In an attempt to automate Anganwadi operations in the state, the Uttar Pradesh Development Systems Corporation Limited (UPDESCO) has issued a tender to set up a Project Management Unit (PMU) to monitor the deployment of approximately 1.9 Lakh Electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices for the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme.
According to the tender, reviewed by MediaNama, approximately 1.9 Lakh Electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices will be provided at Anganwadi centres across the state and the PMU will also be responsible for facilitating additional IT resources required for automation of service delivery under the ICDS programme.
An electronic method to enable customers to pay for goods and services, ePoS is considered to be an effective method to track sales and capture consumer data. The ICDS programme offers various health, nutrition, and education services to children in the age group of 0-6 years, and pregnant and lactating mothers through Anganwadi workers and nursing midwives.
What is the UP government planning to do?
As outlined in the tender, the government is planning on setting up a portal for digitising and tracking work done by Anganwadi workers. The portal will also be used to review the implementation of ePoS, and monitor training and capacity-building programs for the workers. Finally, a system integrator will also be developed to provide status reports on the rollout of “automation of Anganwadi centers across the state.”
The project management unit will also be responsible for reporting grievances raised by Anganwadi workers in the system, and submit periodic Management Information System (MIS) as and when required by UPDESCO/ICDS Department.
Currently, ePoS devices are widely used under the ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme, wherein beneficiaries have a choice to collect their quota of food grains from any PDS shop anywhere in the country using their existing ration card and by completing the biometric authentication on an ePoS device.
However, implementational issues like server problems and poor connectivity have caused failure of the ePoS devices, and defeated the purpose of better delivery of important facilities in the past. To avoid such circumstances, the UP government must take into account such possibilities and introduce robust mechanisms for monitoring and grievance redressal.
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