New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir has topped in e-services delivery among all the Union Territories.
In the last three years, the number of e-services (electronic services) has gone up by 30 times. From 15 in 2019, the e-services have reached 446 this year.
In an interview with The Print, Secretary of the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) V. Srinivas, said Jammu and Kashmir government has implemented several administrative reforms, including electronic services, to make life easier for citizens.
“These services include updating land records, mutation of revenue records, domicile certificates, registration of complaints, registration of new hotels and guest houses, health and disability, and so on. The government’s priority is to make administration work efficient in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said
Srinivas said J&K has topped in the Union Territory category in a national assessment of e-services delivery because the administration “operationalized so many e-services”.
“During the assessment done and published in July, J&K was running 227 e-services, which is more than in any UT. In the last five months, that number has increased,” he added.
The central government has taken special initiatives to bring digital efficiency in UTs like J&K and states, including the northeastern ones of Arunachal, Nagaland, and Manipur where access to the internet is a challenge.
“Internet-rich and internet-poor divide exists. To make the internet accessible in difficult and trouble-torn regions, the government is also working on common service centers. These centers often bridge the gap between internet-rich and internet-poor citizens,” Srinivas said.
Several old methods of running the administration have been modernized, including doing away with the Darbar Move, or the bi-annual shift of the secretariat and other government offices from Srinagar to Jammu in winter and from Jammu to Srinagar in summer.
These entailed the transfer of government files between the two cities in trucks. It would take 15 to 18 days, and cost a lot.
“With the e-office system and e-services, the J&K government has almost done away with the Darbar Move. Moving truckloads of physical files have stopped,” Srinivas said.
“The (better) services are ease of doing business, ease of living, pension-related work, health, and education. The secretariat has also been transported to the e-office system,” Srinivas said, adding that the successful conduct of panchayat elections was an awarded initiative in PM’s awards for excellence in public administration.
Srinivas said the National Centre for Good Governance was closely working with the J&K administration to make access to the Internet easier and smoother and to support the administration in taking good governance initiatives forward.
“We are also working on the government’s capacity-building programs for civil service officers. Apart from J&K officers, many of the senior ranks, from director to secretary level, regularly visit the UT to ensure smooth administration. Many senior officers were posted in the region too,” Srinivas added.