With an increasingly mobile Indian population, the Indian Government is leaving no stone unturned to leverage the ongoing communications revolution in the country and is making its services available and easy to access for masses via responsive mobile apps.
These mobile apps not only help people stay connected to the government and get the latest information, they also let them take part in its initiatives. So go ahead and file an RTI online or ensure that your streets are clean – by using a Government of India app!
Here are the 12 best Indian government apps citizens can use to access or get information about government services and initiatives with just a click on the smartphone.
1. OnlineRTI - File RTI Online
If you have wanted to use the Right to Information Act (RTI) initiative but were hesitant thinking about having to go through a tedious process, this app is all you need. Using this Android app, you can let the team behind the app know what you want to file the RTI about. Their lawyers and experts will frame the application and send a draft back to you for revision or approval. You can then modify it if needed or submit it the way it is. As mandated by law, the response from the authorities for your application will reach you within a month.
The app also enables users to form communities and forums to share queries. All information about state and central government rules for RTI applications can be accessed on the catalogues available. Users can connect with famous RTI activists, track application status, etc. The purpose behind creating this app is embodied in this RTI tweet: "If citizens want a better future and governance they will have to take the responsibility for spreading the usage and spirit of the #RTI."
2. MyGov - Access Government Initiatives
MyGov is Government of India’s innovative citizen engagement platform for direct citizen participation in governance. It provides an avenue for channelizing the ideas, comments and creative suggestions of the citizens by connecting them to central ministries and associated organizations. Citizens can participate in policy formulation and programme implementation to usher in an era of direct participatory democracy.
After creating a login id on this feature-rich app, a citizen can easily access numerous government initiative sites, including Swachh Bharat, Open Government Data Platform, My Gov Task Management, and My Gov Newsletter. Under the ambit of the MyGov app, citizens from various corners of the country also get the opportunity to interact with the Prime Minister through the MyGov Townhall, a first of its kind initiative.
3. MEAIndia - Know Everything About Indian Missions Abroad
The MEAIndia app description says that the app is a "single window source of all information related to the ministry's citizen centric services and outreach activities." The user-friendly app has an interactive format with impressive graphics that provide information about the ministry's many activities and citizen-oriented services - E-Citizen, Passport services, Follow PM/EAM, VisaServices, and Indian missions abroad are some examples. It also simplifies the steps involved in travelling abroad for work or studies and helps people identify the agencies authorized to attest documents
The app helps users find out the nearest Indian missions or posts for emergency consular assistance, if required, and also find out how to undertake the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra and Haj Pilgrimage. Users can also download and watch pictures and documentaries on India, share and contribute their own pictures and suggestions, or even follow the prime minister on his visits abroad.
4. Incredible India App – For Location Based Travel Needs
The Incredible India app assists international and domestic tourists in accessing information about Tourism Ministry-recognized tourism service providers. These include approved inbound tour operators, adventure tour operators, domestic tour operators, transport operators, travel agents, regional level guides, and classified hotels available in cities and tourist centres. Contact details of the regional directors of the Tourism Department, including their names, office addresses, contact numbers and email addresses are also provided.
Requested details will be sent through this application to tourists on their mobile phones, based on their current location. In addition, the application will provide information on places of interest and tips on how to visit them. Colourful, easy-to-navigate and simple-to-use, the app brings all tourism information to one place. Incredible India has also launched a personal audio tour guide, AudioCompass, which contains thousands of audio clips narrated by expert local guides.
5. Narendra Modi App - Connect with the PM
The official app of the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, this app is a one-stop destination for knowing about all the latest day-to-day activities of the Prime Minister. It provides an exclusive and unique opportunity to receive messages and emails directly from the Prime Minister. Not just this, it allows users to contribute and earn badges through to-do tasks.
With the launch of this app, Narendra Modi became the first political leader who has his own mobile app, and he uses this platform to share his ideas to all. One can tune in and listen to the various ‘Mann ki Baat’ editions of the PM, read his blogs and know more about him in the biography section.
6. GARV Grameen Vidyutikaran App – Transparency in Rural Electrification
The Grameen Vidyutikaran app lets anyone track the progress of rural electrification in India through a real-time dashboard. Launched by Rural Electrification Corporation Limited, the app is available for Android users. The dashboard presents the total number of un-electrified villages, details the status of the un-electrified villages and the work in progress - whether they've been surveyed or if work has yet to start. A Milestones tab displays the percentage achieved against the number of days left, while a progress bar shows the number of villages electrified on a weekly basis.
Reports by GVAs (Grameen Vidyut Abhiyantas or rural electrification engineers) are shared through the GARV app with officials as well as the public, putting pressure on the State governments for timely and quality delivery. In a move that will increase transparency, GVAs directly capture the electrification data on the app with subsequent state government confirmation, instead of the data first coming from state governments. With the GARV dashboard recently becoming multilingual, citizens can also keep a tab on the mission in their native languages.
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7. mPassport Seva App - Anytime Access to Passport Services
Those who are looking at getting a new passport can now do so right from their Android devices. With a view to making public services mobile-enabled, the Ministry of External Affairs launched the mPassport Seva app that will offer a wide variety of passport-related services to smartphone users. The lightweight and easy to use mPassport Seva app is also one of the largest projects of the Government of India under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP).
Users can search for nearby Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) or District Passport Cells (DPC) in a district and also search through pin codes. Users can search for police stations too. The app has a fee calculator, which determines the fees to be paid along with the application. There is also the option of tracking application status by providing the file number and date of birth. While people cannot currently apply for a new passport using this app, it provides the detailed steps and the documents required for issuing a new passport or renewing an existing one.
8. Khoya Paya App - Citizen-Centric Portal for Missing Children
The Khoya Paya app is a citizen-centric portal that addresses the issue of missing and vulnerable children in India. Any citizen can register with the portal and provide information about a missing or sighted child. The information supplied by the citizen is made available for public view after quick moderation, thereby saving valuable time.
The dashboard of Khoya Paya shows a graph — "missing and sighting trend" – in which the month wise break up of the number of children missing and spotted is given. Other than providing information, citizens can also search the database of children by matching the attributes of a lost or sighted child. This also considerably reduces the time for the relevant information to reach the affected. By establishing citizen-to-citizen contact, the app can help in better coordination in the search for missing children.
9. mKavach App - Comprehensive Mobile Security Solution
Recognising the need for a homegrown app to protect users from malware and hacking attacks, Indian Cyber watchdog CDAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) under the Department of Electronics and Information Technology has developed a standalone app called MKavach. This app is a comprehensive mobile device security solution for Android devices, addressing threats related to mobile phones.
It addresses threats related to malware that steal personal data and credentials as well as misuse WiFi and Bluetooth resources. It prevents the use of lost or stolen mobile device by unauthorized personnel by changing the SIM information. It also allows easy backup and restoration of data both locally on the device and on the remote server. Spam SMSs, premium-rate SMSs and unsolicited incoming calls are also blocked.
10. Post Info App – Track Your Post and Much More
Designed and developed by the Centre for Excellence in Postal Technology (CEPT), the Post Info app is the Government's bid to make the postal service customer-friendly. The Android app allows people to access tracking and delivery information of Speed Post, Registered Letter, Registered Parcel and Electronic Money Order by using the receipt number. The app also has a feature to calculate the postage (tariff) to be paid for all types of articles, based on both weight and the distance between two points entered by the user in a single query.
The app user can also get information about the location of post offices. Other information like name of the post office, address and contact details for the selected post office are also available to the user. The app also shows the interest rate for savings schemes like Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, monthly income scheme, senior citizen savings scheme, National Savings Certificate, etc., and the premium payable for various postal life insurance policies.
11. India Voter List App – Voting Made Easier
You need not go through the hassle of entering a voting booth with proof of identity or other documents and searching for your name in the list of voters again. Through the India Voters list app, citizens can authenticate their claims as voters by searching the state based electoral data base for their names and primary details. The data used in this easy-to-use app is 100% authentic and verified.
Another useful electoral app developed by the Election Commission of India is Voter Information Search Using SMS. With this app, a voter can check whether his/her name has been included in the electoral roll of his constituency; he/she can also find out the name and location of the polling station.
12. Swachchata App – Track and Contribute to Swachch Bharat Mission
Fed up of the errant municipal sweeper who regularly fails to turn up to clear the garbage in your locality? Help is at hand now. All a citizen needs to do is click a picture of the garbage dump or overflowing dustbins and post it on the Swachhata (Cleanliness) app, a mobile application on Android and iOS launched by the Union Urban Development (UD) ministry for addressing complaints related to civic issues.
Anyone can download the app and file a complaint. Once a citizen has posted a picture, it will automatically get forwarded to the concerned municipal authority. All urban local bodies have been linked to this app, which pinpoints the exact location of the area of the complaint using the geo-location of the pictures. Once a complaint is registered, the complainant will be provided with regular updates on its status, including a picture uploaded by the sanitary inspector once the issue is resolved. Citizens will have the option to give feedback on the quality of resolution.
In a big step towards realising the dream of digital India, the Government of India is designing a master app called UMANG (Unified Mobile App for New-age Governance). It will consolidate 200+ services offered by central, state and local administrations, such as passport services, land records, income tax, e-Post, utility bills, and much more, under one single platform. The platform is being designed in such a way that it will remember personal details of citizens, their preferences and the data required to access department services without the user having to re-enter it every time. It will also provide Aadhaar-based authentication and multilingual support to users.
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