by July 25, 2013 0 comments

An SMS gateway was designed and implemented in few districts in Maharashtra to start with. This is a very low-cost solution and can be configured as per the need of the department. A simple GUI is provided to the registered user to create groups and configurable messages.

Challenges faced

There are several initiatives to adopt e-government functions based on the Internet even in developing countries, to ensure easy access and availability. Very often these initiatives failed and among the reasons there were problems such as low Internet access, high Internet costs and Internet illiteracy among citizens and even among workers in the government. Furthermore, email messages are not surely read immediately and it is a critical problem in case of emergencies or disasters. The government of Maharashtra (GoM) has been always in the forefront with the implementation of various innovative projects connected to eGovernance. It was observed that in the rural areas, people are affected because they are not getting the benefits provided by the government, like tanker water in the drought-prone and drought-affected rural areas where these water tankers were diverted to other commercial purposes instead of providing the water to the villagers, non-availability of food grains in the Fair Price Shops (FPS) as subsidized food grains were sold in the market for profit etc. GoM has undertaken various projects in the field of mobile applications, smart-phone-based apps to take care of these issues. Based on the success, it has rolled out various services to the citizens with the help of an SMS gateway and configurable smart-phone/tablet-based survey app.

Company Scenario

Before deployment: It was observed that lack of accountability and timely communication gaps were hindering proper and complete delivery of benefits to the genuine beneficiaries, simultaneously causing losses to the government.

What was deployed: An SMS gateway was deployed in some districts in Maharashtra to start with. This low-cost solution freed the recipient (usually from rural areas) from needing to have an Internet-enabled mobile phone. A configurable GUI was set up for use by govt departments.

After deployment: Notifications are sent to registered beneficiaries so that any possible diversion of benefits is quickly brought to the knowledge of the district administration and dealt with accordingly. This has greatly improved the services provided across multiple departments such as water, public health, foodgrains/civil supplies, etc.

Implementation partner: Mahaonline (A JV between Govt. of Maharashtra and TCS)

 The result[image_library_tag 035/82035, alt=”sadasda” border=”0″ border=”0″ style=”float: right;” ,default]

SMS was sent to 50 prominent villages about the water tanker details and it’s tentative arrival schedule, so that villagers are aware that the water tanker is reaching their village. So, any diversion of tanker is quickly brought to the knowledge of the district administration and dealt with accordingly. This has greatly improved the tanker service. The SMS gateway-based reporting by public health services has revolutionized the reporting at the public health centre level and the public health department gets up-to-date information on health services provided. This highlights the need to provide support in critical areas. Poor people in remote villages started getting better services. Due to this, the rate of death in infants/critically ill has drastically reduced. Similarly, the SMS gateway service has improved the availability of food grains in Fair Price Shops and this has helped in reducing the pilferage of food grains and kerosene to a great extent.

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