“I want to make a lasting improvement in the quality of life of the people through sustainable growth,” Smt. Vasundhara Raje had said after winning the 2013 Rajasthan election.
Since the time she came to power, the Hon’ble Chief Minister (CM) of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje, has run the state with the motto — ‘By the people, Of the people, and For the people.’
In these digital times, there is no better way to bring “lasting improvement” than to go digital. Having had a sense of this, years ago, Raje launched her ‘Digisthan’ vision and kickstarted the state of Rajasthan towards a digital future back in 2003.
Since then, CM Raje’s digital initiatives, including e-governance, eSakhi, emitra, iStart among others has enabled Rajasthan to emerge as the number one contender for the DIPP’s startup state ranking framework.
With so much going around in the Rajasthan’s digital ecosystem, CM Raje has also gone the app way with a view to reach out to people in the remotest corners of the state. Raje launched a mobile app — the ‘Vasundhara Raje Mobile App’ — in 2016. The idea was to bring governance closer to the people and enable them to reach out to their state CM anytime, anywhere.
The mobile app provides the citizens with comprehensive information about CM Raje’s tenure, vision, and the missions she is planning as well as a one-stop guide to know about and avail of welfare schemes of the state government. Most importantly, the app provides a platform to the state’s citizens to provide their feedback to the CM directly and receive inputs from the CM via the app.
The App has provided another quick and easy way to my fellow residents of Rajasthan – to easily get in touch with me directly, and also have a direct access to all information about Rajasthan growing every day forward: Smt Vasundhara Raje, Chief Minister, Rajasthan
No wonder, with all these initiatives to bring Rajasthan on the digital charts, as well as bring on stage different means to connect with the citizens, Raje being awarded as the ‘CM of the year’ at the 52nd Skoch Summit held in New Delhi is apparent.
Also, during the same ceremony, Rajasthan received 31 more awards which indicate the digital positioning of the state, which further means, CM Raje is certainly doing something very right.
And this is not the first time Raje has been awarded for her inspiring works. Prior to this, for her remarkable work in e-governance and other digital initiatives, Raje had been awarded as ‘Person of the Year 2018’, ‘eRatna of India 2018’, and ‘Digital Leader of the Year 2017’ as well.
Before we delve further into the app specifics and how citizens are utilising it to connect with CM, let’s look at the key aspects of the app.
A Few Facts About The Vasundhara Raje Mobile App:
- Major highlights: Interaction with CM anytime, anywhere; Infographics showcasing major announcements, one-stop access to state government’s other citizen-centric apps
- Access to media coverage linked to Rajasthan startup ecosystem, the latest updates on new developments, speeches, interviews of the state CM and more
- 4+ Rating on iTunes Store
- 2 Rating on Google Play Store
- Number of iOS downloads: 40K
- Number of Android downloads: More than 50K
Vasundhara Raje Mobile App: Raise Your Voice Directly To CM Raje
In order to provide feedback as well as to share the request for interaction with the CM, one needs to have a Single Sign On ID (SSOID).
After logging in, the app prompts the user to write down the feedback which can be regarding issues with the app, the content or the images. Also, a user can provide feedback for any other kind of glitch observed while operating the Raje app.
Further, in order to interact with the CM, the user can first mention the purpose as well as can also upload the related documents or applications, thereby putting the file directly into the CM’s hand avoiding any kind of intermediary.
An ‘inbox’ facility is also provided to receive the replies from the state government office directly to the app, keeping the entire conversation at one place.
Also, the available information on the app has been organised in a user-friendly manner, thereby explaining each ongoing initiative as well as the resources to avail of these benefits in a pictorial manner.
This further helps the users to get real-time updates about state governance.
The Driving Factors Behind CM Raje’s Own App
It is to be noted that CM Raje is the first-ever chief minister (and at present the only one) in the entire country to have an app in her name, with which citizens can get all state government updates at one place as well as provide their feedback and suggestions directly to the CM Raje.
In 2017, although Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah also launched an app to connect with the state’s citizens in his name, within months the app was pulled down from Google Play store over data security issues. Also, Andhra Pradesh CM is also using an app route to connect with citizens since April 2017.
The driving force behind launching her own app and its resultant success is the rising number of mobile subscribers in the state. With 47.83 Mn mobile subscribers, Rajasthan was slated to be at the ninth position in 2013, among the top 10 states with mobile subscriptions.
By February 2016, the number of mobile telephone subscribers in Rajasthan had reached more than 59.5 Mn (5.8% share of the all-India figure). The number has been growing by leaps and bounds thanks to the state government’s efforts to boost digitalisation in every aspect and sector of the state.
Social media and apps have changed the dynamics of not just social but also political interactions as well. Ministers are no longer iconic figures to be watched from afar — they’re as human and as accessible as anyone else. And this is good for governance as when people can apprise ministers directly about their needs and grievances, it helps implement efficient governance.
Direct access to politicians and policymakers through social media and through mobile apps is also an integral part of e-governance and in line with the spirit of the Digital India push across quarters.
Rajasthan currently leads the race to become Digisthan thereby building a holistic startup ecosystem taking in initiatives such as e-Sakhi, Online Hackathon 2018, Challenge for Change, Digifest and Rajasthan IT Day amongst others.
Now being the only state where citizens can reach out to the chief minister, anywhere, anytime, 24×7, this is another feather in the state’s cap.