated data.” – Rupak Ghosh – West Bengal, India


Learner’s Submission: Online Public Services in India

27/01/2014

“I have used several online Services like Passport Seva Portal (www. passportindia.gov.in), MCA 21(http://www.mca.gov.in/MCA21/), RTI Online (http://rtionline.gov.in/), Income Tax E-Filing (https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/), Employment Bank (http://employmentbankwb.gov.in/), National Employment Service (http://www.employmentservice.nic.in/), etc.

In India e- Governance was initiated by National e-Governance Plan of Indian Government which was take on May 18, 2006. Several Central Government/ State Governments have/ had installed online public services. Those services are categorized as Citizens Services, Business Services and Government Services
The e-Governance Standards have been divided into categories like – Policy or Frameworks, Standards, Guidelines. Various Expert Committees have been setup in priority areas, like Metadata and Data Standards (MDDS), Biometrics, Localization, Security, Mobile Governance, Interoperability Framework for e-Governance in India (IFEG), Digital Signature, etc. to formulate standards.
This e-Governance Standards portal provides a platform for sharing of ideas, knowledge, and draft documents among the members of various committees involved in standards formulation process. It also has a provision for web publication of draft documents for review comments by the Closed User Group and the Public. The duly approved standards by Government’s Apex body consisting of Senior Strategic members from: Deity, NIC, NASSCOM, BIS, CDAC, Planning Commission etc. would be released on this portal for free download and usage.
Key projects and enterprises of public welfare and governance get stalled due to lack of consensus among the stakeholders and later results into implementation interruptions and over budgeting.

In spite of such challenges, India has seen some of the biggest e-Governance initiatives in recent times including the establishment of common and support IT infrastructure such as State Wide Area Networks (SWANs), State Data Centers (SDCs), Common Services Centers (CSCs) and Electronic Service Delivery Gateways.
This initiative has provided a solid framework across the nation to figure and roll out, a wide range of e-Governance programs by numerous government bodies and ministries. For instance, the passport seva kendras, digitization of postal department, online income and sales tax collections, implementation of a single core banking platform across all 14 nationalized banks, voter identity cards (IDs) and permanent account number (PAN) cards for income tax are some of the nationwide e-Governance initiatives. In various public support sites like MCA21, Income Tax site, Passport Portal, Identity can be verified by PAN Number is automatically when filing documents.
Among the most determined and politically debated e-Governance initiative of India is the Unique Identification Authentication (UID) or the Aadhaar card project. Its objective is to empower residents of India with a unique identity and a digital platform to authenticate. Various services are getting authenticated by it like, Passport Application, Getting Government Subsidies in gas; it will also authenticate bank accounts.” – Rupak Ghosh – West Bengal, India


Learner’s Submission: e-Governance initiative of the Ministry of Company Affairs of India – MCA21

17/01/2014

“I have used several online Services like Passport Seva Portal (www. passportindia.gov.in), MCA 21(http://www.mca.gov.in/MCA21/), RTI Online (http://rtionline.gov.in/), Income Tax E-Filing (https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/) etc. In India e- Governance was initiated by National e-Governance Plan of Indian Government which was take on May 18, 2006. Several Central Government/ State Governments have/ had installed online public services. Those services are categorized as Citizens Services, Business Services and Government Services

Here I am explaining how MCA21 works.

MCA 21(http://www.mca.gov.in/MCA21/): MCA21 Project, the e-Governance initiative of the Ministry of Company Affairs (MCA). MCA21 is an innovative eGovernance initiative that aims at continuously repositioning Ministry of Company Affairs (MCA) as an organization proficient of fulfilling the aspirations of its stakeholders in the 21st century. For any program to be outcome-based, a paradigm shift in the service delivery is inevitable. A Service Centric Approach by the Government is the principal driving factor to the transformation.
The bottom line of this unique initiative is the improved speed and certainty in the delivery of MCA services. This improvement is primarily enabled through the mechanism of electronic Filing (e-Filing) for the services and back office automation by harnessing the right technology enablers.
The MCA conceptualized the MCA 21 initiative, which included the following:

Digitizing about 45 million paper documents in MCA’s archives
Setting up a data center
Building the computing infrastructure
Setting up 52 facilitation centers
Designing the application software
Setting up secure electronic payment gateways

In order to carry out e-filing on MCA21 we have facility to download the eform and fill it in an offline mode. Every form has the facility to pre-fill the data available in MCA21 system.

We have to first get the paper attachments scanned and saved as a soft copy in PDF format. Then attach the same in the attachment section of the eForm by clicking the appropriate ‘Attach’ button. An e-form can be signed by the authorized signatory/ representative using the Digital Signature Certificate (DSC). Signature box in the e-form to affix the digital signature. To avoid increase in size of the e-form beyond permissible limit of 2.5 MB, always affix the DSC using the ‘Sign and Save As’ option.

Once the e-form is filled we would need to validate the e-form using Pre-scrutiny button. We would then have to affix the relevant digital signatures and save the form. We would need to be connected to the internet to carry out the pre-fill and pre-scrutiny functions. The filled up e-form as per relevant instruction kit have to be uploaded on the MCA21 portal. On successful upload, the Service request number would be generated and we would be directed to make payment of the statutory fees. The step by step process is given below. Once the payment has been made the status of my payment and filing status can be tracked on the MCA21 portal by using the ‘Track Your Payment Status’ and ‘Track Your Transaction Status’ link respectively.

The MCA-21 project rolled out the nearly paperless system across the country; it makes the process faster and smoother.” – Rupak Ghosh – West Bengal, India


Learner’s Submission: Potential User of RBM in My Organisation

17/01/2014

“I am working in Emmanuel Hospital Organisation in a Project funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. We have developed the Result Framework together with the doner agency. This project is for 10 years and we have designed the expected result for the project for 10 years. The result framework is used by the doner, by the central government, by the state government and by the non-governmental agencies who are implementing the project. There are 30 non-governmental agencies who are using the result based management. There are three result frameworks for the project, i.e. one at project level, one at state level and the third one at NGO level. We measure their achievement on the basis of their expected result which are pre-defined by the. During the 1st 5 year of the project we don’t had a RBM system, but in the next 5year we established the system. This is the 2nd phase of the project the project is doing very well. The work is appreciated by the doner as well as the government agencies. I have trained many people and non-governmental agencies on redesigning the RBM system in India. RBM is really much better than the conventional M&E system.

The accountability increased when we use the RBM. The doner is very clear what they want from the implementing agencies. The expected objectives are very clear. The non-governmental agencies are very clear what they are going to achieve and what are their objectives. Earlier the implementing agencies used to report whatever the result is, but now when they are using RBM they are reporting against the expected result and they measure their success or failure again the target. This has made them more and more accountable. Doner wants that every single penny is spent properly by using the RBM. The implementing agencies try to achieve what they have planned. The government agencies what to see their success o failure in achieving their goals. RBM has become the language of the most of the funding agencies now a days and hope this will replace the conventional monitoring and evaluation system completely. The World Bank and The Global Fund for fighting against AIDS, Tuber colossi and Malaria is implementing RBM and using the performance based funding. The fund is directly relate to their performance, if they perform they get fund otherwise the funding is stopped. This is a nice mechanism to make the implementing agencies more accountable. Now a day’s most of the government agencies also trying to follow the RBM to make their departments more accountable. The focus is very clear when RBM is followed. The funding agencies are very clear where the money is being spent and what is the result out of it. This is some kind of pre-cost benefit analysis. The implementing agencies become more and more conscious to achieve their targets which are explicitly defined in the RBM system. The overall accountability has really increased among all the partner agencies. Hope this will be the buzz work in the development sector as well as in the government agencies in near future.” – Ritu Kumar Mishra – Assam, India


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