District Record Room in the Collectorate is a collection of old land records as well as nationality records and there is great significance of this record in various revenue and caste and domicile cases and these record are also used for government processes.The main records in the Record Room are B-1,Settlement and Nationality Records.In District Kanker,State Chhattisgarh,India there are 995 villages(Seven Tehsils) and the records since 1910 till date are there in large store of the Collectorate as well as Tehsil offices of Kanker district.So the total Records in the Record Room runs into hundreds of thousands of pages and the continuous usage has lead to a great wear and tear and there is also a possibility of losing them for ever in case of an accident,fire or flood.
The process of Revenue Department consists of two parts,first, searching of specific record and second,is creation of caste and domicile certificate using the record.In Kanker there are 995 villages hence the number of records is in the range of hundreds of thousands, hence searching a specific record is very lengthy and complicated.
Previously these two certificates of Caste and Domicile were prepared by manual process which involves
1. Searching of specific record in Record Room documents by record room in charge based on Patwari records which took more than a month.
2.First a provisional certificate was issued and then after six months a permanent certificate from Sub Divisional Magistrate was issued.
The whole process could sometime stretch for months.
The most important thing was to Digitize the whole record room of the district Collectorate.For this two digital SLR cameras with stand were procured and images of each record pertaining to all the 995 villages were taken.The software was prepared in house in the District Collector's office by the National Informatics Center of the District.The whole process started in June 2009 and was completed by November 2009.After all the records were available in digitized formats a software was made so that all certificates based on the records can be made computerized rather than by hand so that time can be reduced and also bringing down corruption and ensuring transparency.
All the Digitized Records of the district are available on the district website (www.kanker.gov.in) as link Record Room Online (http://cg.nic.in/kanker/recordroom/index.htm) and any one can view and take a print of records.
Based on this new system the changes brought were:-
1. All the district records were available on the internet so people could take a copy of them and apply for issue of certificates based on them at any level.
2. Since computer literacy is very low in Kanker district,a counter in the Collectorate office with computers have been installed so that citizens get any record with a few minutes.
3. All Sub Divisional magistrates and Tehsil Offices have computers installed with records pertaining to their territory and software to issue Caste and Domicile certificates so that computerized certificates are issued within a day compared to the earlier couple of months.
4.Right from children seeking admissions in schools or youths applying for jobs or senior citizen for pension, everybody needs these documents and hence by this small intervention the entire district has been positively effected.
VISION :"To bring about more responsive Bureaucratic and Democratic institutions with greater public participation in development and governance."
In a predominant tribal district of Kanker there are hundreds of applications daily to get some old Record or to get a Caste and Domicile certificate and when the whole process takes a long time there is bound to be resentment so the urgency to reduce time and make the whole process less costly and bring in more transparency through the use of information technology. The Outcomes of the project has been:- 1. Improvement in Delivery time of the services from months to hours. 2. Able to get better beneficiary feedback because of faster and transparent system. 3. Improvement in measurable indicators,like now able to dispose of hundreds of applications daily and there is nil pendancy and the satisfaction level among the people has gone up tremendously. 4. The procedure has been simplified and people feel a part of the system.
Records which used to be in big stores are now available online for everybody to see.Based on these Records,only Computerized Certificates are being issued.
ICT has brought people's participation,made system faster,simpler,transparent and corruption free.
Right from children seeking admissions in schools or youths applying for jobs or senior citizen for pension, everybody needs these documents and hence by this small intervention the entire district has been positively effected.
To get any benefit from the Government or any other organization,Caste and Domicile Certificates are must.These Certificates can only be made based on the records of these persons pertaining to their domicile and caste in the district before 1950. Time in an important factor for all of them and the other factor is Cost.By this positive intervention both have been reduced drastically and the impact is visible in the district.
The Cost of the Entire Project was only One hundred thousand Indian Rupees and the benefit is priceless.
The project is being replicated in other districts of the State of Chhattisgarh,India.