Sakala goes faceless, cashless, paperless

Sakala

Sakala, Karnataka’s flagship on-time service delivery scheme, has moved into a “faceless, cashless and paperless” ecosystem under which citizens need not submit physical applications. 

Announcing this, Sakala Minister S Suresh Kumar said 301 government services have gone online for end-to-end service delivery. “This is the next step of Sakala. Delivery of services will be completely online — faceless, cashless and paperless. We started it some days ago,” Kumar said. 

He was speaking after releasing the Sakala performance report for the month of September 2019 in which the scheme touched the milestone of receiving 20 crore applications since its launch in 2012. 

Sakala, or the Karnataka Guarantee of Services to Citizens Act, promises delivery of services within a stipulated period of time.  Sakala 2.0, which the government had promised in the 2018 budget, is based on the Seva Sindhu IT framework that enables departments to receive applications online.

“We have started 8,000 Seva Sindhu centres mainly in rural areas. Also, we will rope in Bangalore One and Karnataka One where citizens can seek online services under Sakala,” Kumar said. 

Under Sakala 2.0, services such as government documents will be delivered to citizens through the DigiLocker facility. 

“It will be made mandatory to apply online for services such as khatas under the BBMP, conversion of land for non-agricultural purposes and Regional Transport Office works so as to keep middlemen away,” Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar said. 

According to Additional Chief Secretary (e-Governance) Rajeev Chawla, physical applications for Sakala will continue to be received in public offices that are geographically closer to citizens. “If the offices are far away, we will have only online applications,” he said. 

Kumar, who played a key role in the launch of Sakala, lamented that several public offices “bypass” the system. “They refuse to accept applications under Sakala. The only way of tackling this is by moving the process online and routing every application under Sakala,” he said. 

In September, the districts of Chikkaballapur, Hassan and Shivamogga were the top three performers, whereas Bengaluru Urban, Bagalkot and Bidar finished last. “To encourage Sakala, we have decided to award efficient officers at the state and district level with cash prizes of Rs 50,000 and Rs 10,000.”. 

Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought details from the government on Sakala that can be implemented nationally, Kumar said. The minister requested citizens to dial Sakala helpline 080-44554455 for details.

‘Janasevaka’ services

The ‘Janasevaka’ initiative, under which government services are delivered to the doorstep, will be rolled out in Bommanahalli, Rajajinagar and Mahadevapura Assembly constituencies in Bengaluru. “A pilot project was done in Dasarahalli where it has especially helped senior citizens,” Kumar said. The ‘Janasevaka’ project is modelled after a similar initiative launched by the AAP government in Delhi for home delivery of caste/income certificates, land records, etc.

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