E-Panchayat: An Innovative Way for Enhanced Working

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It is an accepted position now that Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) as units of local self government, are the constitutionally mandated third tier of governance and as per Article 243G of Indian Constitution are required to perform the following functions: Preparation of plans for economic development and social justice; Implementation of schemes for economic development and social justice as may be entrusted to them including those in relation to the matters listed in the Eleventh Schedule.
In addition to this the Panchayats are also required to Levy, collect and appropriate taxes, duties, rolls and fees Manage the grants-in-aid received from Centre and State Governments.

Thus Panchayats are becoming increasingly, the nodal points for delivery of crucial social sector schemes such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS), Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA), Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF), Mid day Meal (MDM), Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) etc. Being closest to the rural populace, they are the most suitable entities to ascertain the needs of people and execute the social and development programmes so as to meet their aspirations. To enable them to perform their mandated role effectively, it is essential that PRIs have appropriate capacities. e-panchayat is one of the means of building the required capabilities.

To ascertain the Information and Service Needs (ISNA) of all the stakeholders namely Central Ministries, State Department, Citizens and Panchayats, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj had commissioned a comprehensive study covering all States and UTs. As the next step, Business Processing re-engineering (BPR) required to usher into an ICT era in Panchayats has been worked out in details for all the states. Based on the ISNA and BPR, Detailed project reports (DPRs) for each of the States/UTs have been prepared. State Reports have also been consolidated in National Reports. The DPRs give the roadmap for operationalsing this MMP. It also includes details such as Change Management strategy; Capacity Building and financial implications for rolling out this ambitious project. The total projected cost, spread over 4 years is Rs 6,989 cr.

As a result of this study, 12 Core Common Application (given overleaf) that address all aspects of Panchayats’ functioning; from internal core functions such as Planning, Monitoring, Implementation, Accounting, Social Audit etc to citizen service delivery, have been identified and are under development.

PRI Accounting Software (PRIASOFT) and Plan Plus Software for decentralised planning have already been operationalised. The Ministry is making all efforts to support Panchayats with requisite ICT infrastructure and trained manpower to be able to effectively use these applications and derive benefits. The benefits will accrue to all stakeholders including Central Ministries, State Departments, People and Panchayats themselves.

It is evident that e-panchayat would ultimately result in induction of mass ICT culture in the country thereby furthering the agenda of “Inclusive Growth”. e-Panchayat MMP will thus provide a whole range of IT based services to Central/State Departments, District/Block Administration, citizens, Pancahayati Raj Institutions themselves and others and in the process, Pancahayati Raj Institutions would become symbols of modernity, transparency & efficiency. (PIB Features)

12 Core Common Application addressing all aspects of Panchayats’ functioning

Unique Code to Panchayats
Would provide nationwide, standardized unique codes to all the Panchayats in the country. All the events related to delimitation of Panchayats will also be captured. This directory will be the underlying thread linking all applications of Panchayats.

Panchayat Portals
Would generate a web site for each Panchayat in...
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