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Maharashtra Govt to take 326 services online by October

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The Maharashtra Government plans to launch 326 government services online by the 2nd of October under its Right to Service initiative, reports the Mint. As of now, the Aaple Sarkar (Our Government) portal offers 156 Maharashtra Government services online, including caste certificates, certificates for eligibility, driving licenses, property tax computations etc.

The Government will also launch a mobile app that will offer the same services in addition to “virtually converting your mobile phone into Mantralaya,” according to Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. In addition to this, the Maharashtra Government plans to install 500 WiFi hotspots in Mumbai by  November, aiming at installing an overall 1,200 hotspots by May 2017 to bring connectivity to all of Mumbai. The government is also in the process of connecting 29,000 villages with optical fiber networks in the state.

Launch of GeM: Earlier this month the Ministry of Information Technology launched the Government procurement platform called GeM (Government eMarketplace). The marketplace can be used by any government department for direct online purchases upto Rs 50,000.

Agricultural trading facility: Last month, the Government launched an online trading platform for farmers, connecting them to a network of wholesale agricultural markets. To begin with, only 12 different farm commodities would be traded on the online platform, and only 21 regulated wholesale markets (mandis) from eight different states were considered. For context, there are 7,000 mandis in the country.

Marketing site for women entrepreneurs: In March, the Ministry of Women and Child development launched an online marketing portal for women entrepreneurs called Mahila e-haat. The website allows women to list and showcase their products online without any extra costs. It also plans to integrate other ecommerce portals to provide a larger platform for selling and buying.

Other e-governance initiatives:

– Last month, the Income Tax department launched an ‘E-filing’ facility for select category of individuals and firms.

– In March, the Election Commission of India (ECI) launched a set of mobile apps, and other online initiatives related to electoral processes, that can be used by candidates and political parties to submit mandatory filings/statements or request certain permissions.

– In the same month, the ministry of tourism extended e-tourist visas to citizens of 37 more countries. As of February 2016, the government has extended the facility to citizens arriving at Indian airports to at least 150 countries.

Image source: Flickr user Mike Smuts under CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

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