Smart Governance – States, UTs
The pervasive theme this year was clearly that of ‘Maximum Governance, Minimum Government’ and the jury was happy to learn that all the states, which had sent in their nominations, stood firmly behind this talisman. The states sent in their entries under a variety of classifications. These were Health, Finance, e-Governance, Transport, Agriculture & Rural Development, Governance, Municipalities and Education.
In terms of awards and merits, the category of e-Governance bagged the highest number of SKOCH Order-of-Merit at 94, while the Governance category bagged the highest number of Awards (16). It is clear that the focus and prioritisation of the state governments and the policymakers as well as of the implementers is on the widest inclusion possible as far as governance is concerned. In the multiple examples that were studied and examined this year, the one single fact repeatedly reassuring was the very active and visible intention of all concerned to deliver and work towards best governance for the lowest of the low, be it economically, socially, in terms of education or even politically. The details of category-wise wins are given in Table 1.
|Bank Name||Rural||Urban||Total||No of Rupay Cards|
|Public Sector Bank||9.43||7.42||16.85||14.32|
|Regional Rural Bank||3.26||0.54||3.79||2.69|
The states that have performed the best in terms of rankings have been classified as ‘Stars’. These are
- Madhya Pradesh
- West Bengal
The next 10 states and UTs, which have done commendable work and are next in ranking, have been designated as ‘Performers’. These are:
- Andhra Pradesh
- Himachal Pradesh
- Tamil Nadu
- Uttar Pradesh
The remaining states from where SKOCH received winning nominations are grouped as the ‘Catching-Up’. These are:
- Arunanchal Pradesh
- Dadra & Nagar Haveli
Let us take up the categories individually along with a few winners from the various states that were honoured in each category and a few representative and benchmark projects that shone at this year’s awards.
e-Governance is generally understood as the use of ICT at all level of the government in order to provide services to the citizens, interaction with business enterprises and communication and exchange of information between different agencies of the government in a speedy, convenient, efficient and transparent manner. In the awards this year, the e-Governance category had 93 total Order-of-Merit winners and 12 Awardees. Clearly, as Table 2 suggests, Kerala was the table topper with 13 Order-of-Merit and two Awards; MP with eight Merits and one Award; and, HP and Rajasthan with nine Merits each. The Kerala State IT Mission, Department of Information Technology, Government of Kerala, excelled itself through a number of diverse projects. The e-District Services project was found as particularly impactful. A few other projects by other states that are worth mentioning here are the Automated Building Approval System (ABPAS) from MP; the End-to-End Aadhaar Implementation in Himachal Pradesh; and, Online Social Security Pension System (RajSSP) by NIC in Rajasthan. Be it linking people to services, getting the poorest and the most deprived into the fold of governance, using mobile and the Internet to augment reach and transparency, the e-Governance awardees have all been driven by a mission.
The 74th Constitutional Amendment Act lays the foundation for a sustainable urban governance system in the country. The category of Municipalities is very relevant in a number of ways to the idea and the direction of a new and resurgent India. By transforming people’s lives right at the level of their day-to-day routines, the municipalities often play a critical role in influencing and effecting changes that go to the very heart of our democratic processes. Little wonder then, that this category won 36 Order-of-Merit and nine Awards (Table 3). Gujarat was at the top with eight Merits and three Awards, followed by Maharashtra with 11 Order-of-Merit and one Award and then followed the two southern states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, each with two Awards and two Order-of-Merit.
The municipalities of Ahmedabad, Surat, Kolkatta, Pune, Coimbatore and Belagavi all sent in their entries and the projects that they submitted were found to be impressive and effective in both the intent and the final impact. A study of the various municipal projects brought out a few factors. One, people will happily take to any development project if their safety and security is impacted. Second, a direct impact of diurnal promises immediate action. Thirdly, the greater the goal, the more support is essential from higher authorities.
The Finance category had 23 Order-of-Merit and seven Awards. The top winning states were West Bengal, MP, Haryana and Jharkhand. The importance of Finance in transformative governance can be gauged from the simple fact that over 330 million people live in India’s cities. 35 cities have a population of over a million. India’s cities are large, economically important and growing. However, neither urban infrastructure nor the level of urban public services are adequate for current needs, let alone to meet growing demands.
The projects that deserve an honourable mention are Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) by the Finance Department and one by the Directorate of Commercial Taxes, Government of West Bengal for the e-Grievances project. The Computerisation of MP Commercial Tax Department, the e-Pension Integrated with Aadhaar-Enabled Jeevan Pramaan Patra project, Haryana and Karamchari Sewa Portal , Government of Jharkhand.
A government governs. This simple fact is lost in many societies and societal sub-groups where government is often mistaken and recognised only for control and power. Many a times, good efforts fail due to lack of trust in the lower functionaries: the people who work as interface between the government and the governed.
It is with the backdrop of disseminating inclusion benefits that the Governance category ought to be assessed. This year, there were 21 Order-of-Merit and 16 Awards in this category. The winners were the states of MP, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Gujarat (Table 5). Meghalaya, Rajasthan and Haryana tied for 4th place. The key projects that shone brightly at the award function were Integrated Social Security Programme, Participation of Women in Elections, Vatsalya Balaghat, SPARSH Abhiyaan—Special Project for Assistance, Rehabilitation and Strengthening of the Handicapped (Differently-abled), Mukhya Mantri Mahila Sashaktikaran Yojana and Tejaswini Rural Women Empowerment Programme (all from MP); Kanyashree Prakalpa and West Bengal Transgender Development Board from West Bengal; SAMVEDANA – Distribution of benefits to Maldhari tribes of Gir Forest Ness (An initiative for Tribal Community under Gatisheel Gujarat Programme) and Integrated Basin Development and Livelihood Promotion Programme (IBDLP) from Meghalaya.
Education & Skill Development
The category of Education & Skill Development saw a total of 21 Order-of-Merit and nine Awards. The maximum awards (4) were won by Gujarat, followed by MP (3), Maharashtra (4) and Chandigarh (3). Some projects that won the top Awards were Kaushlya Pramanitata Yojana (Industrial Kaushlya Vardhan Kendra); Kaushlya Pramanitata Yojana (Shramik Kaushlya Pramanitata Yojana (Skill Certification); GIS School Mapping – Ensuring Access to Elementary Education, all from Gujarat; Madhya Pradesh ITI Online SCVT Semester Examination and Flexi MoU – Skilling through Industry-Institute linkage, from MP; Online Verification & Reassessment System and Online Enrollment & Online Examination Form Filling System from Maharashtra.
Planned development of skills must be underpinned by a ‘policy’, which is both comprehensive as well as national in character. A national policy response is, therefore, needed to guide the skill development strategies and coordinated action by all stakeholders to avoid a piecemeal approach. It is also important that the policies of skill development be linked to policies in the economic, employment and social development arenas.
Agriculture & Rural Development
16 Order-of-Merit and five Awards were bagged by various states in this category. Although agriculture now accounts for only 14 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), it is still the main source of livelihood for the majority of the rural population. As such rapid growth of agriculture is critical for inclusiveness. Important structural changes are taking place within the sector and there are definite signs of improved performance with many states affording a very high priority to development in this sector.
Tripura topped this category with four Merits and two Awards. The projects that ware awarded include, Unnatisheel Gomati and Rural Housing Leading to Gender Empowerment in Gomati District in Tripura (Table 7). The other notable winners were from Jharkhand, Meghalaya and West Bengal. Jharkhand State Watershed Mission Under Rural Development Department implemented the outstanding project entitled, Use of Satellite Based Proposed Activity Map in preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) under IWMP projects. The Department of Planning, Government of Meghalaya’s project, Integrated Basin Development and Livelihood Promotion Programme (IBDLP) also outshone many others.
This category has 12 Order-of-Merit and four Awards. The state of West Bengal topped this category by winning two Order-of-Merit and two Awards (Table 8). It won the awards for Innovative approaches of Fair Price Medicine and Diagnostic Centres that worked in Public hospitals in West Bengal in reducing Out-of-Pocket Expenses and Critical Care Services below District hospitals in West Bengal – Quality Free Services in Public hospitals. The other states at the top of this table are Rajasthan, Arunachal Pradesh and MP as well as Gujarat.
Though there has been progress on many fronts in the healthcare segment, except for child sex ratio, the goals have not been fully met yet. Low public spending on health (1 per cent of GDP), high out-of-pocket payments (71 per cent) is leading to impoverishment of people. The major thrust in this direction is the National Rural Hearth Mission (NRHM), which aims at major qualitative improvements in standards of public health and healthcare in the rural areas through strengthening of institutions, community participation, decentralisation and innovative methods of reaching all habitations.
In the transport category, there are six Order-of-Merits and two Awards. The state with the highest rank is Karnataka, followed by UP, Haryana and Uttarakhand. Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) won an Award for the project Organised Public Transport City Buses for Small & Medium Towns and Cities. The other key projects were Intelligent Transport Management System (ITMS) from UP; Haryana Tourism Corporation, Government of Haryana’s e-Tourism project and the Uttarakhand Transport Corporation Fleet Management System (UTCFMS). The transport related projects were aimed at largely improving the integration of the back-office functions and streamlining processes so that the overall transport infrastructure of the respective state could rise to a higher level of service delivery.
Overall View of SKOCH Smart Governance Awards & Order-of-Merit
|S/N||State, UTs||Order of Merit||Awards||Municipalities – Order-of-Merit||Municipalities – Award||Finance – Order-of-Merit||Finance – Award||Education & Skill – Order-of-Merit||Education & Skill – Award||Health – Order-of-Merit||Health – Award||Transport – Order-of-Merit||Transport – Award||Governance – Order-of-Merit||Governance – Award||e-Governance – Order-of-Merit||e-Governance – Award||Agri & RD – Order-of-Merit||Agri & RD – Award|
|6||Dadra & Nagar Haveli||1||1|
Smart Governance – Central Government
India has witnessed development in all the sectors of its economy. The agriculture and allied sectors employ 60 per cent of the total workforce and despite a steady decline of its share in the GDP. It plays a significant role in the socio-economic development of India. The concept of inclusive growth advocates growth to reduce poverty and other disparities, raise the level of employment, protecting environment, etc.
India’s policymakers are impelled by a desire to make the country an economic super-power. India aims to have a high growth rate with focus on equity. It is now a given that good governance is dependant not merely upon good policy advises but more importantly on the processes and incentives to design and implement good policies themselves. Any weak institutions of governance will make an adverse impact on service delivery. The projects that were reviewed for this year’s awards all had a clear sense of maximum governance and inclusion embedded in their ethos. Ranging from health to finance to e-governance, the Centre has performed remarkably well in most of the categories in the impact and quality of service delivery dimension. Small wonder then, that the centre has won a total of eight Awards and 13 SKOCH Order-of-Merit. Two Awards each have been won by the Center in the Governance, e-Governance and Agriculture & Rural Development category while it won one Award in the Finance category.
In the Agriculture & Rural Development segment, the programmes that were recognised for excellence were, the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya – Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKU), Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) for Strengthening of Programme Implementation and Governance through Conversion of Yearly Plan (YP) state to Action Plan State; the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture’s project on Extreme Weather Alerts and for Crop Insurance. In e-Governance, the winners were, National Informatics Centre (NIC), for Government e-Procurement System of NIC (GePNIC) and eHRMS – Manav Sampada – A Tool for Human Resource Management; Ministry of Home Affairs for e-Tourist Visa Scheme; Atomic Energy Regulatory Board for eLORA (e-Licensing of Radiation Applications); Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation for Online Monitoring System of Swachh Bharat Mission-Grameen (SBM-G). In Governance, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) for Universal Account Number Programme and the Transformation of Social Security Agenda in India projects won an Award each. In Finance, the Central Board of Excise and Custom won the Award for the ‘ICE GATE’ project.
Commencing our detailing with the Agriculture & Rural Development category, the Centre’s projects won two Awards and four Order-of-Merit. The Awards went to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya – Grameen Kaushalya Yojana, MoRD and Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture project on Extreme Weather Alerts. DDU-GKY is the placement and career progression oriented skilling initiative of MoRD. As an important part of the National Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Development Policy, 2015 and a strategic intervention under the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM), it aims at social and economic transformation of rural poor youth by skilling to industry-relevance, enabling employment and provision of career progression support. DDU-GKY has embarked on a time-bound strategy to move from ‘direct implementation’ mode to ‘State-engaged implementation mode’ by 2017, through adequate ‘empowerment’ of the State Government machinery complementing it with technical support and capacity building interventions. DDU-GKY has so far trained over 5.08 lakh candidates, while securing placement to over 3.6 lakh trained candidates and has established over 460 training centres across 20 States. Youth from over 500 districts have been impacted through DDU-GKY. At present, DDU-GKY is offering training programmes in over 100 jobs or trades, cutting across a wide range of sectors.
In the category of e-Governance, the first Award went to the National Informatics Centre, for Government e-Procurement System of NIC (GePNIC), which aims to support governance by ushering in more effective and transparent inter and intra-governmental processes. This product has been built as a single reusable system. The system, which is being progressively used since the year 2007, has been designed taking into account the General Financial Rules (GFR), tender rules followed in various states and also the CVC’s guidelines on tendering. It also adheres to various guidelines issued by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. The system is already very widely adopted in 25 States/UTs where various departments and state public sector units are using it. In the Central Government, around 130 Government entities are using the system across the country. Around 889,352 electronic tenders worth Rs 14,63,371.77 crore have been processed using the system across these 39 live instances till 30 June 2015.
The Manav Sampada System – Human Resource Management System (eHRMS), implemented by NIC, has the twin objectives of maintaining electronic record of the service of all employees across all State Government Departments and to provide a single User ID/Logon for the majority of the e-Governance applications in the State. The project was initially implemented in Himachal Pradesh and has now been successfully implemented in Delhi, Punjab, Jharkhand, Bihar and Chandigarh. Total savings in terms of paper, postage, fuel and employee cost in a month is Rs 38.63 crore.
The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation’s project, the Online Monitoring System of Swachh Bharat Mission – Grameen (SBM-G) was a notable addition to the Order-of-Merit this year. The Online Monitoring System of SBM is a comprehensive web-based information system. The system enables the Centre, state, district, block and Panchayat to monitor the progress of the coverage of toilets for Individual household and Community Sanitary Complexes. The system facilitates the uploading the photographs of toilets using mobile application (both online and offline mode along with latitude–longitude and usage of toilets). It also enables SMS communication with beneficiaries for ascertaining whether they are satisfied with toilets provided to them under the SBM-G programme. The MIS is today managing the sanitation status of each household scattered in 2.50 lakh Gram Panchayats, six lakh villages and more than 16 lakh habitations.
In the Finance category, the CBEC’s project, ‘ICE GATE’ excelled over all other and won the Award. ICEGATE stands for the Indian Customs EDI Gateway. (EDI = Electronic Data Interchange). The key objectives were: to build an informed society; encourage citizens’ participation; reduce response time; transparency in governance; to make the government accountable; and, ignite growth and development. The impact can be gauged from the fact that huge number of messages are exchanged daily with 21 categories of stakeholders. 21 banks do an average e-Payment of Rs 800 crore with a drawback disbursal of Rs 27,400 crore in 2014-15 alone.
The Governance category saw the EPFO bag two awards for its outstanding projects, the Universal Account Number Programme and Transformation of Social Security Agenda in India. The UAN Programme was implemented with the need that there existed no common number to singularly identify a member and link his employment with different establishments. UAN designed to act as an umbrella for multiple employments of a member. This technological intervention has also enabled a higher degree of interface and communication by way of emails and SMS between the EPF member and EPFO. More than 1.11 crore EPF members have already activated their UAN as on 14th August 2015.
In order for a programmatic intervention to succeed in implementation, it is very critical for securing commitment and continual engagement of all the key stakeholders. The respective state governments should be involved with a strong focus on the system’s ease-of-use. Active support from the top leadership will help drive system use and compliance with approved systems and processes. It is also important to remember that technology is a tool and not a magic-wand. This requires administrative will to implement the best plans. Continuous process re-engineering is also required for value addition.
The direct involvement of the State Governments in key activities, right from the identification of the target beneficiaries to oversight of the project implementation to monitoring and reporting, ensures ‘quality’, ‘efficiency’ and ‘effectiveness’ in any programme implementation. Any empowered institution (within the state machinery) could go a long way in contributing to the state – both in terms of ‘efficiency’ and ‘effective’ delivery of results. In most of the cases, which were reviewed, these empowered institutions were well utilised by the respective State Governments for further leveraging of their stand-out competencies in managing complex project implementation and delivering results.
In addition to recruiting and sustaining a large manpower, financial prudence requires documentary evidence of all transactions, which requires collation, physical verification and auditing. Another challenge that is seen is the non-standardised format results in different styles of maintaining a service record within the department thus creating further complications in manual record keeping, transfer and locating of the same when needed. Due to vast size, huge population and varied topography of the country, dissemination of information in timely manner then becomes critical.
The general weakness of accountability mechanisms is an impediment to improving services across the board. Bureaucratic complexities and procedures make it difficult for a citizen as well as
the civil society to navigate the system for timely and quality delivery of services.
When good governance is guaranteed, citizens go about their personal business and pursuits with enhanced expectations. On the other side of the spectrum, bad or indifferent governance not only restricts opportunities of success but it can even degenerate into sectarian conflicts and civil wars. In such an atmosphere, personal accomplishments as well as social achievements get severely restricted. Good governance is accordingly associated with accountable political leadership, enlightened policy-making and a civil service imbued with a professional ethos.
|Agriculture & Rural Development||Deen Dayal Upadhyaya – Grameen Kaushalya Yojana, Ministry of Rural Development||Strengthening of Programme implementation and governance through conversion of YP state to Action Plan state||1||1|
|Agriculture & Rural Development||Deen Dayal Upadhyaya – Grameen Kaushalya Yojana, Ministry of Rural Development||e-Governance through the adoption and implementation of PFMS||1|
|Agriculture & Rural Development||Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture||Crop Insurance||1|
|Agriculture & Rural Development||Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture||Extreme Weather Alerts||1||1|
|e-Governance||National Informatics Centre||Government e-Procurement System of NIC (GePNIC)||1||1|
|e-Governance||National Informatics Centre||eHRMS – Manav Sampada – A Tool for Human Resource Management||1||1|
|e-Governance||Ministry of Home Affairs||e-Tourist Visa Scheme||1|
|e-Governance||Atomic Energy Regulatory Board||eLORA (e-Licensing of Radiation Applications)||1||1|
|e-Governance||Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation||Online Monitoring System of Swachh Bharat Mission-Grameen (SBM-G)||1|
|Finance||Central Board of Excise and Customs||ICE GATE||1||1|
|Governance||Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation||Universal Account Number Programme||1||1|
|Governance||Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation||Transformation of Social Security Agenda in India||1||1|
|Health||Department of Atomic Energy||Cancer Hospital Information Management System ( CHIMS)||1|