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Case study: Innovation in service delivery

Head: CSCs delivering G2C services, offline, in Lakhimpur

Intro: Even after having a close similarity in terms of poor information technology infrastructure with other state districts, Lakhimpur in Assam has unparalleled position in timely delivery of services, using common services centres as an extended arm of the government

Problem: In Assam, almost 16 government-to-citizen (G-2-C) services are being delivered on time, electronically, in two districts, Nagaon and Goalpara. However, people in rest of the 25 districts still depend on the manual and inefficient services delivery. Scaling e-district to cover whole state, and hence enabling an online interface between government and citizen in almost all lien departments, might take at least a few years. [Detailed project report, DPR is yet to be approved from the Centre] So what will the government do? Will it just wait and watch, as it does in most other areas, like the implementation of social sector schemes?

Implementation: Jayant Narlekar, a young official of the Indian administrative services holds an answer. After joining as the deputy commissioner of Lakhimpur district in Assam, in 2008, Narlekar planned to deliver services on time, with utmost transparency, and keeping citizen in the centre of services delivery. As result, Lakhimpur administration identified, in September 2009, almost six to seven services for which the citizens did not have to go to the deputy commissioners’ or some other government office. Under the new system, which is virtually a replica of the e-district system, the applications (along with the required documents) could be dropped at the nearest CSC. After having a critical mass of the applications, the operator or the village level entrepreneur, VLE, then visit the deputy commissioners’ office and submits all applications to an official in the e-governance cell, who after scrutinizing the forms, passes it on to the concerned authorities, including the deputy commissioner. Within the given date, the operator again visits the office and brings back the certificates issues over the applications. With the help of mobile phone, the operator informs people to collect their certificates, while they visit to the CSC. The services primarily include permanent residence certificate (PRC), caste certificate, non-creamy layer certificate, legal heir certificate and permission for special events.

the workers had a problem in getting the wages. There is a lot of physical interface which I tried to reduce through the mechanism.” “We also take mobile number during this process. Admitting the delay caused due to delivery of services. in the form of print outs from the kiosks. Pre Narlekar. We did it in 33 kiosks. things were not in good shape. Explained Narlekar. “People have to just visit CSCs. Process reengineering While the delivery of services were being done by collaboration between government and the VLEs. The prime issue was that as per MGNREGA rule. a new system for streamlining implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) was also being piloted in the district under Narlekar.” Narlekar said. Firstly. he said.” he added. he said.” The facility we provided was that citizen don’t have to go to government office. the single window system of applying and getting service involved process reengineering of the existing process. Elaborating on the devised solutions. You will then send it to me. Secondly. We requested them to offer information about the schemes. the police give report on whether there has been any first information report (FIR). They can distribute certificate on our behalf. Tahsildar and Police and club it with the application and forward it to me or the person will collect the information and give it to you. Besides delivery of certificates. government will provide a job card within 15 days. take the form. “Our objective was to ensure transparency. which rarely happened. We both will get these reports from circle office. because that curbs corruption. We gave them vendor license. So put all information in public domain. “We fixed deadlines for the delivery of various kinds of certificates. Certificates are either issued from my end or from SDM office. For example. I will then send it back to you within the given period. you won’t be able to get a caste certificate. again with the of CSCs operators. they need to fill and then submit the application form to the office. the strict monitoring and review of the programme from the deputy commissioner office always kept officials on their tow. Until these two reports are given. Lakhimpur being one of the most backward districts in country was chosen first for implementation. The information will include name of panchayat. to ensure that the citizen gets to know everything. Narlekar said. when you apply for a caste certificate. It worked in two ways. according to the district officials. Either an operator goes to different offices like circle office. Not through sending jail one or two guys. “We urged CSCs to participate in the implementation of MGNREGA. fill it and then submit it. an automatic SMS will be generated to inform the applicant. As soon as your certificate is ready. In addition. name of the .The elimination of direct interface of citizen and government resulted in reduction of corruption. The public often have to spend a lot of time in doing rounds of these two offices. the Tahsildar reports about your caste and location.

applications for job card and work too could be submitted to the CSC. But besides. than the government officials. Because there was a private channel directly linked to me. the scheme and the amount released for the scheme. While software. people could have another option of applying at CSCs. even at the panchayat level. “So we got somebody who is more interested in doing it. Usually. So he will take the application and forward it to the block development officer (BDO). The more he distributes.” Besides. the more will be his or her profit.” The district administration also piloted a complaint registration system. the village level entrepreneur (VLE) will be given some money. For every application. you apply it to the secretary of gram panchayat. This theory has been put into practice in one the most poor and remote districts of Assam. There will be a number of people interested in getting the information. under which the CSC were to receive petition and again forward it to the DC office. On every print out he earns one rupee. For every petition. The BDO and other officials got scared. ‘Administrative will’ plays an important role in running the government machinery with efficiency and transparency.ward. “And we really got some genuine complaints. ownership and collaboration skills in the public servants which provide the actual stimulus.” he said. . hardware or networks supplement the administration in running it smooth. We developed small software. The complaint petition were directly sent to me. It had great deterrent effect. administration offered 30 to 50 paise to the VLE. Narlekar’s example prove that it is actually the decisiveness. who are alleged to be least interested. And information could come to me through email. The kiosk operator will have motivation. where we keep a track of the number of application sent to the BDO.