Karnataka

Mobile One: Launched for crores of people, but serving only a few lakh

The Karnataka Mobile One portal is a flagship e-governance project for the State.

The Karnataka Mobile One portal is a flagship e-governance project for the State.  

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Over two years after its launch, Karnataka’s flagship Mobile One e-governance project has been able to attract only 0.4% of the 6.57 crore mobile users in the State.

The project, whose budget is ₹17 crore for five years, was launched in a big way by former President Pranab Mukherjee in December 2014.

A recent technical data analysis undertaken by the Karnataka Evaluation Authority, in association with the Centre for e-Governance, has revealed the poor usage statistics. This is an embarrassment for the State government, which had spoken of making over 4,281 services available to people at their fingertips. In fact, the project even won a gold medal at the M-governance awards at the fourth World Government Summit in Dubai in February 2016.

From payment of taxes, utility bills and traffic violation fines to tracking of applications pertaining to passports, birth certificates and university results, among other things, users can do it all on Mobile One. The idea is to enable citizens to access these services from anywhere, at any time and from any device.

The assessment, carried out by the Hyderabad Karnataka Centre for Advanced Learning, a Kalaburagi-based NGO, focussed on the performance, status, effectiveness and impact of Mobile One. Opinions of citizens from diverse fields, including farmers, software professionals, students and government servants, were collated even as real-time data from the Mobile One portal dashboard of the Centre for e-Governance cell was analysed.

Usage levels

Among the payment-based services on the portal, the highest usage is in utility services (95.47%), followed by transportation services (1.98%) and telecom services (1.26%), the report said.

The evaluators observed that many departments did not provide a complete set of services offered to users. They also found that only 60.1% of the financial transactions were successful even if the user was not at fault.

The study determined the impact of Mobile One in terms of awareness, ease and efficiency, finding that only 33.3% of the respondents were aware of the service. Of this, just 7% had the highest level of awareness — an indication that the portal needs to be publicised.

While 88% of the users said the service had eased things for them, 64% said it had brought in efficiency.

It was also found that the number of services available on the portal has reduced from 4,281 at the time of launch to 658 — a drop to 15.37%.

Recommendations

Suggesting a need to look at the services not currently included on the portal, the report said citizen services of government departments and private sectors should be partnered and redirected to the Karnataka Mobile One service for a single point interface.

A well-defined branding strategy in terms of planning, advertising and popularising the service is necessary to create greater awareness about the portal, the report said, adding that a round-the-clock call centre should be set up to manage Mobile One.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 1:35:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/mobile-one-launched-for-crores-of-people-but-serving-only-a-few-lakhs/article19694284.ece

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