SUWIDHA – A Perspective
[Single User-friendly WIndow Disposal and Help-line for
Applicants], designed and developed by National Informatics
Centre (NIC) provides convenience to the citizen. It is built to
provide the convenience to the citizen by capturing the input at
a single point, defining a specified delivery date depending
upon the type of service and accepting cash at the counter
itself. SUWIDHA 1.x version was initially implemented at
Fatehgarh Sahib District in the year 2003 as per directions of
the Chief Secretary, Govt of Punjab and then rolled out in all
inception, SUWIDHA was mainly conceived for the DC office only,
but its successful implementation has generated its demand at
the offices at other levels of the district administration such
as SDM office, Tehsil etc.
Governments world over have been criticized
for not delivering the services for which they were created. The
giant machinery remains at work with virtually no output. In the
past, several attempts have been made to improve its efficiency
by introducing Information Technology (IT), however, the
dividends have been minimal and the plight of the citizen
remains the same. The citizen wonders at the very sight of the
digital gadgets used in government offices. The computers are
planted with great expectations of creating miracles, but the
whole effort turns out to be mere hype and internal data
processing. It may be worthwhile examining the Citizen dilemma:
- Has to visit different branches for varied services of
- Is not familiar with government culture.
- Does not know the procedures
- Is unaware of the schemes being implemented for his
- Learns about the completeness of his application many
days after he had submitted the same.
- Has to frequently visit the branch to ensure movement of
the case and to enquire the status.
- Services take a long time.
- Services are not delivered as scheduled.
- Has to visit many offices for a single service.
Initiating IT activities with government
dilatory procedures cannot yield the desired results. At best it
can slightly increase the efficiency of the staff. The citizen
friendly system can only be built after Re-engineering
government processes while keeping citizen convenience as the
prime goal of the whole exercise. The government has to redefine
and redesign itself at all levels. Today, for example, for every
petty service charge, one has to go to the bank and treasury for
making payment before the application form is accepted in some
other government office. The government needs to answer many
questions such as:
- Why can’t the petty fee be accepted at the counter
itself and deposited in the treasury by the government
office as a composite challan?
- What is the need to visit many branches for a single
- Why can’t a citizen charter be defined with service
delivery time frame depending upon the type of service
- Why can’t a control loop be included in each activity so
that the delivery mechanism can be checked for quality?
- What is the need for verification again and again? Can’t
the services be provided on the spot?
- When there is a single government, why to have a number
of faces to talk to the citizen?
SUWIDHA has been conceived to
facilitate citizen by capturing the input at a single point,
defining a specified delivery date depending upon the type of
service and accepting cash at the counter itself.
Following are the objectives of SUWIDHA
- To provide service level convenience to the citizens
- Re-engineering of Government Processes to provide
quality & timely services to citizens
- To integrate SUWIDHA Back-end Services (SUBS) with
front-end to reduce the time of delivery.
- Linkage with Web based Citizens IT Interface (WebCITI)
or Dialup based Citizens IT Interface (DialCITI) to know the
latest information about their service./p>
- To standardize the processes throughout the state.
The project was initiated in August 2002 at
Fatehgarh Sahib. It was inaugurated by Hon’ble Chief Minister of
Punjab on 31.10.2002. The project was funded by Government of
India, Department of Communication & Information Technology. The
project was successfully completed by District Administration
with technical support of National Informatics Centre, Punjab
State Centre. Based on the success of the pilot, the Government
of Punjab decided to implement this project in all districts of
Punjab along with SUWIDHA Back-end Services (SUBS) of the Deputy
Commissioner Branches in December 2004. The project replication
started in all districts with technical support of NIC-District
Centres. As of now, the project is being executed in all Deputy
Commissioners’ offices. All the objectives given above have been
achieved successfully. Now the project has been extended to
establish State Level Data Centre for SUWIDHA Project.
How SUWIDHA Works?
- The citizen approaches SUWIDHA Queue Counter and gets
the Queue Token number.
- He waits for some time till his token number is
displayed on the screen. On his turn at SUWIDHA Service
Counter, he files his application.
- She/he is issued a receipt cum token number, which
specifies the date of delivery of services. Each type of
service has a pre-defined delivery time and system
automatically calculates the service delivery date.
- All kind of payments for the fees etc can be made at the
SUWIDHA counter. This further saves the inconvenience of the
citizen caused to visit either bank or treasury office to
deposit such payments.
- The application/case is then sent to the branch for
- In between the citizen can track the case with the help
of SUWIDHA Token number through DialCITI (which is IVR based
system) or website, wherever implemented.
- In order to ensure the timely delivery, the DC monitors
the progress regularly so that citizen does not have to
visit the office un-necessarily.
- The delivery of documents/processed case is made on the
specified date. The delivery of the documents is also from
SUWIDHA Delivery Counter and not from the branch. This way
the branches are able to concentrate on the backend work
rather than attending to the citizens and this further helps
in improving government services and the citizen are freed
from inconvenience /harassment.
With this process, all applications received
are recorded and monitored against the delivery due date,
branch-wise. Computerized print, placement of processes has
improved the quality of service. SUWIDHA Software provided the
facility of local language (Punjabi) as well. The operators are
available on the counters for the prescribed timings so easily
accessibility to the citizens.