When Manish Shankaram posted a suggestion on the MyGov Portal for development of rural clusters similar to Smart Cities , little did he imagine that his one thought would transform into ‘Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban Mission’ and affect crores of people.
This is the power of the MyGov portal created under the leadership of PM Modi.
Launched in 2014, the portal is a technological platform through which people can share ideas and opinions about government projects and hence, participate in their own governance. Imagine: all the conclusions of social media debates can now be shared with the relevant people and benefit the nation!
Unlike other government projects which are announced by politicians at the drop of a hat and never heard of later, the MyGov Portal is fulfilling its objective of participative governance. The portal takes suggestions on policy drafts, schemes, logos, Prime Minister’s speech and also (of late) informs citizens about upcoming government jobs. The reason why this particular government project, unlike others, has been successful can be attributed to its implementation strategy. As reported by a National Informatics Centre (NIC) official, once the idea had been coined by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) it was passed on to Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY).
Here, the top management deliberated over the portal’s features through daily meetings that lasted a fortnight. After this, a special team from the NIC was created and assigned to this project. It took another one month for the NIC to finish development and launch this revolutionary idea. Sources from ministries report that the PMO kicked off the portal by conducting workshops for ministries. The MyGov features and use-cases were explained in this workshop and ministries were ordered to create a group of their own.
A dedicated team called the ‘MyGov Team’ was made responsible for the daily administration. Campaigns and events like Transforming India, Rate My Government, Townhall are regularly organized by this time to keep the excitement going. Weekly newsletters are also released by the team to keep people informed about their government’s latest actions. The ministerial use of the portal was also emphasized repeatedly and Nodal Officers were created at different levels to fix responsibility and accountability in the system.
Whatsapp groups of various stakeholders were created for quick and efficient communication. From proper planning (through the DeitY meetings), training (carried out by the workshops conducted by PMO), timely and regular communication (via multiple channels like training, letters, whatsapp, etc.), to clear accountability (secured by creating different teams for different purposes) facilitating reviewing and monitoring; the overall implementation approach of the MyGov Portal follows a textbook definition of good management. The PM Modi clout with this project ensured quick file movement resulting in swift actions at all stages of its creation , and thus took away the biggest weakness associated with government work.
With 42 Lakh registered members, 2 lakh submissions, and 37 lakh comments, the portal has
become an integral part of governance today. While a lot of this was possible due to the high
priority given to the project, the fact remains that the Indian government- infamous for its
corruption scandals and inefficiency- has achieved this. The MyGov portal is a testament to the fact that it is (indeed!) possible for the government to be efficient and do wonders if it sets its mind to do it.
The government should take this success story as a learning to ingrain the aforementioned
management pillars within its system and ensure efficiency and effectiveness to all its projects.
Note: This article is based on a report on the MyGov Portal, originally published in the Governance Compendium by Vision India Foundation.
Riya Garg and Kanika Gupta