Under e-district project, government services will be available on mobile phones

Giving a fillip to the mobile governance initiatives of the State government, the Kerala State IT Mission (KSITM) is all set to make available government services over smartphone platforms in a couple of months.

KSITM is in the process of integrating these services with the mobile service delivery gateway.

“It should be in place within two months. This will facilitate the usage of an immediate payment service platform, which will enable about 450 types of bill payments included under the e-district project. But this requires mobile phones of citizens to be enabled with the banks as well to ensure that the payment channel is secure. We are informing banks about the proposed service to get them on board,” KSITM director P. Bala Kiran said.

He said though the KSITM launched m-governance initiatives in 2008, it was mostly restricted to SMS-driven informative and acknowledgement services. “We have now moved on to the next step of creating mobile applications,” Mr. Bala Kiran said.

Already three mobile applications developed by KSITM are available in the Google Play Store. This includes one on Aadhaar status while the m-governance Kerala application makes available the entire list of government departments and their services in a single interface thereby sparing citizens of the need to remember complete URL addresses, codes and telephone numbers.

Asked about the shortcomings in the e-district project, Mr. Bala Kiran said it was a relatively new project, which in a short span of time was able to free village officers to focus on their core revenue functions rather than concentrating their entire energy on issuing certificates alone.

“We are planning to add 600 more services to the common integrated e-district portal during the forthcoming fiscal. One of the focus areas is to bring the Right to Information services of all departments on the e-district platform,” he said.

Integrating database of voter’s identity card to the portal along with SSLC, civil supplies, and motor vehicle’s department databases is also on the anvil further cutting down the cost of citizens for scanning documents to supplement their applications.. KSITM has already written to the Election Commission asking for permission to access their online database to which the latter had positively responded.

Between May last year and January, 62 lakh transactions were made through e-district, eliminating the scope for bribery by negating direct interactions between the citizen and government offices.

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