Sahaj setu Feb, 12, 2012 Special Issue on G2C Services
February 2012Setu Vol IV • Issue 2BRINGING BUSINESS, EDUCATION AND GOVERNMENT TO RURAL INDIA TMUnder the aegis of the National e-Governance Plan of Govt. of India Public Services now within easy reach G2C services special issue
Content02 CEO Speaks 16 Sahajites writing desk 21 Sahaj Scape03 Top VLEs03 Other Successful VLEs 22 Travellers Delight04 News 24 Sahaj Suswasthya05 We, the people of Sahaj 26 Fun Fundaa06 Sahaj Triumph 26 VLE Success Story08 Cover Story 28 Horoscope14 Capacity Buildings Diary 29 Chaakri.co.in : List of Job Vacancies15 Rural News Bulletin More than half of the worlds estimated 10 million species of plants, animals and insects live in the tropical
Setu Vol IV • Issue 2 BRINGING BUSINESS, EDUCATION AND GOVERNMENT TO RURAL INDIA TM Under the aegis of the National e-Governance Plan of Govt. of India Dear Readers, EDITORIAL Hope you are enjoying the winter thoroughly. With Lohri, Pongal, Makar Sankranti and Saraswati Puja just celebrated, we are again charged up for the coming months. From filing income tax returns to preparing the upcoming annual budget, the coming two month seems to be very busy for all. This months edition of Setu is a special issue on the various Government to Citizen (G2C) services provided by us to our rural counterparts. “Delivery of G2C Services to the citizens living in the rural areas through common outlets by using information and communication technology is the essence of the CSC scheme. As a private Partner of the government in the e-governance initiative in six States, Srei Sahaj has been driving its initiatives for making the G2C services available within the easy reach of the rural people during the last few years. Our experience says the task is very difficult. Yet we cannot give up and must continue our efforts to see that more and more G2C services are delivered through CSCs for the sustenance of the CSC Scheme. We are to continue building good relationship with the government authorities at the State as well as local levels for the roll out of these services. I am sure our dedicated G2C Services Team will continue to farther this initiative,” says Mr. Nepal Chandra Sen, Vice President-G2C services of Srei Sahaj e-Village Limited. From this edition onwards, we have a new section to share with you the innumerable success stories of our Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) from across the six states of Assam, Bihar, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Two great news worth sharing with all of you are our win in the eIndia Awards Disclaimer : 2011 for the best Best Telecentre Initiative of the Year for its project Uttar Pradesh eDistrict, and also the Skoch Financial Inclusion Award 2012 for its The views expressed through the articles in this newsletter may not necessarily be those project "Tatkal Yatra - A go to customer Home". of the organization. Srei Sahaj e-Village Limited is not liable for The travel section as usual, takes you on a journey to the Scotland of India, any content and design carried in the Coorg. advertisements published in this issue. With Valentines Day round the corner, our very own Ms. Paromita Bhattacharya, Vice President- Capacity Building, shares with us the various myths behind celebrating this day with such grandeur. All these and much more, this edition has a lot more in store for you. Do not forget to get back to us with your valuable inputs or anything more that you want us to incorporate from the next edition. Adios till the next edition. Happy reading… Published by : We shall wait for you to write back with your comments & suggestions toDepartment of Marketing Communications firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Srei Sahaj e-Village Limited www.sahajcorporate.com Sahaj Setu • February 2012 • Page 1
Sahaj has been successful in rolling out a huge network of nearly 25, 000 CSCsCEO Speaks across 6 states of India in less than four years. While it has been a very fascinating journey, Sahaj has faced innumerable challenges at each step some of which persist till date. Some of the infrastructure based challenges like unpredictable power supply and connectivity issue have been overcome by deploying generators and V-sats. While innovative solutions have been devised to overcome infrastructural constraints there are other impediments which continue to pose a serious threat to the CSC scheme over which Sahaj has no control. The most important of such constraints has been the extremely slow pace at which the CSC network is being used by the Government for routing of Government to Citizen (G2C) services. In near absence of G2C services, economic viability of the CSCs and sustainability of the VLEs has come under a serious cloud. Despite a number of business services (B2C) being offered through these centres at the initiative of the SCA and the VLE, the earnings of the latter continue to be negligible as neither the revenue nor the footfalls that the G2C services were expected to bring to the CSCs are anywhere in sight. There is an urgent need to expedite the process of routing of Government Services through the CSCs as apart from the economic implications of the slow pace of flow of G2C services for the SCAs and the VLEs, there is a possibility of a political unrest as the VLEs are getting increasingly demoralized and frustrated as their investment are not bearing any fruit. Pending completion of the back end computerization and data digitization, the traditional G2C services like issue of certificates (birth, death, domicile, caste etc), ration cards, maintenance of land records etc may take some time in reaching the CSCs. Thus, it becomes imperative for the Government to ensure that some of the on-going/in the pipeline programmes of the Union and the State Governments are delivered through the CSCs using the expertise of the VLE and thereby generating some income for him/her. There is a gnawing need for acceptance of the fact that CSCs, which have been created on a PPP mode, cannot be treated at par with any other business entity and, as a partner; the Government has a moral and contractual responsibility to provide them with enough G2C work to make these centres economically viable and self sustaining. The time has come for the Government to acknowledge the fact that the CSC network has been created through an open and transparent bidding process with the Government as well as the people (VLEs) as partners, apart from the private sector entities (SCA). In deference to these distinguishing features between the CSCs and other normal business entities, the government must declare the CSCs as the first and the obvious choice for implementation of all its programmes and such work should be allocated directly to the CSCs on a nomination basis rather than going through the price discovery mechanism, repeatedly. We at Sahaj have constantly been in dialogue with the Union Government as well as the State Governments for acknowledging and using the CSC network for delivery of government services. We firmly believe that the underlying objectives of National e-Governance Plan will be truly achieved only when the CSCs become the points of delivery of the promised Government services. This will bring about a positive change not only in the lives of the VLEs but the rural populace at large as they are the target beneficiaries of the CSC scheme. In addition, such a move will bring about greater efficiency and transparency in delivery of government services to the intended beneficiaries of Governments flagship programmes. Using the CSC network for e-Governance in the true sense would help the government in combating the existing corruption in delivery of government services and offer a great relieve to the citizen who is the intended beneficiary but who unfortunately remains largely deprived of the benefits of government socio economic spending. Meena Chaturvedi, CEO, G2C Services, Srei Sahaj e- Village Limited Sahaj Setu • February 2012 • Page 2 It is estimated that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years.
Assam Bihar Odisha Top VLEs VLE Name VLE Name VLE Name Sunil Kr. Chhetri Kisalay Upadhyay Narayan Service Cooperative Society Ltd. Prashanta Knowar Vijay Singh Chadeigaon Service Co.Tamil Nadu Uttar Pradesh West Bengal VLE Name VLE Name VLE Name Ramasamy S Bajrangi Kumar Rajibul Haque Revathi S Ram Kishor Singh Soma Tantubay Jamsher Ali Birendra Kr. Mishra Lingagada LAMPCS ltd. Other Successful VLEs Bongaigaon, Assam Aurangabad, Bihar Kandhamal, Odisha Madhavan P Shamshad Ali Jayanta Biswas Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh Bankura, West BengalIn the night of death, hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing Sahaj is deeply shocked at the untimely demise of an innocent soul. Our deepest sympathies on the death of our VLE Mr. Sanjeevan S (VLE ID : 3304071700000001) of Pappireddipatti Taluk, Dharmapuri District, Tamil Nadu, who has departed for his heavenly abode on the 16th of January, 2012. May his soul rest in peace Sahaj Setu • February 2012 • Page 3 Tigers have stripes to help them hide in the rainforest
Srei Sahaj leads in Aadhaar generation in Tamil NaduNews Amongst all the Enrollment Agencies, Srei was declared Shahidul Islam, State Head, and Mr. Gaurav Loomba, to be in the top position for Aadhaar generation in Tamil AVP (G2C service). During the tour, she visited a good Nadu. Since March 2011, Srei has generated a total number of CSCs and interacted with the VLEs. The CEO number of 3,95,679 Aadhaar cards. also met a number of senior government officials and discussed about the CSCs project with them. PFRDA Public Awareness & Customers Connect Meet in Assam. Commercial tax service now available through Sahaj Jan Seva Kendra The Commercial Tax e-Return filling service was A PFRDA Public Awareness & Customers Connect Meet was successfully held in Udalguri and Barpeta districts, organized by VLE Nabajit Deka, Nabin Ch. Sarma and Abul Kalam Azad respectively. Among those present inaugurated by Mr. Nakul Dubey, Minister for Urban included the VCDC Chairman, Gramp Panchayat Development and Commercial Tax, Uttar Pradesh at President, Village Head, a well known Social Activist, Sahaj Jan Seva Kendra, Itaunja, Bakshi ka Talab, Principal and teachers of nearby schools, few Self Help Lucknow. Mr. Balvinder Singh, Principal Secretary, Mr. Groups, Tea Garden Labour Union members along with Chandrabhanu, Commissioner, Commercial Tax (also around 100 general public of the area. The benefit of the Secretary to CM-UP) and Mr. Jivesh Nandan, Secretary PFRDA scheme along with a brief introduction on SAHAJ IT were present to grace the occasion. Other officials and e-Learning were given during the meet. from Commercial Tax Department, Centre for e- Governance were also present. CEO visits CSCs and government officials in Assam Ms. Meena Chaturvedi, CEO (G2C & E-Learning), Srei The first e-Return was also filled through the Sahaj Jan Sahaj, undertook a 2 day tour of Assam in the month of Seva Kendra on the same day by M/s Avadh Bihari Ram December 2011, where she travelled to the districts of Prakash. Golaghat, Sonitpur and Darrang accompanied by Col. Sahaj Setu • February 2012 • Page 4 Rainforests are being destroyed because the value of rainforest land is perceived as only the value of its timber.
“You can increase your brain power three to fivefold simply by laughing and having fun before working on an issue.” We, the people of Sahaj - Doug Hall Sahaj ushers in the New Year with great pomp and grandeur. Games being conducted by the HR Team at the Sahaj Head Office. Sahaj Setu • February 2012 • Page 5 Half of the worlds species of plants and animals will be destroyed over the next quarter century due to rainforest deforestation.
Sahaj shines at e-India awards :Sahaj Triumph Wins Best Telecentre Initiative of the Year Srei Sahaj e-Village Limited has been conferred the eINDIA 2011 Best Telecentre Initiative of the Year Award for its project Uttar Pradesh eDistrict. The eINDIA 2011 Awards organised from 14-16 December, 2011 at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, is one of the largest platforms of the nation for recognizing the talents from across the government, industry and social sector organizations working for ICT, Healthcare & Telemedicine not only in India but internationally as well. Various governments across the globe have hailed telecentres as the optimum solution to answer concerns of national development. It plays a crucial role in narrowing the very-prevalent digital divide in remote, rural and otherwise disadvantaged communities. These and other segments in rural areas can through it gain information, seamless access to knowledge and education, information by governments, and other services. The eDistrict is one of the 27 Mission Mode Projects under National e-Governance Plan of India. The project seeks to automate field level government functioning and provide G2C services to rural citizens in an easy, fast and cost effective manner. The project undertakes the backend computerization to enable e- delivery of services through the Common Service Centres, which ensures optimal leveraging and utilization of the core infrastructure. Srei Sahaj integrated the eDistrict portal with its portal in April 2011 and today provides a number of government services through the Sahaj Common Service Centres in the three districts of Uttar Pradesh - Sitapur, Raebareilly & Gorakhpur from 30th April 2011. Introduction of the e-District services by Sahaj was a milestone in changing lives of the rural citizen. The idea of “governance at your doorstep” became true and a rural citizen now doesnt have to travel long distances in order to avail government services. The idea was to make the process of issuing certificates like Income, Domicile, Birth, and Death etc. transparent and as simple as possible. e-District helped common man in solving problems faced when going to a tehsil. The award for Telecentre Initiative of the Year aims to honour organizations from throughout the world that demonstrates extraordinary effort, innovation, leadership and excellence in the use of digital technologies to support community, economic, educational social development. A total of 60 governmental, non-governmental, private enterprises, etc. had participated for the Awards. Many dignitaries like Ministers, Secretaries, Additional Secretaries of the Government of India and respective state governments are associated with this platform. Reputed corporate giants like Microsoft, Huawei, TCS, and HCL etc are also associated with this platform. On receiving the award, Mr. Neeraj Chandra, Head of Operations – Uttar Pradesh, Srei Sahaj e-Village Limited, said, “The eDistrict project resulted in the creation of a single-window-solution for the common man, who earlier used to invest incredible amount of time, effort and money to avail a utility-certificate. A survey conducted in the three e-Districts on over 300 rural citizens clearly shows that the above mentioned initiative has saved approx. ₨1.2 Crores of common citizen only in terms of transport from their respective village to the Tehsil head quarter. The integration has proved to be beneficial for Srei Sahaj in terms of online monitoring of transactions, ensuring accountability at every step and timeliness in delivery of service.” Congratulating the entire team Ms. Meena Chaturvedi, CEO – Public Services & e-Learning, Srei Sahaj e-Village Limited said, “We are very proud to bag the e-India 2011 Awards. Winning the awards for the Best Telecentre Initiative of the Year has been the result of Team Sahajs focused effort to provide the last mile connectivity which is essential for bridging the gulf between urban and rural India. With relentless efforts of nearly 4 years Sahaj has been successful in creating an amazing network of 25000 tele centres termed as “Common Service Centres” under the National e-Governance Plan, spread over 6 states of India. Each tele centre is ICT enabled and geared to provide IT based government to citizen services as well as e- commerce services. We have great senses of satisfaction in knowing that we offer these services to the door step of rural citizen, which saves them both time and energy. The journey has been very satisfying but arduous. We still have many more miles to travel and innumerable challenges to overcome. Awards and recognition of this kind helps strengthen our resolve and boost our morale. We are thus grateful to the organizer of the eINDIA Awards for recognizing Sahajs effort at nation building.” Sahaj Setu • February 2012 • Page 6 The howler monkey is the loudest animal living in the rainforests of South
Srei Sahaj adds another feather to its cap:Skoch Financial Inclusion Award 2012 For nearly a decade now, the Skoch Consultancy Services has honored the extraordinary accomplishments enhancing inclusive growth and good governance. Skoch, today, enjoys the distinction of having instituted several of the oldest, most prestigious and comprehensive civilian awards in the field of governance, capacity building , empowerment, inclusive growth, citizen services delivery, technology, academics and change management. The Skoch Awards identify the greatest interventions that have benefited humanity and deepened our understanding of India on a greater scale. Srei Sahaj E-Village Limited hasbeen awarded the Skoch Financial Inclusion Award 2012 for its project “Tatkal Yatra A go to customer Home”. The awardceremony was held in Delhi on the 5th of January, 2012. The project has been rated amongst the top 50 Financial InclusionProjects in India during the year 2011. The Tatkaal Yatra was a project conducted by the Sahaj representatives along withtheir 250 Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLE) where a house to house visit was made across 3,000 households in rural UttarPradesh. The basic idea of the project was to create mass awareness and educate the rural populace about the benefits offinancial inclusion.The drive was undertaken under the umbrella of “Bima Saksharta Aviyaan” The officials who visited these houses, carried ashoulder strapped, interactive touch-screen audio visual media kit which briefed about the benefits of financial inclusionthrough customized animations and short films.In this manner, 15 households each was touched across 250 villages and VLE locations. The whole event was completed in55 days with 5 teams working simultaneously.The team was able to influence 30,000 plus villagers to actively consider and understand the need of financial services andgenerated approximately 2,000 interested leads to help them protect their families. More than 300 households voluntarilyopted for the different savings schemes and were brought into the folds of financial inclusion.The biggest challenge faced by the Sahaj officials during the project was to change the mindset of the rural populace aboutthe concept of financial inclusion, create awareness about the various financial services and the value addition it does totheir lives.Mass media drives and road shows had a short memory recall, thus, devoid of one on one interaction. This left the ruralcitizens with a horde of unanswered queries and doubts resulting in poor acceptance of the financial products in rural India.It is not the lack of desire or power to purchase but due to the unavailability and lack of awareness of financial products in therural areas that it has failed in the financial inclusion initiative.Sahaj has taken the initiative through this project and is committed to take this on a larger scale through its widespread CSCnetwork deep down to core of rural India in the times to come. Sahaj Setu • February 2012 • Page 7 Paper products make up approximately 40 per cent of our trash.
Cover Story Public Services now within easy reach “E-Governance today is like a half empty glass, some most promising Developing Nation. But on the other people look at the part that is full, some look at the hand, 300 million population of India still lives below part that is empty” the poverty line. The 2011 Global Hunger Index (GHI) Report ranked India 45th, amongst the leading countries The scale of e-governance in a country with alarming hunger situation. A like India is vastly different from significant number of people in India something being attempted in Europe or are living below the minimal socio- even the United States. In both these economic benchmarks sections like the regions the use of computers and literacy urban and rural poor, historically levels far exceeds the levels prevailing in disadvantaged people, etc. constitute a India. In fact, there exists a clear digital major portion of the population. Adding divide in India and as a recent UN survey to the woes is the fact that the shows that “while in the United States, vulnerability of these sections has been 54.3 per cent of citizens use the Internet, increasing ever since the onset of compared to a global average of 6.7 per globalization. This has resulted in these cent, in the Indian subcontinent, the sections becoming even more proportion is just 0.4 per cent.” And this marginalized both socially as well percentage comprises largely of the e c o n o m i c a l l y. I t i s a l s o a n urban populace.” acknowledged fact that while India is a land of diverse cultures, Information Technology can act as an traditions, geography and equally diverse important tool to bridge this divide, a is the social and economic condition of digital divide, can actually result in its people. With an economic growth rate widening the gulf. of 6.9 per cent in the third quarter of The government of the day, through its 2011, India is emerging as one of the policy decisions can effectively use Sahaj Setu • February 2012 • Page 8 One tree can filter up to 60 pounds of pollutants from the air each year.
technology, can bring about Government or e-Government or G2C services aims atunprecedented changes in the Digital Government can be connecting theway people live their lives, government to the citizens defined as “the employment ofcommunicate, interact and by talking to citizens and the Internet and the world-wide-conduct business. Believing that supporting accountability, web for delivering governmentIT interventions can become an by listening to their information and services to theenabling tool for reaching out to grievances and by abiding citizens.the citizens of the country with to the true meaning of e-Governance is the use ofease, speed and economy, the democracy. We have been discussing of how the ICT information technology for theGovernment of India launched platform for G2C, G2B, and G2G has been transforming changes in the life of the citizens. There free movement of information tothe Common Services Centres overcome the physical barriers of is another platform, namely, “consumer to(CSC) Scheme in 2006 as a part government” or C2G, which mainly constitutes the traditional paper and physicalof its initiative under the area where the citizens can interact with the based systems.National e-Governance Plan government. e-Governance enhances the(NeGP). Through the CSC We can also call it an e-democracy which is an earnest access to technology and deliveryscheme, the government has effort to change the role of the citizens from a passive information giver to an actively involved citizen. In an of government services to benefitcommitted itself to addressing e-democracy, the government informs the citizen, the citizens, business partnersthe divide, since it believed that represents them, encourages them to vote and and employees. It involves thee-governance would improve engage the city in governance. E-debate can be automation or computerizationthe standards of living of those platform where all the stakeholders such as of the existing paper-basedon the wrong side of the divide government, civil society, private organization and the procedures that will prompt newand those residing in the rural citizens of the country can share their opinions and styles of leadership, new ways ofareas, and allow them access to debate on policies to strengthen the democracy debating and deciding strategies,economic opportunities further. Let us take an example of the political leader new ways of transacting business,available to their urban contesting for elections with a defined manifesto, the manifesto can be shared with citizens through an e- new ways of listening to citizenscounterparts. platform and can be changed in accordance with the and communities, and new waysThe National e-Governance of organizing and delivering feedback from the citizen. This initiative will furtherPlan of the Indian Government strengthen the process by enhancing the information.seeks to lay the foundation and representative role, improving accessibility of citizens The primary objective ofprovide the impetus for the to their elected members and developing the capacity e-government is to establish along-term growth of e- of the elected representative to engage in e- long-term, organization - wideGovernance within the country. government. For such transformation, infrastructure, technology and capacity building of people is only strategy to constantly improveThe plan seek to create to the one aspect, whereas, the most important aspect is the operations with the end in viewright governance and political willingness among the ministries and the of fulfilling citizen needs byinstitutional mechanisms, set up senior public officials which plays a critical role. For transforming internal operationsthe core infrastructure and the e-governance initiative to succeed, e-readiness such as staffing, technology,policies and also implement a needs to be built. This means strengthening processes and work flownumber of Mission Mode infrastructural inadequacies, reducing the barriers to management.Projects at the center, state and e-governance and strengthening the drivers of e-integrated service levels to governance.create a citizen-centric and Gaurav Loomba Ty p e s o f s e r v i c e sbusiness-centric environment AVP-G2C Services delivered throughfor governance. Sahaj- Delhi e-governanceE-Government is any kind of The four types of e-governancedigital interactions between government and citizens services are Government-to - Citizen (G2C),(G2C), government and businesses/Commerce (G2B), Government-to-Business (G2B), Government-to-government and employees (G2E), and also between Enterprise (G2E), and Government-to-Governmentgovernment and governments /agencies (G2G). (G2G) out of which G2C, G2B and G2G services areAccording to the United Nations, Electronic important for us. Sahaj Setu • February 2012 • Page 9 Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.
G2C Services (Government to citizen Mr. Shardendu Tripathi,services) Village Chaumukha, Block Brahmpur, Tehsil Chauri Chaura,These services are delivered to Customers/ common Gorakhpur, UP.people through various channels.E.g. Services through e District portal, basic citizen The Brahmpur block is situated 32services such as license renewals, ordering of kilometers. away from Gorakhpur. With a population of 15, 8615, people, the literacy ratebirth/death/marriage certificates and filing of income 41.6 per cent is just by having 4 PHCs with a facility of 10taxes, as well as citizen assistance for such basic services Beds & no college level educational institute Mr.as education, health care, hospital information, libraries, Shardendu Tripathi although from a well off backgroundand the like. started his CSC with a noble cause to provide his villagers Government services right at their door step. and supportG2B Services (Government to business them in every possible way. His CSC was established with a hope to transform theservices) rural dynamics and ease the life of the rural villagers. TheThe government interacts with various business in terms government services were made available in Mayof policy enforcement, collection of taxes, contract 2011.The edistrict service launch created a new energy inmanagement etc. The biggest area that falls under the the rural gamut. They now have a “Chota Tehsil” providing birth, death, domicile, caste and incomegovernment is contract management. certificates to the villagers. This took away their pain of travelling to far flung location for the governmentG2G services (Government to government certificates and negotiating with middlemen for gettingservices) the same in time. This has also helped the VLE in bringing more visibility ofGovernment to government (G2G) is the electronic his kiosk and cross selling of e-learning and other B2Csharing of data and/or information systems between services. .People now looks up to him with more respectgovernment agencies, departments or organizations. E.g and as an associate of government.MGNREGA data entry work.G2E services (Government to enterprise) The guiding principles of Sahajs CSC initiative are asEnterprises like Water Board, electricity are controlled follows:by the governments and should react quickly to thegovernment policies. Policy enforcements, security and •Catering to the rural population.auditing (for accountability) are the biggest challenges. •Making G2C as well as B2C services available right at the door step of the rural populace.Objective of Sahaj •Reducing intermediaries in the delivery of theSrei Sahaj e-Village Limited, a subsidiary of Srei government services.Infrastructure Finance Limited, was incorporated in •Bridging the economic and digital divide betweenMay, 2007, as a Special Purpose Vehicle to function as urban and rural Indiaan SCA under the CSC scheme. Today, in terms ofvolume, Sahaj is the largest SCA as it has been mandated •Reducing the time and money spent by the rural(through an open competitive bidding process) to roll population in the acquisition of services.out more than 28,000 of the total 10,00,00 CSCs •Assist the government in bringing about greatertargeted to be set up under the CSC scheme. Sahaj has efficiency and transparency in the delivery ofalready established a strong network of more than government services.24,000 CSCs across the six states of Assam, Bihar, •Empowering the rural population by making availableOdisha, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal IT based channels for easy access to information.covering 107 districts spread over 1,386 blocks. Morethan 16,000 of these centres are connected through V- In creating this amazing network, which is the largest ofsat, broadband, data cards etc. to its State of Art, Level 3 its kind in the area of IT in the whole world, Sahaj hasdata centre located in Kolkata. created not only a platform of delivery of Government to Sahaj Setu • February 2012 • Page 10 Recycled materials can return to the marketplace in as little as 30 days.
Citizen Services (G2C) as well as Business to Citizen incurred is quite high as it includes travelling expense,(B2C) services, but has ushered in an entrepreneurial food expense, cost on account of loss of income for therevolution in rural India as each of its CSC is owned and number ofmanaged by a Village Level Entrepreneur (VLE). In working dayscreating over 24, 000 CSCs, Sahaj has created an equal invested,number of entrepreneurs who are increasingly and otherbecoming friends, philosophers and guides of the rural incidentalcitizens. If CSCs are the cornerstones of economic expenseschange, the VLEs are acting as catalysts of social change. add up to aAlthough the CSCs were supposed to be centers for the h u g edelivery of government services under NeGP only a few , a m o u n tG2C services covering a very limited number of districts often beyond the paying capacity of a rural citizen. Asare being routed through Sahaj CSCs currently. Although per the study conducted, an average citizen spendsthese services are still in the nascent stage but they have more than Rs.109 to avail these essential governmentbeen able to make a significant contribution to lives of services from the Tehsil as compared to the merethe rural populace. amount of Rs 25 through the Sahaj CSCs. The CSC saves both, time and money, which can easily be utilized more productively for some other important priority.Few of the case studies as discussed will Till date more than 4, 00,000 certificates have beenentail the key benefits derived through the issued from the month of April Dec11 providing aG2C services. financial saving of approximately 3.28 crores to the common man, other than the mental and physical reliefCase study : e-district service in Uttar Pradesh for availing these services through the nearby commonIn the 3 districts of Uttar Pradesh, already six service centres.government services are being delivered through the Following are the details of the distribution of theCSCs which include income; birth, death; caste; services.domicile and handicapped certificates. A studyconducted by Sahaj has shown that an average distance Case Study : G2C services Bihara citizen has to travel for the e-district service is as little as3.86 kilometers as compared to Tehsils where a citizen “When sparkle becomes fire and enlightens the world,has to travel more than 18 kilometers and the response there comes the hope for the era which brings revolutiontime of the services through CSC is less than seven days to change the world”as compared to fifteen days taken at the Tehsils office. This sparkle twinkled first in a small district of Bihar,A rural Indian citizen would normally spend a good Jehanabad, which has shown a new pathway for the roll out of G2C Services at local level with an opportunity for a good revenue generation. In view of the fact that large number of works such as MNREGA data entry, FCI report scanning/mailing, IAY photography etc. of the government is regulated by the District Administration under the various functional department co- coordinating and getting these orders to be executed by the VLEs is a mammoth task. One of such Herculean initiatives was taken by the district team of Jehanabad. They started building a good rapport with the VLEs to understand their skill set and area of expertise and then strategically started following up with the Districtamount of money on availing an essential government Administration for the work order. Their sheerservice like obtaining a Birth Certificate. The cost perseverance and communication with the Sahaj Setu • February 2012 • Page 11 The safest place to be when a tornado hits is underground.
administration helped them in getting the work order for Sahaj also participated in the bid for MNREGA work inMNREGA data entry and FCI report scanning work. the Bhojpur district of Bihar and got the work order for 6 blocks. Presently, work has already commenced in the 6The local district officials visited various CSC locations to blocks involving 24 VLEs.check the feasibility as well as viability of these centers toprovide government services and at every step the Sahaj A unique initiative Team Biharteam and their VLEs proved themselves competent.They made the District Administration feel that the CSCs Election Webcasting in Biharare the windows where a large number of services couldbe facilitated and completed in a successful manner andon time.Positive feedback and a satisfactory report from theJehanabad district team and the VLEs lead the DistrictAdministration to rely on Srei Sahaj to become agovernment partner in the successful facilitation of workby doing the task like MNREGA data entry. The Sahajteam also proved that by believing them, the DistrictAdministration was not wrong. Involvement of the SahajVLEs in the data entry work (both present and back-log),resulted Jehanabad to be among the top district of thestate to complete the data entry of work on time. Since the day Sahaj came into existence, and the day we started functioning; we started with the spirit that we would serve the society even in the remotest corner of Mr. Vivek Anand, rural area by providing them all those facilities which is Village Gopal Ganj Bajar, far from their reach in spite of being in the era of IT & Ghosi Block, Jehanabad, Bihar Communication. We took the promise that we would also facilitate the government in all kind of service Like any other VLE with the delivery and work whenever wherever hope of getting good revenue desired/required. With the similar spirit we started our & social prestige by Journey in Bihar. establishing a Sahaj CSC, Mr. Vivek Anand, started his career as a SAHAJ VLE. Vivek was so passionate for this With various initiatives, Srei Sahaj continued to show its work that he left his job for setting up a CSC. Though initial presence and relevance for the scheme to Government unavailability of G2C Services affected his business & Department and citizens. To conduct a free and fair hopes but now with the MGNREGA data entry work he has Assembly Election in a peaceful manner was one of started achieving what he dreamt of. He is a household biggest challenge for the District Administration. In name in his locality and due to availability of G2C services, pursuance of the same, the administration was looking customers also trust him to be reliable. Not only socially but economically as well, this service has given his business a boost in terms of revenue generation and cross selling. Only by data entry work in the past 6 months, he has generated revenue of Rs 10,000 for himself.Details of MNREGA data Entry workThe MNREGA Data Entry work is being successfullycarried on by the Sahaj employees in the Jehanabaddistrict since June, 2011. This has helped the DistrictAdministration to complete the data entry work on time.Presently it is being done in all the 7 blocks ofJehanabad. Sahaj Setu • February 2012 • Page 12 A catfish has about 100,000 taste
towards the agency/partner to support them for the made the revenue model even more complex andsame. Srei Sahaj again proved its mettle by standing by challenging. While innovative solutions have beenthe administration and worked with full dedication devised to overcome infrastructural constraints there areduring the Assembly Elections. other impediments which continue to pose a seriousThe District Administration gave training to the VLEs and threat to the CSC scheme over which Sahaj has noalso helped them in related software installation. The live control.webcast was conducted from the booths with the Delay in roll out of G2C services is one such constraint. Slow pace of routing of G2C services is, perhaps, the State Ongoing service Upcoming service · Grievance Redressal, e – District in · Health MIS through SAHAJ biggest threat to the CSC scheme as the entire model was Sonitpur & Goalpara, CSCs developed based on the understanding that all Assam · NREGA Job Card Preparation · E – Filing of VAT/ CST work through SAHAJ CSCs, Government services will be brought to the door-step of · Social Welfare Services each villager through these centres, bridging the urban · NREGA data entry work in · E – Filing of VAT/ CST Jehanabad & Bhojpur, through SAHAJ CSCs, and rural digital divide and consequently reducing the · BSFC report Scanning work in · Health MIS through SAHAJ economic divide. Another casualty of this is the Jehanabad & Arwal, CSCs, Bihar · PDS coupon Scanning work · SNP Anganwadi Photography important underlying objective of NeGP to deliver work under ICDS, essential government services and programmes through · e – Nagrik in Jehanabad & e – District in Nalanda a transparent IT enabled platform so as to reduce manual · Revision of Electoral roll & EPIC · Health MIS submission through preparation SAHAJ CSCs, intervention and thereby corruption and leakages · e – Payment of VAT/CST hitherto associated with delivery of Government Odisha through SAHAJ CSCs, · Social Welfare Services, schemes and programmes. · E – payment of Commercial Tax Future of G2C Services · e – District in Krishnagiri through · Electoral roll registration Govt. Portal service Being the largest partner of government unavailability/ Tamil Nadu · Land records through Govt. Portal · PRIASoft training to PRI representatives, limited availability of G2C Services is a major issue of · Health MIS submission concern for Srei Sahaj e Village Limited. This is due to the · e – District in Rae Bareli, Sitapur · Social Welfare Services, & Gorakhpur, · Health MIS submission, fact that the G2C services are considered as a major · PRIASoft training to PRI · E – Filing of Vat/ CST footfall driver at the CSCs. But it takes great efforts in Uttar Pradesh representatives, · PRIASoft data entry work, bringing these services smoothly to the rural customers in · Commercial tax the existing system. · Land records The Government of India, recently, has received a loaninvolvement of 1,358 VLEs and 68 employees of the IT amount of 150 million USD for the NeGP project fromdepartment of Sahaj. The work of the Election the World Bank. In the deliverables, the government hasWebcasting, a first of its kind in India, was completed committed to the World Bank to launch 1,000 e Servicessuccessfully by Sahaj and its VLEs with continuous and 130 PPP based e Services (56 at present) by 2012cooperation from the District Administration. 13. The key areas to be focused by the government are: health, education, skill upgradation, safety and securityChallenges faced and possible solutions and mobile service.In less than four years, Sahaj has been successful in rolling With inputs from:out a huge network of nearly 24,000 CSCs across 6 states Mr.Gaurav Loomba and Ms. Namrata Tyagiof India. While it has been a very fascinating journey, Sahaj- Delhi TeamSahaj has faced innumerable challenges at each stepsome of which persist till date.The infrastructural constraints like absence orunpredictable power supply in rural areas andinadequate connectivity solutions have been daunting.We have, however, managed to overcome theseconstraints by deploying of generators and V-sats butthese solutions have proved to be expensive and have Sahaj Setu • February 2012 • Page 13 Gorillas can catch human colds and other illnesses.
Valentines Day:Capacity Buildings Diary a myth or just another reason to celebrate? Valentines Day is a joyous festival which stands for love and romance. On February 14 every year this festival is celebrated across the globe. The festival is intended to commemorate the martyrdom of St Valentine, a Christian Saint. However, the religious significance of the festival has diminished and today Valentines Day is a global phenomenon celebrated by people who belong to different ages and races. This only invokes a lot of interest about the history of Valentines Day. How it evolved over the ages? One of the interesting facts about the origin of this day is that there were several early Christian martyrs bearing the name of “Valentine”! Until 1969 eleven Valentines Days were recognized by the Christian Church. The Valentines who are traditionally honoured on February 14th are Valentine of Rome and the Valentine of Terni. Valentine of Rome was a Roman priest who was martyred on AD 269 and was buried on Via Flaminia. Valentine of Terni was the bishop of Interamna around AD 197 and was killed Paromita Bhattacharya during the rule of Emperor Aurilean. He was also buried on Via VP - Capacity Building,Sahaj Flaminia though at a separate location than that of Saint Valentine. Another legend goes that a saint called Valentine sent Valentine greeting to a young girl while in prison. It is said that before his death he sent her a letter where he signed From your Valentine”. There are a number of legends regarding Saint Valentine but one thing is evident-Valentine was a person who was heroic, sympathetic and romantic. There is a widespread belief that Valentines Day is celebrated in the middle of February to remember the anniversary of Valentines death. Others believe that the Christian church decided to celebrate the festival in the middle of February in a bid to Christianize the pagan Luprecalia celebrations. As the century drew to a close written letters were replaced by printed cards. In America exchange of hand made Valentines started in the early 1700s. Esther A. Howland was the first person to sell mass produced valentines in America in the 1840s. The oldest known Valentine Card is on display at the British Museum. How is it Celebrated “Today”? In present day world Valentines Day is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm all around the globe. The markets catch the Valentines Day fever days before the festival with the shops selling flowers, cards and other romantic gifts wearing a festive look. Special Valentines Day gifts like hearts, rose, cards, cupid and jewellery are in huge demand. In different countries it is the time of the year when people go in for a shopping spree. In India also Valentines Day has gradually gone on to become a big festival with people going in for widespread shopping. Valentines Day cards are the best sellers followed by special gifts for men like shirts, perfumes and wallets and great gifts for women like jewellery, jewellery boxes, showpieces and soft toys. Online shopping is much in vogue nowadays. In modern days Valentines Day is not only restricted in exchanging gifts between romantic couples. It is a day to celebrate love and people wish their friends, siblings, teachers or any other special person in their lives -Happy Valentines Day on the auspicious day of 14th February! Sahaj Setu • February 2012 • Page 14 Ford motor company indicates that 75% of every vehicle is
Government rolls out 97,439 CSCs: Rural News BulletinThe Department of IT has rolled out 97,439 Common Service Centres (CSCs) in 33 states and union territories. Theministry said that the government has a proposal to set up additional 1.5 lakh Bharat Nirman Common ServiceCentres i.e. to have one CSC in each panchayat in whole of rural India. The ministry has also added four newMission Mode Projects (MMPs) - education, health, PDS and posts under the National e-Governance plan (NeGP)taking the total number of MMPs under NeGP to 31. The ministry has also operationalize 29 SWANs (state widearea network) while the State Data Centres (SDC) have been made operational in 16 states. Recently, the unioncabinet approved Electronic Delivery of Services (EDS) Bill provisioning mandatory delivery of all public services ine-mode in the next five years. e-District pilot project has gone live in 12 states and the guidelines for national rolloutof e-District MMP has also been finalized. The government has set up ICT infrastructure in more than 450 courtcomplexes during the current financial year. Source: voicendata.ciol.comKisan Credit Cards To Double Up As Debit Cards:The nearly 10 crore farmers who hold kisan credit cards (KCC) will soon be able to use their card as a depositaccount and a debit card. This will help the government scale up its financial inclusion plan quickly without relyingon bank accounts alone. The revamped card will have features of both credit card and deposit account. Source: The Economic TimesBengal Planning 50 Job Days Under MNREGA By March:Accordinbg to State Panchayat and Rural Development Minister, Subrata Mukherjee, the West Bengal governmenthas decided to increase the number of job-days under MNREGA from 19 days at present to 50 days within thecurrent financial year. Source: IBN Live$130 Million World Bank Aid For 300,000 Village Homes In NE India:The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a US$130 million credit to finance the Government ofIndias (GOI) efforts to empower rural communities in the growth-deficient North East (NE) region to improve theirlivelihood opportunities. The North East Rural Livelihoods Project (NERLP) seeks to support the rural poor,especially women, unemployed youth and the severely disadvantaged, in four North Eastern states to improve theirstandard of living by establishing sustainable community institutions and enhancing their livelihoods. The Visionenvisages using a partnership-approach with all relevant stakeholders to make interventions responsive to peoplesneeds and aspirations for a better quality of life. The NERLP will be implemented in eight districts of the fourparticipating states- Aizawl and Lunglei in Mizoram; Peren and Tuensang in Nagaland; South, West and 15Panchayat wards of East District in Sikkim; and West and North Districts in Tripura. A separate activity for skillsdevelopment and job placement has thus been included in the project to ensure that such opportunities areavailable to the rural poor. Source: hillpost.inVocational Training For Rural Youth:The George Telegraph Training Institute (GTTI) tied up with Srei Sahaj for the vocational training of rural youth inorder to make them suitably equipped for bagging a job in todays market. Through the programme, courses likeelectronic and telecommunication engineering, computer hardware engineering, mobile and telephonetechnician, audio video engineering and other similar vocational courses will be imparted with the help of e classes.According to the association, Srei Sahaj will conduct an independent and un-biased online examination of thestudents to enhance the value of the programmes by the GTTI. A joint certificate by Sahaj and the GTTI will also beissued on the successful completion of the examination. They also plan to introduce other vocational courses likeweb designing, skill development programme and speaking English courses so that the rural youth are able to makea place for themselves in society. Source: The Times of India Compiled by : Deepti Punj, Sahaj - Delhi Sahaj Setu • February 2012 • Page 15 An elephants trunk can hold 2.5 gallons of water.
Relative Economics: Public FinanceSahajites Writing Desk Often on the road, we see a lot of examples of public ventures which have dramatically altered the socio-economic landscape of the place helping the local public sustain and earn from their community itself. An example of the same would be the road leading to Sirohi, Rajasthan. Earlier this area was notorious for looting incident of passengers passing through that route during night, basically done by tribal people staying in that area, who had nothing better to do. To d a y, t h e s c e n a r i o i s completely changed; this is because of growth of standard of living , employment and availability of basic needs created by a cement factory in Pindwara. This development has made the entire location from backward to a developed economy. This socio-economic growth is known as the effect of relative economics. Relative economics is always human centric whereas absolute economic is money centric. The quote of teaching a man how to fish, instead of giving him fish is highly relevant in understanding examples of successful public funding. The importance of public finance in context of relative economics is to lift up the citizens in the BPL (Below Poverty Line) category to a certain level of prosperity. Economic development could be through development of Understanding Relative Economics: infrastructure in an area or it could be through the skills development of the people in the area. Project Chanderiyaan As Indian citizens and tax payers, we would is a good example of sustainable people development. This like to understand public finance clearly, the town in rural Madhya Pradesh is well known for its beautiful corpus available, its impact on society and saris which embellished with the richness of weaving evolved problems associated with disbursement of over a few centuries and a very exotic representation of the fund. skill of the weavers. Unfortunately, due to rapid urbanization • Under the Tenth Five Year Plan, the and development of new technologies, more than 3000 Government has allocated ₨424,839 weaving families in this town are struggling to sustain their Crore in different development livelihoods. On further probing the economic scenario of the investment on infrastructure plans, rural town was found to generate over ₨65 crore per annum, the empowerment schemes for different weaving families got around ₨30,000 per family every year – subsidies and grants. Often these funds making them look at other parallel work opportunities. The don’t reach to the target population due to lack of finance, knowledge and modern skills left the weavers complex distribution system of to be exploited by the master weavers, who had the control government agencies and the wealth. Digital Empowerment Foundation along with the Government of India worked on Project Chanderiyaan • Objective of investment planning of the and this brought in the modern means of weaving, faster Government of India on various schemes is produce, easier marketability and higher financial gains to the to raise standard of living of its APL & BPL weavers. population and to provide basic needs of Sahaj Setu • February 2012 • Page 16 Atlantic salmon can jump as high as 4.5 meters out of the
the its citizens. However while designing this socio-economic structure often the human element gets sidetracked and the focus solely stays money centric.Public finance is the revenue and expenditure of public authorities. The purview of public finance is considered to bethreefold - (1) Efficient allocation of resources (2) Distribution of income (3) Macroeconomic stabilizationPublic Finance: Objectives and IssuesThe objectives of Public Finance involves both correction and development: • Employment of people in BPL • Removing Inequalities of Income The example quoted at the beginning of • Fighting Social Stigmas like Child Employment, Alcoholisms, this article of the cement unit inCrime etc Rajasthan, which empowered tribal • Improvement of Nutrition and Public Health population to work, earn and contributeThe Primary Issue in public finance is that often in the cycle of Economy to the economy could be one example of successful private funding. This- Society - Work - Economy, the BPL population is not in the scheme of structure of financing can be used forthings and so the people neither gain the benefits, nor add to the making effective structure of publiceconomy. In this approach, benefit derived from regular economy or financing.government initiatives/ schemes, does not reach to the bottom of thepyramid. This creates a gap of inequality between rich and poor class.A better way to utilize public finance would be to have a larger cycle ofEconomy -BPL - Society - Work - Economy. By doing so, there would be significant reductionin percentage of the BPLpopulation and an increase of Per Capita Income of the BPL population and maybe in the larger scheme of things - sharing ofwealth amongst a larger percentage of population (for example through increase of land and other asset ownership amongstex BPL population). Since the Census doesn’t capture the growth of this segment, we would need to add filters on understanding the movementof income and expenditure amongst the BPL population in India. Through this, we would also be able to understand theimpact of Public funding on the BPL population far more accurately than now.Examples of Sustainable Economic DevelopmentThe important aspect to ponder in the study of Relative Economics is the measurement of success.The indicators used for measurement of economic growth and increase prosperity needs a change. Some of the indicatorsused are more of macro in nature which overlooks the micro prospective of growth measurement. It is essential foreconomists to include the measurement for the assessment of public finance initiatives undertaken by the Government ofIndia.If Public and Private Sector work hand in hand at creating opportunities for the BPL category to move out of the bracket,they could then gain from the opportunities of the new larger markets where they could ply their goods and services makingthis a win-win situation. By Hemant Kothari (EA to the CEO) and Pradeep Kumar Sahaj Setu • February 2012 • Page 17 The name “Vaseline” is a combination of the German word wasser and the Greek word elaion.
Another Side Of The NotionSahajites Writing Desk Maliya Halt comes after the local train to Tarakeshwar crosses Nalikul in Hooghly. The urban landscape slowly fades away after Sheoraphuli Junction as greenery intensifies. Agricultural fields, meadows with infinite horizon and sporadic signs of dwelling can be seen in plenty. As you get down at Maliya Halt, a 30 seconds stoppage, you are sure to be struck by the humbleness of the station. It comprises of two platforms, one half built ticket counter and a few temporary tea stalls here and there. Beyond these – on both the sides – nothing can be seen except endless green fields, which, of course, change their complexions in harmony with the seasons. Then, you are needed to cross the railway tracks and take the Kuchcha road which vanishes somewhere in the horizon. I found Arjun Ghosh standing with his bicycle at the beginning of this road. I had informed him about my possible visit the previous night and had also confirmed it in that very morning. I was greeted with a simple but honest smile. The man is about 40 years old, 5 feet 6 inches high, thinly built, but strong enough to protect himself from the inevitable exposure to natures brutality. What attracted me were his sharp expressive eyes glistening with a common mans intelligence which is undoubtedly, a better alternative to wisdom when daily struggle is the concern. The man led me through vegetable growing fields and finally the road, which at first seemed to be endless, came to a diversion. We took the left path and abruptly ended our journey after half an hour of walking in the midst of a bitter gourd field. “This is my field”, said Arjun babu, grinning as he made an eye to eye to signal to a man who had suddenly appeared from underneath the thicket. The man, as Arjun babu introduced, happened to be his younger brother Krishna Ghosh. The younger Ghosh is a man of my age. He brought us two jute bags and laid them on field for us to sit. Arjun babu, on the way, had proposed that we could sit and talk in his home; but I had purposefully turned down the invitation as people like Arjun Ghosh are more open for discussion when they are placed upon the field – that is where they belong. Moreover, if you accept their invitation to warm residences, you will, in a way also accept your vulnerability to the natural hostility that a mid December north wind holds during afternoons. My insisting to go to the field brought out the real shine on the man. It was a salutation to his world. We sat down on the jute bags and I started interviewing him. My purpose was limited to take a product feedback from him, but what I discovered is a gold mine; an experience worthy to be shared among all of us who, generally carry a fixed notion about the agrarian mass of Bengal. Arjun babus appearance will never tell you how great an entrepreneur he is. As we went on discussing things and sharing ideas, he mentioned his visits to Kolkata Doordarshan and Akashvani Sahaj Setu • February 2012 • Page 18 Approximately 70 percent of the Earth is covered with water. Only 1 percent of the water is drinkable.