On a trial basis, the new software that enables people to access all services online, has been running successfully in Chemmaruthy panchayat for 100 days.

Four employees at an office at work one is pointing towards a computerIKM office
news Governance Sunday, September 27, 2020 - 17:54

A week ago, Biju, a resident of the Chemmaruthy panchayat in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram, needed his residence certificate for an official purpose. He had heard of the panchayat switching to an e-governance system, which meant that he could make his application online. Biju opened the website of the Information Kerala Mission (IKM) and made an application for the certificate. The next day it was available for download.

It was more than three months ago that the new Integrated Local Government Management System (ILGMS) was tried out at the Chemmaruthy panchayat, to be replicated elsewhere later. The ILGMS is an open source software developed by IKM to help people access all services of the panchayat from their home.

On September 28, the day that the panchayat completes 100 days of running the software successfully, the ILGMS will be introduced in 150 more grama panchayats across Kerala, launched by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at a function presided over by Local Self Government Minister AC Moideen.

“Since the panchayat has begun the trial, nearly 2,000 applications have been made online. These could be for various services such as receiving birth, death or marriage certificates, paying taxes and so on. What the new software did is to integrate all these services under one umbrella,” says Chemmaruthy panchayat president AH Salim.

He gives an example. In the early days if a non-resident Malayali sitting in the Gulf needed his birth certificate, he would need to call his family in Kerala and they would need to approach the panchayat. They would then be given a date and when they go to apply, something might be missing in their application. In this manner, they may need multiple visits to the LSG office. But the new system would enable the NRI to apply for his certificate from the Gulf and download it too.

Mini, a resident of the panchayat for nearly 17 years, applied for a license for a shop last week and was surprised to see it ready the next day. “They messaged the next day that the license was ready. My brother who just built a house in Chemmaruthy could similarly get his ownership certificate without hassle,” Mini says.

Chammaruthy panchayat office

The software can also be accessed using Akshaya centres. Help desks at the panchayat office will also guide people to use the application. 

Chithra S, executive director of the IKM, says that the new system would allow a single login to access all 16 different software applications. “Earlier, the employees had to use a different login and platform depending on the service requested. Now it’s integrated in such a way that makes it easy for the employees as well as the public accessing it from home. They can know the status of their files online and needn’t go back and forth to government offices.”

She also spoke about the file mapping under each section which would reveal how long a file is with an employee. “It has a time limit and if that’s exceeded there will be a warning. This is to increase accountability,” she says. This will save that age old problem of files pending in a section.

Other software developed by the IKM such as Sulekha (plan monitoring software for LSG projects), and Sanketham (for building permits), will be integrated into the new system. The ILGMS is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.

In a video released by the IKM, Minister Moideen says that the software would help to entirely get rid of red tape and have paperless governance. “All the files of the LSGs and related offices will be handled through a single window system. The public can access the services and also pay all the fees online.”

Watch: ILGMS software explained by Chithra and Minister Moideen

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