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Using ICT to implement right to public services in Bihar

Apr 08, 2013

The Bihar Right to Public Services Act, 2011 aims to enable citizens to demand services from the state government and its agencies within a stipulated time frame.

RTPS Bihar

In national as well as international policy circles, there is an increasing emphasis on good governance and government's critical role in development processes. Passed in April 2011 and implemented on August 15, 2011, the RTPS in Bihar is the first such law in the country directed at tackling corruption, inefficiency and lack of transparency in the conduct of government affairs.

The implementation of RTPS in Bihar has been done utilising ICT tools in the form of a service delivery and monitoring software (Adhikar), an Interactive Voice Response System, various application tracking tools, a help line (Samadhan) for dealing with citizens' queries about their entitlements and services covered under the Act, and an online application and service delivery system.

The RTPS currently covers 30 services in 10 key departments that include Registration, Transport, Commercial Taxes and General Administration Department. On receipt of the application, the applicant is given a Unique ID and acknowledgement slip that serves as authentic proof for filing the First and Second Appeals. Defaulting Designated Public Servants (DPSs) can be penalised INR 500 to 5,000 for failure or delay in service delivery.

Within the first month of its operation, RTPS has generated tremendous demand coming from the citizens to procure a variety of government services. The RTPS has cut down the need to make multiple rounds to government offices, bribe officials, or face harassment in terms of loss of their files and such like.

Within the first month, 1,574,989 applications had been filed under RTPS with more than 86,000 disposed of successfully. Many parts of the programme are still in the development stage and some enhancements are in the planning stage.

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