August 14, 2018
Kanyashree acclaimed for e-Governance
Ever since Mamata Banerjee led Maa, Mati, Manush Government took office, the Bangla Government has been leading the strife to digitise the process of governance. These efforts have been recognised with various awards, specially in the spheres of e-governance, e-taxation and digitisation of financial and welfare schemes.
One of the key reasons for the Bangla Government’s flagship scheme, Kanyashree, bagging the large number of awards and receiving such recognition is that it has been digitally managed from the day of its founding, making it more accessible and transparent. The NIC has developed the software for free; there was no pilot project or dry run. The project had gone live and online from day one and without digitisation, it wouldn’t have been possible to encompass 50 lakh beneficiaries.
Any girl student wishing to join the scheme has to fill up a government form manually and get it certified by the head of the institution that she satisfies the criteria that family income is within Rs.1.20 lakh and that she is unmarried. The bank is now ready to open an account for the candidate. The institution uploads the data online, which will be accepted only if it carries a legitimate bank account number. Existing infrastructure to pay salaries has come in handy for the Kanyashree project.
As of 2018, there were 16,500 institutions which have started Kanyashree. Schools and colleges in remote areas without e-connection have been empowered to avail of the community centre services, which have been set up by the panchayat department for online data entry for its various schemes.
The scheme in itself has been celebrated on a number of competitive forums for its e-governance aspect.
It has won
(a) Manthan Award for Digital Inclusion for Development (South Asia and Asia Pacific) 2014 under the category of E-Women and Empowerment
(b) National E-governance Award 2014–2015 awarded by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Government of India,
(c) Order of Merit Award, 2015 for Smart Governance,
(d) CSI-Nihilent Award for e-governance, 2014-15,
(e) United Nations WSIS Prize 2016 Champion in e-Government Category
The accolades received by the scheme are indicative of its huge success and the massive change it has been able to herald in Bengal. The state, earlier known to be affected by high incidence of child marriage, has now emerged as a ground for women empowerment and increased incidence of secondary and higher education among women.
Achieving this has been no mean task, and the farsightedness of the Chief Minister’s e-governance aim has shown and paved the way to it.