The Government of Karnataka is in the process of building and strengthening ‘Mahiti Kanaja’ (https://mahitikanaja.karnataka.gov.in/) - a single web portal for accessing information related to all public services and schemes. This also is a platform that Government can use to disclose information related to the functioning of public institutions across the stages of planning, budgeting, implementation, and evaluation thereby being a landmark step in bringing more transparency and accountability in the governance. Through this progressive step, the Government of Karnataka also wishes to move towards a “Janta Information System” from a “Management Information System”. In order to realize this objective, the Centre for e-Governance has initiated “Digital Dialogues” – a monthly tripartite dialogue with CeG, DPAR (e-Gov) Department, Line Departments and Civil Society Organizations. Civil Society Organizations are aggregate of non-governmental organizations and institutions that manifest interests and will of citizens The representatives play a critical and diverse set of roles in societal development. Working across a range of issues to discuss what information is most relevant in terms of public interest that ought to be disclosed on the Mahiti Kanaja. Civil society representatives are grassroots activists who have had years of experience working in sectors like labour, education, healthcare, social security, Dalit and Adivasi rights, local governance, child rights etc. They are well versed with issues pertaining to the sector on the ground, the various schemes run by the Government in the sector and the pain points in the implementation of these schemes. In short, these are activists who know exactly what information provided at which level can help citizens access their rights individually and collectively. Through these monthly dialogues facilitated by CeG, we aim to develop formats in which Departments are then asked to disclose information on Mahiti Kanaja.
We believe Mahiti Kanaja and Digital Dialogues are substantial support for the democracy to be more participating, for accessing rights, stake claim to public information as peoples’ resources and for supporting open governance in Karnataka. Through this effort we also plan to expand the digitization of schemes and services in the State in a systemic manner so that it does not become discriminatory, exclusionary, and inaccessible to people. Mahiti Kanaja also shall play a significant role in improving the functioning of other good governance initiatives like the Integrated Public Grievance Redress System, Family ID program, and Karnataka Open Data Initiative. Having said this, as Centre for e-Governance we also acknowledge that Digital Dialogue and Jan Mahiti Kanaja, and technology in general, are just the means and not the end. The end goal remains to reach out to the most marginalized and needy as mentioned in Gandhi's Talisman and see how they can get benefit from these steps.
Posters for Digital Dialogue - Click on the image to download.