Govt rebuilds flagship e-gov platform to stay relevant

Karnataka Mobile One App

Location-based services, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and a better user experience. These are features the government has promised in the revamped version of Karnataka’s flagship mobile governance platform, Mobile One.

The Karnataka Mobile One was launched by then President Pranab Mukherjee in December 2014 and was hailed as India’s first and the world’s largest multi-mode mobile government platform offering over 4,500 services.

The platform, however, came with its share of glitches, which led to stagnation in use. Also, users found the platform outdated when compared to private payments services offered by the likes of PayTM. This forced authorities to take a relook at the MobileOne platform.

“The app has been totally rebuilt with simpler workflows. It will be launched any time this month,” Electronic Delivery of Citizen Services (EDCS) director Sunil Panwar said. According to Panwar, the Mobile One app has been designed separately for Android and iOS platforms.

“Earlier, we had a hybrid approach that we’ve moved away from. The new version will be faster and more citizen-friendly,” he said. Comprising citizen services from both government and the private sector, Karnataka Mobile One lets users pay utility bills, property tax, book travel tickets and much more. However, the failure to keep pace with the digital ecosystem resulted in the platform losing steam.

“The app is very slow on fast 4G network. It takes very long to load pages. Payment is very difficult and outdated. UPI payment is not available,” was how Mobile One user Suhas Belavadi reviewed the app, giving it just two stars on the Google Playstore.  

The new version of Mobile One, according to officials from the Department of e-Governance, will come with UPI. This means users can make immediate real-time payments without the need to enter bank account or credit/debit card information.

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“We are also introducing location-based (GPS) services like searching the nearest police station or passport office and sending your location to a predefined number during an emergency,” an official said.

Authorities are also rationalising the number of services by doing away with those that are not used much.

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Govt rebuilds flagship e-gov platform to stay relevant

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