80 lakh applications, 200 SDOs: Officials in MP fume at caste certificate target

  • Shahroz Afridi, None, Bhopal
  • Updated: May 22, 2015 17:19 IST

The Madhya Pradesh government’s target to issue caste certificates is difficult to meet, officials said.

The government has received about 80 lakh applications for caste certificates.

“The government has now about 200 sub-divisional officers (SDOs) who issue the certificates.

This means an officer has to issue 40,000 certificates, and that too in a month’s time,” said Deepak Saxena, the general secretary of the MP Administrative Services Association.

Officials of the general administration department (GAD) have asked district collectors to issue caste certificates by June 30. Saxena said that issuing a caste certificate is a complex procedure.

Revenue officials do a physical verification of the applicants.

Affidavits, documents on residence proof and applicants’ statements are recorded. After the formalities are over, SDOs issue caste certificates.

An online entry to the public services department portal is done after the SDO concerned gives his digital signature, he said.

After verification of an applicant, entry to the portal and recording the digital signature take around 10 minutes.

“If an official devotes half of his duty hours (4 hours) on issuing caste certificates, he could issue only 40 to 50 in a day,” said Saxena.

The revenue department faces shortage of naib tehsildars, data entry operators and readers.

Erratic power supply and slow internet speed in far-flung areas also add to the delay.

An official said, “They are demanding us to issue thousands of certificates per month which is impossible. Collectors have forced some junior employees to develop a clone of our digital signatures and have started issuing certificates. This is illegal and could create problems.”

Principal secretary (GAD) K Suresh said, “Those complaining about it are either not conversant with technology or keep their work pending.”

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