I had started leveraging the power of technology & internet with rudimentary modem as early as my posting as DDO, Vadodara in 1993.
Dushyant Kumar has said:
“वो आदमी मिला था मुझे उसकी बात से, ऐसा लगा कि वो भी बहुत बे-ज़बान है।”
Obviously, many people are not able to speak at all. Even if they speak, I have seen many instances when aggrieved people have, out of sheer frustration and helplessness, screamed in anger or have broken down with the feeling of “मैं कहाँ जाऊं“
In the absence of any procedures and accountability, what happens in administration sometimes is as Kaifi Aazami puts it: “और कुछ देर पुकारूंगा चला जाऊंगा”
With above sentiments, I implemented some technology based solutions specially to deal with the problems and issues of the common man.
Some examples of Award Winning & Time-Tested Technology Solutions implemented during my various roles in the service:
SWAGAT:Statewide Attention on Grievances by Application of Technology
More than anyone else, the then CM of Gujarat Shree Narendra Modi had realized this deep-rooted & historic problem of accessibility in our system. He had said that effective Grievance redressal is a must in a democracy. As desired by him, and with his full guidance & blessing, we conceived and set up this online system in 2003for receiving and solving people’s grievances. The system is still up and running in Chief Minister’s Office of Gujarat. Shree Narendra Modi was so attached to the platform that after the 2007 & 2012 state elections, the first official engagement he conducted was SWAGAT. (https://swagat.gujarat.gov.in).
SWAGAT was honored with the UN public Service award in 2010 for improving transparency and accountability in Public Services.
It was also graced with the National e-Governance Award 2010-2011.
PRAGATI: Pro-Active Governance And Timely Implementation
Soon after Shree Narendra Modi became Prime Minister and we came to PM office, he expressed that we need an online grievance redressal and monitoring system on the lines of SWAGAT. I then designed PRAGATI. It is a multi-modal integrating and interactive platform used regularly by the PM office. The platform is aimed at addressing a common man’s grievances, and simultaneously monitoring and reviewing important programmes and infrastructure projects of the Government of India as well as those flagged by State Governments. (https://www.pmindia.gov.in).
A former IAS officer, who used to participate in PRAGATI sessions and who understands finance very well used to say that this mechanism alone is contributing to 1.5% to 2% of GDP.
CHAMPIONS:Creation and Harmonious Application of Modern Processes for Increasing the Output and National Strength
Aimed at problem resolution, hand holding of MSMEs and making them champions, this system was designed and tested in just nine days of my taking over as MSME Secretary. This was a time when Covid-19 hit the MSME sector pretty badly. The portal was formally inaugurated by Hon. Prime Minister on June 1, 2020. It is essentially for augmenting smaller MSME units by solving their grievances, providing encouragement and hand holding. It is a real one-stop-shop solution of MSME Ministry and operates on a Hub-spoke model with nationwide control rooms. (1 at Delhi + 69 locations in the country) (https://champions.gov.in/)
In addition to a sophisticated MIS, the Champions portal is richly enabled with Artificial Intelligence (AI), Analytics technology and Machine Learning (ML). The Entire concept, scope analysis and design has been done inhouse by my team.
A large number of Public and Private Sector Banks and a number of GOI Ministries and State level departments have been onboarded onto the Champions platform to address queries related to Credit in a fast-track manner.
MSME/UDYAM Registration Portal
Ministry of MSME revised the definition of MSMEs and process of registration w.e.f. from 1st July 2020. To implement it, we designed and launched a new portal for MSME/Udyam registrations. (https://udyamregistration.gov.in). The portal is working efficiently and more than 17 lakh MSMEs have successfully been registered by December, 2020
This new MSME registration process is extremely simple, seamless, and paperless. It is based on self-declaration. It is a globally benchmarked process and a revolutionary step towards Ease of Doing Business. All relevant data is fetched from Income Tax and GST Networks in the backend.
In a major first, this portal is seamlessly integrated with CBDT and GST networks and also with the GeM mechanism of Government of India.
No Wonder, the MSME Ministry was the proud recipient of Digital India Awards 2020 given by Hon. President of India on 30 December, 2020