Glitches marred ‘Digital Maharashtra’

The Asian Age.  | Umakant Deshpande

Metros, Mumbai

Maharashtra chief minister Fadnavis is seen as a techno-savvy leader and launched various initiative for Digital Maharashtra.

Lakhs of farmers had to wait for loan waiver as software glitches delayed the implementation.

Despite of tall claims made by the state government over implementation of Digital Maharashtra, several glitches were witnessed in e-governance. The farm loan waiver scheme, fees reimbursements and scholarships awarded to the students were hit by mess and discrepancies. Online assessment system used by the Mumbai University (MU) led to chaos and lakh of students suffered because of the delay in declaration of the results. Due to the delay in the purchasing of IT related items, state Cabinet had to give the nod to buy them directly from the central government’s web portal.

Maharashtra has always been ahead in adopting technology and digitalisation.

Maharashtra chief minister Fadnavis is seen as a techno-savvy leader and launched various initiative for Digital Maharashtra. CM Fadnavis had decided to invite online applications from farmers for loan waiver scheme.

After facing problems initially, more than one crore farmers were able to access the system. However, several problems emerged during the scrutiny of application and delayed the implementation of farm loan waiver scheme. The state government had to face flak from the opposition over the delay in implementation of farm loan waiver scheme.

There were many allegations of irregularities in awarding extended work contract of DBT to IT company and the opposition parties slammed the government. The company which was awarded the tender to process Direct fund transfer through the portal, could not set up the portal in time. Hence, the government decided to release the 60 per cent funds through offline channels.

Similarly, lakhs of Mumbai University students suffered due to delay in declaration of results.

Vice Chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh  was sacked for “gross negligence and failure” to announce the results of the March 2017 university exams in time.

Big push tech

  • The government is emphasising on Digital Maharashtra and is committed to use of technology in the administration.
  • Optic fibre is now reaching almost 16,000 gram panchayats. We have provided more than 392 services under the right to service act and over two crore people have benefited.
  • For the historic loan waiver scheme, we invited online applications with an aim to maintain transparency.
  • All departments of the state government and the local bodies are using technology at all the levels