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HINGOLI-Land of e-governance

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DQW Bureau
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One of the youngest districts of Maharashtra, Hingoli has star-ted making

headway in e-governance. A lot of pilgrims from all over the country are

attracted to Hingoli because of Aundha Nagnath Jyotirling, which is considered a

fine specimen of Hemadpanthi style and is also credited with the construction of

many excellent pieces of sculpture.

Narsi Namdev or Barashiv Hanuman are some of the holy places, which witness a

con-stant stream of devotees. When Marathwada was suffering from the Nizam’s

outlaw Razakar atrocities, Hingoli, Bamni, Talani, Anjegaon, Kahergaon and

Lohegaon were in the forefront of the Hyderabad Freedom Struggle for

over-throwing the yokel of slavery. This district is famed for its production of

jowar and cotton.

E-governance at Hingoli



E-governance initiatives have made headway at Hingoli as in other villages

in Maharashtra. Citizens always want a paper-less office where the informa-tion

is available at the click of a mouse. It’s like admitting a child into school,

you have taken care of every little detail that might be asked for but by some

oversight the birth certificate is lost. All you have to do is go to the

district headquarters and key in the details and minutes later the birth

certificate is in hand. No more problems of going back home and rushing back to

the school by which time the opportunity might be lost.

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The Pune-based ForceOne Technologies Pvt Ltd has under-taken

to do precisely such tasks, which appear rather impossible now. The company is

in the process of linking all the villages in a particular dis-trict and then

linking it to the Mantralaya so that any authori-zed government officer will be

able to rattle out the figures of any panchayat in the state.

As the first step, it has linked 565 villages in Hingoli

district in Maharashtra and in the second stage, the villages of Baramati. Once

the second phase is completed, the com-pany is taking up the linking of the 33

districts, which includes two in Mumbai and Greater Mumbai.

The objective of the software is to ensure that all the

records of the village panchayats are maintained up-to-date and the drudgery

involved in creating and maintaining voluminous records is mitigated. A more

important objective is to ens-ure that true and perfect reco-rds of assessments

and reco-very of various taxes at the village level are available at any given

point of time. This will also help in planning the development of the villages,

as there will be a stronger reco-very of taxes.

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The e-PanchayatTM system has been developed keeping in mind

the core operations of a Panchayat. The system is flexi-ble and can accommodate

addi-tional features and modifica-tion as per the directions of the Government

from time to time and as required by different Zilla Parishads.

But why has the company undertaken such an ambitious task?

The brainchild of this project is Radheshyam Mopal-war who was the Chief

Execu-tive Officer of the Hingoli Zilla Parishad. The software offers a

comprehensive solution for the requirements of villages, gram panchayats,

panchayat samitis, talukas and headquarters. E-Panchayat is a Windows-based

multilingual software. The first version has been developed in Marathi as per

the requirement of the Maharashtra Government.

The software was developed by three people sitting in Hingoli

district with a bare minimum of four machines. Jitendra Sontakke is the gram

sevak who has the domain knowledge and is the brain behind the whole software

development. He did not allow any sort of compromise and was insistent on

developing the software as per the gram pan-chayat’s specifications as the

user would be the common man.

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Info in a flash



The software at the gram panchayat level automates report management, tax

management, property details, the voucher and receipt system, budget

application, registra-tion of birth and death and work management.

At the district headquarters level, development manage-ment

and village management are included. Data synchroni-zation from the villages to

the gram panchayats to the pan-chayat samiti to the talukas to the district

headquarters will be done on a daily basis or at some places at regular

intervals. All said and done, at any point of time, anybody will be able to

obtain the required data or certificate.

The company is also coming out with the next version, version

1.1 within a couple of months which will include additional features such as

water supply: sources and other details, educational det-ails, general

information of a village, its schemes, monitoring of beneficiaries, information

regarding agriculture, health, social welfare, animal husban-dry, real-time

population cen-sus and valid voters’ list from the villages. The software will

be used mainly at the Man-tralaya and will connect the different Zilla Parishads

in the State.

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Issue of security



Security, of course, is a big issue. Is this system vulnerable to

unauthorized people gaining access to data or mutilating it? No way, as the

system requires a user ID and password without which nobody can access it.

It is given only to the admi-nistrator of the Zilla Parishad.

Only the administrator has the right to create new user IDs, change the password

and allot rights to the users.

Nothing comes for free, so what is the revenue the com-pany

expects from this kind of a venture? The revenue will come from the purchase of

the software which is priced at about Rs 10 lakh and about 20 CEOs have evinced

interest in it. The company is also eyeing other markets, including Jharkhand,

Madhya Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Gujarat, Chattis-garh and Goa (with Konkani

language but Marathi script). Language conversion is no pro-blem, says Savant.

The comp-any is also looking at the South to sell this software. If what we

venture out with becomes successful, then in a period of about 10 years, we can

even do away with the census office as every bit of data will be available at

the click of a mouse.

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