Jharkhand, one of the richest mineral zones in the world, is among the poor states of India. Per capita income in this tribal-dominated state is far below the national average. However, it is encouraging to see the innovative steps taken by the government bodies at different levels to make the process transparent and user friendly. Jharkhand has made impressive improvement on SKOCH Governance index on the back of new initiatives. With 16 SKOCH Orders-of-Merit and six Awards, the State is grouped under Star category. The Awards include two Platinum and four Gold.
Minerals are the mainstay of Jharkhand’s economy. Mining and mineral extraction are the main industries in the State. Jharkhand is the largest producer of coal and several mineral products in the country. The State holds nearly 40 per cent of India’s total mineral reserves and 29 per cent of coal reserves. It has the highest coal reserves; second highest iron ore reserves and third highest copper ore reserves. According to the State Economic Survey, Jharkhand GSDP rose by 8.83 per cent in 2015-16, led by services sector.
The government has set up a dedicated agency called Jharkhand Agency for Promotion of Information Technology (JAP-IT) to accelerate the use of information technology in government activities. Under an initiative named Right to Guarantee of Services (RTGS) and Online Application Monitoring System (ROAMS), the Agency ensures that the citizens get timely service. It is designed for monitoring the applications received and services delivered under RTGS Act as well as to provide current status to the applicant (citizen) regarding their applications. The Agency has implemented a Comprehensive Labour Management System, a web-based application that facilitates online services related to Labour Department such as registration, license, payment, inspection, BOC worker registration, trade union and online return.
With the objective to make government accountable to the people, Chief Minister Raghubar Das-led government has set up Mukhya Mantri Jan Samvad Kendra. The Kendra collects public grievances pertaining to any department, categorises and classifies them and directs it to the concerned department or local administration at appropriate level.
Rural Development Department has started Reinvention of Social Audit under MGNREGA to ensure accountability into execution of schemes. The Department has also started a campaign for Large Scale Creation of Small Farm Ponds. Revenue, Registration and Land Reforms Department has implemented an online system for the collection of land revenue taxes (lagaan) to increase the efficiency of entire system. Instead of running from pillar to post, landowners can now pay their taxes from the comfort of their homes or while on the move—all they need is a computer or smartphone and an Internet connection.
Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society has started Community Based Monitoring System (CBMS). It is a step to seed the concept of progress and performance monitoring by dovetailing with the existing community architect of National Rural Livelihood Programme. The process of “community monitoring” involve drawing in, activating, motivating, capacity building and allowing the community and its representatives, e.g., community volunteers (community cadre) to directly give feedback about the functioning of community institutions particularly SHGs and VOs. It includes providing inputs for improved planning for the same.
To provide a complete secured digital environment to all the stakeholders of the application for their smooth and fast execution of work with ease and accuracy, Jharkhnad Academic Council has opted for complete automation. The Council plays a vital role in assisting students to understand their cultural identity and cultural values. The web-based application provides a complete secure solution for managing the online student registration, online fee collection, online examination form fill-up, online result publication, certificate generation for secondary schools, Intermediate schools, Sanskrit schools and Madrasas.
Ranchi Municipal Corporation has set up Mobile Tower-Cum-High Mast Lighting System to provide brighter roads to the citizens in less installation area with a recurring source of income to the Corporation. At the same time it would also help provide better mobile connectivity to the people in the area. For effective implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission cleanliness drive, District Administration Hazaribagh has launched an awareness campaign called “Chamakata Churchu Abhiyan”. Rural Devlopment Department has launched an innovative campaign called Yojana Banao Abhiyan: a State-wide Campaign for Decentralised Participatory Planning.
To address the challenges of open defecation and safe drinking water, District Administration Bokaro is focusing on building community sanitation and water facilities. Administration constructs community sanitation and water facilities in those areas, where individual household toilets are not yet feasible. These toilet facilities collect the human excrement in a biogas digester (a large underground concrete tank) where the waste decomposes and produces methane gas. This gas powers a generator, which powers a water filtration plant located on the same site, producing clean drinking water. The first of such facilities is up in district at Dundibagh area, which is a slum in Bokaro.
With the objective to provide essential services to the common people effectively, the State has promulgated Jharkhand State Guarantee of Services Act. The new regulation is called “Jharkhand Rajya Sewa Dene ki Guarantee Adhiniyam”. Under the new framework the State Government would be bound to provide services in a certain timeframe. If the services are not carried out under the prescribed time limit, there are provisions for penalties. Such initiatives would help bring accountability and improve service delivery system.