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Enabling Efficient Administration at the District Level through ICT
A Study of Lokvani project in Uttar Pradesh
Rahul Pathak Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai 7/1/2008
Dedicated to the people of Uttar Pradesh…. Of whom I am one….
A crab along with a swan and a pike, set out to drag a wagon along the road It was not their load was difficult to move; But the upward strained the swan, toward skies above, The crab kept stepping back, the pike was for the pond. And which was right or wrong, I neither know nor care: I only know the wagon’s still there.
- Ivan Krylov
A study like this, which spreads over such a vast geographical area and at such a micro level, is seldom a result of single person’s effort. Many persons have provided me with advice and support as the study went through its peaks and troughs. This acknowledgement is a small gesture of gratitude to them. Some helped me professionally with their time and sagacious advice and others with a personal and emotional support during this period which saw lots of crests and troughs. Firstly, I thank my guide Mr. Ashwani Kumar for supporting me during the course of study, I am also thankful to Dr. R. N. Sharma, Dr. Bino Paul, Dr. Abdul Shaban, and Dr. Arwind Tiwari who have provided essential inputs on various academic issues. I am thankful to Government of Uttar Pradesh, National Informatics Centre, and District Administrations of various districts. I am also thankful to various officials of the Government of Uttar Pradesh in the secretariat, Yojana Bhavan and UPDESCO for their support. I thank the technical directors at NIC, Mr. A.P. Singh, Mr. Anshu Rohatgi and Mr. Avneesh Gupta for providing me with valuable insights into the various projects. I also thank Mr. Amod Kumar, Dr. Manoj Dixit, Dr. A. K Singh, Dr. G. S. Baghel, Dr. Pratima Pathak, Dr. Ashutosh Mishra, Dr. Shashi Shukla, Mr. R B Ram, Mr. Suneet Dwivedi and many more for their valuable insights. Lastly, I thank the people who define my life…. My family of five angels… My friends… And many more….
This project began as a part of my research related to the relations between State, Good Governance, development and Information Technology. The enquiry was mainly targeted at the understanding of the essential operational dynamics of everyday administration at the district level and an analysis of role that could be played by introduction of information and communication technologies. The district administration in a state like Uttar Pradesh, which is so much politically active, is a complex process. Everything that happens at the district level is in one way or the other linked to the political processes at the local, state and central level politics. Lokvani project was chosen due to its unique approach and potential to truly make e-governance a reality in an area supposed to be backward and aloof from the general technological progress. Every project or endeavor at any levels comes with a set of inadequacies and criticisms, as a perfect project is seldom implemented. When we tend to look into a project from critical perspective we tend to overlook the vision behind the project. When I was working on this project I realized that there is a lack of a comprehensive document which captures the spirit behind Lokvani. Thus, it became essential to document the project in a comprehensive perspective. Thus, I have approached this report from two perspectives. Firstly, an analysis of what are the objectives or intentions behind the overall vision of the Lokvani project. The second part is a simultaneous analysis of various issues operational on the field and a practical picture of the wide differences that exist between the theoretical constructs and practical administration. A large part of the report is directly taken from the official documents related to the projects, which I failed to provide proper references. This should not be taken as a violation of copyrights. Author is solely responsible for any discrepancy in the document.
*The author could be contacted at email@example.com or Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Deonar, Mumbai.
Acknowledgement…………………………………………………………….………………………………………………………3 Preface……………………………………………………………..……………………………………………………….………………4 Contents……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………5 Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………...6 District Administration and Bureaucracy………………………….…………..……………………………………………8 Public Grievances……………………………………………………………….……………………………………………………13 State profile of Uttar Pradesh…………………………………………………………………………………………..………17 District Profile of Sitapur………………………………………………………………………………………...……………….20 The Method of data collection…………………………………………………………………………………………………22 The Lokvani………….……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 23 (a) The Genesis……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…24 (b) The Process……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…25 (c) The Services offered under Lokvani………………………………………………………………………………26 (d) The stakeholders in Lokvani………………………………………………………………………………………….27 (e) Infrastructure and Costs……………………………………………………………….………………………………30 (f) Implementation Plan…………………………………………………………………………………………………….33 (g) Some Screen Shots………………………………..………………………………………………………………………34 (h) The Advantages…………………………………..………………………………………………………….…………….39 (i) Challenges faced…………………………………………………………………………………………..……………….41 (j) Results Achieved…………………………………………………………………………………………………….…….42 (k) Replication…………………………………………………………………………………………………..……….………45 Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………………………….……………………...47 References………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………48 -5-
The development of the societies is often synonymous with the development of formal institutions and organizations which govern the operational processes in the societies. In India, in the post independence era we embarked on a journey of creation of numerous such institutions related to almost every domain. The role of public organizations assumed importance not only in governance and regulation but also in economic and social development. In the post liberalization era, the private sector assumed significant importance but to a large extent they also depend on the efficiency and effectiveness of public organizations, not to say of the poor masses whose existence in a major way is dependent on the government and public systems. The district is the most important single unit of administration in which the government comes into intimate contact with the citizens. Thus, the district administration can play a major role in directing the socioeconomic changes. The district administration and bureaucracies have been severely criticized in their method of operation and lack to commitment to the development of the masses. Emergence of Information and Communication technologies and their integration with the process of governance could be a solution and many parts of the world stand testimony to this fact. The discourse around introduction of technology in governance has always been focusing on the need for strong governance as the centre of operation of such projects; the technology is just a facilitating tool in the macro-process. The idea is to improve the day to day operation of the governance procedures and strengthening of the processes involving implementation. Various electronic governance projects have been implemented throughout the world which has brought dynamic changes in the way administrative systems interact and serve the masses. In India largely such projects were restricted to the urban pockets of development in metropolitan cities especially in the southern states. The rural belts have seen penetration of ICTs through certain business remodeling concepts like e-choupal and Gyandoot but largely the interventions have failed to make a larger impact on governance procedures as such. In a state like Uttar Pradesh with a low socio-economic profile and complex administrative procedures it was difficult to conceive and implement the e-governance project. National Informatics Centre the major implementer of e-governance projects in Uttar-Pradesh has played a major role in these projects. The NIC holds an opinion that the political institutions determine the success and failure of any project and the people shift to use any user–friendly application if it suits there interests and serves them, irrespective of their socio-economic profile. Also effective leadership can bring major -6-
changes to the way administrative systems operate in the state machinery. The Lokvani project somehow got favorable support on all these fronts. It was conceived as an online public grievance redressal model with a two-pronged approach. Firstly, the improvement of the speed of the process and generating accountability mechanisms and secondly, the virtual network of administration up to the Nyaya Panchayat level, thus reducing the physical barriers of space and time between the people and the administration, and also between the various echelons in the administrative set up. The project was based on simple technology applications and was very user friendly. The process was designed keeping local conditions in mind, thus the project got momentum from the very beginning. Strong support from the media popularized the project. The project was a brain-child of a particular administrator thus till the time he was in the district, the project continued to grow. The electronic governance projects in India have failed to a very large amount due relocation of the people who began them, since the processes are not institutionalized in short tenures, the shifting of people creates a problem. Similar fate was faced by the Lokvani project. Also, when it comes to replication among many factors internal issues within the Indian bureaucracy takes a toll on the success of the replication plans. Thus, there are various factors which could be analyzed when it comes to implementation. In this report I have tried to address two issues in particular first is the study of district administration and secondly process of Lokvani project, its advantages etc. Simultaneously, I have highlighted some of the inefficiencies of the implementation phase and subsequent deterioration, which could form the basis of further investigation in terms of an analysis of inadequacies of the district administrative systems & egovernance projects at the implementation level. It is necessary to understand the issues that operate within the Indian bureaucracy and how it impacts the everyday social relations with the people whom they are expected to serve. What are human capital issues and the reasons for the inefficient functioning of the bureaucracy? Some of these issues I have tried to touch upon. Towards the end I have done a small analysis of the implementation and replication issues in Lokvani at the state level and issues involved in the same. The Lokvani project and similar projects of electronic governance are aimed at improving the everyday state relations with the masses but it is to be strictly maintained that they are just the tools; it is the willingness of the state machinery as a whole which would determine the overall success or failures of such efforts. Thus, the need is to strengthen the state and its decision taking structures and bringing innovation and accountability at the top which is subsequently bound to be transmitted to all the levels of state machinery in due course of time. -7-
DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION AND BUREAUCRACY:
District administration is one of the most important parts of the Indian administrative system and has been one of the most powerful institutions. During the colonial regime, it was rigorously built up to bring the totality of government closer to the people. It was hierarchical sub-system of the state administration performing the specific tasks assigned to it. The head of civil administration in a district is a collector who is also a district magistrate. She/he is a regional officer but she/he represents the government in the district in practically all spheres of its activities. She/he is assisted by a number of other bureaucrats in various departments. All the officers assist him in different branches of administration such as land records, collection of revenues, policy implementation etc. He is also the ex-officio district election officer. He is also responsible for planning and development of the district plans and assists district planning committees in the budgetary processes. The office of the collector is called the collectorate. The other major functions of collector include maintenance of law and order, Inspection of Jails, supervise cadastral survey and land records, revenue administration etc. Thus, the office of the collector is burdened with a number of activities and enormous powers are vested in the collector. Thus, individual competence of the District Magistrate is determined to play the most significant role in the way administration operates in the district. District is further divided into tahsils for the purposes of realization and collection of land revenue administration. Tahsils are the units of Sub divisions, and sub divisional magistrate performs similar functions as that of district collector at the tahsil level. He is assisted by a number of land revenue officials like Tahsildar, Naib-Tahsildar, Kanoongo and lastly the lekhpal. Lekhpal is the last in the revenue chain and is a village level functionary. Thus a complicated network of officials operates at a district level in a hierarchical set up. Collector is solely responsible for every activity that happens in a district. He is expected to tour the district for about 90 days and especially in each Tahsil during the rainy season, to look into the condition of peasantry, settle disputes, and see to the implementation of development schemes. Similarly, sub divisional magistrates are expected to travel for about 60 days. With the growing needs of administration the capability expansion of the district collector is under question. These responsibilities become practically impossible for the single person to administer. It is also essential that the public administration should not be restricted to a top to down approach serving the needs of the political leadership at the local, state and central levels. The administration should be accountable to the public whom it serves. At present the administrators -8-
and the representatives either share feelings of hostility towards each other and believe that the failure of one is a result of failure of others or operate on a predefined line of nexus serving the vested interests of the coterie thus formed. Collaboration and support between the administrator and representative which at the same time is consistent with the welfare and development of people is generally absent. Also, the understanding of their own tasks is very poor and both depend to a large extent on the coterie of subordinates around them, which is a full army of yesmen. In that case it needs a matured and rational administrator who can handle the responsibility for the tasks assigned to him. When the overall administration is centered around one person and the overall district administration tries to fulfill the vision of the collector, it is his vision that is essential to define how the things move on in the districts. On the other hand, In Independent India there has been a rush for the postings in the secretariat of the state and the central governments. Successful field personnel and quickly rushed into secretariat tasks. This tendency is further accentuated because of two other reasons; firstly the experiment in decentralization has in fact resulted in higher measure of centralization. Secondly, more talented people are required in decision making positions in the state administration and more people are attracted to it for it offers power and prestige as well as facilities of a metro dwelling space. This in the long run leads to weakening of the administrative systems at the district level. As the competencies shift to the secretariats and ministries, the centre of administration also shifts from the district to the ministries, thus weakening the most important link in the administration where the real action takes place. Thus, there is a distinct need to make collectorate positions more attractive and to have administrators with successful careers and considerable experience posted in the field positions that would be strengthen the administrative machinery. Apart from it one of the key issues is to revive the bureaucratic systems also so that the good people are not caught up in stagnant systems. The dynamism of the young officers should be harnessed upon; I encountered a number of good people who are caught up in bad systems. Once, a distinguished administrator, at the end of a long and eventful career, gave expression to his anguish over the fact that the administrators who started as very literate persons end up as semi-literates. The pressure on the administrators has mounted enormously in recent years and generally they don’t get a say at the policy-making level. An antipathy to study and research has now been deeply ingrained in the administrative traditions. This may sound paradoxical but it is true, the colonial system produced administrators some of whom could be considered super literates, who pioneered research in many branches of knowledge, relating to people whom they -9-
administered. Now, the system which is most affected by the transfers, (in Uttar Pradesh statistics being abnormally high) leaves no space for the administrators to understand the people they relate to. Also, expansion of the range, scope and complexity of the public services brought about rapid urbanization, has led to unprecedented changes in the way we approach our administrative set ups and vice versa. The district administrative set ups are not able to revive their work patterns and have also had problems in responding to the tools provided till date. It could be debated whether the human capital failures in terms of responding to the technology and other tools is the personal failure of the administrative system or the local political will which is to change as their local positions as the power centres could be diluted. The district administrative systems work more on political will and a strong political bureaucracy has evolved at all the levels. The private interest of this nexus supersedes the public good. It is not only these issues that are impeding upon the bureaucratic structures, in order to understand the holistic picture; we need to analyze the issues from socio-cultural perspectives embedded in the local systems. A critical analysis of the values, behavioral aspects and attitudes of the Indian bureaucratic machinery and the administrative system at the district level is necessary to understand the larger failures. The mindset of the Indian administration has to be studied in the perspective of the bureaucracy existing within a series of Chinese boxes. The immediate box is that of the bureaucratic ethos which itself exists within the box of the governmental environment. This, however, is placed within the larger box of the socio-economic-politico-cultural environment of India. Again, the individual bureaucrat is himself enclosed within yet another box: the particular socio-economic and cultural matrix of which he is a product and which exists at the core of his thinking and feeling. The incredible complexity of these multiple layers of the bureaucrat’s make-up has to be analyzed and understood if an effective intervention for change is to be made. In most government organizations, there are no shortages of analytical reports or action plans. External agencies and internal groups have often studied key aspects of the organizational functioning and come up with recommendations for improvements. Training programmes and workshops have been conducted to discuss important ideas. If ‘talk’ was an indicator of change, then the progress would be considered remarkable. But a common lament is that very little of such prescriptions and pronouncements get translated into practice. An examination of the different causes of this large gap between knowing what to do and actually doing it would bring us to the issue of mindset and culture and it is according to that we approach our administrative reforms. I hereby deal with the - 10 -
various issues involved step by step to understand the whole process of requisite behavioral changes. In order to understand the overall process it is critical that we identify the mindsets which prevail in the administrative systems and what are the employee’s perceptions. Some of the major key issues I was able to identify were as follows: (a) High degree of preoccupation with day to day routines, which in turn hampers strategic thinking. (b) Lack of foresight, thus just focusing on immediate requirements rather than on bigger picture. (c) An extra comfort level with status quo and seeped in resistance to change. (d) Helplessness about constraints, thus shedding of responsibility as a consequence of situations. (e) Conformity prevails over commitment, excessive reliance on directive style of work. (f) Performance exhibited not as a habit but as a response to emergency and crisis situations. (g) Lack of anticipatory and participatory learning, appreciation, focus on priorities. (h) Little mutual trust, respect, and friendship in teams. (i) Lack of open, frank and free communication. (j) Lack of effectiveness in managing mistakes (k) A general unwillingness to take initiative. (l) Lack of sensitivity to internal and external customer satisfaction. These issues pertaining to the stagnancy in the mindsets further manifests itself in the form of various day to day activities and problems of our Indian administrative system: (1) Lack of professionalism and poor capacity building. (2) Inefficient incentive system. (3) Outmoded and restrictive rules and procedures. (4) Systemic inconsistencies in promotion and empanelment. (5) Lack of adequate transparency and accountability procedures. (6) Arbitrary and whimsical transfers - insecurity in tenures impedes institutionalization. (7) Political interference and administrative acquiescence. (8) Gradual erosion in values and ethics. - 11 -
In addition to the points raised above, there is also a need to realign our objectives and goals to make some major shifts in our values some of which I would like to mention here: (1) The administrative machinery and civil services have been observed to be committed to the internal dynamics of organization rather than the public, this outward customer approach to public administration is integral to achieve the desired levels of efficiency. (2) The core values governing the behavioral aspects of the administrators should be integrity and impartiality in the service delivery. An attitude of neutrality towards the ongoing changes is one of the key reasons that the required changes are not able to seep in. (3) The administrators should make a reversal of approach from that of follower to a creator to introduce an innovation quotient in the organization concerned. The leaders should emerge from within the organizations rather an appointing tendency. The orientation should make a transition from that of status-quo preserving the traditional redundant values and work-culture to that of a sophisticated orientation towards continuous change as it approaches the new requirements. Major changes require substantial amount of resources to be committed over a period of time. These are not just in terms of finances. A major requirement would be in terms of leadership attention consistently over a period of time to make changes happen. When the leadership is busy with routines and fire-fighting, their attention and support would be either spread too thinly over several efforts, or would be missing altogether. Every change requires a certain minimum level of time, energy and attention to succeed. If the interventions are not of the right dosage, the efforts may create a ‘flash in the pan’, but no lasting change. Also, change happens over a period of time. As it is a process, not an event, feelings of ownership and involvement are critical for success. In other words, a limited commitment system can manage an ‘event’ (like an emergency situation or a crisis), not a ‘process’ that unfolds over a period of time and therefore, requires persistent and consistent set of actions over time. When we do not invest sufficient efforts in building ownership, involvement and commitment of people at operating levels, there is little hope that we would be able to elicit and major commitments of time, energy and effort from them to make implementation successful. When the projects for reinventing government like e-governance are introduced it is essential that they address all these issues, because any project which forms a direct interface with the people in the administration cannot exist in isolation to these issues. It is of paramount importance to address these issues in consonance with the structural changes that are being brought about. - 12 -
During the past few years the citizen’s dissatisfaction with the administration has mounted up significantly. The increase in public grievances is a result or rising expectations and education and the administration is bound to cater to the requirements of the citizen. Also, the state today provides far more services than in the past. While efficiency and discipline among public employees have gone down the activities of the government, particularly the development tasks have expanded in scope and scale and there has been no commensurate strengthening of the administrative machinery. Adequate machinery for the redress of citizen’s grievances is essential for several reasons. The inertia of the administrative machinery is not able to recognize the overall objective of administration. They owe (if at all) allegiance to the prescribed rules and manuals or to established processes, forgetting the very fact that administration exists not for itself but the citizens. “…….Administration like most things is, in the final analysis a human problem – to deal with human beings, not with some statistical data……there is a danger that pure administrators at the top – not so much at the bottom – because they came into contact with human beings – may come to regard human beings as mere expectations. The administrators may think in abstract of the people he deals with, come to conclusions which are justifiable apparently but which miss the human element. After all whatever department of government you deal with, it is ultimately a problem of human beings, and the moment we forget them, we are driven away from reality.”1 Secondly, if the citizens’ grievances are allowed to mount up, their dissatisfaction with the administration is likely to add to the existing social unrest and tensions. The phenomenon of growing social discontent which erupts into sporadic acts of violence, strikes etc. finds sustenance in citizens’ frustration with the administration. Corruption in the administrative units is also linked closely to the inefficient institutions of public-grievance redressal. “….the problem of maintaining integrity in administration cannot be viewed in isolation from the general administrative processes. In order to deal effectively with the problem, it is necessary to take into account the root cause of which the most important is the wide discretionary power which has to be exercised by the executive in carrying on the complicated work of modern administration.”2 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
1. Jawaharlal Nehru, “Administration - A human problem” address delivered at the inaugural meeting of the Indian Institute of public administration, New Delhi, 29 March 1954, The Indian journal of public administration, January-March, 1955, P.2 2. D.O. No. 1/4/63- CPC dated 22 February 1963 from K Santhanam. Chairman, Committee on prevention of corruption, to Lal Bahadur Shastri, Home Minister, Government of India.
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The citizen-administration relationship in a democratic polity will remain harmonious and cordial only if both the parties are able to understand the feelings and the difficulties faced by each other. However it has been observed that the administrators seem to view the people generally as illiterate, ignorant, resourceless, incapable of initiative and action and unable to understand the rules and the procedures as well as the requirements and possibilities of modern administration. On the other hand the general feeling in the mind of the people is that they are concerned more with the satisfaction of their own goals rather than the goals of a democratic welfare state. It is also assumed that bureaucracy at the middle and the lower level levels is more inefficient and ill equipped to respond effectively to the requirements and needs of the citizens3. A common complaint against the administrators is that either they are not available or they are reluctant to meet the public in general. In the most government offices as the common experience goes, it is very difficult to meet the officers directly. Normally, the citizens have to go through a series of hierarchical processes to get a redressal of one’s grievances from the officers. The offices of the Lokayukta and some citizen grievance cells have also been marred by inefficient procedures thus result in just a transfer of grievance from one set of officials to the other. Thus, the administrative reforms should aim at addressing these issues. Although, we can get a series of administrative reforms initiatives which target at these issues, when it comes to the implementation of the same, it is really an issue to be addressed. The problem with our approach to administrative reforms is that we see them as an event and a unit of problem rather than as a process. Like, if the immense data which is generated in the form of Lokvani complaints is analyzed in a proper manner, we can get hold of almost all the existing problems at the local level which people face on the local level. A complaint should not be just treated as a complaint rather as a tool to see a larger picture of the existing process which leads to that complaint. These set of complaints could be even used for local level planning, identification of corrupt officials, regional variations in the problems. It could be even used as an interface with the citizens to directly interact with the larger processes rather than through a channel of panchayats, irrespective of the local power relations. Modification and simplification of the rules, regulations and working procedures, decentralization of power to the lower levels and adequate publicity of the changes in
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3. Bhatnagar &Jain, “ Administrative response to citizen grievances” in Bureaucracy, Politics and Administrative Challenge, Pattnayak R. (Ed), 1994, Anmol, New Delhi
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the rules and regulations is must. Efficient and proper trainings, reward mechanisms, frequent meetings with the lower level officials and constant supervision, personal contact with the citizens etc are some of the essential requirements for effective public grievance redressal which in some way or the other is fulfilled by the Lokvani. The office of the Lokayukta which is responsible for the monitoring and handling the public grievances should be entrusted with the monitoring of the Lokvani complaints at the state level. Most of the respondents attributed the inadequacies to the lack of state level monitoring of the complaints. A state level node should be responsible for handling the complaints which have not been taken care of at the district level for a number of times. The quality of disposal assumes the most important feature when it comes to public grievances. The smart officials do away with their responsibilities in a very crude manner or they create a way out to achieve their private interests, although the quality of disposal is the biggest determining factor it is easy to resolve just by effective monitoring as the database is always available on net and is accessible to everyone. The public grievance leads to frustration among the masses, if not taken care of properly: The answer of some of the respondents give an insight into the level of exploitation sometimes they have to undergo. Respondent 1, who has been closely associated to the process and is an active member of the project as a kiosk owner said in reply to the question about the attitude of officials that: “The officials at the district level who directly deal with public behave as if they are even senior to prime minister; they have forgotten completely that for what they are there. I have been challenged by a senior official that he will not provide me any information under RTI, and does away with my applications, just writing that the enquiry is into process.” Respondent 2 retorted to the senior administration and status of Lokvani now as: “The District Magistrate is not responsive to any complaints, it has been 13 times that I have done Lokvani of the same complaint but to no use. Now the Lokvani which was once a wonderful tool during the tenure of particular Magistrate has become a kind of show-piece, Now I can say only one thing that Lokvani is dead now, only the death procession needs to be arranged for.” Respondent 3 mentions: “I called up a senior official from my tahsil and said that I have registered a Lokvani but no action has been taken yet. He replied saying that I agree to your complaint but first come and meet me, we will work it out, and you if you can get your work done only through Lokvani, then why are we here for.” - 15 -
Numerous such incidents I came across which were evidently showing the power of Lokvani but unwillingness of the administration. The masses are eager to respond to innovative concepts and alternative mechanism of communication with the state machinery. They generally resort to any tool provided to them, until and unless their work is completed. The state government came up with the concept of “Tahsil Diwas”, a trademark initiative of the political party in power. In a Tahsil Diwas, the district administration conducts public meetings to hear and respond to their complaints on a prescribed day. Any citizen can walk up to the Tahsil to register his complaints to the concerned officials. The process is very much similar to what the Lokvani was doing with far much greater efficiency in the district. The physical presence of the citizens on the particular day during the working hours discourages the citizens from participating in the process unless the issue concerns them in the major way. Lokvani, initiated a phase of participatory governance and improved accountability standards in the system, this increased accountability to the public was not taken positively by the bureaucratic machinery, accustomed to a royal mode of functioning. The public grievances if addressed at an initial level in an efficient manner and if any complaint is responded efficiently, in the regime of right to information the citizen can ask more questions about the issues that concern them, but the bureaucratic procedures make the participation and interfering in the governance processes so much tedious that, most of the citizens refrain from the participation into the process. It is required that the administrative procedures should be made transparent and accountability standards increased, both these tasks were done by Lokvani in a very efficient manner. The online automation of government offices and departments is only a capacity building to serve the large purposes of egovernance, which in a major way also needs effective public grievance redressal in the way everyday state responds to the common masses. Lokvani enables both horizontal and vertical monitoring of the grievances, in this way it takes the fruits of information communication technology to the masses, thereby strengthening the overall structure of governance at the grassroots.
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State Profile of Uttar Pradesh:
As per the population census 2001, Uttar Pradesh with its 16.605 crore strong population, is the most populous state in the country of 102.70 crore population. It accounts for 16.17 per cent of the India’s population of over one billion, fourth in terms of density after West Bengal, Bihar and Kerala. The population density for the state has increased from 548 people per square kilometer in 1991 to 696 people per square kilometer in 2001. In terms of population, Uttar Pradesh compares with the seventh largest country in the world. Thus, the economics of Uttar Pradesh and its development have a vital impact on the overall development of India. An economically stronger Uttar Pradesh with its huge market could be an engine of growth for the rest of the country. In spite of this huge population the state suffers from poor physical and financial infrastructure. Power consumption in the state is around 300 kWh per person, which is far less than the all India average of 592 kWh. Among all the major states in India, Uttar Pradesh has the lowest percentage of villages electrified and is second lowest in terms of per capita power consumption. In addition the household access to power is just about 32 percent much below the national average of 84 percent. This constraint has a wide ranging implication for the industrialization of Uttar Pradesh. Similarly the teledensity of (per 100 persons) of the state during 2000 was one of the lowest at 1.33 as against 2.85 at all-India level. Most of the states had teledensity in the range of 3.12 to 15.27. There are several other concerns about education in Uttar Pradesh, which need to be addressed. These include regional differences in the literacy rates and inadequacies in institutional development. Uttar Pradesh has 20 middle and senior secondary schools and 59.54 primary schools per 100,000 persons as against the national figures of 32 and 65 respectively. Data shows that Uttar Pradesh is one of the worst developed states in middle and secondary education. Almost 80 percent of the population of Uttar Pradesh continues to live in rural areas. There has been a shift of only one percentage point in the population from rural to urban in the state over last - 17 -
decade (1991-2001). The pace of urbanization has been very slow in the state and the level has been lower than most of the states. The state also finds a special mention in the IT deficiency, the lack of networks and broadband availability etc. Uttar Pradesh’s performance with respect to the various aspects of development lags considerably behind the all India average. Governance is the most important issue, which needs to be examined due to its direct effects on improving the investment policies and programmes. Uttar Pradesh Development Report enumerates some key qualitative observations towards the corruption in the state. (a) Corruption is linked inversely to the salaries of the bureaucrats. The Incidence of corruption is found to be higher among the higher level bureaucrats who deal with large sums of money. (b) Higher level bureaucrats have protection from being harassed and convicted by anticorruption authorities. Also, visibility of corruption in upper echelons is low because they don’t deal directly with public. (c) The incidence of corruption is also high because of a large demand of the services of these officials as compared to the supply. Thus, the market price for these services is fairly high, thus a preferential treatment is given to those customers who have higher purchasing power. In addition to these, there are several other parameters where the state falls short of even the threshold. Most of the problems of Uttar Pradesh could be attributed to the governance failure (especially during 1990s which also coincided with the liberalization). Thus, major chunk of private sector led development bypassed the state. At the district level, the governance revolves around the office of the collector thus the administration assumes a person-centered approach rather than the institution centered approach. The vision of the collector to a large extent defines the administration and governance in the district for the political clout is more interested in maximizing their utility in connivance with the administration.
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S. No. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Factor Population (crore) Geographical Area ( Lakh sq. Km) Population Density ( Per Sq. Km) % of total workers in agriculture Village Connectivity (%) Village Electrified ( Only by LT mains) Number of Districts
Per capita net state domestic product
Year 2001 2001 2001 2001 31.3.02 2002-2003 2008 2002-2003 2001 16.62 2.41 689 66% 51.1 58.4% 71 10,289 Rs 56%
Source: Annual Plan GOUP 2004-05 Vol. I (Part 1) Page I and Statistical Diary 2003 The two well recognized causes of corruption in Uttar Pradesh are monopoly and discretion. The monopoly functions of the state are often exercised through cumbersome rules, regulations and procedures which render decision making sufficiently opaque and difficult, thus relegating an extraordinary range of ordinary day to day functions to professional touts and the public officials accustomed to dealing them. Governance reforms in Uttar Pradesh, therefore, aim at shedding bureaucratic weight (reducing the size of bureaucracy by approximately 2% every year) reviewing the rules and regulations with a view to drop unnecessary ones and simplify the remainder. According to estimates in HDR 2003, 30 departments are administering 349 state and central government acts. In addition there are 268 rules and 78 regulations/orders many of which have been issued by various central acts. Thus, the overall administrative procedure in the Uttar-Pradesh is a complex function. Also, highly politicized bureaucracy impedes a citizen-centric mode of governance at the first place. The bureaucrats owe allegiance to the political structures in place and with the change in the structures the priorities of the bureaucrats also undergo change. The electronic governance initiatives have given a mixed response in Uttar-Pradesh. The applications like Bhulekh which concerns the online maintenance and delivery of Land Records are doing well at the user level. Other applications like Prerna, Vahan, Koshvani, Scholarship, Karamchari, GIS for planning etc are also doing well. The automation of offices is under the rolls and data integration and introduction of advanced technologies like Business intelligence have brought a transition in the governance procedures to a certain extent. - 19 -
District Profile of Sitapur:
The City is situated on the river bank of ‘Sarayan’, at Lucknow-Delhi National Highway No-24, 89 Km from state capital Lucknow, and on meter gauge railway line from Lucknow to Bareilly via Lakhimpur and Pilibhit. Sitapur is also connected on broad gauge and train Delhi network via Gonda, connecting Burhwal Gorakhpur
bypassing Lucknow and Hardoi. Whole district is divided into six tehsils - Sitapur, Biswan, Mishrikh, Laharpur, Mahmoodabad and Sidhauli. There are 19 blocks, two parliamentary constituencies Sitapur, Mishrikh and nine assembly constituencies (Behta, Biswan, Mahmoodabad, Sidhauli, Laharpur, Sitapur, Hargaon, Mishrikh and Machhrehta. Total population of the district is 28.57 Lacks and the area is 5743 Sq. km. there are 2348 Census Villages and 1329 Gram Panchayats in the district. The District enjoys a strong computer penetration and connectivity up to the nyaya panchayat level. The administrative wings at the district headquarter campuses are connected through optical fiber cable. All the six tehsils have approximately 6-7 computers on an average with full time internet connectivity. All the 19 blocks have computer with internet access. The 25 police stations of the district have a fully operational connectivity to internet and 21 of them have CIPA applications. (Common Integrated Police Applications). All the administrative offices have trained technical manpower. The district has more than 300 cyber cafes and more than 100 Lokvani centers. National Informatics Centre, District Unit assisted by a team led by technical director provides the required technical support to all the concerned departments as per requirements. Overall, the district is one of the most IT ready districts of Uttar-Pradesh. One of the most important factors which give an edge to the district is the trust and acceptability of information systems by the public. The district is one of the districts selected for the e-district project of the central government under National e-governance plan. (NeGP). Certainly, it won’t be wrong to say that Sitapur is one of the most advanced districts in the state when it comes to the penetration of ICT into the rural areas, and also in terms of the citizen awareness about the Information technology. The three years of Lokvani intervention has made a larger impact on the ICT infrastructure of the district. Thereby, confirming that mere facilitation of services by the state can make a great impact in terms of penetration of technology in rural areas. - 20 -
POPULATION: Total Population Male 13,74,119 1,84,786 15,58,905 Male 17,14,279 2,27,095 19,41,374 Female 11,39,222 1,58,882 12,98,104 Total Population Female 14,72,694 2,05,593 16,78,287 Total 31,86,973 4,32,688 36,19,661 Male 5,97,270 22,231 6,19,501 Total 25,13,341 3,43,668 28,57,009 Male 4,82,651 19,497 5,02,148 SC Population Female 4,02,784 15,483 4,18,267 SC Population Female 5,14,685 19,440 5,34,125 Total 11,11,955 41,671 11,53,626 Total 8,85,435 34,980 9,20,415
1991 Rural Urban Total 2001 Rural Urban Total LITERACY:
Literacy in Census -1991 Total Population Male Rural Urban Total 13,74,119 1,84,786 15,58,905 Female 11,39,222 1,58,882 12,98,104 Total 25,13,341 3,43,668 28,57,009 Male 4,51,799 97,950 5,49,749 Literates Female 1,14,608 59,093 1,73,701 Total 5,66,407 1,57,043 7,23,450
Literacy in Census -2001 Total Population Male Rural Urban Total 17,14,279 2,27,095 19,41,374 Female 14,72,694 2,05,593 16,78,287 Total 31,86,973 4,32,688 36,19,661 Male 8,04,072 1,39,150 9,43,222 Literates Female 3,58,969 1,02,252 4,61,221 Total 11,63,041 2,41,402 14,04,443
TEHSIL WISE POPULATION: Census- 1991 Male 2,18,547 3,62,043 2,25,760 2,29,381 1,60,957 1,77,431 13,74,119 Female 1,82,423 2,96,664 1,89,197 1,90,230 1,35,923 1,44,785 11,39,222 Total 4,00,970 6,58,707 4,14,957 4,19,611 2,96,880 3,22,216 Male 3,83,326 4,13,549 3,22,311 3,18,747 2,50,526 2,52,915 Census- 2001 Female 3,37,378 3,50,753 2,80,469 2,76,079 2,17,314 2,16,294 Total 7,20,704 7,64,302 6,02,780 5,94,826 4,67,840 4,69,209 36,19,661
Tehsil Name Sitapur Misrikh Laharpur Biswan Sidhauli Mahmoodabad Total
25,13,341 19,41,374 16,78,287
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METHOD OF DATA COLLECTION:
The data for the study was collected during the summer project period. The research instruments evolved over a period of time after and initial observation period in which an attempt was made to understand the various processes operating in the process of governance from the secretariat levels to the village levels. The field visits up to the tahsil and village levels gave insights into the village level administration. Also, an attempt was made to identify archival and other sources of data. It became apparent in due course of time that archival data, particularly with reference to reports, government orders, minute proceedings was difficult to locate and in case located officials were not willing to share it. Also, the official documents which I was able to get hold were so much comprehensive and detailed but in the slightest manner did not reflect the dynamics of what was on the play on ground. Thus long unstructured interviews and discussions was the only source of insight into the processes that are operational in reality. I also tried to participate in certain meetings of the district officials to gain an insight of how the things functioned, as the otherwise available reports were very tersely worded, indicating the agenda and result only, rather than the intermediate dynamics. Internal records of the government are also a treasure for the officials which still are difficult to get in. For example, I needed financial details of a major pilot project of integrated citizen services in Lucknow, the state coordinator after nearly 20 calls and four visits declared that he was not authorized to give the information, thus I had to decide for doing without the data. It is difficult to locate the manuals which govern the processes; in large number of cases they do not exist at all. Every information sharing required a formal permission of the study, which when I got from the institute was asked by many to be approved by the government which I was not able to. Information technology departments is in charge of the e-governance projects which on regular basis are circulated among the departments, but the officials in other departments very rarely open to these circulars. The engineering departments and technology related departments are something out of place when it comes to district administration. The district administration revolves around the departments related to law and order, board of revenues, and development officers, primary education etc. Thus not a surprise that relationships between the these functionaries at district level say and District administration is never written about in contrast to a plethora of literature on relationships between district magistrates and police. Thus it was most fruitful approach to obtain the various perceptions of various members in these organizations. This was important for perceptions are also embedded in the attitudes. - 22 -
Lokvani is a Hindi word which means “The Voice of people”. It’s is a single window Governance system for providing transparent, accountable and for responsive government administration
grievance handling, land record maintenance and job opportunity creation, thus giving security and opportunity for accelerated development. Lokvani is a public- private partnership project started in the district of Sitapur in Uttar Pradesh, India. After the success in Sitapur the project was replicated in all the 70 districts of Uttar-Pradesh. It is a kiosk based self-sustainable e-governance solution for providing transparent, accountable and responsive administration for grievance handling, land record management and an eclectic mixture of essential Services. The model has been showcased as one of the most successful, popular and influential e-governance solutions. Lokvani is a public private partnership program, which gives citizens an opportunity to interact with the government without coming to any government office. It is an example of a highly cost-efficient, economically self-reliant and user financed community network. This solution is targeted at 3.6 million citizens residing within the district, located in the province of Uttar Pradesh. The system is grounded in the rule of law, encompassing the rights of people underpinned by accountable and efficient public administration for multiphase development of rural people. The primary objective of the IT solution is to bridge the digital Divide and “connect” the common man to the strategy maker’s in a seamless fashion. The Lokvani project was initiated on lines of a citizen friendly approach to the electronic governance systems. The success of the programme over the period of three years and its subsequent downfall over the successive period gives us unique inside into the issues that lead to success and failures of the project. First of all, I will discuss the business model of Lokvani and its approach towards enabling efficient administration, the role of various stakeholders, and various related features, and subsequently move on to the fluctuations and decline of the project to understand the issues involved in the same. The attempt is not at all aimed at any personal references to the people who have led to the success or failures but as to the administrative system under study as a whole rather than any person failure or success. - 23 -
Lokvani was a response of the committed district administration towards providing a unique approach to the age old trauma of bureaucratic hassles which impact the life of the ordinary citizen in a large way. With the aim to reach out to the people and give them a platform to voice their concerns and complaints the district administration of Sitapur, initiated the innovative system of grievance redress through Information and Communication Technology. It was visualized as a two way exchange of information of government programs and documents to the people and of people’s complaints and feedback to the Government. A study was commissioned of similar initiatives in the Districts of Jhalawar (Rajasthan) and Dhar (Madhya Pradesh). The study revealed the strengths and weaknesses of these efforts. Lokvani was accordingly designed to improve upon them and came up with an online resolution and redressal of all the public grievances, a first of its kind in India. A society by the name Lokvani was registered under Act 21, society Registration Act 1860 in Uttar Pradesh to implement the project autonomously and so as to reduce the bureaucratic hassles. The National Informatics Centre (NIC) provided the necessary technical know-how of the project. The format of the program was designed to suit the local demographic profile. 88% of Sitapur population resides in the villages and only 38% of the people are literate. This called for a simple, user friendly program which was within easy reach of the people both geographically as well as socially. National Informatics Centre developed a transparent, efficient and corruption-resistant program. It was decided that instead of opening new kiosks, existing cyber cafes, computer training institutes should be granted licenses to become Lokvani Centres. This decision was taken to ensure the financial viability and the long-term sustainability of the kiosks. It brought about a paradigm shift in the fundamentals of governance and governmentpublic relations in Sitapur. It also created job opportunities for the educated unemployed youth of Sitapur. Today there are about 110 geographically uniformly distributed kiosk centres at block and tehsils level at Sitapur, which have filed more than one lakh nineteen thousand public grievances till date. - 24 -
The complaint once registered into the Lokvani website is immediately transmitted to the collector’s office where it is marked to specific officers with fixed time limits for disposal of the complaint. This is updated on the website and the complainant can see this on computer for follow up. The concerned officer’s collect the complaints related to them or their offices daily from either the district headquarters or from any Lokvani Kendra. If they have computers in their offices, they can access the complaints directly. Thus within 24 hours of registration, the complaint reaches the level at which it has to be addressed. The office or officer concerned, reports back to the collector within the fixed time about the action taken on the matter. If for any unavoidable reason, the disposal is not completed within the time frame, the officer may ask for additional time, which may be granted by the Collector. This is immediately entered into the program for information of the complainant. After the complaint has been redressed, entry is again made in the program. All complaints are sorted and arranged in terms of offices, officers, types of complaint, date of registration etc. This helps in effective monitoring and accountability. The DM can use these monitoring tools to pinpoint responsibility for delays and take action accordingly against erring officials. The facility is frequently used by district Magistrate in weekly meeting of Lokvani. The software can generate any report needed by executive officer at any given time. No scope of hiding facts. A complete list of all the complaints received at Lokvani Sitapur is also readily accessible. These reports give an idea about the total pending complaints as well. Further more these reports can be viewed by any citizen at Lokvani. The complainant may know exactly who is holding back his or her matter. This enables public to get a reliable feedback about the process and in turn enables the citizens to follow-up their case in case they need a more rapid solution. Similar lists of all complaints on which action had been taken and report is generated by the officers are accessible to their superior officers as well. The Lokvani Centre enters the complaint on behalf of the complainant. The user need not be literate or computer expert to lodge his or her grievance. A copy of the complaint is given to the complainant and the database keeps tracks of all the complaints filed by a particular Lokvani Centre.
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THE SERVICES UNDER LOKVANI:
The Lokvani platform provided a number of services. The services were constantly upgraded as per the requirements and innovations. Broadly in the initial phases the services being offered through the Lokvani Centres fall under the following categories: (1) Details pertaining to land records through the Bhulekh portal. (2) Different development schemes, scholarship details, pension details etc. (3) Status of complaints, action taken reports and related services. (4) The online lodging of complaints and dissemination of status of complaint. (5) Downloading of government prescribed forms etc. (6) Driving Licence application. (7) Availability of land records (Khataunis) on internet. (8) Online registration, disposal and monitoring of public grievances. (9) Information of various governments schemes/prescribed Government forms. (10) List of different development works/Schemes/Expenditure/Beneficiaries etc. (11) GPF Account details of basic education teachers. (12) Details of work done under MPLAD / MLALAD. (13) Allotment of funds to Gram Sabha’s under different development schemes. (14) Allotment of food grains to kotedars (fair price shops). (15) Other useful information of public interest. (16) Online tender submission/monitoring. (17) Birth/Death/Caste/Income/Domicile Certificates. (18) Online Results of exams/competitions/Appointment etc. (19) Details of financial expenditure on Developmental work. (20) Student scholarships details under various categories. (21) Pension related information for widow, old age, physically handicapped, minority etc. (22) District voters list. (23) Directory of District Officials (24) Online applications for loans under various schemes run by Government. (25) Market Rates of vegetables and other items, collected on daily basis from nearby Market. (26) Notice Board featuring important Notification and events by the District Administration. (27) Information about Local Employment Opportunities in the district. - 26 -
STAKEHOLDERS IN LOKVANI:
National Informatics Centre: National Informatics Centre has its giant network all over the country. It has its District office in every District head quarter headed by District Informatics Officer. NIC has centralized data server in Delhi. Every district unit is connected to Delhi through SCPC PAMA VSAT. Every District has User ID and Password for accessing the space allocated in server to them. Software Development cost of this project was zero as NIC is already working in every district on government expenditure. There are only two employees from NIC in district, namely District Informatics Officer and Scientific Officer. Eight people are appointed on daily wages basis and have given ID and password for handling work of Lokvani. These workers do the feeding of the action taken report, target date and DM remarks on Lokvani System for these officers. All the district offices work under the state unit headed by State Informatics Officer (SIO). Similarly state units are headed by central unit in Delhi. District can ask for help to state office or country head office for technical assistance. Help can be in area of new technology or in application development. District Administration: District magistrate is the administrative and functional head of the Lokvani system. The administration and Implementation of any e-governance system is more a strategic issue then technical. Resistance from administrative officers is extremely high due to change in the established working system. Lokvani System has been rolled out on a top-down basis and hence it is a challenge to get sustainable acceptance from officers. However, Lokvani has significantly increased accountability of officers and transparency in district administration. The success of the system in Sitapur is widely believed to be due to the focused approach of the District Magistrate. The then District Magistrate in Sitapur implemented various processes to ensure the success of the system. One of the key processes was to have a meeting with the relevant officers every Tuesday, to check the total number of complaints arrived and disposed by each officer. The process does away with the need to send formal notices to the officers and this eliminates the alibi of not receiving the notices on time. Specifically, those officers who have their name in the defaulter list are invited to the meeting. Each officer has assigned unique ID and password for accessing the Lokvani system.
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The Lokvani Society: Lokvani society’s role is pivotal in the entire process & operation. The Lokvani society was registered under Act 21, Society Registration Act 1860 in Uttar Pradesh. This step was taken to implement the project autonomously and to reduce the bureaucratic hassles. All the financial work of Lokvani is governed through this society. Monetary financial power of president is limited to INR 2, 00,000 and of secretary is limited to 50,000 only. Lokvani society meets its recurring costs from the amount received from registration of kiosks, lifetime and short term Lokvani membership fee and MPLAD / MLALAD funds Etc. Initial set up cost for Lokvani was also very negligible as all the hardware software support was provided by NIC free of cost. The Lokvani society raised a huge amount by the selling of Lokvani software to the seventy districts of Uttar Pradesh at a cost of 75, 000 each. That amount has been used by the extension of the Lokvani kiosks up to the gram panchayat level discussed later. The management committee of this society have following key members: (1) District Magistrate: President (2) Chief Development Officer: Secretary (3) ADM: Vice President (4) Senior Treasury Officer: Financial President (5) City Magistrate: Member (6) SDM, Sitapur: Member (7) Planning Director: Member (8) District Manager Telecommunication: Member (9) District Informatics Officer: Member Role and Responsibilities of the society: (1) Management and Operations of the Lokvani hub. (2) Up-gradation of infrastructure, hardware. (3) Software and networking. (4) Registration of private players for Lokvani Centres. (5) Collection of the registration charges from the Centre operators. (6) Revenue sharing model for service charges with the private parties. - 28 -
It has also been observed that people do not mind paying for services, as long as they are assured of action on their grievances and complaints and they get required information at their doorsteps, which also saves them a lot of time and money wasted in visiting the various government offices time and again for even a small work. Thus the society was also made responsible for the conceptualising and then monitoring the financial transactions in the project. Now the Lokvani societies formed in every district of Uttar-Pradesh is the key agency implementing various egovernance projects. The Lokvani society is an organisational innovation which performs within the confines of state machinery and in the meantime is also independent of the same. It also has a group of consultants like District Information Officer from NIC. Thus, giving it a more holistic perspective, but a large part of the Lokvani societies is dominated by the district administration officials, the membership of Lokvani society should be expanded to include some more members chosen by a consensus, which could extend the participation of the people. Probably representatives from media, academics and Judiciary can increase the accountability of the Lokvani society to a large extent.
This model of Lokvani worked out quite efficiently up to the Tehsil, Block and Town level as there was very negligible set up cost involved. To further spread the growth of Lokvani network to the village level, some initial investment in hardware was involved which Government shared. Recurring expenditures were met from the income generated from various services provided to people from the Kiosk. Key issue is to add sufficient Information/Services to Lokvani in order to make the kiosk viable. Additionally kiosks can also generate some revenue by providing other private services through their kiosks like computer education, DTP work, digital photography, cyber cafe etc. The kiosk operators were authorized to register the complaints and were responsible for the feeding of the compliant into the Lokvani server. The local term which is in vogue now is “to do a Lokvani”. The complaint is now referred with the name of Lokvani rather than application. The Lokvani kiosk owners are also responsible for tracking the status of Lokvani for and subsequently inform the citizen about its status. He is also permitted to provide various other services through his shop to make the venture profitable. The Lokvani licences are issued once a year, and after the completion of one year they have to renew the license on payment of a fee of rupees one thousand to the Lokvani Society. Thus, the Lokvani kiosk owners act as a important link at the delivery point of the Lokvani complaint. - 29 -
INFRASTRUCTURE AND COSTS:
First of all, computer kiosks are either set up in every panchayat or the existing cyber cafes computer training centres are co-opted into the system. These are designated as ‘Lokvani Kendras’ and are equipped with computers, Printers, UPS and generators if required. These centres are registered with the District Administration for a fee. From these Kendra’s any citizen can file a complaint on payment of a nominal Charge of Rs 10 for every complaint. The Kendra assists the people in accessing the Lokvani site and typing his complaint. Later on, it also helps the complainant in tracking his complaint and in following it up. A fee of Rs 5 is charged for follow ups. The Kendra is trained in the use of Lokvani software by NIC. While the Lokvani can be accessed from anywhere, it is necessary to log on from a kiosk to register a complaint. There are two kinds of costs involved in the project the capital cost and recurring expenditure. The Government just needs to make the capital investment, while the recurring expenditure will be met by the registration and service charges collected. Since the backbone of the project is Internet and the density of Lokvani Centres plays an important role. The private participation not only reduced the burden on the State Government, but also facilitated faster expansion of the project. The management, operations, expansion & technical up-gradation of the project & Lokvani Hub will be done by the Lokvani society, which will collect funds through registration and revenue sharing for the services being provided through Lokvani Centre. Lokvani is hosted on internet using SQL Server as back end database and ASP is used for writing application. Any client connected to Internet can access Lokvani using browser if he has proper authorization. Lokvani is a service delivery project and utilizes the service oriented architecture like single windows access to multiple services, use of local language, quality of service, improvement in speed of delivery, the ease of use etc. The communication software used in the project has been developed by NIC in Hindi. Lokvani project requirement can be categorized into three parts: (1) Infrastructure for stetting up Lokvani hub and Information kiosk, which will be provided by the District Administration. (2) Local Area Networking (LAN) connecting the Lokvani HUB, NIC District Centre and the Sections of the collectorate that are offering Services through Lokvani Project. (3) Computer Hardware & Software, that is necessary for the Lokvani Hub and different sections of the collectorate. - 30 -
Hardware & software components: Computer hardware, software & LAN require specific components which are mentioned below: (a) Server (Intel Pentium Xeon based) (b) Information Kiosk (c) Clients(Intel Pentium IV Based) (d) Printers Laser. (e) Printers DMP (f) UPS for Server & Networking (g) Components (Online) (h) UPS for Clients (i) Software (System Software & Databases) (j) Networking (Active & Passive Components for LAN) (k) Touch Screen Kiosks (l) 11 IVRS Card / Software Project hardware set-up Cost for Lokvani Centre: (a) Computer: 5 * 40,000 = 2, 00,000 (b) Printer: 2 * 25,000 = 50,000 (c) Hardware Online UPS: 1 * 1, 00,000= 1, 00,000 (d) Lokvani Software: 75, 000 (e) Other software applications: 25,000 (f) Networking Hub and LAN Cabling: 20,000 (g) Civil Work: 30,000 (h) Electrical work: 20,000 (i) Air Conditioner: 30,000 Other Costs: (1) Operators Salary: 5 * 2,000 = 10,000 (2) Administrator Salary: 1 * 8,000 = 8,000 (3) Peon salary: 2 * 1,000 = 2,000 (4) Stationery for printing: 1,500 (5) Printer toner refilling: 5,000 (6) Other stationery: 2,000 Recurring monthly income: (a) Grievances 100*240=24,000 (b) Arms 300 * 40=12,000 (c) Land Records 300 * 40=12,000 (d) Tenders 200 * 40=8,000 (e) Certificates 120 * 40=4,800 (f) Miscellaneous 200 * 40=8,000 - 31 -
Estimated Income of Lokvani centre: (a) Government grants: 15, 00, 000 (b) MP/MLA / Contingencies: 10, 00, 000 (c) Kiosk Agreements: (100X1000): 100,000 Cost for setting up new kiosk at Village Panchayat level with one time investment: (1) Computer- Rs 30, 000 (2) Printer - Rs 10, 000 (3) UPS Rs- 5, 000 (4) Generator - Rs. 25, 000 (5) Solar power support cost - variable (6) VSAT Cost - variable Recurring (per month) on a Kiosk (1) Rent off shop : 500 (2) Electricity/water/maintenance expenditure: 1000 (3) Internet expenses: 500 (4) Stationary & other consumable items: 500 Monthly Estimated Income of Kiosks from Lokvani Services: (1) Grievance redressal: 300*10 = 3000 (2) Arms Licences: 300*5 = 1, 500 (3) Land Records: 150*10 = 1, 500 (4) Tenders: 50* 20 = 1, 000 (5) Certificates: 60*10 = 600 (6) Miscellaneous: 2, 000 Total 9, 600 Income from Other Service (a) Digital photography: 1,000 (b) Net Surfing: 1,000 (c) Computer typing: 1,000 Total 3,000 Monthly Net Income of Kiosks: = 9600 +3000= 12, 600 INR Monthly Saving of Kiosks Saving = Net income-Recurring Expenditure = 12, 600-2500= 10, 100 INR - 32 -
The project evolved over time and gradually more services and activities were added from timeto-time. The project was thus implemented in a phased manner over a period of three years, to encompass the maximum features and services that can be offered to the people for smooth functioning of the project the roles and responsibilities of the agencies involved and the structure of committees for monitoring the project have been defined below: National Informatics Centre: (a) Application Software development for Lokvani Website, Information Kiosk. (b) Different sections of the collectorate offering services through the Lokvani Centre. (c) Design & Establishment LAN within tithe collectorate (d) Implementation support for tithe project at the District. (e) Finalization of hardware and software specifications District Administration (1) Provision of infrastructure for stetting up of Lokvani Hubs (2) Procurement of hardware, system software. (3) Hiring of operational manpower for the Project. (4) Coordination between different (5) Departments for provision of services at the Collectorate. Lokvani Society (1) Management & Operations of the Lokvani HUB. (2) Gradation of infrastructure, hardware, software & networking, if required (3) Registration of Private Parties for Lokvani Centres. (4) Communication between various stake-holders. (5) Maintenance of various official documents. (6) Collection of revenues and maintenance of accounts. (7) Coordinate with the teams of other districts to help in the implementation. (8) To act as a district level consultant to various e-governance projects. (9) To organise various other meets, awards ceremonies, dignitary visits etc.
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(1) The Lokvani Homepage:
The Lokvani homepage could be accessed through the link www.sitapur.nic.in/Lokvani for the Sitapur district. This homepage is hosted on the NIC website of the districts and an icon is provided on the homepage of the district website to access the Lokvani. The security verification is required to log onto the website. The kiosk owners and the officers are provided with a user id and password to log on the website. For the demonstration purposes we can use “Guest” as User ID and Password. The defaulters list and other various details of ongoing projects of Lokvani Society are provided on the Homepage. The Login to the website takes us the the welcome menu as shown in the next screenshot.
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(2) Welcome Menu:
Any citizen who files the complaint through the kiosk centres by using Kiosk ID and Password (generally both ID & Password remain the same for the sake of simplicity of the Operations) after Logging in, the Complainant gets the menu, whose screenshot is given above. This menu contains the following hyperlinks, Lokvani Grievance services (1) The complaint menu. (2) Tender services (3) Arms License Services (4) Land records (5) Employment services (6) Information about Schemes/forms (7) List of different works (8) Single window service centre. (9) Return to main menu.
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The Grievance Menu: It has another set of details. The menu is given as a virtual screenshot. Here each row represents a different hyperlinked section.
It has the following sections: (a) Filing complaint (b) Status of the complaint (c) Officer Wise summary of all complaints (d) Summary of all complaint (e) Centre wise send complaints (f) Date wise Received complaints (g) Date wise marked complaints (h) Date wise modified complaints (i) Date wise disposed complaint (j) Date wise received disposed reports (k) List of pending complaints. (l) Complaints which have been filed more than once. - 36 -
After logging in the complainant may file his or her complaint either with the help of the Kiosk’s assistant. The grievance registration format is very simple and clear. The complainant may take a final print out of the report filed for safe keeping, otherwise it’s not required because this process is unstoppable, unchangeable and unalterable at any level. The data once entered can’t be manipulated by any one. The complainant now proceeds to click on ‘register complaint’ for registering his Complaint. Briefly the whole process takes the Following course: Individual’s file grievance through kiosk centres and kiosk owner reregisters the complaint online and provides tithe complainant with a unique complaint number. The complaint gets stored at the NIC headquarters’ SQL server at Delhi (Unmarked complaint). The Personal Assistant of the District Manager (DM) sorts the complaints according to the officers and their departments. The DM forwards the complaints with annotations such as the required action and its dead line (Marked complaint). This information is then submitted online and hard copies are marked off to the concerned officials and his department (Pending complaint). The officer solves the complaint, submits a report to the DM and then finally files a report on the action taken using his unique ID and password (Disposed complaint). The petitioner can view the status of the complaint and the official action using the complaint number. - 37 -
The monitoring reports:
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Time saver procedures: The main advantage of the program lies in the fact that it completely does away with the need of villagers or the citizens to run from Pillar to post to either access information or to lodge a simple complaint. As more than 80% of the population lies in the villages and most of them are very poor, it is an extremely convenient method of problem solving for them. The Lokvani kiosks are spread across all the tehsils and blocks of the district. It is very convenient and comfortable for the common man to lodge his complaint and get other services from his own local area. His transaction costs and time have been reduced considerably. There is absolutely no need to kill time in to and fro communication to contact the district administration. Time bound Redressal: If a person lodges a complaint through this system, he can be assured of getting response on a fixed time since the system works on a continuos monitoring basis thus the system is efficient and reliable if administrative trade offs are not accounted for. The fact that today nearly 200 complaints are reaching the Collector’s office not only shows the increasing popularity of the program but also bears testimony to the fact that as many people have been saved from unnecessary trouble of travelling to the district headquarters, spending their hard earned incomes and wasting their productive time for solution of their simple grievances. Since every one is free to tell his Opinion and circulating the information around him, he is basically helping the administration to eradicate the social evils also. Enhancements: Integrated Voice Response System and Short Message Service have been added to Lokvani. Officers and Complainant will be able to check Complaint status on mobile phone. System has different options for officer and complainant. Citizens will be able to check status of Complaint, name of officer to whom the complaint is assigned, instruction by District Magistrate, deadline date given to the officer for solving the complaint on phone. Similarly officers will be able to check number of complaints pending to him. Officer can drill down any complaint for details. On the other hand, the district offices have become decongested though the quality and pace of redress all of grievances have improved. Monitoring has become more focused and effective, accountability - 39 -
better defined. Paper work has been reduced leading to better office upkeep. It provides the top management group in district administration an insight into the delivery system of all departments related to public service and analyse the types of problems that people generally face. Lokvani has been an excellent experiment in reengineering of governance and service delivery at the district level. Within Government it has reduced discretion and delays and hence has contributed to a significant reduction in corruption and subjectivity. The entire government system has been thrown open to public viewing and hence introduced an unprecedented transparency in Governance. Direct connectivity with masses: Generally officers remain isolated with General people. After getting connectivity through Lokvani they got the direct connection with the masses. They can easily understand the problems of the common people and ground realities. It has lead to a more systematic approach in solving the problems of people and a direct connection with the masses. The senior officers having service length of 20 years plus hesitated initially to learn how to operate a computer, but gradually they got convinced by the advantages of working on computer. They developed interest and at present all officers are computer knowing officers and they are multiplying the number of Computer aware people. The use of computer in Government departments is increasing day by day and officers themselves are promoting the use. They can easily understand the problems of common people and ground realities. Newer opportunities: Lokvani has registered private kiosk centres and given them an opportunity for self employment and with a very little investment, the kiosk owners are getting handsome returns. The Kiosk owners can generate more income by stetting up other facilities like photocopier, PCO, Fax, Digital Photography etc along with ‘Lokvani’ services. Various modes of income is available through ‘Lokvani’ like complaint lodging, printing, viewing the various employment schemes, job vacancies, tender publishing and forms etc. The NIC has gained by its authorship of this unique program and its sustained association with it through trainings, etc. Lokvani has exhibited that with a minimal cost the entire system of governance can be brought within the easy reach of the people. It has created computer awareness and scientific temper in the rural populace as well as government machinery, which has experienced an innovative exposure to modern technology. - 40 -
Conceiving a project like Lokvani is not easy, but the implementing was even more difficult due to the resistance offered by the old public grievance redresses system. With the passage of time it was realized that the implementation of Lokvani governance System is more of a strategic issue then technical. During the various phases latter the administration encountered the following challenges: (1) Resistance from administrative officers is extremely high due to change in working System. Lokvani system has been rolled out on a top-down basis and hence it is a challenge to get sustainable acceptance from officers. However, Lokvani has significantly increased accountability of officers and transparency in district administration. (2) The success of the system in Sitapur was widely believed to be due to the focused approach of the District Magistrate. Officers think that their all effort for learning the system will of no use when DM will get transferred. The next DM will have different priority therefore he will not give required weightage to Lokvani and e-Governance system. (3) Every officer doesn’t have computer systems as well as willingness to use them. System is not fully automated. Still some paper work is mandatory at all levels; this was the major challenge to the implementing machinery. (a) Hierarchal and time taking process of getting birth, death, domicile, caste, and Income certificates. Monitoring of officers action by higher authority was relatively hard and no proof or documentation of minor laxities was available. (4) Government offices were only source of information about various government welfare schemes. Citizens were bound to come to district headquarters/ tehsils for government related work and for getting solution to their grievances. (5) Unnecessary secrecy in land record information had potential to generate Land scams. Computerisation of land records under Bhulekh has helped a lot. (6) Computer illiteracy was not good at officer and public level. Lokvani Enhancing computer illiteracy programme was a vital success. District Administration had only 10 computer systems including Linux based treasury system with Oracle 9i database. Collectorate was not enabled with Computer Networking.
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Lokvani project devised goals and targets as it evolved and were continuously revised. However, some of the prime objectives of the project were achieved: Service Delivery: More than 1, 19,000 Public Grievance Complaints have been lodged since the inception of the project through the Lokvani Centres spread across the district. The common man need not travel to the government offices to lodge these complaints or to know about action taken on his complaint. Now they can go to the nearest Lokvani Centre and file their complaints through the Internet. The status of these Complaints is also available on the website Reducing Response Time and Increasing Accountability: The District Magistrate himself monitors all the complaints lodged through the web. He fixes strict timelines for redressal of the complaint before being marked to the concerned authority. The status of all complaints is available on the NET, which not only increases transparency but also fixes the accountability. Growth of Internet Service Providers: One of the major achievements of the project is that the reach of Internet has been extended to the remotest areas. The project which started with a couple of Lokvani centres has now grown to more than 100 centres up to the nyaya panchayat level and requests for authorization cyber cafes as Lokvani Centres are pouring-in. This has lead to increase in the private sector internet service providers like Reliance and Tata Indicom into the remotest areas of the district. Extension of benefits of ICT to farmers, Labourers & unemployed youth: With the growth of ISPs the unemployed youth are getting benefitted, while the land records computerization and its linkage with the Lokvani Project is a welcome boon to the farmers who will have the option of viewing their Land Records Information at the Lokvani Centres. The process is also underway to provide an authentic printed copy of land records to the farmers through courier and post right at the doorstep. They will only need to go to the nearest Lokvani Centres to make a Request. - 42 -
Streamlining the functioning of Collectorate: The hub of the Lokvani Project is National Informatics Centre (NIC) office located at the collectorate. Other services like Arms Licensing, Issuance of Certificates, and Pension Details etc. are added on the Lokvani, the backend computerization, streamlining of Processes and workflow automation is being carried out. It has Created awareness in areas of e-administration, eeducation, e-health etc among district administration. It Reduced duplication of efforts, thereby improving the efficiency and productivity of manpower at the collectorate. Skills development of collectorate Employees Information dissemination: Information pertaining to different Government Schemes, government prescribed forms, development works carried out in districts, lists of old age pensioners, lists of scholarship beneficiaries, funds Allotted in various government schemes, Allotment of food grains to kotedars, Allotments of funds to Gram Panchayats etc. are a part of the information provided to the people through Lokvani Centres. Reducing Cost: The user need not travel from remote areas to the District Collectorate to lodge complaints and follow-up. They can now save both time and money and go to the nearest Lokvani Centre to lodge their complaint or access information they desire. The government also saves valuable time in monitoring the Complaint, which can now be used in more productive work. As more than 80% Population live in the villages and most of them are very poor. These poor villagers can get the solution of their problems as well as all the necessary information by spending maximum Rs. 25 to 30 in place of traditional expenditure ranging between Rs.100 to 200. Reducing Corruption: The main concept of the Lokvani Project is to makes Government more transparent and accountable to citizens. Since the complaints are now traceable, responsibilities fixed, status of action taken on the website, it all helps in reducing the corruption to a large extent. Also, the accountability is increased by the online proof of the laxity of the official concerned since he cannot hide anything and has to bear the responsibility of whatever action he has taken. - 43 -
Empowering ordinary citizen: Previously, citizens were never officially informed about the result or status of their application. They had to run from pillar to post to know that. Now the information is available at the doorstep to the citizen. Extending the benefits of ICT to the common man is fulfilled but the journey does not end here. It is the beginning as we strive to bring more services under the umbrella of Lokvani. The project has seen a large number of women complainants who were reluctant earlier to travel to the district headquarters. The women are also coming forward as kiosk owners and are asserting their status in the society. Promoting Public-Private Partnership: The model is a classic example of grassroots level public-private partnership. The kiosk owners and the district administration work in a unique synergy with each other. Thus the black box of administration gets a bit open as the kiosk owners tend to intervene in the processes also. Thus, the monopoly structure of administration is diluted a bit an this takes administration more near to people. Awards and Appreciations The 1, 19,000 complaints in the Lokvani Server and their efficient disposal are the biggest achievements which Lokvani can boast of. The public trust which still is there in the process of Lokvani is another achievement of the project. The core team of Lokvani has felicitated across on various occasions for the unique concept of Lokvani and contribution towards improvement of governance. The public feedback and the media coverage generated by the project have been massive. Eminent newspapers and Magazines have featured Lokvani project. Some of the awards won by Lokvani included: (1) Prime Minister Award for Public Administration in 2008. (2) Finalist of the ‘Stockholm Challenge Award’ for World’s best ICT projects for social and Economical development. (3) ‘Manthan-AIF Award 2006’ For India’s best e-content practices. (4) ‘Golden Icon Award’ (Cochin, 2006). (5) Dataquest E-gov Champion Award. (6) Microsoft award. - 44 -
Lokvani project demonstrated that an e- Governance project could be successfully implemented in adverse conditions such as low literacy rate, poor network and power conditions, negative mindset towards change etc. After its success in Sitapur District, the government of Uttar Pradesh decided to roll out the project in entire state, with specific guidelines, procedures and resources. Some of the identified steps were: (1) Creation of Lokvani Society & Lokvani Cell in NIC. (2) Identification, training & agreement with Kiosks. (3) Software installation and data entry of district specific data (4) Publicity and awareness generation about Lokvani. But sadly, the replication of the project failed miserably in the state, due to a resistance among the bureaucracy to the project. There districts which performed well in replication were again due to the personal dynamism of the officers rather then the institutionalised structure, due to a lack of continuos monitoring by some central body. The department of IT was the nodal agency for implementing the project, which is something out of place when it comes to everyday bureaucracy in Uttar-Pradesh. The issues pertaining to the competition within bureaucracy led to the failure of the replication. The senior bureaucrats who wanted to assert themselves went on to alter the structure of Lokvani to preserve their individuality. For example the project was started by the district administration of Hardoi by the name of ‘Janvani’, Aligarh named it as “Kaumi Awaz” and numerous such incidents happened. The field level bureaucrats were not comfortable with the idea of implementing the innovation in a nearby district thus giving away the credit to those who designed the program rather than themselves. Also the issue of corruption was the biggest factor, since the project increased the accountability of the very same people who were to implement it, it lost its charm rather officials became inimical to the same, the fate similar to that of Right to Information in India. Political machinery in Uttar-Pradesh is too busy with their electoral issues rather than to pay heed to such projects. Thus, the replication failure of the project brought out hidden issues in the way our administrative systems synergise with each other at the district level, which needs to be addressed in a holistic perspective, by the senior administrative machinery. The need is to institutionalise the processes and harmonise the relationships in the day to day operations of the administrative machinery. - 45 -
District wise Details of Complaints (12/05/2008)
DISTRICT AGRA ALIGARH ALLAHABAD AMBEDKERNAGAR AURAIYA AZAMGARH BADAUN BAGPAT BALLIA
45 LALITPUR 46 LUCKNOW
687 1135 1848 642 24 6 13 4807 8 5947 1014 1 0 5465 0 30 1368 385 262
115 798 821 99 23 2 12 110 8 504 256 1 0 1123 0 6 46 85 181
572 337 1027 543 1 4 1 4697 0 5443 758 0 0 4342 0 24 1322 300 81
--1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
47 MAHARAJGANJ Total Pendin Dispose 48 MAHOBA g d 49 MAINPURI 4 2 2 6367 582 0 0 1 61 92 29 2096 383 0 2044 245 214 502 185 0 1 1026 0 0 20700 183 6 10 2 115 752 13966 583 147 82857 16 818 1412 1 791 36 2 0 4235 239 560 251 0 0 1 61 62 21 810 263 0 380 81 145 214 98 0 1 634 0 0 683 50 6 4 1 14 501 4624 207 52 2134 16 227 1343 1 47 19 2 0 818 225 5807 331 0 0 0 0 30 8 1286 120 0 1664 164 69 288 87 0 0 392 0 0 20017 133 0 6 1 101 251 9342 376 95 80723 0 591 29323 69 0 744 17 0 0 3417 14 50 MATHURA 51 MAU 52 MEERUT 53 MIRZAPUR 54 MORADABAD 55 MUZAFFARNAGAR 56 PILIBHIT 57 PRATAPGARH 58 RAEBARELI 59 RAMPUR 60 SAHARANPUR 61 SHAHJAHANPUR 62 SHRAVASTI 63 SIDHARTHNAGAR 64 SITAPUR 65 SKNAGAR 66 SONBHADRA 67 SRDNAGAR 68 SULTANPUR 69 UNNAO 70 VARANASI Total
10 BALRAMPUR 11 BANDA 12 BARABANKI 13 BAREILLY 14 BASTI 15 BEHRAICH 16 BIJNOR 17 BULANDSHAHAR 18 CHANDAULI 19 CHITRAKOOT 20 DEORIA 21 ETAH 22 ETAWAH 23 FAIZABAD 24 FARRUKHABAD 25 FATEHPUR 26 FIROZABAD 27 GBNAGAR 28 GHAZIABAD 29 GHAZIPUR 30 GONDA 31 GORAKHPUR 32 HAMIRPUR 33 HARDOI 34 HATHRAS 35 JALAUN 36 JAUNPUR 37 JHANSI 38 JPNAGAR 39 KANNAUJ 40 KANPURDEHAT 41 KANPURNAGAR 42 KAUSHAMBHI 43 KHERI 44 KUSHINAGAR
10 14 0 0 3976 9
10 14 0 0 1252 9
0 0 0 0 2724 0 289288
Institutions, which are the mechanisms of actualizing both democracy and development, need drastic reforms at all the levels of the governance. Good Governance cannot be achieved in isolation, all the players have to unanimously strive towards a common goal in order to initiate change. There is no dearth of serious concerns, debates and proposals about various reforms, from parliament to judiciary, the executive and local governance, but implementation machinery of ours performs not up to the potential and that is where our constructs get really blurred. If we need some significant changes to be visible, we need to spend resources, and strengthen the implementing machinery, creating feedback loops through ordinary citizens and be responsive to their concerns. Governance systems should follow a cyclical mechanism rather than the top to down enforcement which we have seen for ages. In order to bring change aspirations need to circulate through all the channels and make their presence felt, on the other hand the state should be responsive to the aspirations. The electronic governance systems are a small tool in the process which will certainly improve this communication grid. We need to invest our resources, energy on these tools also to achieve the larger objective. The projects like Lokvani should be promoted to a large extent up so that those who are alienated from the mainstream processes can at least assert their needs and aspirations. It is necessary to have a dialogue in a democracy and effective channels of communication are a must for the success of a democracy. Internet has evolved as a strong medium for the same, we need to integrate it with our governance processes and public delivery mechanisms for an effective administration.
Bedi K, Singh P.J: Government@net: New governance opportunities in India, Sage Publications, New Delhi, 2002 Bhatnagar S: “Creating the Enabling Conditions for Targeting the Vulnerable with e-Government: Findings and Observations from Case Studies”. Bhatnagar &Jain, “ Administrative response to citizen grievances” in Bureaucracy, Politics and Administrative Challenge, Pattnayak R. (Ed), 1994, Anmol, New Delhi Bollier, D: “The rise of Netpolitik: How the internet is changing International politics and diplomacy”, The Aspen Institute. De, Rahul: “The Impact of Indian E-Government Initiatives: Issues of Poverty and vulnerability Reduction and Conflict”, available at www.apdip.net/projects/e-government/capblg/casestudies/IndiaDe.pdf
Garai, A, Shadrach B: “Taking ICT to every Indian village: opportunities and challenges”, One world South Asia, 2006, New Delhi. Shukla A. and Srinivasan R.: “Lokvani- A case of public private Partnership in e governance” IIM Lucknow case Series: 2005-03.
Singh A.P. : Lokvani an effort to empower the citizens, Information and technologies in developing
Countries, Newsletter, Volume 15, No. 2 Volume 15, No. 2
: “Assessment of Impact of Information Technology on Rural Areas of India” MSSRF. : Good governance through ICT, National Informatics Centre, 2002 : “Information technology policy”, Uttar Pradesh Government, 2004 : “Pro poor public delivery service with ICTs: Making local e- governance work” Towards Achieving MDGs, APIDP e note11/2007 http://www.upgov.nic.in (Related Links) http://nicsu.up.nic.in/ (Related Links) http://sitapur.nic.in/ (Related Links) http://updesco.up.nic.in/ (Related Links) - 48 -
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