Jharkhand took a major leap forward in utilising e-governance facilities to benefit the rural masses with the launch of electronic delivery system at Pragya Centres in Ranchi district.
The new services, facilitated through the newly enacted Jharkhand Electronic Services Delivery Act 2011, will enable the people in rural areas to have electronically signed certificates for birth, income, residential, castes, etc, get in a jiffy at common delivery centres at Panchayat bhawans, also known as Pragya Centres.
In a symbolic start, beneficiaries from Arsande village in Kanke block were issued identify cards with e- Signatures apart from online release of pension. Seven online services have been started in this block.
Infrastructure is being developed at the rest 36 panchayats of the blocks to benefit the people, who had to spend months otherwise to get these documents from the block offices and district headquarter.
The project is being implemented by the Jharkhand Agency for Promotion of Information Technology (JAPIT) in consultation with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has developed the software for electronic delivery services. The concept was originally mooted a few years ago by then IT Secretary RS Sharma, who is presently posted as Director General of the Unique Identification Development Authority of India, New Delhi.
IT Secretary Satyendra Singh said a nominal charge of Rs 15 would be levied for processing each application for which people do not need to fill up the forms by themselves. “A village-level entrepreneur will do it all on behalf of the applicants,” he said.
Among other major advantages of e-District services are transparency and speed. There is little scope of corruption, as the software has been specially designed to enable a superior officer to monitor status of pending applications online.
This apart, farmers can have authentic and block specific weather forecast at their respective Pragya Centres. The forecast report is prepared by Birsa Agriculture University after analysing the data received from the Indian Special Research Orgainisation (ISRO), Meteorological department and met centres set up at 60 blocks of the State.