Karnataka

Over 30,000 downloads in two months for Siddaramaiah app

A screenshot of the interface of the ‘Sidddaramaiah app’.

A screenshot of the interface of the ‘Sidddaramaiah app’.  

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‘Siddaramaiah app’, an application launched on October 31 as an exclusive citizen’s connect initiative to provide a hotline to the Chief Minister, has seen suggestions and “concerns” pouring in in thousands.

According to an analysis of the data by officials at the CMO (Chief Minister’s Office), by January 1, there were over 31,350 downloads of the app. The total number of “concerns” shared through the app was 1,780, while the number of “suggestions” given to the CM was over 2,300.

The app had its share of marketing after its launch, with citizens receiving many an SMS urging them to “participate in governance”. “Karnataka’s citizens are invited to participate in the governance of the State. Download the official app of the Hon’ble CM to submit your grievances and /suggestions & to stay up to date about the CM’s activities & schemes,” the message said.

Siddaramaiah app is among the newest citizen connect initiatives taken up by the government, which also announced the ‘Bengaluru helpline’ recently to bring grievance redressal for critical departments and agencies in the capital under one umbrella.

The maximum number of concerns came for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (130), Public Works (112), and Primary and Secondary Education (91) departments. The other departments that have received concerns are Agriculture and Transport.

“Suggestions and concerns include road development, extension of bus services, improvement in urban infrastructure, increasing benefits in individual-oriented schemes including scholarships and housing,” said an official in the CMO. The official also explained the reason behind the department-wise numbers, which have busted the myth about apps being used more extensively in urban centres.

“RDPR has the benefit of numbers in terms of population. Also, it bodes well that the app is being used outside of city areas too. Given that almost 62% of Karnataka’s population is in rural areas, it is encouraging that citizen engagement in terms of suggestions/concerns is good beyond Bengaluru and other urban areas,” the official said.

Brickbats too

The app has received mixed reviews from users, some of who have opposed it being named after a person rather than the post. “He is a temporary Chief Minister. As he is the current CM, you can have his photo in the app. But it’s not right to promote Siddaramaiah the person with public funds. It is even better if he has a separate app for himself with his own money,” one review read.

“All news appears in daily papers, what is the fun in this app? It should have been a communicative app. It is another advertising portal, that’s all,” said another user.

There were some suggestions, too. “App can capture concerns. But no option to follow up nor get updates. Or we can’t see the action taken,” said one user.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 1:25:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/over-30000-downloads-in-two-months-for-siddaramaiah-app/article22452071.ece

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