Monday, August 04, 2014

“For the people, of the people and by the people” – Sakala Egovernance

Unbelievable as it might appear to people who have waded through years of red tape, the Government of Karnataka has introduced an online system that addresses problems and helps resolve them within a fortnight. What’s more, it is a single-window system that spares people of the ordeal of running between different government departments.

Dr. Shalini Rajneesh
Dr. Shalini Rajneesh, Principal Secretary of the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms, Government of Karnataka spoke about ‘Innovation in Governance’ at the launch of the international book BEST OF BANGALORE Vol. 2 Innovation Edition. “Innovation is the need of the hour in industry and government alike”, she said.

In particular, Dr. Rajneesh spoke about the Karnataka Guarantee of Services to Citizens Act, 2011, popularly known as Sakala. Meaning ‘in time’ in Kannada, Sakala is a new system of empowerment that  stands true to the three fundamental axioms of democracy: for the people, of the people and by the people.

It also enables entrepreneurs and corporate businesses to obtain licenses quicker and without having to bribe anyone. “People are happily surprised to find ‘helpful’ government employees,” she quipped as she summarised the reach and efficiency of the programme.

Over the past 25 months, 53 million people have availed of the services in Sakala – a number that in itself proves the need for such a system. Currently, Sakala spans across 50 departments and 669 services. It is a herculean effort, and it has already won the Google Innovation Award for its novel approach to governance. Dr. Rajneesh urged the corporate world to work closely with the government in bettering the society and urged that CSR initiatives should prioritise women’s empowerment in the state.

For more on Sakala, read Transforming governance in the BEST OF BANGALORE Vol. 2 Innovation Edition: available in leading book stores. To buy the book online CLICK HERE

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