Keen to curb corruption in government offices, the Centre is making an ambitious move to transfer many public services, such as driving license or construction permits, to electronic format within 10 years.
The idea is to reduce the direct interface between officials and customers to choke avenues of bribes and at the same time save people’s time and money.A proposal to overhaul the Electronics Delivery of Services Bill will be considered by the Union cabinet on Monday. The bill stipulates that if there is persistent delay in e-services, officials of the concerned department would be penalised up to Rs. 20,000. Also –under the proposed amendment-- if a government department has outsourced its services, the private vendors too, would bear the liability of failure in delivery.
Two of most popular services, passport application and e-tickets of the railways, have the involvement of private IT companies for back-end operations.
While the poor will not have to pay any additional fee for the e-services, such as online application in education institutions, the new bill will also ensure that differently-abled persons would also be assisted by the public authorities in accessing the e-facilities.
The current version of the bill allowed departments to exclude—on its own—services from the e-platform if they are not capable of being delivered electronically.