The state of Maharashtra is all set to log on to a future of digitally empowered governance system. From October 2, the government of Maharashtra will provide all citizen- centric services through digital platforms, marking a major step towards delivering on the Prime Minister’s promise of “maximum governance, minimum government.”
Sharing his vision for a digitally empowered state, the Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis stated, “I dream of a Maharashtra where the government proactively engages with citizens through social media platforms. Once all the citizen services on Aaple Sarkar portal are made available on its mobile app, no citizen of my state will have to visit a government office to resolve matters. The entire spectrum of government- related applications and payment gateways will be available to him on his mobile.”
The digital empowerment measure will result in a radical transformation in the way the citizens interface with the government. It will eliminate human intervention ensuring transparency, accuracy, efficiency and inclusion.
However, the CM maintained that he will continue to work towards fructification of this paradigm shift. “On October 2, almost 75 % of my task will be accomplished but it will be 100 % accomplished in a year’s time. Within a year we will be able to integrate all backend activities and then I will be able to claim that the citizens of my state will not have to visit any government office to avail of any citizen service,” he announced at a recent industry conference.
Maharashtra has also taken one of the biggest digital empowerment measures which will change the face of governance in the state.
Maharashtra has become the first state to implement the the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS) system in a comprehensive manner. Launched in September 2015, the Rs 2000 crore e-governance project connects all police stations digitally.
Proposed to be implemented in all Police Stations and all Supervisory offices of Maharashtra State, the systems will make all police stations paperless and online. CCTNS would not only allow digitization of registered crime and criminal data in the state but also enhance tools for investigation, crime prevention, law & order maintenance and traffic management. It will facilitate sharing crime and criminal information across the state. “The citizens can now register a police complaint online at any city police station from anywhere. Citizens can not only lodge a complaint with ease but also track its status and progress online. The complaints would be seen on the dashboard of the in-charge of the respective police station,” he shared.
The pilot in Pune showed encouraging results. Now that the jurisdiction of a police station is not an issue, the citizens have access to better governance mechanism.Besides, the police stations across Maharashtra can exchange information in real- time.
The CM stressed upon the fact that technology can provide a level playing field. “Technology is a tool towards creating equity. You can beat an idea with a bigger idea and technology -led social innovation is that bigger idea through which we can change the lives of people overnight,” he said.
The government is trying to build enterprise class architecture in the state. As part of transforming Mumbai into a Wi- Fi enabled city, the government will create 1,200 Wi-Fi hotspots in the city by May 2017. This initiative will enable people to use citizen-centric services on digital platforms. The move is also intended at creating smart transport, smart parking and integrating the entire transport system.
The Maharashtra government has also drawn up an ambitious plan to set up an optical fibre network that will crisscross across 28,000 gram panchayats in 36 districts. The initiative will bring the villages up to speed with the urban India. It will pave the way for e-health, e-education and e-governance initiatives for rural Maharashtra.
The digital drive is picking up a fast pace in the state with these initiatives. Earlier this month, Maharashtra ranked highest in the Ease of Doing Business (EDB) in Indian states. Digital infrastructure will further stimulate the ease of doing business and promote foreign investments.
The state government has chalked out an ambitious plan to set up India’s first International Arbitration Center in Mumbai. The initiative will transform Mumbai into an international financial center and accelerate economic activity in the state.