akshaya friends

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Governance reforms and IT A practitioners’ experience with reference to “FRIENDS” & “AKSHAYA”


Perception Public systems are ineffective, lots of red tape, procedural formalities, corruption, delay IT enabled systems are sleek, smart and effective E-governance would drastically change public systems It is the lethargy and resistance on the part of employees that hold back e-governance

Kerala –Background of IT enabled governance: 

Kerala –Background of IT enabled governance Lot of hype about e-governance Clear understanding of government essential Government has to be looked at as an organization within the socio-political context The deliverables of e-governance needs to be defined


Deliverables Ensure that the government is more citizen friendly Systems for data management and activities/processes dependent on the same (Elections- photo affixed rolls) Improve transparency and social audit ( websites, call centers and bulk mailing to subscribers about government activities)

Improving citizen friendliness: 

Improving citizen friendliness Citizen interaction with governance on three major aspects: Payments to be made to government- taxes, duties Entitlements to be received from the government- certificates,permits,licenses Information required from government- jobs, schemes, programs Citizen focused governance needs to address these three aspects primarily

IT enabling the Citizen Interface: 

IT enabling the Citizen Interface Typically back end computerization essential This could be a long drawn affair A workable interface which can trigger back end computerization and prompt extensive outreach Initially focusing on payments and information


Friends The objective To induct a philosophy of service delivery in Government. To treat the citizen as a valuable customer who pays for services, to be treated with respect

Friends Contd…: 

Friends Contd… The objective FRIENDS an integrated electronic interface, where citizens can access Govt. services, pay bills & taxes & obtain information from Govt

Friends Contd…: 

Multiple computer counters deliver services in a pleasant setting,with highly trained & motivated young staff. FRIENDS centers set up in 14 districts of Kerala. Works 7 days a week, 12 hours a day Friends Contd…

Friends - Overall Picture: 

Financial Year 2000-2001 : Rs. 5.68 crores Financial Year 2001-2002 : Rs. 52.39 crores Financial Year 2002-2003 : Rs. 105.08 crores Financial Year 2003-2004 : Rs. 158.77 crores Financial Year 2004-2005 : Rs. 114.04 crores* ( * till October 2004) Friends - Overall Picture

Friends – The Average Centre: 

No. of Visitors per day– about 1458 (19588) Expenditure per month-Rs. 34688(Rs;4.7 Lakhs) Collection per month – Rs. 96 Lakhs(Rs.11.13 Crores) Friends – The Average Centre

Friends – The Benefits: 

Citizens: Single interface Transaction time dramatically reduced to 3-5 minutes Govt. open always Treated with respect as a valued client Corruption-free Staff Better service conditions, sense of fulfillment Friends – The Benefits

Friends – The Benefits ..contd…: 

Government Improved perception of Government- 99% of Customers fully satisfied with FRIENDS Enhanced revenues- growth rate of 150 % per year Demonstration of advantages of IT induction Friends – The Benefits ..contd…

Friends – Limitations: 

Only one center in a district Free service and viability Further expansion would require more staff deployment Extension/wider roll out has to be on a non government owned mode Friends – Limitations

Need for Organic Growth: 

Big demand for roll out The logic of such centers in rural areas more to do with ease of access rather than convenience Working hours not the critical factor; but access is critical Connectivity issues; viability issues Need for Organic Growth

Leveraging Akshaya: 

AKSHAYA was structured as a marginally unviable entrepreneurial venture Post e-literacy, Akshaya to be viable with IT enabled services E-Pay a major attraction Home collection and remittance; more IT services including training Leveraging Akshaya

Akshaya- Reaching out to Citizens: 

Instead of blind PPP replication, integrated with Akshaya Ensures viability of Akshaya Centers Internet banking by SBI Now 105 centers in Malappuram; one in each Panchayat Gross collection Rs.30 Lakhs in 45 days Akshaya- Reaching out to Citizens


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