MEA ‘dashboard’ will help common man access data

The Asian Age.

India, All India

The dashboard has been put online on the ministry’s website for the common man, officials said.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: As part of a move to boost “transparency and accountability across all systems of governance”, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) on Friday launched an online “Performance Dash-board” to make performance indicators and data on various issues public. The dashboard has been put online on the ministry’s website for the common man, officials said. For instance, data can be accessed on clusters (broad subjects) such as citizen services (that includes passport services, visa services, pilgrimage services and other issues), trade and commerce (that includes FDI, investment proposals and trade queries), diaspora engagement, international engagements (such as the international solar alliance) and development partnerships (that includes grants and loans given to other countries and line of credits).

As external affairs minister S. Jaishankar himself explained, “The MEA “Performance Smartboard’’ is a visual display of the most important information needed to achieve objectives of the ministry”.

“A user can, for example, with a single click, see the data on passports issued in his state since 2014; and how Passport Seva Kendras have grown exponentially over the years. She or he will also be able to view the data on citizen-centric services like visas, Pilgrims, and OCI Cards, amongst others. Data on Trade & Commerce across all 191 Missions and Posts of MEA around the globe can be viewed in single click. Information on iconic projects undertaken by MEA in various countries and the grants and loans extended as development assistance to countries abroad is also readily visible.”

The EAM said, “Taking the vision of Prime Minister forward, this ministry’s dashboard aims to put performance indicators of MEA at the disposal of the people in a smart and uncluttered manner.”

“As you all are aware, this government has been at the forefront of bringing transparency and accountability across all systems of governance. The Prime Minister himself has been leading the initiative for information to be available at the fingertips of citizens.”

He further said, “Our government has consistently strived towards expanding the use of different transparency tools across all ministries. The creation of dashboards is one such approach to make sense of the large quantity of data a ministry receives.”

“By using online dashboards, government organisations can track key performance metrics of both individual agencies and cross-departmental activities; with the aim that their use would become a standard tool in managing department and program performance in the future.”

The EAM added, “Thus, the MEA ‘Performance Smartboard’ can be said to be an integration of three types of Dashboards- operational (for monitoring in real time), tactical (for analysis and benchmarking) and, strategic (for tracking achievement of strategic objectives).