2018 has been a disastrous year for Kerala when the entire state was submerged under water as an unprecedented flood swept the state. Thankfully, the relief efforts from the Centre and the nation as a whole have been credible and reasonable. There have been massive damages to the people and property of the state which are sure to have long and lingering bearing on the state’s economy. However, all is still not lost for the state that ranked ninth in the SKOCH State of Governance 2018 ranking. Kerala was ranked 17th in 2017 report.
SKOCH studied closely the various initiatives that were taken up by the government in the last one year in the various sectors and the most impressive among them were in Water, Agriculture, Education, e-Governance and Finance. A total 25 projects from different departments and the state government organisations were shortlisted for assessment and evaluation. Here is a detailed analysis of these projects with an in-depth report on what makes them promising and aspiring.
Dose Kerala Job Training
To promote e-Governance, the Education Department of Kerala has developed its own web App named www.dosekerala.in. The aim of the portal is to reengineer and automate various time-consuming manual procedures blended with reliability and innovation. On-the-job training is aimed to increase youth employability using multi-dimensional solutions, it enables students to receive training and financial assistance. VHSE conducts OJT in 35 courses. The modules developed are:
- Creating user log in 389 schools, 7 Regional Offices and 5 Directorate
- Registering 3,406 firms
- Submission of proposals regarding the batch, escort teachers, estimated cost in 5 components (Students TA, Teachers TA, Centre fee, Stationery Cost and Certificate Cost), 4545 proposals were submitted
- Two Tier approval process is in place. Assistant Directors (AD) scrutinise the proposals and approve or reject with remarks. The live status can be seen by schools. The routine file architecture is retained.
- Submission of work done which includes attendance of the students and teachers, daily plan, details of skill acquired and remarks of each student by OJT supervisor.
- Funds are allocated to each schools based on their proposals. Components will be calculated automatically and INR 300 Lakh is earmarked in Annual Plan for OJT. Provision to surrender the unutilised fund, so it can be reallocated to another school when it demands additional fund.
- Providing DTB details System which provides a ready to upload Excel Sheet showing the amount and bank account of the beneficiaries for BiMS
- Certificate of each student generates automatically
- Instantaneous report regarding the approval status, work done, allocation and utilisation of fund through 7 filters at the tip of the finger within the user’s access limit. It helped the DVHSE to monitor all OJT activities centrally and utilise the funds on demand basis.
The Sports Hub, Trivandrum is the new benchmark in sports infrastructure in India. Built over 37 acres, the facility integrates sport, recreation and leisure. Developed by IL&FS group (in Public Private Partnership with Govt. of Kerala), the facility comprises 50,000 capacity state-of-the-art cricket-cum- football stadium and facilities such as Indoor Sports Arena, Club House, Convention and Exhibition Centre and Olympic size Swimming Pool.
The Sports Hub Trivandrum is also home to Sports Hub Academy. Ultramodern infrastructure and a team of experienced professionals and certified coaches are backbone of this academy under whose tutelage the champions of tomorrow are forged. The Sports Hub is also home for community engagement programmes like walker’s club, swimmer’s club, etc. In addition to these programmes, a number of community engagement programmes and tourism initiatives are in the pipeline encompassing active lifestyle.
Travancore Gymkhana Club, a rare confluence of sports, recreation, leisure and lifestyle, is a destination for healthy and active lifestyle for the entire family. The Club aspires to enhance the quality of life of its members by providing the best sporting, dining, recreation and fitness facilities, a dynamic event calendar and an environment that enriches the mind, body and soul. The clubhouse facilities include indoor sports facilities for badminton, table tennis, basketball, squash, chess, caroms and snooker, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, gym, library, café, etc. The wellstructured event calendar ensures that the members from all age groups have access to quality entertainment throughout the year. Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) has acquired the license rights for bringing prominent cricket matches to the Sports Hub.
Jalanidhi Phase II
In the year 1999, the Kerala Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (KRWSA) was created to implement a pilot program, Jalanidhi I, based on GOI sector reform principles, which successfully demonstrated an alternative service delivery model focused on clear roles and responsibilities for communities and GPs and on reaching those without coverage. From 2001 to 2008, Kerala successfully implemented a World Bank-financed Jalanidhi-I project in 112 GPs of the state. Jalanidhi-I demonstrated how to undertake decentralised investment, while achieving highly satisfactory service delivery. The project followed a demand responsive approach encompassing beneficiary participation, capital cost contributions from beneficiaries and the GPs, universal household connection provision, full operation and maintenance cost recovery from user fees, and an integrated strategy to the water, sanitation, environment and health sectors.
Jalanidhi-II is a sequel to the Jalanidhi-I and is intended to implement during 2012-18. The World Bank approved a credit amount of $155.3 million for implementing the project for a total estimate of RS1,022.30 crore which was revised to S1358 crore during Mid-Term Review of the project. The project aims to cover about 17.46 lakh rural people for water supply and sanitation services. The project aims to cover 115 Gram Panchayats of Kerala. The main components of the programme are small water supply schemes including rehabilitation of single GP/ KWA schemes, large water supply schemes covering more than one Village Panchayats and preparation & development of water security plan for the GPs.
Besides the ones mentioned above, four more projects in the state have enough potential to excel and give a push to the state’s overall development. The projects have been in the Health, Police & Safety, Finance & Revenue and Agriculture sectors.
Operation Sagar Rani
Project “Sagar Rani” is to eliminate the unethical usage of preservatives like sodium benzoate, formalin and ammonia in fish to enhance the shelf life of fish. In the mid-2016, newspapers and visual media brought this issue back to the public forum by raising allegations of the widespread use of sodium benzoate as preservative which is an unethical method that possess a threat to food safety. The Food Safety Department flagged off the project to eliminate the unethical usage of pesticides by various activities like awareness program with the help of other departments like Fisheries, Health, Urban Affairs and Panchayat, continuous surveillance by collecting samples of fish for analysis from harbours, markets, distribution centers and transporters who bring fish from other states to Kerala, exhibiting hoardings in markets and other places of fish trade, and distributing notices and pamphlets as part of awareness programme.
Ayush Gramam project, under National Ayush Mission with support of Indian System of Medicine, has introduced this novel healthcare intervention programme. ‘Ayush Gramam’ spreads awareness within the community for practice of those dietary habits and life styles as described in Ayush way of life and interventions of health care. In Ayush village, Ayush based life styles are promoted through Behavioural Change Communication (BCC), training of village health workers towards identification and use of local medicinal herbs and provisions of AYUSH health services and to raise campaign against communicable diseases like malaria, TB, diarrhea, etc. In Thrissur district this project has been implemented in 5 Panchayats.
Kerala Police Cyberdome
In the rapidly growing and changing digital world, the investigation of cybercrimes and ensuring cyber security for citizens is one of the most challenging areas for the law enforcement agencies. Since modern day cybercrimes involve the use of most modern and sophisticated technologies, as well as anonymity over the internet, it becomes extremely difficult for the police to investigate such crimes. The cyber criminals now work in a borderless environment with legal systems of multiple jurisdictions. To make things worse, cybercrime has been evolving at an astonishing rate. Unfortunately, the police system is not equipped to take a pivotal role in cybercrime investigations and prevention of cybercrimes. Taking into account the broader impact of these challenges in the cyber space, Kerala Police initiated the project for the establishment of a hi-tech centre for cyber security and innovations at Trivandrum in Kerala.
Cyberdome is a technological research and development centre of Kerala Police, conceived as a cyber centre of excellence in cyber security, as well as technology augmentation for effective policing. It envisages as a hi-tech public-private partnership centre of collaboration for different stakeholders in the domain of cyber security and handling of cybercrimes in a proactive manner. One of the main objectives of Cyberdome is to prevent cybercrimes by developing a cyber-threat resilient ecosystem in the state to defend against the growing threat of cyber-attacks by synergising with other departments and nodal agencies of the state. Cyberdome makes a collective coordination among the government departments and agencies, academia, research groups, non-profitable organisations, individual experts from the community, ethical hackers, private organisations, and other law enforcement agencies in the country with an aim of providing a safe and secure cyber world for each and every citizen in the state.
Project ‘e-Rekha’ is an online based cadastral data repository which allows citizens to search their land records (maps) anywhere, anytime and download the records after paying online. The project was launched in 2016 and is owned and operated by the Kerala Land Information Mission under Survey & Land Records Department. e-Rekha mainly focuses on easy and transparent access of land records services delivery through online medium.
Economic Review 2017 reflects comprehensively on the impact of developments as well as the interventions made by the state government in various sectors over the last year. The growth rate in the economy, both national and state, in 2016-17 was around 7 per cent. The situation was exacerbated by drought in Kerala in 2017. In the industrial sector, public sector undertakings under chemical and electronic sectors are being transformed from loss-making to profit-making enterprises.
Kerala was declared as the first digital state in the country in February 2016. The Government’s Information Technology Policy of 2017 aims to achieve a total digitally literate society. In the field of education, a significant achievement has been the increase in enrolment in government schools. The success of the state’s major scheme for the elderly population has been acknowledged by the Government of India.
The state right now is busy rebuilding itself after one of the worst calamities it faced. Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has been widely praised for steering the state administration that has been trying to cope with the worst deluge since the state came into being in 1957. The floods caused colossal damage to the small state and left more than 380 people dead and over one million others displaced.
Vijayan’s leadership will continue to be crucial during the massive rebuilding exercise that will now begin in Kerala.