New Delhi: The department of information technology (DIT) plans to deliver about 1,000 government services such as registering births and deaths and accessing land records electronically to citizens in the year staring 1 April.
The plan will help the government achieve goals that were set as part of a $150 million (Rs 800 crore) long-term World Bank loan approved in March to support the national e-governance plan.
It will also double the number of services that will be available online to citizens by the end of this fiscal. Services that are likely to be offered online include farm updates, commercial taxes, registering on employment exchanges and municipal services, among others. The government will also double such services available on mobile phones to 50 by 2012-13, according to the project plan, uploaded on the department’s website.
“The key consideration which will guide and influence selection of a project will be its ability to transform government processes that most affect the lives of common citizens specially with regard to health, education, skill upgradation, and safety and security,” according to the document.
A substantial part of the loan will go towards implementation of projects in states, said Shankar Aggarwal, additional secretary of DIT.
Around Rs 550 crore has been earmarked for this purpose. “Some e-governance projects which are being implemented at the state level have not met the same expectation as those implemented at the Central level, part of it is because of lack of capacity to prepare and implement their projects,” said Aggarwal.
Monetary support may help achieve the objective in many cases, he said.
About Rs 50 crore will be used to set up a project development fund.
“This fund will serve as a revolving fund for development of the new projects, as the amount spent in development of the project will gradually be recouped once the project gets approved for implementation,” Aggarwal said.
An additional Rs 50 crore will be spent on building an authentication platform for users, cloud services and an application store.
To be developed on the lines of the US government’s apps.gov website, the store will host software applications for various services, including government and business applications.
Meanwhile, DIT is also in the process of selecting a consultant to set up a project-monitoring unit for it. “The objective of this programme is to include more and more citizen services, apart from the ones currently underway,” said a senior official of a consulting firm, who did not wish to be identified as his firm has bid to develop the project-monitoring unit.
Considering the fact that the Electronic Service Delivery Bill has been approved by the Cabinet, the target set by DIT seems achievable, the official said.
“The bill is going to force all state governments to enable availability of all e-services on a digital platform. In fact, it will require many such World Bank projects to ensure successful implementation of the Bill’s mandate,” the official said.