Taking a cue from online shopping websites that deliver consumer goods to your doorstep, the AAP has come up with the Doorstep Delivery of documents for the convenience of the residents of Delhi. The feasibility and need of such a measure needs to be analysed in the light of the structural decadence of public institutions and the crisis of employment.
The New Leam Staff
Doorstep Delivery of Public Services- this scheme has been launched by the Government of NCT of Delhi on September 10, 2018 where the Aam Aadmi Party government has agreed to provide doorstep delivery of 40 services from over seven government departments namely the Transportation Department, Delhi Jal Board, Revenue Department, Social Welfare Department, Food and Supplies Department, Labour Department and Department for the welfare of SC/ST/OBC and Minorities.
The services would be delivered through the help of “mobile sahayaks” placed in 11 districts of Delhi, they would be geo-tagged and further equipped with all the machines and necessary technical equipment required for their functioning. Any citizen of Delhi can avail the service by simply calling on the helpline number 1076 after which the sahayak would visit their house and collect the necessary information and deliver the demanded service. Documents like driving license, caste certificate, marriage certificate, RC Certificate, water connection certificate etc would be delivered at the doorstep of the citizens. The consumer will be charged a nominal fee of Rs. 50 for availing this service.
As per the statement received by the top leadership in AAP government it seems that this scheme is one of its kind as it would ease out the hustle of visiting crowded government offices and stand in long queues to get a single document. As goes the claim that this scheme would help in unburdening the consumer and government officials in the task of availing and providing necessary government documents.
In times when India is heading towards a digitalised economy where the citizens and the government officials look forward to digitalisation as an empowering tool, this move of the AAP government has come as a strong ray of hope and is also seen to be serving the needs of the aspiring consumers- The New Middle Class.
But does this move also mean a huge cut down in employment in government sector jobs as with the onslaught of digitalisation the demand for manpower would also reduce. This dipping demand of human resource and cutting down in employment provided by the state would then have an adverse impact on the huge population of individuals seeking public sector employment. Not only would it lead to a state of unemployment but would also contribute to the overburdening of existing staff.
This over emphasis on digitalisation and state led measures that risk the curtailment of employment opportunities in the name of modernity and public convenience would lead to twin problems of unemployment when a large section of the Indian population faces the scarcity of jobs and the overburdening of staff and rampant decay in the plight of government offices over time. On the face value, the announcement of the Doorstep Delivery System of essential documents may be seen as a welcome move but what also needs serious contemplation is the implication of privatised solutions in the place of efficient institutional mechanisms, the unassisted adoption of technology in areas which could have been great sources of employment and a distraction from addressing the concrete and systemic issues that plague the nation. The measures adopted by the state thus need to be seen in perspective and not as isolated realities in order to arrive at a nuanced picture.