About 5500 villagers of Gangur in the Krisha district of Andhra Pradesh have rarely visited any government office for the last four years on matters related to pensions and obtaining important certificates, thanks to the door-step services being provided by the village secretariat popularly known as Gram Sachivalaya. 

They are not alone in accessing door-step services. Across the State, 15004 Village and Ward Secretariats are seamlessly offering a total of 773 services driven by digital platforms which are being appreciated by stakeholders cutting across political and party affiliations. “We feel this is a transparent and corruption-free system. Times lines are pre-defined for delivery of all services and as per my feedback, I see no issues in this system so far,’‘ MD, Taslimunnisa, Sarpanch, Gangur told businessline.

According to official data, the Gram Sachivalayas are providing a wide range of services to the people at their door-step and have rendered a record number of 9.84 crore services in the last four years.  

“Our integrated approach to provide nearly 543 government services apart from extending 190 others have made the Village Secretariats in rural areas and Ward Secretariats in towns a major hub of digitally-driven service hubs,’‘ a Senior Official in the office of the Director, Department of Village and Ward Secretariats, Government of Andhra Pradesh said,

With a view to provide decentralised administrative services in a transparent and corruption-free mode, Andhra Pradesh The Gram Sachivalaya network was launched by Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on October 2, 2019 and the rollout of services began on January 26, 2020. 

In a way, the Gram Sachivalaya are modelled on the lines of the famed autonomous village administration by the Gram Sabhas introduced by the Cholas in the 10th Century AD. 

“In the last - four years, we have reached a stage where lakhs of people in villages stopped visiting the Government offices for various types of revenue certificates, pension applications and work related to civil supplies, among others,’‘ the official said adding that the Sachivalayas are ‘well-oiled’ now and are making positive difference in administration compared to neighbouring states where people are still need to to government offices or other service providers for routine but important works.

Each of the secretariats, headed by a Panchayat Secretary/Ward Administrative Secretary,is manned by 11 functionaries to look after welfare, education, revenue engineering, agriculture, horticulture, Mahila Police and energy, among others. Nearly 1.40 lakh staff and 2.66 lakh volunteers are currently deployed by the State Government for the efficient functioning of the system. 

“One of the main factors which is making the Sachivalayas work efficiently is our technology platforms which are acting as aggregators for all government departments to cater to the diversity of service requests we receive,’‘ Prashant Kumar, Digital Assistant, Ganguru Village Secretariat said.