Maharashtra School Sanction And approvals System

Project Category: Government

Sub Category: Best Government to Business (G2B) Initiative of the Year

Reference No: eMaharashtra2013/awards/47

Details of the Applicant:

Name: Lalitkumar Bhalerao
Designation: Consultant, State e-Mission Team
Organization: Department of School Education, Government of Maharashtra
Address: Office of ACS, School Education and Sports Dept
City: Churchgate, Mumbai
State: Maharashtra
Country: India
Zip Code: 400032
Organization Website: http://www.mahdoesecondary.com

Details of the Agency implementing the Project/Initiative:

Name of the Organization: School Education & Sports Department, Government of Maharashtra
Address: 
Directorate of School Education, 1st Floor, Central Administrative Building, Pune Station, Pune.
City: 
Pune
State:
 Maharashtra
ZipCode: 411001
Country: India
Head of Organization: Shri. J. S. Saharia
Head Designation: Addl. Chief  Secretory
Website:  www.newschoolsanctions.maharashtra.gov.in

Details of Programme /Project/Initiative:

Brief Description:
As per the RTE (Right to Education) act, the fundamental right of children to free & compulsory education notified on 27th August 2009, there should be a school within 5 km radius of geographical reach. According to which 144 new school locations for un-aided private high schools all across the Maharashtra state have been identified. “School Sanctions and Approvals” (SSAA) application is first and one of its kind initiative and a step forward towards RTE compliance taken by School Education Department, Government of Maharashtra. This move encourages private players in catering education service to all those school children who belong to remote areas of Maharashtra where in no/less transportation facilities are available. As a result, economically backward children are not been able to bear the transportation expense of commuting to school & are not able to get access to school education. This IT initiative invites online applications for issuing letter of intent (LOI) to new school/existing school management for the opening of un-aided, privately managed Marathi medium high schools in rural areas of Maharashtra State. This application proves itself on various eGovernance parameters like performance, verification, process standardization, documentation, fair & transparent process of evaluation, etc. without the influence of political pressure or corruption. This application sets a benchmark for professionally crafted user friendly IT applications. This application strive

Objective:
The main objective of this program is to also attain a user friendly, fair, transparent & overall efficient process of evaluation on the basis of various eGovernance parameters like performance, documentation, documents verification, process standardization & non-repudiation.

Target Group: New/existing private School Managements all across Maharashtra

Geographical Reach within India: State of Maharashtra

Geographical Reach outside India: NA

Date From which the Project became Operational: 16-3-2013

Is the project still operational: Yes

List 5 achievements of the programme/project/initiative:

1. As all the information regarding this process including all the respective state govt. GRs (Govt. Resolutions) & user guidelines are made available online, this IT initiative sets a benchmark for professionally crafted user friendly IT applications in eGovernance. This application improves the overall operational efficiency along with the timely and accurate information available for decision making by concerned authorities with lesser complaints and better service delivery to the applicants.
2.By keeping informed all the stakeholders at any given point in time regarding the current status of the process, it has bought greater transparency in the entire process of issuing LOI to privately managed un-aided Marathi medium high schools. The procedure is clearly defined strictly as per the RTE guidelines with an intention to diminish the favoritism done under any influence or pressure.
3.New school / existing school management can plan their expansion well in advance as all the required information regarding the same is provided along with the application form online. The process of filling and submitting the said application form online is streamlined in such a way that the applicant is guided seamlessly through the entire process.
4.Fair methods of assessment in which marking scheme is designed for all the applicants on the basis of RTE compliant parameters such as giving preference to an applicant having prior experience of managing schools, land availability for schools, economically sound status of the respective applicant, etc. which allows the respective government authorities to opt out of political influence/pressure while giving LOI for approving new un-aided private Marathi high schools.
5.  Scanned copy of all the required documents is made available online to all districts EOs (Education Officers) for the purpose of document verification. This process of document verification on account of compulsory uploading of scan copy of all the original documents helps in maintaining fair documentation & denies the manipulation of fake documents which was quiet possible along with the manual process.

List 5 Key challenges faced while implementing the project/programme/initiative and how they were overcome:
1. There is an inherent resistance to change existing among government officials. The users also showed resistance to adopting the new system. The application designed went through much iteration to ensure that the user interface is very user friendly, streamlined and needs least amount of time to be spent in inputting the data. This has resulted in the overall acceptance of the system at all levels.
2.  Missing IT culture & low level of computer literacy amongst the end users. Under the supervision and charge of the Education Officer (EO), various skill development and training programs have been planned for the end users. Telephone & Email support is also being setup to address ongoing issues and queries of end users
3.  There is lack of proper infrastructure like low internet penetration in the remote tribal areas of Maharashtra State. This issue is being addressed by promoting wireless/mobile internet use.
4. Proper co-ordination with all the stakeholders of this application. This has been made possible by conducting timely review meetings of all the stakeholders while ensuring their acceptance and participation towards successful implementation.
5. Appropriate project and portfolio management at various administrative and executionary levels to have better sense of the progress and corresponding impact was also a challenge. The application provides for various daily MIS reports at various administrative and executionary levels so as to effectively monitor the daily progress.