Seamless Citizen Portal

  • 4 mins read
  • 26th Nov,2020
  • 35 views

The days when you had to queue up before a government window for paying taxes, getting your license renewed or availing any basic service are passé. Today, governments are creating seamless ‘online windows’ as citizen delight is the fulcrum of their ‘digital lever’. Governments are realizing that they have to fit into the ‘rhythm’ of the life of people who expect more transparent, accessible and responsive services. The swelling expectations have goaded governments to leverage technology in synergy with the private sector for developing new public service models. The result is the emergence of virtual ‘one-stop shops’ or unified citizen portals for mapping the end-to-end citizen journey. Such ‘contactless’ or ‘No-Touch’ governance models have embedded features like Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled chatbots and voicebots as well as a unique ‘digital identity’ for each citizen. And, they are rebuilding the architecture of ‘people-centric’ administration.

Digital Engagement for Breaking Barriers

Governments are unlocking the power of the ‘digital’ to create homogenized apps or portals that dish out a plethora of services to the citizens. All services delivered online with no human touchpoints. Consider UMANG or Unified Mobile Application for New Age Governance developed by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeITY), Government of India. The app has consolidated 2039 services from 189 departments of the central government and states. It stores all key documents of citizens like Aadhaar, PAN Card in encrypted form, thus creating a consolidated and unique database for each citizen. It’s also a one-stop platform that aggregates citizens’ feedback from multiple channels, resolves grievances and enables secure transactions.

Technology is empowering the ‘government to citizen’ interface. However, technology is an enabler. What lies at the heart of the service delivery is citizen satisfaction. Government agencies that adroitly manage the end-to-end citizen journey in digital space report higher level of satisfaction. For a citizen who checks into the one-stop government portal or app, the journey begins with booking a facility or applying for a government enabled service and continues till the service is delivered.

Having said that, even technology can’t ensure ‘zero wait times’ and ‘one-click’ transactions to avail the whole gamut of ‘e-government’ services. Striving for it is unrealistic and utopian. Government officials need to strike a balance between delivering responsive services and managing resources efficiently by citizen satisfaction metrics.

Delight in Digital Oneness: Bhubaneswar.Me

Think of a single portal capable of providing its ‘Smart City’ Citizens the services with the convenience of a click and scroll. A unified website integrating services of civic, public transport and other government controlled organizations and delivering them without ado. Bhubaneswar.Me, the one-stop portal is designed for immersive experience of the ‘Smart City’ denizens. The one platform brings in its ambit all services offered by four authorities- Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), Capital Region Urban Transport (CRUT) and Bhubaneswar Smart City Ltd (BSCL). Upon registration, the portal generates a unique id for each citizen which she can use for booking facilities, availing any service or performing a transaction.

More, the portal in its capacity as a service aggregator, makes available services from multiple departments and agencies such as Odisha Police, electricity distribution utility, Regional Transport Office etc. The striking takeaway is the portal enabling discovery of services both for the informed and uninitiated citizens. Services and facilities are clearly delineated as electric bill payment, passport seva, water bill payment, employee verification, transfer of ownership of vehicle and so on.

Bhubaneswar.Me is available as a Progressive Web App (PWA) and is equipped with an interactive AI powered chatbot. What’s more, it acts as a platform for branding Bhubaneswar, showcasing the events of the city.

Our solution stands out in the way it admits and tackles grievances of the citizens. The grievance management module of the system is enabled to receive a stream of complaints from phone calls, SMS, email, mobile app, IVRS and kiosks. The system can also process grievances pouring in from other channels such as e-Abhijog, Jana Sampark and e-Municipality. The configuration modules of the system helps to create escalation workflows, enabling grievances to reach the touchpoint of the concerned official. Overall, the system has a value rich feature- the inputs from grievance management and other services are backed by an analytical dashboard. These inputs, in turn serve as ‘real time’ feed to the centralized Bhubaneswar Operations Centre.

Futuristic Citizen Portals will have to be more like Bhubaneswar.me, striking balance between ‘contactless governance’ and physical ‘official-citizen’ interface. Governments won’t slam ‘physical doors’ on citizens anytime in the foreseeable future but throw ajar more ‘digital doors’ to offer services anywhere, anytime.

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AUTHOR:
Jayajit Dash

Research Analyst - Public Policy

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