BENGALURU: In a shining example of what Digital India can achieve if applied properly, villagers in Karnataka will get property documents, income and tax certificates in a total of 40 services at the state’s 6,019 gram panchayat offices. This is the first time in the country that such services can be availed at the village level.
The project, Bapuji Seva Kendra, launched on Friday by Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah in Haveri district, will serve 4.2 crore people. It is being dubbed as a game-changer and dubbed the largest citizen services roll-out in the country.
Karnataka’s revenue department, which developed the whole project in conjunction with rural development and panchayat raj’s Panchatantra software, is planning to make a presentation on it to the Centre. “It can be replicated across the country and will give villagers easy access to their land records and certificates, without making them travel huge distances and spend a lot of time,” Munish Moudgil, Karnataka’s commissioner for survey, settlement and land records told ET.
The project builds on Karnataka’s pioneering Bhoomi software, under which any citizen can get printed land records of any survey number in the state, including extent, land use and ownership details. “No other state has been able to implement this model as we are the only state to have put all its land records on the Internet,” Moudgil pointed out. Till now, this service was limited to the 800 Nada Katcheris or citizen service centres, but now it reaches the citizen’s own village.
Citizens can also access their caste and income certificates and other revenue or rural development and panchayat raj services from the gram panchayat kiosk. All the citizen needs to do is give the number of the certificate or the survey number and they can get a printout on regular A-4 size paper, which is legally valid, without any applications or authentication.
All the certificate printouts come with digital signatures that have their own number codes, a bar code and inbuilt security features which cannot be replicated. “This is more secure than any manual system or any other system in the country. If there is any doubt about the validity of information on certificates, all anyone needs to do is send an SMS with the certificate number to our revenue department’s phone 51969 and all details are sent to that phone immediately, for instant cross-verification. There is no chance to forge or tamper,” Moudgil pointed out.
The IIT-Bombay graduate IAS officer wants to make the entire process of caste and income certificate paperless by proposing a ban on it . ‘”I am working with the education, backward classes and social welfare departments to connect up the back end. We have already made it optional for people to just give their certificate number rather than a paper copy. If we ban paper, then it will be fully implemented and make things easy for everyone,” he outlined.
Credits ET Realty