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It was in 2011 that Karnataka Sakala Services Act had been passed with this aim to offer a complete guarantee to provide best of the services to all citizens of this state through limiting the stipulated time to provide the citizen related services they seek. By November 2012 this Act already became the famous Sakala Act as known today. Karnataka maintains this distinction of being the 10th state of such kind that has incorporated such Act under the Right to Public Services legislation program. In fact the backing which Sakala program from the Government of Karnataka maintains include an effective but comprehensive IT network facility which National Informatics Centre (NIC) developed to offer genuine solution for services as well as to keep monitoring them as well.

An IAS Office namely Shalini Rajneesh heads the Sakala project besides other current responsibilities of the Principal Secretary of the Department of Personnel & Administrative Reforms in the Govt. of Karnataka to make things run smoother.

Logo

An open competition was held to get an idea of the name and logo for which many citizens had been told for their participation. As the best entry from them was the Kannada word SAKALA that meant “in-time” or “good time” it was therefore finalized. Its slogan of ‘No more delays, we deliver on time’ itself describe the primary objective of the project undertaken. Its logo symbolizes one clock with a hammer of justice to fulfill the idea. It is symbolic of a promise that time-consciousness is primary and if employees fail in it then they should be ready to face the consequences for violating it.

Coverage

It was on 1 March 2012 that the pilot phase of Sakala had been launched in the most backward Taluks of northern side of the state which included Aurad in Bidar district besides three other Taluks of Chitradurga, Dharwad and Dakshina Kannada districts amongst others. By April 1 this program had been launched fully to cover the whole state of Karnataka that consisted of 151 services in the 11 departments in total.

  • It was on 2 November 2012 when 2nd phase started in which 114 additional services had been included to make the total of 265 services.
  • Its 3rd phase started on 16 August 2013 with the addition of 110 more services to make it the total graph of 375 services.
  • By the time 4th phase was launched in September 2013 some 44 additional services came into the ambit of Sakala Umbrella to take it to 419 services in total till then.

An additional 28 services were added in the 5th phase to make the total of 447 services in all before further expansions. Addition of 32 additional services were made possible in 6th phase on 6 February 2014 that made the total to 478 services to span across 47 departments out of which 135 services were compatible to be offered through online option. With this addition it maintains the distinction of providing highest number of services among all states that provide the Time Bound Services to the citizens’ Act operating in the nation. Till April 2014, nearly 46 million applications had already been received under the Sakala program. By now this service has already been extended to all 6.12 crore citizens throughout the state. Some of the notable services under this plan are Caste & Income Certificate from the Revenue Dept.; Residence Certificate from the Revenue Dept.; Birth & Death Registration from the Urban Development & Revenue Dept.; Driving License issuance from Transport Dept.; Khatha Transfer Documents service from the Urban Development Dept., besides the issuance and modifications of Ration cards from the Food Dept. the services like Survey and Settlement in Revenue to House Plan Sanction from Urban Local Bodies and Copy of FIR/Petitions from Police Dept. are important ones.

Technology and E-Governance

The National Informatics Centre (NIC) has developed a highly comprehensive IT solution option with an aim to enable this Act’s implementation for that it already provides a separately planned online monitoring mechanism to work transparently which most citizens seek in the form of services they seek. Once such requests are made by the citizens they instantly receive their acknowledgement slip that contains the unique 15 digit number which is named Guarantee of Services to Citizen (GSC) number for reference purpose.

Citizens are in the position to monitor status through the support of GSC number of applications submitted on the websites. It contains all the required information and thorough details about this Act from department to variegated services and possible time to be taken and service procedures to the document checklists one requires to submit and last but not the least frequently asked questions amongst other details. With the availability of mobile interface this system further remains unique option to explore. Any citizen willing to check one’s application status may send an SMS from the mobile number used during application through adding the 15 digit GSC number to receive status details. Automated system is programed to send reply back to applicant for application’s current status. They are facilitated alternative option to contact at Call Centre at 080-44554455 for updates. Applicant citizens are suggested to provide mobile number details while they do the registrations to avail the benefit of receiving the automated service facility which is intimated without additional efforts for the interim application status. Their visits to office therefore reduce dramatically.

The “Sakala on Mobile” mobile application has also been launched which facilitates effective Sakala related information and details on the mobile phones to make the task easy.

Grievance Redressal

Citizens as applicants can file an appeal before the competent officer (CO) if their applications get rejected or the services they had sought are not satisfactory in terms of failing to provide within time specified. Such appeals can be made before the competent officer for the purpose to redress the particular grievance for which one has to mandatorily quote GSC number for solutions. Appeals are heard by the competent officers for redress purpose to ascertain that grievance is sorted out within the time frame. Applicants are permitted to claim the compensatory cash amount costing to Rs. 20 per day basis due to the delays which is allowed subject to the Rs. 500 maximum which CO decides as upfront sum. Such amounts get deducted from the salary of the designated staff or subordinate who deal with the specific cases and are considered responsible for defaults or unnecessary delays if the redressed in a month’s time frame.

Sakala Sakhi

The new project namely ‘SakalaSakhi’ was started by the Department of Personnel & Administrative Reforms under the Karnataka Government. With this aim to deliver best of services under Women & Child Development Schemes time and again this project had primary motive to bring effectiveness in the Haliyal Taluka for various services.  Started on 25 January this project had been brought into the notice of all by the Hon’ble Minister for Higher education & Tourism Shri R.V. Deshpande for citizens. The Sakala Sakhis remain major women enlisted at district and tehsil levels besides addition of many villages with this aim to guide women enjoy the Sakala services which come under the Women & Child Department of the state. The government plans to train the Sakala Sakhis with this aim to help them learn more about the schemes concerned besides follow-up and online application processing.

Awards and Recognitions

Both national and international recognition which Sakala model has received remains of paramount value due to its option to provide unique ‘citizen friendly’ technology driven tools and of course its easy choice of ‘business on the perfect Governance model sought.

  • Having been certified ISO 9001-2008 (2014).
  • Having been awarded Google Cub Innovator Award (2012).
  • Received the National e-Governance award for the outstanding performance in the citizen centric service (2013).
  • Received the National award for the Government category of quality council of India under the D.L.Shah Quality Awards (2014) category.