Introduction of Samay Sudhini Sewa in Dadra and Nagar Haveli has meant that people know exactly when and how their applications are being processed
Ankita Lahiri | May 27, 2014
Omkar Saroj is the best example of technology making life better. Standing at the window at the mamlatdaar’s office in Silvassa, the young man says, “I am here to collect a domicile certificate. Earlier it would take me more than a month to get this certificate. Now it takes about 10 minutes. Once I submit my application at this window, I will be notified whether and when my application is accepted or rejected, and when it is ready for collection.” That is the impact of the Samay Sudhini Sewa (also known as the eSLA project) in the union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
Implemented by the National Informatics Centre in May 2013, the project monitors and delivers time-bound services to citizens of the union territory. Earlier, applicants would have to submit separate applications at the collector’s office for each of the certificates. They would then have to follow it up with regular visits to the capital to know the status of the application. For someone coming from a village, it would mean a whole day’s travel and loss of work. Even after submission of the documents there would be uncertainty on how long it will take for the certificate to be ready.
The implementation of the eSLA service has meant that people like Sar4oj return only when they get an SMS.
To get his caste certificate, Nikhil Sajjan, a Silvassa resident, says, “I do not even have to enter the office anymore. I can just submit my application at the single window and when the time comes, I am notified both through SMS and online.”
Similarly, Hasmukh Vadvi, also from Silvassa who was at the mamlatdaar’s office to get his income certificate, says, “The time taken for each service has reduced considerably. Earlier, to get one certificate, I would have had to meet at least three persons. Now I can directly go to the window. I would also be informed through an SMS in case my application is not accepted. I do not have to run behind officers seeking reason (for its rejection).”
The project adheres to the time-frame defined by the administration in the Citizen’s Charter. It was launched in May 2013. During the first phase, 31 services from five departments were included in the project. These included DNH Power Distribution Corporation Limited, Silvassa, and the departments of VAT, transport, excise and revenue. It also included services such as providing domestic electric connection, registration of new dealers under VAT, issuance of statutory forms and issuance of duplicate learning licence.
The second phase, which was completed in July 2013, added 31 more services from seven departments. These departments were the police, pollution control committee, survey and settlement, collectorate, revenue, forest and health. Some of the new services added in the second phase were renewal of manufacturing licence for drugs, licence for fresh pharmacy, police clearance certificate, consent to operate green industries under the Water Act and Air Act and demarcation of property boundaries under both rural and urban areas.
A single-window approach made the entire process simpler for both citizens and the authorities. Under this system the operator would enter the details into the system, after which a receipt is generated with a unique application number. Two copies of acknowledgement slips are printed: one is given to the applicant and the other attached with the application. Once the application is processed, the application is returned to the single-window operator.
If the application is rejected, the specific reason is communicated to the applicant. All this information is simultaneously uploaded online.
The project works at three different levels — data capture/application management, data bridging and monitoring.
The data capture module has been developed in PHP/MySQL technology by the NIC. The module is hosted on Linux server and is accessible through the internet. This part of the application helps in the management of services, including disposal, rejection, suspension and revocation through various user rights at different levels.
However, if there is a need to keep an application under the suspension mode, then it is not counted within the time-frame.
This module enables citizens to view the status of their application online, on the website (www.dnh.nic.in). The second part of the application- data bridging includes collection of the data uploaded in the first part of the module. It transfers data collected under the data capture module and sends it to the eSLA/SSS monitoring module. The application uses MSSQL as a backend database server.
The final part of the application- monitoring processes the application details and generates various MIS reports as per requirements. Though many people are availing the service, many more are still out of the loop due to lack of awareness.
Reach and outreach
Seen as one of the most effective services offered by the administration in Silvassa, the e-SLA initiative is also a foundation stone for the common services centres (CSCs) to be launched in the union territory soon.
KS Chandrashekar, joint secretary, information technology, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, says, “Once the e-district project is implemented and the UT WAN comes in, all our backend processes will be automated. All the certificates will be given online, and all the services can be availed through the CSCs.”
Taking pride in what they have achieved so far, Chandrashekar says, “For the eSLA project, whatever we did, we did it on our own. There was no such law that empowered the administration and guaranteeing services in a time bound manner. So we wrote a letter to the ministry of home affairs and now this is coming through the law.” But there is more to be done. A third phase is in the pipelines.