Imagine a senior citizen trying to get her pension but being unable to do so because the name in her bank records doesn’t match her Aadhaar card. The unorganised records can make you picture her waiting in a long line at a government office unaware of process. This confusion is mirrored in citizens across the country, being a barrier for the efficient delivery of thousand government schemes and services.
The plight of a government official is not much better either. Most officials spend much of their time dealing with repetitive queries, firefighting, rejecting incomplete or incorrect applications, or making sense of applications that come from multiple sources in various formats.
This led to the thought of government-citizen interaction being redefined in a way that it is transparent, efficient, and actually requires little interface intercation. The Government of Haryana wanted decided to ponder on this thought and provide a solution.
Design of the Solution
The Government of Haryana’s approach to streamlining public service delivery in Haryana was aimed at achieving three things which are accessibility, convenience and efficiency. Samagra’s Digital Haryana Cell supported the government in this project. ‘Samagra | Transforming Governance’ is a mission-driven governance consulting firm. The state government essentially wanted a citizen to get all information related to schemes and services in one place, apply for it without even having to visit a government department and get regular updates on application processing. Similarly, for a government official this meant receiving applications from one source in one format rather than from multiple sources, ensuring maximum time is spent on processing applications rather than public dealing and receiving feedback from citizens on service provided.
To implement their vision, The Digital Haryana Cell collaborated with NIC Government of India & NIC Government of Haryana to develop an integrated online platform called Antyodaya Saral which allows a citizen to apply online for more than 500 schemes and services across 36 Government Departments. Instead of roping a new and costly vendor, the team worked with the Government of India’s Service Plus platform that was easy to use, can configure and integrate with existing tech systems and is scalable. It also had the features required to design an end-to-end workflow for departments which didn’t have proper internet connectivity. Additionally, 115 government-run physical touchpoints at district headquarter/tehsil level called Saral Kendras as well as 6,000+ Common Service Centres at village/ward level were revamped to use the same platform to receive and process applications.
Other Design components:
- Antyodaya Saral Dashboard: A Tech-enabled system that allows department officials to view compliance with Right to Service timelines at state as well as district level.
- Antyodaya Saral Helpline (1800-2000-023): A-45 seater state-wide helpline has been operational since September 2018 to address scheme and service related queries and grievances. It runs from 8am to 8pm from Monday to Saturday.
- Antyodaya Saral Ticketing System: A ticketing system has been built to record and resolve grievances reported through helpline and other relevant channels. This system allows raising citizen queries/grievances related to service delivery. Those can be related to the department who is responsible for delivery or to the touchpoints where they applied (Common Service Centres or Kendras).
- Antyodaya Saral Knowledge Management System: The KMS is a public document repository for basic information (documents, eligibility, service charge) regarding each scheme and service present on Antyodaya Saral.
- Antyodaya Saral Feedback System: An IVRS based feedback system through which citizen feedback is collected on their experience with individual departments as well as at Saral Kendras/Common Service Centres after application submission and at the point of delivery.
- This project has been developed totally in-house as the core product Service Plus, has been made by NIC Government of India and all other systems have been developed by NIC Haryana. NIC Haryana has also acted as the cushion between NIC Government of India and government departments in Haryana. Because of the in-house strategy, the project could be delivered well in time, at a very low cost and with full ownership of the concerned departments.
- 38 departments and all 22 districts have worked on Antyodaya Saral over the last 2 years and made it achieve uts objectives. Deputy Commissioners, Subdivisional Magistrates, District Welfare Officers and other department officers have remained associated with it continuously.
- Regular reviews at department and district level are conducted by CM Office to ensure strict focus on delivery within Right to Service notified timelines, timely resolution of grievances and best-in-class experience for citizens coming to the kendras at District/Subdivision/Tehsil level.
- Digital Haryana Cell, a 4 member team in Chief Minister’s office, and Chief Minister’s Good Governance Associates (CMGGA) Programme which deputes 1 young professional in every district, have played a crucial role in driving strategy and implementation of the project in collaboration with the government.
- Of the 500+ scheme and service available on Antyodaya Saral, 229 schemes and services across 12 departments have been brought online for the first time
- 1 lakh+ queries/grievances on schemes & services are resolved every month through the Antyodaya Saral Helpline
- More than 15 lakh SMS are sent to citizens every month to inform status of applications
- The platform has received 4.3 on 5 citizen satisfaction rating from feedback calls made every month
- Since the platform’s launch in 2018, the govt has received 90 lakh+ applications on it and processed 88.2% of them within designated timelines notified under the Haryana Right to Service Act 2014.
Overall, the impact of Antyodaya Saral is that there has been 15% increase in applications received and 16% reduction in processing time from mid-2018 to mid-2019 and further positive change is expected in the coming months.
Antyodaya Saral is replicable across all states as the core product has been developed by NIC GoI and NIC Haryana. It represents a paradigm shift towards making citizen service delivery cashless, paperless and faceless, hence fully aligned with the goals of Digital India.