IIM-A to evaluate functioning of Antyodaya SaralUpdated: Feb 10, 2020 23:53 IST
A team of experts from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of Antyodaya Saral, an e-governance platform launched in 2017 that provides easy access to 526 schemes and services under 38 departments.
The state government has asked IIM-A to assess the portal through which citizens apply for all government services like driving licenses, birth and death certificates, new BPL cards, education certificates, new electricity or LPG connections, among other schemes run by the centre and state government.
“A team of three people has already been assigned to study the online platform at three levels—functioning of the portal, ground-level services, and citizens’ response. The project will end by December. Based on their research, the team will be selecting random districts,” Rakesh Gupta, additional principal secretary to the chief minister, who led the state’s flagship programme of providing all the services under the single digital platform, said.
“Five years ago, the state could not have provided easy access and paperless services. Through the Saral portal, we attempt to curb corruption, improve the efficiency of government machinery and ensure hassle-free delivery of services,” he said.
The portal has a status- and request-tracking mechanism through which a unique service request number or application number is assigned to an applicant, so (s)he can track the status of his/her application. As per data shared by the state government, more than 15 lakh SMSes are sent to citizens every month to inform them of the status of their applications.
The data shows that maximum applications are received by departments such as revenue, food and supplies, social justice and empowerment. In 2018, as many as 7,25,421 applications were received across the state. It increased to 67,85,321 in 2019. In 2020, till February, over 6,73,864 applications have been registered online.
In Gurugram alone, more than 17 lakh applications have been filed, of which more than 16 lakh have been completed. Currently, the district is ranked 14 across the state for its performance on the Saral portal.
Gupta said that there is scope for improvement in services. “The application is processed in an automated manner but has to be further simplified. Second, it’s a huge system, wherein we receive more than 90 lakh applications for various services and schemes from across the state, so the system and servers need to be stabilised. Third, over 100-150 services provided by different departments need to be added to the portal,” he said.
On Sunday, in a first-of-its-kind report ‘National e-Governance Service Delivery Assessment’ recently released by the Central Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances Department (DAR & PG), Haryana was ranked third after Kerala and Goa for its Saral portal. The state was awarded at the 23rd national awards ceremony organised by the department.