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Info-Tech - E-Governance


`Legacy database crucial to information mission'

Vinson Kurian

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, July 22

TIME-BOUND capture of the legacy database available with local bodies needs to be ensured for networking them under the Information Kerala Mission (IKM) project. The data entry process is in various stages of completion across the State.

Speaking to Business Line, Mr M. Sivasankar, Director, Kerala State Information Technology Mission, the official IT implementing agency, said that he was confident that data entry operations would not be a restraining factor for the roll-out schedule.

The schedule will enter a crucial phase once the Cabinet of the Council of Ministers takes a decision on the build-own-lease-transfer (BOLT) partner for executing the job.

"There's a legacy database which needs to be captured. There are three main elements of a panchayat database. One is the building tax assessment register, which talks about the number of houses, the built-up area and the tax payable on the same. In all panchayats, the data entry operations in this regard have either been done with or are in the process of being completed," Mr Sivasankar said.

In at least three Corporation areas, the legacy data entry operation is being taken up separately, irrespective of whether the BOLT model will come up.

This is being done with the special purpose for linking the database with the FRIENDS (Fast, Reliable, Instant, Efficient Network for Disbursement of Services) citizen interface centres located in each Corporation area.

The second element relates to birth and death information. Mr Sivasankar said: "Birth certificates are usually needed only in the case of children joining kindergarten or first standard. This technically means that you only need to compile five-year old data, if at all. This is a small number which can be easily handled.''

The third pertains to various pensions the local bodies are dispensing, such as old age pension.

"Here we have an actual list which only needs to be keyed in. This should not pose a problem either, unless you are talking about revenue records where you have to deal with real, substantive chunks of database.''

Under the Package for Effective Administration of Registration Laws (PEARL), 54 Sub-Registrar Offices (SROs) have been identified for computerisation.

The pilot project has been completed in four offices.

In 37 of the remaining 50 SROs, the PEARL software has been installed.

Computerisation of 113 more SROs is in the offing.

Land records computerisation in Kerala presents a slightly different but more advanced scenario when looked at from the all-India angle.

All over the country, the focus has been on issuing the record of right to the individual.

"In Kerala, however, we would rather go by the relevant aadharam (the registered document issued by the SRO sealing a property transaction). But in States such as Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, the number of land transactions is not that high. No actual transfer of ownership takes place as frequently as here.''

He added: "If somebody owns ancestral property, it is seldom parted with. In such cases, one would need a document which entitles the individual to ownership of the property, for which there has to be a Government record.''

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