If the state government’s joint venture with software giant TCS works out as planned, you may not have to stand in long queues for any government service from marriage certificate to ration cards. Even filing a Right to information application will be possible at the click of a mouse. The project also plans at making most government offices starting from the state secretariat to the zilla parishad paperless.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with TCS to set up a Joint Venture company, Mahaonline with a shared equity of 74:26 per cent for 10 years. The Joint venture company will have seed money of Rs 24 crore. “This MoU will change the face of administration and make it more efficient. The project will be easy to operate and of use to the common man,” said Chavan
It will set up a portal to provide all government services through a single-window system. It will set up common service centres linked by web-based application to provide services like registrations of birth, death, marriage and even cars. Driver’s licences, licences for cinemas, and even arms will be made available online.
Users will be charged a nominal fee for every service rendered. The company will also provide a call centre to provide information on government services to the citizens.
The digitisation process will start with archiving of old files and records into a digitized format. For instance, the state secretariat’s record room that has over 84,000 preserved,15 to five year old files will get scanned and converted into a digitized format.
Then, software will incorporate all existing files unto the system and all government employees, up to Class III officers will be given digital signatures and user id. It will have on board two government officials and three officers appointed by TCS. The entire project will be financed through departments using these applications and citizen customers. For first 10 lakh files created in the first year, every file will cost Rs 25. The overall payment for the year will be limited at Rs 1.5 crore. Beyond this every file will come at a cost of Rs 15.
The state government had given a formal approval for this project in 2008.