India Introduces e-governance in Panchayats

By Sudhir Tiwari
DD (M&CO), PIB,  New Delhi
With Inputs from the Min of Panchayati Raj

New Delhi, April 1, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB-India) It is an accepted position that Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) as units of local self government, are the constitutionally mandated third tier of governance and as per Article 243G of Indian Constitution are required to perform the functions of - preparation of plans for economic development and social justice; Implementation  of schemes for economic development and social justice as may be entrusted to them including those in relation to the matters listed in the Eleventh Schedule. In addition to the above, Panchayats are required to levy, collect and appropriate taxes, duties, toll and fees;and manage the grants-in-aid received from Central and State Governments.

Thus Panchayats are increasingly becoming, the nodal points for delivery of crucial social schemes such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGs), Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA), Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF), Mid Day Meal (MDM), Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) etc. To enable Panchayats perform their mandated role effectively, it is essential that they have appropriate capacities. e Panchayat is one of the means of building the required capacities.

To ascertain the Information and Service Needs (ISNA) of all the stakeholders namely Central Ministries, State Development, Citizens and Panchayats,the Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) had commissioned a comprehensive study convering all States and UTs. Subsequently, Business Processing re-engineering (BPR) required to usher into an ICT era in Panchayats has been worked out in details for all the states. Based on the ISNA and BPR, Detailed project reports (DPRs) for each of the States/UTs have been prepared. The total projected cost, spread over 4 years is Rs 6,989 cr. The Ministry has identified 12 core Common Applications that address all aspects of Panchayats’ functioning; from internal core functions such as Planning, Monitoring, Implemenatation, Accounting, Social Audit etc., to citizen service delivery. PRI Accounting Software (PRIASOFT) and PlansPlus Software for decentralized planning have already been operationalised. The Ministry is making all efforts to support Panchayats with requisite ICT infrastructure and trained manpower to be able to effectively use these applications. The benefits will accrue to all stakeholders including Central Ministries, State Departments, People and Panchyats themselves.  e Panchayat would ultimately result in induction of mass ICT culture in the country thereby furthering the agenda of “Inclusive Growth” PRIs would thus become symbols of modernity, transparency & efficiency.

12 CORE COMMON APPLICATIONS

Application

Description

1. Local Government Directory

Would provide unique codes to all Panchayats, capture change owing to delimitation of Panchayats and assign codes approprietly. It would link all Core Common Application by providing a mechanism for identification of all Panchayats.

2. Panchayat Profiler

Would maintain a complete village profile encompassing socio-economic data, socio-demographic data, public Infrastructure & services, geographical boundaries of Panchayats etc.

3. Asset Directory

Would help in management of information related to assets & utilities created and maintained by Panchayats.

4. Plans Plus

Would help in preparation of district plans starting from grassroots, enable convergence of funds from different programmes/schems to ensure effective utilization of funds, track fund inflows and outflows and maintain sources of funding.

Would enable preparation of Panchayat-wise Perspective Plan, Draft Plan, Action Plan and head-wise estimates of the budget.

5. PRIA Soft

Would capture details of receipts & expenditure, automatically generate cash book, registers, Utilization Certificates for schemes. It will enable generation of all required registers by just a few basic entries.

6. Action Soft

Would be used for Scheme implementation and monitoring. It would allow Panchayats to enter the implementation status of each scheme on the basis of the defined monitoring parameters. This would be usable for all Central/State schemes as well as local Panchayat schemes, if any.

7. Grievance Redressal

Would be a generic grievance redressal system allowing citizens to lodge complaints against Panchayat functionaries and report any malpractices. It would track the entire grievance redressal process until closure.

8. Social Audit

Would capture all events and details relating to social audit conducted by gram Sabha, the action taken report etc.

9. Training Management

Would be a portal providing details of all training programs i.e. schedule, training material etc. The Panchayat functionaries will be able to register for courses online. Also, the partner training agencies will be able to register.

10. GIS

Would display the maps of Panchayats and integrate with the other applications such as Panchayat Profiler,. PlanPlus, Asset Directory, etc. so that a spatial view of the profile/plan of a Panchayat can be obtained by overlaying various non-spatial data.

11. Panchayat Portals

Would generate a website for each Panchayat & Would integrate with other software application for Panchayats, to act as a single delivery gateway using single sign-on.

12. ServicePlus

Would be a generic citizen service delivery application to capture all events and information related to delivery of services to citizens by Panchayats.



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