The government may not have agreed on Anna Hazare's demand on Lokpal but his campaign has pushed the government to fast track its technology based solution to tackle petty corruption.
Central to success of Hazare's campaign is growing disenchantment of general public, or aam aadmi, against corruption in seeking public service. Many, who joined Anna, had complained how they had to pay money to get a birth or a death certificate or nothing moved in a government office for getting an electricity or water connection.
The government believes that one stop solution to many of these problems was Unique Identification Number or Aadhaar which will minimise interface with public servants and online availability of services.
"Having an Aadhaar number would mean no requirement of bulk of documents to seek a certificate from the government," a senior government official said. "If you have Aadhaar the beneficiary will be assured."
It is because the Aadhaar number is issued only after checking a basic set of documents. To get Aadhaar number, one should have a document for identity, for proof of address and birth. A person having any one of the documents from the list of 17 for one's identity, 29 to verify address proof and four for track date of birth can get an Aadhaar number.
If the person does not have any of these documents, the Unique Identification Authority of India has started an introducer concept to give him the unique number. The introducer will be the one having an Aadhaar number and his name will be mentioned in the computer records of the person introduced by him. "This will ensure that everyone gets an Aadhar number," an official said.
Once the person has the number availing many public services would almost be automatic. "If you have an Aadhaar number the government official will have to issue birth or death certificate," an official said.
If the official fails, there will be a public grievance mechanism to punish the official. The Central government is planning to bring a model public service delivery bill providing timeline for providing public service. A draft bill for public online services has already been circulated for inter-ministerial consideration.
Bihar has already taken a lead with enactment of a law providing guarantee to public service and penalty for officials failing to do so. "The public grievance redressal mechanism will soon be brought before the Cabinet," a senior Central government functionary said.
A senior government minister felt that once these measures fructify in a year or so the public disenchantment with governance will probably reduce.