By Prarthana Mitra
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took civil governance to new heights, launching door-to-door services like issuance of driving licence, caste and marriage certificates and ration cards from September 10. Announcing a revolution in governance, the Aam Admi Party leader on Friday promised to make 100 such services available to citizens of Delhi, for a nominal fee of Rs. 50.
He also claimed it to be a necessary step in dealing a big blow to corruption, which often makes it easier for government employees to shirk responsibilities and deny civilians access to seminal services. Bridging the gap between implementation and outreach, this logistical step comes after severe opposition from Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal, who has been accused of stalling it.
However, in July, a five-judge Constitution Bench laid down guidelines for governance in Delhi, granting the AAP government an upper hand in going forward with the scheme. The apex court in its landmark judgement unanimously denied Delhi the status of a state but it did upend the eternal tussle between the centre and the AAP government by clipping the powers of the LG. The bench noted that Bajilal had no “independent decision-making power” and was liable to aid and act under the advisement of the elected government.
Kejriwal tweeted about the innovative step, “Doorstep delivery of services. A revolution in governance. A big blow to corruption. Super convenience for people. Happening for the first time anywhere in the world. Starts from 10th Sept (sic).”
Doorstep delivery of services.
A revolution in governance. A big blow to corruption. Super convenience for people. Happening for the first time anywhere in the world. Starts from 10th Sept. https://t.co/NgZksQcTPn
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) August 31, 2018
Other doorstep delivery services include new water connection, income certificate, domicile registration, duplicate RC and change of address in RC, among others. All residents of Delhi deserve to be covered by the reform, and all services listed under the scheme are essentially their birthrights, Kejriwal claimed. Henceforth, no citizen will have to stand in queues in order to procure these essential documents or register their identities.
How will this work?
Last month, the government had approved the proposal by Administrative Reforms to delegate the legwork to a firm, which will act as an intermediary agency, to execute the project across the national capital. The agency will also recruit Mobile Sahayaks (facilitators) and set up call centres to process the requests. In November 2017, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had announced that the Mobile Sahayak would be equipped with biometric devices and a camera.
Applicants would simply be required contact the designated call centre and provide the details of what they seek. They will thereafter be assigned a Mobile Sahayak, who will visit the applicant’s residence and fetch the required details and documents. The desired certification or water supply connection will be delivered within a much shorter turnaround. In case of a driver’s licence, the applicant will have to visit the MLO office once for a driving test.
A similar practice is already in vogue for Paytm users who have the option to get their KYC done at their doorstep. Steps such as these make it easier for the government to regulate and monitor progress and implementation of their schemes, and for civilians to track the progress and report back in case of bureaucratic delay.
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius.