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Maharashtra bags runners up in Best State, Best Civic Agency, Best State Election Commission and Best State Finance Commission categories

Honourable Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Mr Hardeep Singh Puri conferred the awards at the second edition of Janaagraha City Governance Awards held online on January 12, 2021

Mumbai, January 12th, 2021: Maharashtra wins runner-up in four of the five award categories in the second edition of Janaagraha City Governance Awards. Held in memory of Mr V Ramachandran, a doyen of decentralisation, the awards were conferred in a virtual ceremony by Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Mr Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday, January 12, 2021.

Maharashtra’s urban development department, Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport, 4th State Finance Commission, and state election commission won runners-up in the Best State, Best Civic Agency, Best State Election Commission and Best State Finance Commission categories, the highest for any Indian state.

Delivering the keynote address, Mr Hardeep Singh Puri said that cooperative and competitive federalism are in-built into the design and execution of various schemes and missions. “My Ministry is clear that only a partnership between citizens, municipalities, states and MoHUA can deliver transformative urban change in this country. We have seen such a partnership in action, at scale, across hundreds of cities, in schemes like the Swachh Bharat Mission. In the next phase of urban development, we need to invest in building the capacities of municipalities as institutions of local self-government.  As part of Atmanirbhar Bharat, there is sharp focus on shoring up own revenues of municipalities through property tax and user charge reforms,” he said.

“An innovative, effective and elegant way to catalyse the change at scale throughout the country is by showcasing best practices, celebrating them and facilitating healthy competition and peer learning,” Mr Puri added.

The Urban Development Department, Maharashtra won the 1st runner up award in the Best State Category for its ‘Decentralisation of Plan approvals’. The ‘JAGA Mission’ of Odisha was the winner in this category.

The Integrated Transport Management System of Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) bagged the 2nd runner up award in the Best Civic Agency category.

Maharashtra’s State Election Commission received the 1st runner up award in the Best State Election Commission Category for ‘Bifurcation of Assembly rolls and Digitisation of Local Body Voter List’.

Maharashtra also received an award in the Best State Finance Commission category, wherein the 4th State Finance Commission of Maharashtra received the 2nd runner up award for its recommendations to enhance autonomy of ULBs.’

The winners were chosen by an eminent jury comprising Priyank Kharge and Arvind Bellad (Members of Legislative Assembly, Karnataka), Amitabh Kant (NITI Aayog), Ashutosh Varshney (Brown University), Niranjan Rajadhyaksha (columnist and economist, IDFC Institute),Sanjeev Chopra IAS (Director, LBSNAA), Yamini Aiyar (Centre for Policy Research) and SK Das IAS (Retd.) (Chair of Jury, Member of Janaagraha’s Governing Board).

“Covid 19 has starkly reminded us of the need for government to be close to citizens, at the ward and even polling booth level.  Decentralised governance with citizen participation inherently built into its design, is inevitable for surmounting the challenges of our cities and neighbourhoods.  We need more and more governments, and more and more political and administrative leaders, to put their might behind empowering our municipalities and neighbourhood communities.  Through the Janaagraha City Governance Awards we are committed to amplifying such efforts,” said Srikanth Viswanathan, CEO Janaagraha.

“The State Election Commission of Maharashtra has taken a large number of initiatives using information technology to improve the management of elections. Voter list bifurcation through software was one such initiative which has won the award. The Voter list software is being successfully used since 2015 replacing the cumbersome system of manual bifurcation of physical copies, which used to consume lot of time and efforts and was rarely error free,” said Mr Urvinder Pal Singh Madan (State Election Commissioner – Maharashtra).

 The Integrated Traffic Management System (ITMS) mobile application and Public Information System (PIS) gives commuters real-time information on buses. This helps commuters to plan their journey. With this system, we have controlled overspeeding buses, route violations. Real time data of commuters is available. When commuters are more, buses can be arranged accordingly,” said Mr. Shirish Arawad (Transport Manager, Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport).

Online Event Link can be accessed here –    

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Winners of 2nd Edition of Janaagraha City Governance Awards            

Best State

Winner – JAGA Mission, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Government of Odisha

Ist Runner-Up – Decentralisation of Plan Approvals, Urban Development Department, Government of Maharashtra

IInd Runner-Up – Geo-spatial Mapping of Urban Properties, Commissioner and Director of Municipal Administration Department, Government of Telangana

Best Municipality

Winner – PPP Based Integrated Solid Waste Management, Indore Municipal Corporation

Ist Runner Up – My City Beautiful City, Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation

IInd Runner Up – GIS Based Property Tax Administration System, Raipur Municipal Corporation

Honourable Mention – Zero Waste Initiative, Kollam Municipal Corporation

Honourable Mention – Decentralised Solid Waste Management, Vellore Municipal Corporation

Honourable Mention – Decentralised Solid Waste Management, Petlad Municipality

Best Civic Agency

Winner – Piped Water Supply Scheme for all Urban Households, Public Health Engineering Organisation, Odisha

Ist Runner-Up – Municipal E-Governance Project, Punjab Municipal Infrastructure Development  Company

IInd Runner-Up – Integrated Transport Management System, Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport

Honourble Mention – E-Platform and ERP System, Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority

Best State Election Commission

Winner – E-Voting, Gujarat State Election Commission

Ist Runner-Up – Bifurcation of Assembly Rolls and Digitisation of Local Body Voter List, Maharashtra State Election Commission

2nd Runner-Up- E-Election Software, Uttar Pradesh State Election Commission

Best State Finance Commission

Winner – Kerala 4th State Finance Commission

Ist Runner-Up – Bihar 5th State Finance Commission

IInd Runner-Up – Maharashtra 4th State Finance Commission

Panel Discussions

The award ceremony was followed by 3 panel discussions on topics:

  1. Power to the People: Is a truly empowered City Government possible in India?
  2. Making Decentralisation work in India: Learning from Successes
  3. Women Leader’s as Change Agents in India’s Cities

The panelists consisted of senior Indian and foreign politicians at the center, state and city levels, senior bureaucrats, and inspirational women leaders.

Janaagraha City Governance Awards

Janaagraha City Governance Awards are instituted in the memory of Mr V Ramachandran, a doyen of decentralisation, to recognize ground-breaking work in decentralisation in urban context by institutions across government.

V Ramachandran, a former civil servant, known as the father of democratic decentralisation, set many a precedent with his visionary efforts and contributions in formulating participatory planning practice and Panchayati Raj. He also played a seminal role as a Member of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission in pushing the envelope on administrative reforms in India, and especially on decentralisation to local bodies. He was also a Member of the Governing Board of Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy.

About Mahender Bansal

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