E-way to Trans­parency

India Today - - THE STATE OF THE STATES - By Ki­ran Tare

Trans­parency in ad­min­is­tra­tion has been Prithvi­raj Cha­van’s leit­mo­tif since he took over as Chief Min­is­ter of Ma­ha­rash­tra in Novem­ber 2010 in the wake of the Adarsh Hous­ing So­ci­ety scam. Two of his ad­min­is­tra­tion’s schemes stand out. The Tanta Mukti Gaon (dis­pute-free vil­lage) and Ecov­il­lage are ex­am­ples of good gov­er­nance and have been ac­knowl­edged as such by the United Na­tions. Un­der the dis­pute-free vil­lage scheme, dis­putes are re­solved at the lo­cal level. The Ecov­il­lage scheme re­quires gram pan­chay­ats to take care of the over three crore saplings planted across the state.

Ma­ha­rash­tra also has the best record of all states in the coun­try on the roll­out of the Aad­haar pro­gramme. “Aad­haar and IT- based ad­min­is­tra­tive re­forms will def­i­nitely help us in mak­ing our schemes more peo­ple-ori­ented,” says Cha­van. To­wards this end, the state has launched an e-gov­er­nance project to fa­cil­i­tate bet­ter ac­cess to ser­vices and to bring in ef­fi­ciency and trans­parency in their de­liv­ery. An­other mea­sure to­wards trans­parency is the e-file sys­tem.

A task force un­der the chair­man­ship of Chief Sec­re­tary Rat­nakar Gaik­wad has listed 12 is­sues as the state’s top pri­or­i­ties. At­tract­ing in­vest­ment, de­vel­op­ing in­fra­struc­ture and erad­i­cat­ing mal­nu­tri­tion are among them. A Hu­man De­vel­op­ment In­dex ( HDI) will be brought out ev­ery 10 years by the govern­ment. Cha­van says the state’s poli­cies will re­volve around the HDI in fu­ture.

The state’s em­pha­sis on pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion has paid rich div­i­dends. Its lit­er­acy rate is 83 per cent as against the national av­er­age of 74 per cent. The state’s pol­icy to en­cour­age higher ed­u­ca­tion has cre­ated im­pres­sive in­fra­struc­ture in the fields of en­gi­neer­ing, medicine and man­age­ment. The An­nual Sta­tus of Ed­u­ca­tion Re­port, 2010, by Pratham, an NGO, re­vealed that the stu­dents’ dropout rate has re­duced from 15 per cent to 2.7 per cent at the pri­mary level and from 24 to 7.6 at the up­per pri­mary level in 2009-10.

Dur­ing 2010-11, a bud­get pro­vi­sion of Rs 1,600 crore was made for ed­u­ca­tion and an ex­pen­di­ture of Rs 673 crore (42.1 per cent) was in­curred up to Novem­ber 30, 2010.

Good gov­er­nance and gi­ant strides in ed­u­ca­tion, taken with its stel­lar per­for­mance on the macroe­co­nomic front make Ma­ha­rash­tra a truly all-round top­per.

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