JAMMU, MARCH 04: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta today launched the PSGA auto-appeal feature of few online services offered by Government Departments. The feature is going to auto escalate the appeals in case the services are not provided to the applicant with the time limit set under the Public Services Guarantee Act (PSGA). With this the UT became the first in the country to integrate the auto-appeal feature to Service Plus platform.
Dr Mehta called this step revolutionary. He applauded the IT Department for integrating this feature in the digital services offered by different Departments to the citizens. He advised the Department to work for activating this feature for all the 445 services offered by the government to its citizens at an earliest.
He called for prioritizing those services that form the bulk of the applications. He advised for making the auto-appeal feature active for services related to the everyday life of the citizens like seeking of power/water connections, availing of documents like income, domicile, category, birth, death certificates and benefits like old age, widow pensions besides scholarships under various social security schemes etc.
He observed that this feature would act as a turning point in maintaining the transparency and accountability in services to the public. He maintained that this attribute in online services is going to be the landmark in eradicating corruption and malpractices. He emphasized that this would promote fairness set as priority by the current dispensation in all of its affairs including offering of government employment and public contracts to its citizens on the basis of merit alone.
On the occasion it was given out that the delivery of services through online mode has greatly reduced the waiting period for the applicants. The feature like auto-appeal is going to bring a greater transparency in these services in future as these would ensure their delivery as per the timeframe set for them under PSGA and fixing of responsibility on part of any officer/official for any undue delay.
It was evident from the reports generated on service portal e-UNNAT (Jan sugam) that more than 90% of services are being delivered to public within time. Moreover the rejection rate of applications is very low at around 5% only with provision of giving feedback by the applicants through Rapid Assessment System (RAS) about their satisfaction level while availing such services.
Talking about the timeframe, Tariq Ahmad, a CSC operator from Anantnag affirmed, “After the successful submission of the application it usually takes a week or two to receive the document on the portal”. Another CSC operator, Zulfiqar Ahmad also confirmed, “The application process is easy and status accessible at all times. Naturally it saves the time and resources of the citizens availing these services”.
Similarly an applicant for issuance of Domicile Certificate, Ashok Kumar from Jammu said, “The Certificate was delivered online after just 7 days of applying for it that also without visiting the concerned office or officer”. People largely feel improvement in overall response and the time in which they are able to receive these services online without physically visiting any government office.
The data also corroborates this change in the nature of offering and delivering government services to the citizens of the UT. The data shows that some 7,89,008 certificates have been delivered to public in the timeframe set under Public Services Guarantee Act (PSGA). The rejection rate of applications is very low with services like issuance of income certificate, category certificates (RBA/SC/ST/OBC/EWS), financial assistance under LadliBeti Scheme, pensions for old age, widows and specially-abled under JK-ISS and GoI-NSAP topping the list in terms of number of applications till date.
For instance in Anantnag District out of 66,187 applications for issuance of Income Certificate just around 916 had been rejected. Similarly for 8525 applications for issuance of Character Certificate only 121 had been rejected while for 3015 applications for issuance of SC/ST category certificates just 46 had been rejected by the authorities in the district.
In Doda District for 24,996 applications for seeking JK-ISS and GoI-NSAP pension from Social Welfare Department only 191 had been rejected. While for 8677 and 4864 applications for Income and Character Certificates just 199 and 45 had been rejected by issuing authorities in the district.
In Jammu District the rate of applications and corresponding rejections follow the same pattern as out of 39,976 Income Certificate applications 2726 has been rejected and for 9309 applications under LadliBeti scheme 316 were rejected by the authorities in the district. In Kishtwar District the pension applications of only 92 persons had been rejected out of 12,470 received by the department. It has also rejected 247 and 149 applicants the requisite documents against 8186 and 4462 applications received for issuance of Income and Character Certificates.
Whereas in Kathua District for 19,685 online applications for seeking pension 133 were rejected. Similarly for 31,951 Income Certificate applications, 5038 LadliBeti applications and 6218 SC/ST Certificates only 1748, 258 and 393 applications were denied the Certificates for lack of eligibility or fulfillment of other set conditions.
All these findings only point towards a robust mechanism of RAS is further bringing efficiency in delivery of services on time.
The initiatives like onboarding the services on mobile application Umang and national single sign-on portals like Service Plus, MeriPehchan and DigiLocker are adding merit and order in availing the government services offered by different departments in the UT. These add-ons are saving people from proving their identity every time and accessing their documents at a simple pressing of their appliance keyboards that also at the cosy comforts of their drawing rooms.