Your right the access government services in a time-bound manner is set to get further easier. Buoyed by the 5.6 lakh online applications it received in less than three months of launching only 46 services online, the Maharashtra government is now planning to massively scale up its efforts. The government plans to add more than 150 additional services to the list.
What this means is by January 26, when the state government hopes to have these new services available online, citizens will be able to access a total of 196 services just at the click of a button.
The Maharashtra Guarantee of Public Services Act, also known as the Right to Services Act, is a piece of legislation that makes it mandatory for public authorities to deliver facilities in a time-bound manner. Of the total 257 services that the Act currently covers, 46 are available online.
Currently, citizen-related services such as getting birth and death certificates, dog permissions are offered online by the civic body, while state-level services such as getting age, caste, domicile certificates are offered by the state’s portal – Aaple Sarkar.
Chief secretary Swadhin Kshatriya has ordered all secretaries to now come up with a list of services that their departments can offer online till January 26. The directive came after the government found the online portal had received more than 5.6 lakh applications from citizens since October.
“We are pleasantly surprised with the response. This shows that people have taken to the idea of governance in the digital world very well. Hence, we have decided to push ourselves and ensure that we scale up our efforts,” said Kshatriya.
According to available data, of the 5.6 lakh applications, most were for services offered by the revenue department. Labour and forest departments got the second- and third-most number of applications.
“Contrary to popular perception, even things such as application for bamboo plantation or tendu leaves collection, predominantly rural activities, are being received online. This makes us believe that we must throw open more services online,” said Kshatriya.
In addition to extending the scope of online governance, the state is also planning to extend the ambit of the online grievance redressal system, which accompanies service delivery. “We had only selected one district from each of the seven divisions. Now, we plan to extend it to all other districts,” said a senior IAS official, who did not wish to be named. This will enable citizens to file reports of non-compliance of the Right to Services Act