Digitised offices, public grievance cells and scorecards to evaluate the work of Panchayats are some of the proposals which are part of a specially designed initiative by the Centre to transform the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh into models of administrative excellence, a senior official has said. The initiative under the ‘Sushasan Sankalp’ (good governance oath) resolves to replicate the innovations and best practices in successful national governance initiatives, including digital governance and citizen-centric grievance redressal.
The two UTs came into existence on October 31 after Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated in accordance with the government’s August 5 announcement revoking Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370. The unique scorecard system for Panchayats will help monitor the work of all village councils as well as the usage of the funds given to them, V Srinivas, the additional secretary at the Centre’s Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances said. Besides, a new e-platform that would help apple traders of Jammu and Kashmir to connect with buyers at the national level would be started soon especially after apple growers of the state suffered a colossal loss of trade due to curfew imposition and communication blackout in the wake of the abrogation of provisions of Article 370, he said.
According to the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce, Jammu and Kashmir has suffered a loss of Rs 10,000 crore due to the clamp down. “The initiative is all set to be rolled out soon. Starting from an e-platform for apple traders to making J&K and Ladakh administrations par excellence… the Centre has several projects in the pipeline,” Srinivas told PTI. Once the digitisation of apple trading system is complete, efforts would be made for similar trading of all other fruits in the UT, he said. According to the official, steps are being taken to revive stalled development projects in the two UTs and bring them at par with the most developed states and UTs of the country.
“The initiatives are part of Sushasan Sankalp which was made public during the first ever all India administrative conference led by the DARPG to transform Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh into models of administrative excellence,” said Srinivas, who led the conference under the leadership of Minister of State for the Department of Personnel and Training Jitendra Singh in Jammu on November 15-16. Stating that the reforms would give a new direction to the overall governance structure in the two UTs, Srinivas said, “Within a very short span of time there would be an improvement in the citizen’s interface with government by promotion of digital, citizen centric governance, innovation and capacity building in the UTs.”