Citizens across 28 Indian states will be able to avail all government services including payment of utility bills and applying for a driving licence, through common internet portals being developed as part of Rs 2,000-crore State Portal Project, senior government officials told ET.
The government plans to develop portals for at least 10 states by October 2010, and the rest will follow suit. These state portals will offer services right from getting a birth or death registration certificate, to applications for pensions, to getting a domicile or residence certificate all online. The forms will be available and submitted electronically. “We expect many states to go live within six months. It will reduce redtapism and make delivery of services hassle free,” said a joint secretary level official at the Ministry of IT & Communications. “Citizen service centre (CSC) kiosks, in rural areas, will help citizens who are technologically challenged submit these forms online,” the official added.
The government plans to rollout almost 10,000 more CSC kiosks, by December this year, taking the total number to 90,000. The portals will need about Rs 50-Rs 60 crore each to develop, said an egovernance business head of at one of the top Indian tech firms currently bidding for this business. Already, five IT companies, Accenture, Infosys, HP, Wipro, and 3i Infotech, have been empanelled as agencies for implementation of the project at the state level. KPMG, Ernst & Young, PwC, IL&FS and UTITSL have been empanelled as the consulting firms. The states may pick any of these agencies for implementation of the project. When portals go live, citizens would be able to query the status of his/her application at any point in time. Response will also be conveyed through SMSs or email or even displayed on portals. Initially, it may be limited to notifications like a licence or permit is ready to be picked up. But with time, all emailed printouts of licences/tickets may also be made legally eligible. The e-service delivery will have three main steps, citizens selects and fills the e-Form and submits it electronically. They will also get a unique ID generated by the system, to follow up on the status via email or SMS means. The portals would be available in their local language and English. Madhya Pradesh government has already gone live with its MP Online portal, a joint venture with Tata Consultancy Services. The state has tied up with Bajaj Allianz, Tata AIG and LIC, to enable their customers to pay insurance premiums online. Citizens can also recharge their mobile prepaid accounts online for Airtel, Tata Docomo, Tata Indicom and BSNL phones. They can also book private tours of state national parks like Kanha and Bandhavgarh online. Bhopal Gas victims can apply for free medical facilities, and state incentives online. “Our aim is to reduce direct interaction of citizen with government and encourage ‘e’ -interaction,” another ministry official added.