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Two Indian States Launch Government Portals for Mobile Phones

BY Julia Wetherell | Friday, January 18 2013

Public services in Kerala state, with their SMS codes.

As mobile saturation transforms and connects the country, Indian states are making strides with mobile-accessible portals for civic services and information.

Kerala, the southwestern state that has among the highest concentration of mobile phone users in India, has launched m-governance initiatives that touch on 90 different departments and services. The Kerala State IT Mission, the agency behind the project, has a list of SMS services that include motor vehicle registration, university entrance exam results, street harassment reporting for women, and lottery results. The KSIT also announced its intentions to implement mobile administration platforms for intra-governmental use — increasing the efficiency of emergency response and bureaucracy — as well as “m-democracy” in the form mobile polling and voting platforms.

The government of Karnataka, the larger and more populated state to the north of Kerala which is home to Bangalore, also brought in the new year with a civic mobile platform. Launched January 10, the portal provides similar access to 150 services, including mobile utility payment, as well as information about traffic, bus routes, and women’s shelters.

These initiatives come as federal authorities in India have made effortsto open up government, with the launch of Data Portal India. IT minister Kapil Sibal’s vision for a consolidated Google-like hub for e-governance across Indian states may still be a few years away, but progress at the state level may usher along its development.

Personal Democracy Media is grateful to the Omidyar Network for its generous support of techPresident's WeGov section.

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