CeG to make public services more customer-centric, roll out new services
The Centre for e-Governance (CeG) is a society under the Department of Personnel
and Administrative Reforms (e-Governance). CeG was formed to serve as the nodal agency
to implement common IT infrastructure across all departments of the Government and also
provide support in terms of IT and e-Governance consulting. Dr. Ratan U. Kelkar, CEO of the
centre speaks in an interview. Excerpts.
Could you briefly give an overview of the activities undertaken by the
Karnataka E-governance department?
CeG Operates the Core Infrastructure like the State Data Centre, the State Wide Area
Network, the Secretariat Local Area Network and so on, common to all departments. It has also
implemented common enterprise-wide applications like the e-procurement and human resource
management system that are used by all departments. Citizen Service Centres like
Bangalore-One and Karnataka-One also come under this department’s purview. CeG also
provides e-Governance Training, Advisory and Consultation Services to departments.
What are some of the key initiatives that have been unveiled in recent tines?
We recently launched the MobileOne platform across Karnataka. It has the Unique
distinction of being certified as India’s first and the world’s largest multi-mode mobile
governance platform. It is a unified mobile platform for delivery of G2C and G2B services of
the Government of Karnataka along with a host of citizen-centric privates service through an
open platform, which can accept any service and is thus future-proof. These anytime,
anywhere, anyhow services are available 24 x 7 x 365 days, can be accessed from anywhere in
India on any mobile device over any network by anyone who wishes to use them.
The aim is to provide these services to people in both urban and rural Karnataka by
utilizing the reach of mobile connectivity and the power of the mobile device to develop/onboard
applications and deliver services to foster inclusive development in the state of
Karnataka. MobileOne hopes to transform delivery of public services, foster innovation,
promote entrepreneurial culture, provide a self-sustaining platform for multi-channel and
ubiquitous access to government as well as value added services to the people in Karnataka.
It has been designed to inclusive and not leave out any section of society, regardless
of the socio-economic strata they might belong to. The platform does not expect the citizens
to own mid-to- high-end smart phones or have expensive data plans to access the plans to
access the various services. Many of the G2C services are available over SMS, USSD and IVR
channels. More services are being planned to be delivered over these channels so as to
increase the reach ability, availability.
What is being done to ensure that e-Governance is more robust, dynamic and
We are working to ensure that technical initiatives go hand-in-glove with
appropriate policy charges and process re-engineering so that they become more effective
also become more user friendly, which in turn will drive adoption by citizens and enable
access to the government, especially in the rural sectors.
Going forward, department should desist from insisting upon submission of hard
copy document/certificates etc. Where such information is already available in an electronic
format, perhaps with another department For instance, a copy of the passport or birth
certificate, ect. Departments can get these documents online (provided that the various
departments have already been seamlessly integrated) instead of asking the citizen to submit
copies, thereby making access to such services over mobile easier and making the user
experience more comfortable.
MobileOne, for example, aims to bring equality in service delivery to bridge socioeconomic
divides, language barriers, and literacy gaps. The initiative enables a two-way
dialogue with citizens allowing for more transparency, accountability in addition to faster
resolution of grievances. By empowering citizens to be able to their utility bills, property tax,
track their passport applications, submit grievances, all on the go, MobileOne is
revolutionizing governance in the 21st century and making it accessible to everyone in
Karnataka through a mobile phone. Since the platform is device-agnostic, everyone from a
farmer with a basic phone to a CEO with a high-end Smartphone will be able to it with equal
We are certain that technology will be instrumental in serving as the bridge between
government and citizens. With this, we hope to address issues, large and small, to alleviate
the concerns of citizens and help them feel safer. Moreover, the need of the day is to have a
customer-centric approach in the provision of public services. For example, live feeds from
CCTVs would be invaluable in monitoring safety on the streets as well as managing traffic in
a more effective way.
Could you shed light on a few upcoming initiatives?
A number of e-governance initiative are in the pipeline. We plan to upgrade the
Karnataka State Wide Area Network to increase the bandwidth and security of network
provided to the Government offices and introduce redundancy in the network so that there
is higher availability.
HRMS 2.0, an /upgraded version of the State’s Human Resource Management System
is also in the works. A new and improved e-Procurement portal also going to be released. An
enhanced Karnataka Resident Data Hub v 4.0 is expected to be rolled out 2015-16. The eDistrict
and Citizen Service Centre initiatives are expected to be rolled out throughout the
State by 2015-16, with 50 new Citizen Service Centres planned to be opened under
Karnataka One Scheme in tier-II cities of the State. New e-Governance Policy will be
formulated for consolidation of different departments by using new technology. A new State
Data Centre will be established at Suvarna Soudh, Belgaum, for the Purpose of disaster
recovery and business continuity. A version of the MobileOne smart client on windows and
Blackberry platforms is in the pipeline. More departments and citizen oriented third party
service providers will be on boarded on to MobileOne.
An Innovation Centre is envisioned through which more innovative mobile
application shall be designed and developed, specifically for the MobileOne platform.
Regular hackathon events would be held to encourage the developer community at large to
develop citizen-centric mobile applications to be made available on MobileOne. A
“Government of Karnataka Mobile App Store” is also on the cards, where the citizen can find
and download all the Government-related apps easily.
What’s the vision of the department?
The vision is to provide government services to people in both urban and rural
Karnataka by the application and use of a range of modern information and communication
technology (ICT) such as the internet, local area networks, mobiles etc. To improve
effectiveness, efficiency of service delivery and to promote democracy. Though egovernance,
government service will be made available to citizen in a convenient efficient
and transparent manner.