The largest Indian state, Rajasthan places itself among the biggest adopters of technology in the eGovernance space. Over the last decade, the state has been in the news for rolling out numerous IT initiatives and using technology to ensure efficient delivery of citizen services. Rajasthan is also one of the early adopters of emerging technologies such as blockchain. Having four smart cities – Jaipur, Udaipur, Kota and Ajmer – Rajasthan further strengthens its identity as one of the most technology-enabled states in India.
Most recently, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was in the news for enjoying a drive on the virtual track at a digital museum during a visit to the Bhamashah Technohub and State Data Centre. The Chief Minister was impressed with the virtual reality technology and tried his hands on virtual games including football and cricket. He also monitored the progress of start-ups working in the domain of artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing and XRVR technologies.
Whereas, in the area of cybersecurity, Rajasthan Police plans to hire cyber experts to tackle cyber crimes and criminals, and have asked the state government to form an agency that’s well-equipped to handle these new-age criminals.
Speaking at the recently organised Technology Sabha in Jaipur, Bulaki Das Kalla, Minister for Energy, Public Health & Engineering, Ground Water, Art, Literature, Culture & Archeology, Government of Rajasthan, informs, “The need to adopt new-age tools is the need of the hour. Technology has brought in huge changes within governments and in the lives of people; and Rajasthan has set a good example in this area. For instance, we have brought in a completely transparent system for farmer loans and Aadhaar based biometric authentication. Furthermore, we have ensured internet connectivity in every Gram Panchayat. We are well aware of the tremendous potential of technology and we will continue to leverage that.”
Abhay Kumar, Principal Secretary, Department of IT & Communication, Government of Rajasthan,, says, “In our farmers loan waiver scheme, we used Aadhaar based biometric authentication system, which helped us streamline the process. We have 60,000 e-Mitra Kendras across Rajasthan. We also have a state-wide GIS platform and are ensuring that our schemes leverage this platform. Moreover, Rajasthan has set up one of the most modern data centres in India and are now in the process of setting up Command and Control Centres (CCC) at district headquarters.”
Explaining how Rajasthan is using emerging technologies to strengthen eGovernance, Ambrish Kumar, Commissioner & Special Secretary, Department of IT&C, Government of Rajasthan pointed out that end-to-end thought process is still missing in eGovernance. He emphasised on paperless processes. Interestingly, he also shared that Rajasthan has the largest IT workforce among all Indian states.
Tech in use
Committed to ensure effective and efficient service delivery, Government of Rajasthan introduced a revolutionary platform, e-Mitra which provides access to all citizen services till the last mile. E-Mitra centres provide numerous government and private services under a single roof. Having launched more than 45,000 e-mitra centres in all 33 districts of the state, Rajasthan Government has ensured real-time access of all services at the doorstep.
In order to make Rajasthan the torchbearer of the ‘Digital India Mission, the state has introduced e-Mitra Plus. It is a cutting-edge computerised kiosk that offers easy access to more than 300 government and private services. Technological advancements in e-governance have made unhindered service delivery possible for every citizen of the state through e-Mitra Plus kiosks. This one stop service delivery touchscreen kiosk is fully automated with no manual intervention required.
Effective eGovernance requires interlinking and interoperability between software platforms being developed by various departments. It is therefore essential that various data masters like administrative boundaries, demographical, socio-economical parameters and naming conventions are common across platforms being developed. Department of IT and Communication has created a State Central Master Data Hub (Rajmasters), wherein the control of masters for the purpose of editing and additions/deletions would be vested in the department concerned, and the rights for viewing and consumption would be available to one and all.
For illustration, in case of village masters the right for editing would be with Revenue Department and in case of masters pertaining to PRIs, Panchayatiraj Department would be the nodal department. Henceforth, it is enjoined upon all the departments to leverage Rajmasters for the purpose of masters and no separate master would be created in the individual application. In case a particular master is required which is not available in Rajmasters, the department concerned would be allowed to create the same in central repository, rather than in own application.
Rajmasters is the only system of its kind in the state which provides central repositories of masters to all state level applications. Rajmasters are available as a service, can be easily integrated across the applications.
Another initiative, the Integrated Shaladarpan Portal is a bilingual, workflow based user-friendly Online School Monitoring System, which is being used to capture and update regularly, schools, teachers/staff, students and schemes related information of all government schools. It has become the backbone for the critical processes and decisions from planning, school operations, teacher staffing to implementation and monitoring of various schemes.
Widely appreciated as the “Model School MIS”, Rajasthan Integrated ShalaDarpan has updated information of over 85 lakh students and over 3.75 lakh staff of more than 65,000 government schools in the state. This centralised transparent data visibility allows the department to keep an eye on important challenges like the pupil teacher ratio, absenteeism, vacant positions, low enrolment, inadequate infrastructure facilities, budget requirements etc. School, district and state staff have a higher accountability of their jobs because it is extremely simple to figure out the bottleneck for any implementation. For example, if a school does not have a playground, the land allocation process, the application status, fund deployment, etc can be completely tracked on ShalaDarpan.
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