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Gujarat govt. has announced to start Digital Seva Setu Phase 1 on 8th October 2020. In this programme, the state government has connected 3,500 village panchayats with 100 MBPS optical fiber network. It is a revolutionary step of the govt. towards transforming public service delivery system in rural areas of the state and realizing the dream of Digital Gujarat.
Gujarat embraces the digital public service delivery revolution – Digital Seva Setu, the first-of-its-kind initiative of the state government. This program will facilitate online availability of public welfare services.
The state govt. of Gujarat will provide various public welfare e-services to rural citizens through Digital Seva Setu at their door step.
Gujarat Digital Seva Setu Programme (Phase 1)
Digital Seva Setu Programme Phase 1 is an initiative under the central govt’s BharatNet project. This programme is meant to ensure optimum utilisation of technology for public welfare and will bring in a “historic administrative revolution”. As part of the programme, all the public welfare services will be available at e-gram offices in each panchayat.
Through Digital Seva Setu, villagers will not have to go all the way to taluka or district-level offices to avail benefits of public welfare services. The work of connecting 3,500 village panchayats through optical fibre network has been completed.
Official Launch of Digital Seva Setu Programme
On 8 October 2020, the Digital Seva Setu Programme would be launched in 2,700 villages. It is because model code of conduct is in force in villages that fall under the 8 assembly constituencies where by-elections are scheduled on 3 November 2020. By December month this year, around 8,000 village panchayats will be provided with high speed internet service. CMO Gujarat has officially made a tweet regarding the launch of phase 1 of the programme on its official twitter handler.
ગુજરાતના ગ્રામીણ વિસ્તારોમાં ડિજિટલ ક્રાંતિનું નવું સોપાન – સરકારના વિવિધ વિભાગોની જનહિતલક્ષી સેવાઓ ગ્રામ પંચાયતમાં જ મળી રહે તે માટે આધુનિક ટેકનોલોજીના ઉપયોગથી ‘ડિજિટલ સેવા સેતુ’ નો અભિનવ પ્રયોગ શરૂ કરવાનો મુખ્યમંત્રી શ્રી વિજયભાઇ રૂપાણીનો જનહિતલક્ષી નિર્ણય. pic.twitter.com/guabB32uT8— CMO Gujarat (@CMOGuj) October 7, 2020
List of Services in Digital Seva Setu Phase 1
The 20 services will be offered initially to villagers under the Digital Seva Setu Programme Phase 1 which includes:-
- Ration cards
- Affidavits and certificates for widows
- Residence Certificate
- Caste Certificate
- Senior citizen certificate
- Language-based minority certificate
- Religious minority certificate
- Nomad-denotified community certificate
- Income certificate
A “talati” (revenue officer) has been given the power to provide affidavits at the village level so that beneficiaries do not have to visit the notary offices in towns and cities. Use of e-signature in place of physical signature has also been facilitated so that a beneficiary gets the required documents, made available in a digital locker, at the click of his/her mobile phone.
Benefits of Digital Seva Setu Programme
The Digital Seva Setu programme of the Gujarat govt. aims to provide fast and faceless services to people by removing corruption or the need for middlemen. The state govt. will start phase 1 with 20 services and will slowly offer 50 services to villages. All the 14,000 gram panchayats in the Gujarat state would be covered under the programme.
The Digital Seva Setu Phase 1 will make use of digital service and removes corruption in administration. The state govt. will complete the work of connecting the remaining villages in Gujarat with high speed internet by 2021. It is initiated under the center’s Bharat Net Project to connect village panchayats through optical fibre network.
Gujarat govt. has laid around 83% of optical fibre network. Under the Digital Seva Setu programme, gram panchayats will be connected to the state data centre at Gandhinagar.
Fees for Availing Services through Digital Seva Setu
All the citizens will have to pay a nominal fee of Rs 20 for each service, a part of which will go to the village panchayat. The initiative is the digital avatar of the “Seva Setu” programme which was started by Rupani in 2016. In this initiative, a cluster of 8 to 10 villages was formed and a team of officers administered the programme-related camp of a particular cluster.