Transparency begins at grassroots level in the State
Transparency in administration has begun at the lowest level in Karnataka - Gram Panchayats (GP) with as many as 5,220 of the 5,626 GPs in the State going online, have gone online.
Now, all the data available with a GP can be accessed by anyone, anywhere, thanks to the new web-based system - Panchatantra - that has enabled GPs to host on the web all the information they have in records.
Anyone can get all the administrative details of any panchayat by logging in to http://stg1.kar.nic.in/panchatantra, such as tax paid, to be paid by property owners in a panchayat limit, government offices, educational institutions, accounts showing balance sheet of GPs besides details of GPs’ elected members with their contact phone numbers etc. The information is available both in Kannada and English.
Karnataka is the first State in the country to have the system developed by the National Informatic Centre for the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department.
As the Panchatantra is an online system, data of GP transactions is being entered daily or updated. As many as 2,500 panchayat development officers (PDO) have been exclusively recruited for maintaining the online system and more operators will be recruited soon through a common entrance test.
The Panchatantra is part of the World Bank funded Gram Swarajya programme, which is aimed at strengthening GPs. The programme, launched in 2006-07, will conclude next year.
Of the sum, Rs 600 crore sanctioned by the Bank, Rs 464 crore has been spent on four programmes under the Gram Swarajya, according to P A Meghannavar, Director, Panachayat Raj and Chief of the Programme.
Ramesh D S, Joint Director, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj said the software has been designed to implement the Double Entry Accounting System in GPs. The software handles processing of bills, payments, demands and receipts. In addition, users can make the tax payment or give the application or request and collect acknowledgement too.
Ramesh said the online system was first introduced in Bagalkot and Udupi districts. Following the success of the programme, now most of the Gram Panchayats have the system.