SUWIDHA centres are one stop help centres for the citizens. These centres are available in rural as well as urban areas. These provide citizens with services relating to 35 different departments.
Punjab has been one of the most technologically advanced state in India. Being rich and diverse Punjab has a literacy rate of 75.84% and has used this to make government work effective and efficient. To do that the state government in its past 2 terms under the SAD- BJP alliance has made e-governance a reality.
SUWIDHA centres (Single User-Friendly Window Disposal and Helpline for Applicants) are aimed to provide citizens with convenience. These SUWIDHA centres provide citizens with services at a single point. No matter if the services might be related to any other department too. It is one of the very early initiatives of E-Governance that aims at Government to citizen services. It is a time bound method where citizens get results in a quick and effective manner.
It was started in 2005 with a vision to provide single point receipt and delivery of various services. The payment for the services is also accepted at these very centres. As of 2014 October, there were 115 SUWIDHA centres which are operational. These provide around 35 public services at district and sub district level.
SUWIDHA centres have acted as a real problem solver for the citizens who otherwise need to visit various farfetched departments of the government to get their work done. Providing these centres at village level gives the people residing in those areas a greater edge. They can now use the services without travelling far.
The Gram SUWIDHA Centre service was initiated by the government of India and the state of government of Punjab saw this as an opportunity to connect the rural areas. This can also be seen as a method implemented by the government to lift by the rural population and to provide them ease.
There are currently 2112 rural Gram SUWIDHA centres with total approved outlay of Rs. 3349 lakhs. All these SUWIDHA centres provide citizen generic services. The following are the services provided under Gram Suwidha centres:
- E-Vidya- In four districts of the state Computer training has been provided through the Gram SUWIDHA centres. More than 6000 women have availed these services till date. These are provided in Patiala, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur. The objective of e-vidya is of providing women with education that will further enable them to get jobs.
- Electricity Bill Collection- The payment of electricity bills has been made easy through SUWIDHA centres. Currently in more than 7 districts of the state electricity bills can be paid through SUWIDHA centres.
- UID (ADHAAR) enrolment
- Gram SUWIDHA Kendras are registering Citizen Grievances on PBPGRAMS portal on behalf of citizens.
There were 115 SUWIDHA centres as per October 2014 for the urban citizens of the state. It has been noted that there should be one SUWIDHA centre for every 1 Lakh citizens. In the rural areas as per allotted there are 2112 Gram SUWIDHA centres.