By Vinay Umarji
As part of its tie up with the Panchayat Rural Housing and Rural Development Department, Government of Gujarat (GoG), Adobe Systems Incorporated has successfully deployed its Acrobat software across 18,000 villages in the state.
Under the tie-up, over 18,000 Gram Panchayats across Gujarat have installed Adobe Acrobat for the electronic issue of vital citizen certificates and other official documents under the E-Gram project.
According to Umang Bedi, managing director, South Asia, Adobe, "This project is a collaboration between Adobe and the Panchayat Rural Housing and Rural Development Department, Government of Gujarat. It aims to deliver transformational solutions to its citizens through Common Service Centers (CSCs) offering a range of services to villages including the electronic issue of certificates of birth, death, income, caste, domicile, property, residence proof, agriculture, tax collection, marriage, family information and land ownership. The program empowers citizens through the ease, speed and security by which these documents are now electronically issued, managed and stored."
The initiative of the Gujarat Government aims to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural Gujarat by providing citizens access to digital information for all government documentation. At the grassroots level, the process has removed the waiting period for various certificates, documents and application forms to be issued from a few days or weeks to just a matter of few minutes.
"Adobe has worked with governments and communities around the world to address citizens’ needs for more accessible, responsive communications. Our association with the Government of Gujarat is towards making common services available for citizens of the state and helping bridge the digital divide," Bedi added.
At E-Gram project, a digitalized databank operates to issue citizen certificates at the village level. To leverage IT resources at the village level, E-Grams are being operated through a Village Computer Entrepreneur (VCE) on a revenue-sharing basis under a Public Private Partnership model. This innovative mechanism not only ensures prompt services to citizens, it also provides local employment and income-generation opportunities to the village panchayats and rural youth.