App launched to provide one-stop access to central and state government services in India
Inaugurating the 5th Global Conference on Cyberspace on November 23, the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, launched the UMANG App, which aims to provide access to 162 government services on a single mobile app.
The UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) app has been developed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and National e-Governance Division (NeGD) to drive Mobile Governance in India.
The app currently supports 12 major Indian languages in addition to English and provides a single platform for all Indian Citizens to access pan India e-Gov services offered by Central and State Government departments, Local bodies and other utility services from private organisations. Currently 162 services from 33 departments from the national government and 4 state governments are available on the app. The onboarding of different citizen-centric government services is envisaged to be a continuous process, increasing the number of available services on UMANG. There is a target to onboard 200 departments/ applications with approximately 1200 services by December 2019.
The UMANG service has been made available on multiple channels like mobile application, web, IVR (Interactive voice response) and SMS which can be accessed through smartphones, feature phones, tablets and desktops. Feature phones without internet connectivity will be supported soon through USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data; USSD is a communications protocol used by GSM cellular telephones to communicate with the mobile network operator's computers. USSD messages create a real-time connection during a USSD session, allowing a two-way exchange of a sequence of data).
UMANG provides seamless integration with the national biometric ID, Aadhaar and Digilocker, which provides a dedicated cloud storage space to Indian citizens for digital issuance and verification of official documents & certificates. According to the UMANG website, the app will soon be integrated with PayGov, which provides common infrastructure for central and state governments to receive online payments from citizens using Internet banking, credit cards and debit cards.
Users can register for UMANG using their mobile number. If they opt to perform the Aadhaar integration, the Aadhaar profile information is used for eKYC (Know your customer). Users cannot link their Aadhaar ID with multiple profiles in UMANG.
Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Minister for Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice, said, “The fundamental philosophy of our government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ (cooperation of all for development of all). Digital India seeks to realise this goal of inclusive development by using the tools of technology. The digital India vision of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a new approach to achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. It has given a new paradigm of technology led development for sustainable development. The spectrum of India’s digital development ranges from digital delivery of services to rising digital economy powered by 1.3 billion people and reinforced by demographic dividend where 65% of them are below the age of 35.”
On December 1, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted that the app had been downloaded by 2 million users within a week after its launch.