BANGALORE, India, Aug. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — In this new normal, when everyone across the country is maintaining social distance and trying to avoid outdoor activities with a goal to fight against the pandemic, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Punjab, Capt. Amarinder Singh launched the mSeva WhatApp ChatBot on 27th August 2020 for the citizens of Punjab, with a mission to provide better accessibility, flexibility, and a contactless way to avail services from their local governments.
Using this mSeva WhatsApp Chatbot, which is built by eGov Foundation on its DIGIT stack, filing and tracking is as easy as chatting on Whatsapp. This innovative service has currently been piloted in 4 Municipal Corporations – Phagwara, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, and 1 Municipal council – Zirakpur. As soon as the pilot is successfully completed, the citizens across 167 ULBs in Punjab will be able to use the WhatsApp Chatbot to file and track the status of the reported greivances.
With more than 400 million users, India has become the largest market for WhatsApp globally. PMIDC and eGov Foundation are working together to expand the slew of services on mSeva WhatsApp bot, and in the next 3-4 months, the citizens across Punjab will also be able to view and make payments of their water and sewerage bills via mSeva WhatsApp Chatbot.
In the launch event, Shri Ajoy Sharma, CEO, PMIDC stated, “Public grievance redressal in a time bound manner is of paramount importance for the Govt of Punjab. As a part of the ‘Digital Citizen Services First’ approach, we digitized citizen-centric municipal services since 2018 and more than 8 modules can be accessed via web portal and mobile app. Extending the services, we now aim at the resolution of civic complaints with the widely used messaging platform, WhatsApp. Driving a paradigm shift from clicks to personalized seamless conversations will result in improved citizen experience and foster belongingness among citizens with speedy resolution of issues.”
Citizens can access the chatbot either by giving a missed call or sending a Whatsapp message to +91-8750975975. Once the chat is initiated, the chatbot will guide them to file their complaints from a list of grievances for their specific location, attach images to support the complaints raised and track the status of each of the complaints, thereby eliminating the need to visit the ULB office in person or logging in to a web portal and navigating through various screens. As citizen engagement demands ease, accessibility, greater responsiveness, and accountability from local government, mSeva WhatsApp bot will truly bring the government closer to the citizen at the convenience of their phone.
Viraj Tyagi, CEO, eGov Foundation expressed, “It has always been our endeavour to offer improved convenience and inclusive access to citizens in towns and cities across India. Our open technology platform – the DIGIT Urban Stack – is powering this ambition and we have partnered with Punjab Govt over the last two years for a state wide deployment. Now, we have introduced citizen services on WhatsApp, one of the most popular instant messaging applications in the world. Citizens simply chat on mSeva WhatsApp bot to raise and track their grievances, without visiting an office or downloading an app. It is convenient,easy to access, transparent and secure. We plan to introduce additional services like billing & payment of municipal charges in near future.”
About eGov Foundation
eGov Foundation was established in 2003 by Nandan Nilekani and Srikanth Nadhamuni to partner with city administrators in their drive to leverage the transformative power of technology for the better quality of life in our cities and to make them sustainable. We are joined by Nilekani Philanthropies, Omidyar Network and Tata Trust as our long term benefactors.
In order to address the need for scale and speed eGov has built a DIGIT platform- a Public Digital Good that can be used by Governments, Enterprises, and civil society to co-create and deploy locally relevant solutions. Over the last 17 years, we have partnered with more than 1000+ towns and cities across India and more than 12 Cr Citizens have benefited from our platform. And know that there is much more to do to build a thriving, digitally-enabled ecosystem in all 4400+ towns and cities in India.