Earlier this month, I had submitted an abstract on a topic called ‘eGovernance in Tamil – MPMLA 2.0’ to be presented at the Tamil Conference at Coimbatore in June this year. It has been accepted and I will be submitting the presentation sometime early next month so that it can be presented during the conference.
The topic of my presentation is going to be based on my experiences with MPMLA website – http://mpmla.in/ and how it can be enhanced to make it more easier and useful for the common man by using a few significant technology advancements listed below:
1. Introducing local language availability in mpmla.in: Eg. A farmer in Tamil Nadu who does not know english should be able to communicate his feedback as well as grievances to the elected representatives
2. Making mpmla.in available via mobile devices. Eg. Allowing users to submit their grievances
3. Allowing people to record and submit their grievances to mpmla.in: Eg. An illiterate person should be able to pick up a cell phone and dial a number and be able to record their grievances.
While the non-technology related challenges such as adoption of the system by MPs and MLAs still exist, the above mentioned technology related features should bring wider adoption of mpmla.in and also help people with easier reach into their elected representatives.
At this point, I am all excited about presenting this as this will be first time that this eGovernance model is displayed officially in front of an audience – all these years, we were just contacting the elected representatives directly.
If you happen to be in Coimbatore area, I look forward to meeting you during that time. Please do send me a note and I will be happy to meet you.
The full text of the abstract is available below.
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e Governance – MPMLA 2.0
The focus of this paper is to suggest a working model as a sample way to implement eGovernance easily to collect feedback from general public and use it to effectively improve the quality of life of common man.
Currently, we have a website called mpmla.in which covers all the MPs and MLAs in every single parliamentary and assembly constituency in India. The website is an unbiased effort to facilitate communication between people and their respective MPs/MLAs in India. The people can put across their grievance/appreciation to their MP/MLA and the MP/MLA can choose to respond and address the issue. There is no bias or political affiliation.
A by product of this aim has helped to gather top five issues faced in every single MP and MLA constituency in India. This helps us to give the MPs and MLAs to help them with a ‘Top 5 Issues’ list to focus on – from the public standpoint.
Some of the key limitations we identified are:
– People who are not comfortable in English are forced to express their thoughts in english.
– People who know english and tamil try to type in tamil language using english alphabets.
– People who only know tamil cannot express their concerns on the website
– People who do not have a computer cannot express their concerns
Some of the suggested recommendations are:
– Allow people to talk in tamil and record their voices
– Come up with a software that will do automatic translation from english to tamil and vice versa – to eliminate the language barrier
– Allow people to go to internet browsing centers and allow them to use this site at no cost to them so that they can express their grievances
– Allow people to call a toll free number from their mobile phones and record their grievances.
– Allow people to type from their mobile phones and sms their grievances
Website Feature Enhancements:
The key enhancements for the website is to show performance metrics on how each elected representative performs in each topic such as basic necessities, infrastructure, etc.
Once this is accomplished, the plan is to expand the website to include other public servants besides MPs and MLAs, eg. Government service officers, officers from administrative, police, forest services, etc.
To get adoption from elected officials and public servants so that they truly use this site to address the concerns and grievances of the citizens.
The paper and the presentation describes various advancements in Tamil on both PCs as well as mobile technology areas and how it is leveraged to accomplish the goals for MPMLA 2.0
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