Dr Santosh Babu

In today’s era, governments should take a proactive approach to delivering services to their citizens. Citizens should not be required to visit government offices to avail of services; instead, the government should periodically provide these services based on the life cycle of individuals. To achieve this, the government can leverage the vast amount of data it has on its citizens. Only through this approach can we truly redefine governance and bring it into the modern and sophisticated age.

The government should implement an Auto-escalation method and a deemed approval system to overcome the challenges of slow response times and inefficiency. These processes must be closely linked to the performance appraisal of the relevant officers or authorities. It’s time to shift from traditional governance to a more predictive governance model.

Several challenges in eGovernance stem from underinvestment in e-Security, Geographic Information systems, emerging technologies, data management, and dealing with multiple agencies. The entire three-tier architecture of Kerala relies heavily on the software and applications developed by Information Kerala. However, as technology has evolved, our applications have yet to keep pace.

When the world was just awakening to the potential of software, the Information Kerala Mission pioneered by developing software, setting an example for the rest of the world. They created several software applications, like Sanjaya, Sujita, Sajaytra, and Sagarma, to transform local governance in Kerala. Unfortunately, these applications have become outdated.

In response, we have launched another transformational application called K-SMART – Kerala Solutions for Managing Administrative Reformation and Transformation. We follow an 82-day sprint strategy, aiming to develop nine citizen-centric modules out of a total of 30. These modules cover essential areas such as Birth & Death, Building Permit, Property Tax, Finance, HRMS, and File Management. This approach departs from the conventional development process and represents a more agile and citizen-focused approach to eGovernance.

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Views expressed by: Dr. Santosh Babu, IAS (Retd.), Principal Secretary & Managing Director, Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd (KSITIL) & Kerala Fibre Optic Network (KFON) and Chairman & Managing Director & ED, Information Kerala Mission (IKM) at the ‘12th eGov Knowledge Exchange Summit’ on 19-20 October 2023 at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.


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