eChhawani Launch: (L to R) Smt Durga GK - GM (Software), BEL, Smt Deepa Bajwa - Director General, DGDE, Shri Shubhag Chand - DDG (NIC), MoD and Shri Viraj Tyagi - CEO, eGov Foundation

'eChhawani' launched pan-India in 62 Cantonment Boards by Honorable Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh

BANGALORE, India, Feb. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Expanding access of citizen-centric services across all 62 Cantonment Boards, eChhawani program was launched on February 16, 2021 by Honorable Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh in Delhi. The initiative is undertaken by Directorate General of Defense Estates (DGDE) and is developed using eGov Foundation’s open platform – DIGIT with Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) playing the role of implementation partner.

Providing a unified approach where citizens can ac cess a single platform to avail all civic services, eChhawani seeks to improve citizen interaction with Cantonment Boards while making Cantonment Board employees better equipped,  informed and responsive to public needs. Along these lines, a MoU was signed between DGDE and eGov Foundation on May 2020 for conceptualising eChhawani. Due to the pandemic, entire engagement was driven virtually with all interactions between DGDE, Cantt Boards, BEL and eGov happening online. Effective collaboration between all the teams and visionary leadership from Ministry of Defense led to a speedy rollout, with 8 modules implemented in less than 6 months.

In the launch event, Shri Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister, Government of India, stated, “eChhawani is inaugurated today with 8 municipal services and I’m confident that this will continue to enhance citizen centric services for residents of our Cantonment Boards. This is a great step towards ‘good governance’ and is a shining example of India’s emergence as a leader in various sectors offering ease of doing business and ease of living for citizens. I congratulate all stakeholders involved in this initiative and I expect that officers will continue to take feedback from the citizens on whether this initiative is fulfilling the aim of citizen centric governance.”

A web portal has been developed for each Cantt Board which offers services like reporting and tracking public grievances, availing trade licenses, making online payments and submitting applications for lease renewals to citizens completely online without a need for visiting Cantt Board offices. Subsequently, modules for water and sewerage connections, building plan approvals,  and property tax payments among others are being planned for release in the next couple of months.

Shri Ajay Kumar, Defense Secretary, Government of India, expressed, “Till date we have seen that citizen services are made online either in a single ULB or at district, or state level. This is a beginning where multiple citizen services are simplified, standardised and launched at once pan-country across all 62 Cantonment Boards and eGov Foundation, BEL, NIC, DGDE and MoD teams have played a major role in the speedy implementation of this initiative. I congratulate all of them.”

Focusing on the mandate of ease of doing business and citizen-centric service delivery, this initiative aims to improve delivery of services via multiple channels and offers ease of access for all Cantonment Board-related services online.

“eChhawani is an effort towards offering multiple citizen services in a simple and straightforward manner to citizens across all Cantonment Boards and is the result of efforts of eGov Foundation, BEL, NIC and 62 Cantt Board Administrators supervised by DGDE and MoD. It is a new start and a digital milestone for 62 Cantonment Boards across the country.”- Smt Deepa Bajwa, Director General, DGDE

Speaking on this initiative, Shri Viraj Tyagi, CEO, eGov Foundation, expressed, “At eGov Foundation, our mission is to bring municipal services closer to citizens with increased ease of access and improving accountability and capacity of civic employees through our open platform DIGIT. Our partnership with DGDE focusses around harnessing technology to transform public service delivery and envisions making entire process of interaction between citizens and Cantonment Boards straightforward, simple and effective thereby strengthening local governance.”

About eGov Foundation

eGov Foundation was established in 2003 by Nandan Nilekani and Srikanth Nadhamuni to partner with city administrators in order to leverage the transformative power of technology for better quality of life in cities and to make them sustainable. 

The foundation is supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Nandan Nilekani Philanthropies, Omidyar Network India and Tata Trusts as long term benefactors.

To ensure that every citizen in every city of India should be able to access all services they need with ease and transparency, eGov has built DIGIT platform – a Public Digital Good. This platform can be used by Governments, Enterprises and civil society to co-create and deploy locally relevant solutions. Over the last 17 years, the foundation has partnered with more than 1500+ towns and cities across India and more than 16 crore citizens have benefited from its platform.

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