Residents seeking caste certificates will not have to run from pillar to post with the Chandigarh administration announcing that the process would be made online within a week.
The National Informatics Centre has developed the software, which has been successfully tested
At present, the process of getting a caste certificate consumes a lot of time and is marred by red-tape, which has led to flourishing of touts.
Under the present system, applicants have to undergo a long-drawn process of submitting documents to the official concerned. After receiving an application, it is forwarded to the certificate assistant. The documents are then verified by the field staff of tehsildar office before the file is put up before sub-division magistrate (SDM) for issuing a certificate.
Under the new system, an application will be processed online in two stages before it is signed by the SDM.
After an applicant form is filled online, it will be first processed by a clerk and then verified by the staff of tehsildar office. Once the verification is complete, the file will be moved to the SDM who will digitally sign it and the certificate will be issued. The status of the application will be provided at regular intervals to the applicants via SMS.
SDM (centre) Prince Dhawan, who is the nodal officer of the project, said the entire process had been computrised and there will be no physical movement of files.
He added that digital signatures had been issued to all the officials concerned.“The new system will save a lot of time of residents and they will not have to face harassment as well,” said Prince Dhawan.
The residents will also have the option of manually submitting the application in a prescribed form stamped with the requisite fee, will be scanned and then processed.
In April last year, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes had directed the Chandigarh administration to cut down on the time taken for issuing SC/ST certificates.
Acting on several complaints received by the commission, NCSC vice-chairman Raj Kumar Verka had instructed the administration to ensure that people applying for caste certificates do not face any harassment.
The administration was warned of strict action if it failed to comply with the directions.
Federation of Sector Welfare Associations Chandigarh chairman Baljinder Singh Bittu said the move will be of great help to the residents.