Crowd-sourcing a PMO app is one of the many out-of-the-box ideas that can help realise Digital India
Fast and efficient governance delivery has also come to mean an increased reliance on digital infrastructure—this idea works because it puts public authorities within the reach of people in remote locations. Inspired by this idea, the Planning Commission, in 2013, had organised ‘Hackathon’, which included a contest on making apps that could aid the implementation of the 12th Plan goals. This was the first such instance of crowd-sourcing technology-based governance solutions.
Prime minister Narendra Modi is thinking of similar crowd-sourcing for a PMO app, one that will make the prime minister’s office mobile-friendly for the citizens. While it is a measure of Modi’s savvy, given how expansive smartphone penetration in India is set to get, what the app achieves is something that will have to be looked at later. But imagine a citizen feedback mechanism, available at the swish of your fingertips, that is directed at the ears of the PM! To be sure, it would be provincial to expect that the PMO can get, for example, municipal services to be delivered better. But what if you could tell the PMO what the proposed route to promoting cashless transactions does to the ease of, say, splitting a bill for an evening out with your friends? Or, even what you think of Budget provisions for a sector of your interest? The idea behind crowd-sourcing such an app is that the final form is close approximation of how the citizens want the feedback mechanism to be shaped. For realising the vision of a Digital India, more such out-of-the-box ideas must become the norm.