Sometimes, minimum government can indeed be better governance. Here is how:
The Central and State Governments are focusing on eTransactions or electronic transactions. Electronic transactions allow citizens to access citizen services conveniently without having to visit Government offices. Services can be accessed either through the Common Service Centres (CSCs) or from one’s home via internet. The eTaal Portal (www.eTaal.gov.in) has also set in a sense of competition among states for providing more and more electronic transactions.
While eTransactions have brought in greater transparency into Government functioning and in ensuring better service delivery, but it also runs the risk of processes and services being computerized without assessing whether the service is actually needed and whether it is adding any value to the overall process. So, there is an urgent need to look beyond electronic transactions and see if certain transaction can actually be eliminated instead of being computerized. Herein lies the concept of ‘Eliminated Transactions’.
Let us look at an example in the context of education. Every year, students taking admission in Junior College would have to furnish a Domicile Certificate. This leads to a mad scramble among lakhs of students for getting the certificates before the admission process. Let us see how to make this process citizen friendly.
Scenario 1: Students run around to various Government offices at Tahsil (Taluka) and District levels. They pay to touts to know the procedure, to get the application form, fill up the complicated form and various annexures, go to Taluka Treasury Bank to pay the Government fees by Challan, and then go through a tout to get the Domicile Certificate, or waste multiple trips and days to get the Certificate.
Scenario 2: The Government machinery holds special camps (“Government at your doorstep”) with senior officials and the entire decision making machinery present. You go there, stand in long queues, but at the end of the day, you get your Certificate.
Scenario 3: You go to the nearest CSC (Citizen Service Centre) in or nearby your village, fill up the application form and pay the “facilitation fees”, get a computerized receipt, go back after three to four days, and pick up your Domicile Certificate.
Scenario 4: You go to the Citizen Services Portal of the Government, fill up the form online, upload your documents, pay the fees by net banking or credit/debit card online, and after a few days, get a digitally signed certificate by email.
Scenario 5: The Government looks