The Government of Goa has been trying to reduce the run of a common man to the government offices for getting various approvals and certificates. Nila Mohanan, Collector and District Magistrate, North Goa, talks about various initiatives introduced for rural people. Excerpts from an interview with Manish Arora of Elets News Network (ENN)
Share with us some of the initiatives to take technology to the rural areas of Goa.
Village Level Service Delivery is an initiative that has helped the people of rural areas get services sitting at their homes. Talathidars, who collect the request from village people, do not have to run to head office again and again for forwarding their requests now, as we have computerised the Talathi office also. He scans the documents and forwards it to higher authorities. We issue the certificate and then send back the soft copy to the Talathi concerned, who issues the same to the people.
We are now planning to expand this service to all the villages in the district. We have got approval from the government for the purpose, so we would soon introduce it at remaining places.
You have launched a ‘single window partition’ system. What is it all about and how does it help people?
I realised that partition of land is one of Tech Tools Come Handy for Rural Population the subject-areas where intervention of ICT could help in sorting out various issues. Partition of land would take on an average eight to 10 months, creating lots of problems for the people concerned. They would run from one office to another again and again to enquire about the status of their files. But ever since the launch of the Single Window Partition mechanism, lots of their time and energy is saved. We collect the application and give a token number to the applicant , who can keep track of the status of their file via an SMS.
Mobile services are becoming increasingly important these days… People can get status of their application through their mobile phones only, instead of running to the government offices again and again
How important is mGovernance in the areas you operate?
Mobile services are becoming increasingly important these days. People get status of their application through their mobile phones only, and they don’t have to run to government office again and again. This has also cut down time and expenditure for us. We would soon introduce more and more mobile-based services in the State.
How do you make people in villages literate about new technologies?
When we started these services, people from Panchayats were given complete knowledge about the technology initiatives. In turn, they educated the villagers about the new process that would benefit them. We also take help of newspapers and magazines for disseminating technology-related information among the masses.