The e-governance revolution sweeping Jharkhand is helping eliminate corrupt practices.
Thanks to electronic governance and linking of pensioners' accounts with their Aadhaar cards, the state has weeded out 1.3 lakh fake pensioners since last summer, with around 80% of them being removed from the list in the past two months.
"We have already removed 1.3 lakh fake pensioners from the list of old-age, widowed and disabled pensioners," chief secretary RS Sharma told Hindustan Times.
Till last year, the state had been doling out pension of around Rs 642 crore to 10.66 lakh beneficiaries per year.
The fresh list has 9.36 lakh pensioners, down by 12%. The state government will now save Rs 80 crore per year.
In fact, e-governance seems to be transforming the entire bureaucratic culture in the state.
If an official, from the peon to the principal secretary, does not turn up in office by 10.30am, an SMS is automatically sent to his cell phone saying, "You are yet to mark your biometric attendance."
"There has been a phenomenal change in the reporting time of staff," said Rajdeo Pandey, an official in the rural development department.
"Earlier, most officials used to turn up around noon. Now everyone comes in before 10.30am and does not leave before 6pm."
The new human resources management (HRM) system lets anybody check attendance summary of individuals of all departments with different parameters in real time.
The HRM software supported by biometric terminals has been installed at 16 locations housing 63 departments in the state capital, and will soon be installed at district and block levels too.
Electronic measures have also been introduced in the form of treasury management, integrated financial management, SMS gateway and e-payment gateway.
And then there are some department-specific applications.
The chief secretary said no other state had yet implemented the attendance system and the integrated financial management system.
"Jharkhand is much ahead of other states in terms of e-governance. It's a very powerful tool," he said.
Sharma was the first director general of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) till 2013.