Modi Government’s biggest Pre-Poll promise was to counter the Corruption. It’s been over 4 years since Modi is at the helm of the affairs, and we have seen many strong actions to counter the corruption at multiple level.
Today I will be telling you a story of implementation of a Technology which has curb the corruption like never before……Yes I am talking about Geo-Tagging.
Let’s start with it’s definition
In a layman language, Geo-tagging is the process of adding geographical information to various media in the form of metadata. The data usually consists of coordinates like latitude and longitude, but may even include bearing, altitude, distance and place names.
Who does Geo-Tagging for Indian Government?
* National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) , ISRO at Hyderabad : ISRO has its own platform, Bhuvan that allows users to explore a 2D/3D representation of the surface of the Earth. It also acts as a platform for hosting government data.
* National Remote Sensing Center (NRSC) is involved in mapping of resources as well as monitoring of assets created under various Government schemes.
Now here are few examples where Modi Government is using Geo-Tagging to make Governance more efficient and transparent.
1. Land Use and protection of resources from Land mafia
The Survey of India protects the maps of the country. It is shocking that there is no public directory or map of all the survey numbers of the 32.87 lakh square km across the 595 districts in the country. There is no account of the changes happening in land use across the country. Land records and property records are not standardized across the country.
Government is working on geo-tagging the Survey maps. The exact location on the district map be shown based on latitude and longitude, and display the survey land-use, ownership details, and any legal issues on a single website (https://www.surveyofindia.gov.in)
It will change the way land use happens across the country. It will make it more transparent, effective and any changes in the land use can be monitored and an appropriate action can be taken.
2. Protection of Assets of the Country
Modi Government is working on Geo-Tagging of every resources like stream, river, lake, mountain and forest area boundaries with physical markers at their boundaries will ensure a public alert on any alteration.
Each tree with a width bigger than 2 inches to be tagged with a RFID (Radio frequency ID, or a small chip that stores information that can be read from a distance by a RFID reader and can be used to do a periodic tree census) along with its geo-location will protect the trees and ensure the country’s valuable assets are not stolen or destroyed. This will also ensure that the forests, rivers, wetlands, fields and wastelands are better conserved as also the built-up environment across India.
3. Monitoring and Utilization of Agricultural Assets and Funds
Several assets are created in the states under various schemes of the Ministry of Agriculture, under RKVY (Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna).
States have been utilizing substantial amount of FUNDS for creation of infrastructure/assets in agriculture and allied sectors such as Soil testing labs, Pesticide testing labs, Bio fertilizer setting units, Custom hiring centers, Vaccine Production units , Veterinary diagnosis labs , Dispensaries , Milk collection centers , Fish production units, Godowns, Cold storage, Shade nets, Pandals for vegetable cultivation etc.
Monitoring of such wide spread activities is of paramount importance to states and Government of India to understand and track the Flow of funds, Making inventory of the assets, bringing in transparency, planning of assets for future, and finally informing the farmers about the facilities available.
4. Efficient Implementation of MNREGA and closure of Fund Leakages
The Narendra Modi government turned around the largely non-productive scheme by linking it to asset creation. Rural job seekers complete the construction of various assets, like buildings, wells, roads, etc. Tracking their progress is a humongous task. To make this process simpler and to remotely track the progress, MoRD has geo-tagged 15 million assets on NREGAsoft management information system (MIS) so far.
NREGAsoft is a custom-made application that, not only allows the government to tag and track progress but also provides information to citizens in compliance with the Right to Information (RTI) Act and makes available various documents like muster rolls, registration applications and job cards, among others, which were never available to the public otherwise.
It also keeps an eye on the funds released for any specific project, and it closes all the fund leakages which were there in the earlier version of MNREGA…. hence government is able to tap the fund leakages worth several Hundreds of Crores.
5. Rural Development Mission and end of Corruption in Infrastructure Development.
Rural Development Ministry uses Geo-Tagging to keep a track of Houses constructed under Pradhanmantri Awas Yojna. From Beneficiary selection to fund release, from construction completion to final status…everything is recorded and visible in AwaasSoft Dashboard of Rural Development Ministry.
Beneficiary’s pictures, data is tagged with the property, hence no fake beneficiary is allowed to take the benefit of schemes. Every house is visible in the Dashboard, hence the payment released can be tracked at any point of time….and no corruption as well.
6. Power Ministry’s extensive use of Geo-Tagging
Power Ministry uses Garv dashboard to tracks power connections through the Aadhaar card. If any beneficiary gets a connection, his details and pics are geo tagged within 24 hours and Government can track the status and usage of that specific connection. Now there is no middle man between Government and End-User….hence no corruption and every leakage can be tracked as well.
7. ‘Meri Sadak’, a public monitoring scheme for rural roads
People can post Geo-tagged pictures of potholes and it is mandated that action has to be taken by the authorities within seven days of the post. The rural development ministry received 56,000 complaints with pictures in 2016-17. On the last date of the financial year, March 31, 2017, only 70 complaints were pending. Here Geo-Tagging provides better service to the end-users.
8. Geo-Tagging helps to check Mineral Theft
The Coal and other Mineral sector have been able to curb the corruption by introducing GPS-Fitted Trucks to carry Minerals from Mines to destination. Also the Geo-Tagged fencing of the mines have been completed to counter the theft of valuable Natural resources. We used to loose Billions of dollars of Minerals every year to such thefts…..but now NO thefts due to constant monitoring.
9. Geo-Tagging used to assess Drought/Crop Loss effect
Geo-Tagging of crops and area is in process to make a comprehensive Database . It will help government to assess the crop loss claims of Farmers. It will ensure that no further corruption in the name of fake claims of Crop-Loss by few people….certainly will save few hundred Crores across the Nation.
10. Increase the efficiency of Indian Postal system
Indian Postal Department has almost completed the Geo-tagging of all the Post Offices across India. It has begun monitoring to ensure timely clearance of letter boxes through a Mobile app. It will also help people to search nearest post offices, services available their and their working hours.
What’s in the Future??
In future, the location of the infrastructure created and distances from each other could also be utilized for arriving at distribution of assets and optimum number of that particular asset required in a district or state.
Government is also working on the development of a mobile app for mapping the assets through photographs and Geo-tagging.
– Manish Sharma