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e-Panchayat to Serve Rural Karnataka Better

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epanchayatProviding effective citizen services in rural parts is often an underserved area, accompanied by the hassles of running around to avail the facilities, in the absence of a proper channel and administration. To solve this issue, the Government of Karnataka has come up with an e-Panchayat initiative that aims to serve the rural population in a better way, writes T Radha Krishna of Elets News Network (ENN)

The Government of Karnataka has launched Bapu Seva Centre, an initiative aimed at reducing hassles for villagers in availing essential services such as procurement of caste, domicile and income certificates.

Known as the e-Panchayat initiative, a service centre is being operated on a trial basis at Kakol village of Ranebennur taluk, Haveri district, from July 1, 2016. The service centre, which runs independently out of the gram panchayat offices, will henceforth prevent villagers from having to scramble between municipal, taluk and tahsildar offices for their certificates.

Apart from the services being made available online, citizens will now be able to obtain all relevant documents, including copies of realty transfer certificates (RTCs) of land in far away areas within minutes. The Panchatantra software has successfully interlinked all gram panchayats on a single network, thereby eliminating any delay in the process.

According to Munish Moudgil, Commissioner for Survey Settlement and Land Records, Department of Revenue, Government of Karnataka, “An individual at Kalaburagi can now avail an RTC copy and all related details of a piece of land located near Devanahalli in the Bengaluru rural district.” The scheme, which was formally launched by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, aims to provide 40 revenue services in a transparent manner at 6,019 gram panchayats.epanchayat-2

“The initiative is the first and largest of its kind in the country and will benefit 4.2 crore people. From July 1, services including issuance of RTCs at 2,000 gram panchayats are available while another 4,000 panchayats will be brought under its purview from August 1,” said the commissioner.

The gram panchayats will charge a nominal sum, from `10 to `15, for the issuance of any of the 40 certificates, thereby enabling them to raise funds.

The programme is the result of the government’s decade-long effort to create an integrated database, with the National Informatics Centre developing a software for the same. To ensure the system’s security to avoid unauthorized modifications to RTCs, the fingerprint biometric technology has been integrated into the system.

The e-Panchayat envisages implementation of various modules across the services and management functions within Gram Panchayat, including: Issue of trade licences and NoC
  • House-related services
  • Issue of certificates of Birth and Death, Income and Solvency
  • Dissemination of internal process of panchayat agenda, voting and resolution
  • Copy of proceedings of Gram Sabha and Action Taken Report (ATR)
  • Receipt of funds/progress report
  • Dissemination of BPL data

A state MMP project

The National e-Governance Plan (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-Panchayat is an MMP under the state category.

The panchayat represents the first-level of government interaction for over 60 per cent of the Indian populace, and provides a large number of basic services for millions of citizens living in rural locations across the nation. It is against this backdrop that the Panchayat MMP has been included in NeGP.

The MMP aims to address and overcome the typical challenges faced in the villages, such as lack of reliable communication infrastructure, delay in delivery of services to citizens, low revenue mobilization for implementing schemes at the Gram Panchayat level, and lack of monitoring mechanisms for schemes.

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