mGovernance : An Efficient Way To Meet Citizens Expectations

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Registration Name : eINDIA2011/AN/264
Project Category : eGov::Best ICT Enabled eGov Initiative of the year
Project Name : mGovernance : An Efficient Way To Meet Citizens Expectations

Details of Applicant :
Name : Mahesh Gohel
Address : Computer Department Rajkot Municipal Corporation Dhebar Road
City : Rajkot
State : Gujarat
Country : INDIA
Zip Code : 360001

Details of Project/Implementing Agency :
Name of Organisation : Rajkot Municipal Corporation
Address : Computer Department,Rajkot Municipal Corporation,Dhebar Road
City : Rajkot
State : Gujarat
Country : INDIA
Zip Code : 360001
Name of the head of Organisation : Ajay Bhadoo, IAS, Municipal Commissioner
Website :

Brief description of the programme/project/Initiative :
The basic and universal corner stones of good governance are quality of service, quick response mechanisms and above all accountable and transparent process mechanism. The first generation e-governance initiatives resulted in computerization of the legacy systems/practices in Governance with limited ability to internalize the advances in information and communication technologies (ICT). The paradigm shift from e-governance to m-governance (which leverages the convergence of mobile and communication technologies) results in radical differences in the key processes of creating, maintenance and usage of knowledge, creation of secure mobile transaction & delivery system, establishment of the appropriate infrastructural support for multi-mode direct citizen interface and delivery mechanisms. m-Governance can usher in approach to delivery of Governance services to the doorstep of the citizens. In the context or urban local bodies, the use of advanced tools such as the ICT and Mobile Technology for information sharing enables the service providers to incrementally add services quite easily. The wide spread usage of mobile technology and easy to understand text messages has enabled us to lower the barriers to acceptance of these services. The m-Governance in urban local bodies is replicable and captures the required skill levels through the technology to deliver quick and quality services at the doorsteps of the citizens by minimizing the transaction costs. m-Governance at RMC is Convenient Communication Point for Time Bound Service Delivery powered by pre-defined process-cycles and Back-office Computerization. To meet the Expectation of Citizens the process of m-Governance is acting as a major tool for immediate and transparent service. RMC has started different m-Governance services, to provide efficient, timely information to Citizens of Rajkot. The main feature of m-Governance project at RMC is • Truly online operations, not a single batch mode operation • Effective back office integration of all citizen centric services • Centralized Server Architecture • m-Governance is backed by successful and effective implementation of e-Governance Following services are provided under m-Governance: Alert Services • Vaccination • Property Tax Transaction • Professional Tax Transaction • Birth & Death Registration • Bill Payment to Vendors/Contractors • Avas Yojana Instalment Transaction • Property Name change Interactive Services • Property Tax Outstanding Dues • Water Charges Outstanding Dues • Property Name Change Details • Property Tax Assessment Request • Registration of Mobile No for Property Tax • Details of SMS Services Management Services • Call Center • Daily Income Expenditure SMS to Higher Officer • Daily Grievance Management Statistics to Higher Officers Payment Reminder Services • Property Tax dues • Water Charges dues • Awas Yojna (Housing Scheme) instalment dues

Why was the project started :
Initially the main objective of the project was to reduce the delay to get property tax and water charges related information. RMC has thought of applying ICT and mobile technology both to resolve the problem. Necessity is the mother of innovation. Earlier people used to stay in queue for 1-2 hours to get the property tax details and then they have to stand in another queue for payment of property tax. To pay municipal dues was in that way the toughest job for any citizen. This also resulted in low recovery of property tax. 18% interest is charged on pending dues of property tax/water charges by the municipal corporation and hence every day the total due is different. So each day after wasting 1-2 hours if working hours of RMC is over than citizen has to stand in the queue next day just to know pending dues. With implementation of m-Governance this problem is answered effectively.

Objective :
Rajkot Municipal Corporation always tries to keep pace with time and technology. After successful implementation of e-Governance in almost all service areas, we have concentrated on elimination of queues and providing instant information. This can be easily achieved by putting all the information on website, which we have completed. All the information related to property tax, water charges, profession tax, birth and death registration, RTI is now on our website We all know the reach of internet. City like Rajkot is having less than 10% penetration of internet. The main question is what to do with remaining 90%. RMC has decided to use mobile technology and ICT as tool to solve this problem for reaching to remaining 90%. Now a days almost all families are having mobile phone for communication. RMC has implemented m-Governance for point to point delivery of government service in a personalized manner. The span of the project is expanded to almost all the services of Municipal Corporation. Presently RMC is providing more than 25 different services of m-Governance. The reason for nomination for CSI-Nihilent e-Governance Awards is that this project is very easy to implement at any municipal corporation or government organizations. RMC intend to cover all ULBs coverage throughout country and have fruits of mGoernance to citizens. Presently 1. It covers more than 1.3 million peoples 2. The coverage area of service is beyond geographical limits 3. It offers point to point delivery of government service in a personalized manner, which has reduced distance travel to avail municipal corporation related services. 4. With m-Governance, Transparency/credibility is increased, searching time is reduced, queues are eliminated and where ever possible human intervention is removed 5. The impact of our service is noticed in different areas like 5.1. Vaccination Alert 5.2. Birth and Death Registration 5.3. 24×7 Call Center 5.4. Payment Reminder Service 5.5. Collection efficiency This way we have made citizens life much easier in every aspect of services.
Target group : This project covers whole country as it depends on universal mobile technology. The target group is particularly the citizens of Rajkot, whether they are living in Rajkot or belongs to Rajkot. Particularly our services affect them for Birth registration, Death registration, property tax etc.
Geographical reach : 1. The coverage of the service – till date whole city is covered for m-Governance services. Not only that those who belongs Rajkot but living outside Rajkot are also covered, i.e., either their property is in Rajkot or Birth or Death of their beloved one is in Rajkot. As of now we are sending more than 600 monthly SMSs outside Gujarat for vaccination or property tax due reminder. 2. Following facts and figures shows the coverage of services in all four categories Sr Department Services for Beneficiaries Alert Services 1 Property Tax Transaction alert through SMS 14736 Receipt Cancellation Alert 1982 Property Tax Cheque Return 50 Property Tax Name Transfer 123 2 Professional Tax Transaction alert through SMS 6934 3 Birth Registration Birth registration details through SMS 19347 Vaccination alert through SMS 72112 4 Death Registration Death Registration details through SMS 7493 5 Awas Yojna Installment Installment transaction alert through SMS 20042 7 FAS Account Payment SMS to Vendors and Contractors 4089 Interactive Services 1 Property Tax Property Tax outstanding dues through SMS 20532 Property Tax Name change details through SMS 1152 Registration of mobile no for transaction alert 1033 Property Tax Assessment Request through SMS 68 2 Water Charges Water Charges outstanding dues through SMS 12110 3 Call Center Light Pole complaint Registration through SMS 1532 Management Services 1 General Daily Income-Expenditure SMS to higher officers 3313 2 General Daily Grievance Statistics to Higher Officers 3678 3 Call Center Running of Call Center through SMS 309181 Payment Reminder Service 1 Property Tax Dues Property Tax Dues reminder 89652 2 Water Charges Dues Water Charges Dues reminder 112 3 Awas Yojna Installment Awas Yojna Installment Payment Reminder 142
Date from which the project became operational : 9 April 2009
Is the Project still operational : YES

10 points that make the programme/project innovative?

  1. This project involves ICT and mobile technology for better life of the citizens
  2. m-Governance sits on successful implementation of e-Governance
  3. A fully automatic service retrieves data from centralized live server
  4. Fully integrated system involves Back office and Citizen Centric Services
  5. Covers almost all the municipal corporation services
  6. Efficient Approach in the e-Governance of different services
  7. Standardization of multiple services on a single point access
  8. Reduction in Redundancy in day to day work
  9. Transparency in work is increased to utmost level and so is reliability of the administration
  10. Queuing for seeking information is eliminated

List the 5 achievements of the programme/project?

  1. Presently as soon as birth or death registration is entered in database of RMC, SMS is sent to the relative of registrant along with unique id. Now citizens have consider it as registration alert and they now visit RMC office after receiving that SMS, this has reduced frequent visit of citizens to check that whether registration is complete or not.
  2. We are sending regular Vaccination Alerts to the parents whose child age is between 7 days and 16 years based on National Immunization Programme. This is fully automated process
  3. Citizens can know their municipal dues by just sending SMS to RMC, earlier it was taking more than two hours to know municipal dues.
  4. Grievance redressal has become more efficient and interactive by mGovernance. Every complaint is registered electronically and once registered citizen is kept aware about every action taken in his complaint by SMS.
  5. RMC has started payment reminder service for the municipal dues. With payment reminder within short span of two months results are highly encouraging. Normally it is seen that citizens are ready to pay their dues, only thing they want transparency and speedy access to the service point. Payment Reminder Service act as enabler for citizens. This has resulted in increasing in revenue

List the 5 key challenges faced while implementing the programme/project/iniative :

  1. For m-Governance services most of the mobiles support only 160 characters for English message.
  2. Only English messages can be sent, which is not readable by atleast 50% of citizens. We have made such messages easily readable and understandable.
  3. Our Call Center is working on SMS only, where officers have to update status of complain by SMS only. Officers can solve/update status for with complain no along with status, where each complain should be separated by comma. Here we have trained our officials to send SMS limited to 155 characters
  4. It is not possible to send SMS in regional language, as only smart phones are having such facilities and penetration of such mobile phones is less than 10%. We have designed SMSs in such a way that it is easily understandable
  5. How to encourage citizens for this service was one of the major challenges, we made number of efforts to generate awareness among citizens by 1. Publicity of specific service by Print Media, news paper 2. Printing details on how to access m-Governance service on Property Tax and Water Charges receipt

List the 5 points how can the prgramme serve as a model that can be replicated or adapted by others?

  1. Birth or death registration alerts SMS to the relative of registrant along with unique id can be implemented so that citizens visit office after receiving such alert, this can reduce frequent visit of citizens to check that whether registration is complete or not.
  2. Vaccination Alerts to the parents whose child age is between 7 days and 16 years based on National Immunization Programme can decrease drop out ratio of Vaccination and Vaccination Preventable Diseases can be reduced.
  3. Citizens can know their municipal dues by just sending SMS
  4. 24 x 7 Call Center for Grievance redressal can become more efficient and interactive by mGovernance. Every complaint can be registered electronically and once registered citizen can be kept aware about every action taken in his complaint by SMS.
  5. Payment reminder service for the municipal dues can act as a encouragement for citizens to pay municipal dues. Normally it is seen that citizens are ready to pay their dues, only thing they want transparency and speedy access to the service point. Payment Reminder Service act as enabler for citizens.

List 5 points to elaborate on the scalability of the programme/project/initiative :

  1. This project is highly scalable, any number of new services can be identified and added
  2. Requires little alteration of existing database
  3. Initiatives can be implemented on existing database
  4. Based on GSM mobile technology
  5. Cost effective with continuous reduction in the SMS charges
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