Mobile governance for public utility services

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Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government is planning to launch mobile governance (m-governance) facility for public utility services. According to the state's Information Technology Minister Poongothai Aladi Aruna, mobile governance innovations in select sectors had gained public acceptance and would be launched full-fledged shortly.

The central government had allotted 12 crore for the m-governance project. Poongothai pointed out that mobile governance had been introduced in the public distribution sector to enable the public to know through a text message data on the food stocks available at the local ration shop. Taluk supply officers had been given handsets to facilitate easy access for the public.

The Health Department had launched vaccination reminder alerts on mobile handsets provided to an estimated 10,000 village health nurses. "Though a simple measure, the reminders could contribute to reducing infant or maternal mortality rates," Poongothai said.

Mobile governance on various utility platforms, such as telephone bill payment or property tax remittance, would seek to leverage the revolution in mobile telephony. "While the subscriber base was increasing by eight million users a month in the country, mobile phone penetration in Tamil Nadu was 67 percent and almost 110 percent in Chennai," she added.

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