Come July 1 and a big-bang ‘Digitise India’ programme would be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which would aim at digitising land records, birth and death certificates, marksheets and other such utilities. Though in the past too, such projects have either been taken up by the central government by way of pilot projects and by some state governments to digitise land records, this would be the first time that the project would be taken up on a pan-India level by involving people, and in a cost-effective manner.
RS Sharma, secretary, department of information technology, told FE that the Digitise India project would involve people in a big way while doing away with the process pursued in the past, which relied on floating expression of interest to shortlist and select firms that could undertake the project for digitising such records.
“The process involving selecting companies through tendering was time consuming, expensive, as well as lacked authenticity,” Sharma said. Explaining the tedious process, he said even after say an IT firm had won the contract, the process followed was prone to error. For instance, the records were keyed into computers, which left room for possible collusion to change name or numbers to benefit a party.
However, the new model worked out by the department of information technology promises to be error-free, while doing away entirely with the process to float tenders to select a private entity to carry out the work.
“The platform is being created in-house by the department,” Sharma said. “The idea is to provide a platform for all the agencies across the country for putting up their documents online in a form that will ensure accuracy and confidentiality,” he added.
The interesting part is that the process through which the department would be checking the accuracy of the documents would involve the general public.
Any document put up by an agency — say certificates or land records — would be first scanned and then the image would be shred (electronically) and the pieces (images) would be sent to various people who would join in for identifying the symbol or the word in the shredded portion that they receive.
The responses would then be matched to ensure accuracy of the document. Those doing the job of identifying the symbols or words would be paid for their work.
Once the document is broken into pieces and sent to different people for uploading and then matched at the back-end, there cannot be any error as the human factor gets reduced.
The platform that would deal with all this would be developed in the form of an application, which can be be downloaded and any citizen can take up the work, for which he would be paid by the government.
The money would be transferred in the bank account directly, which would be linked with the Aadhaar account.
Sharma said that apart from being cost-effective and error-free, the programme would also provide employment.
The Digital India project, which is part of the larger Digital India programme, a pet project of the Prime Minister, doesn’t stop at this, and would be expanded into several other variants that would be specific to individuals, like digital lockers, etc.