Sunday, February 22, 2009

the government is online but.. inaccessible!

two recent instances:

1. my passport, that was recently re-issued, as my father's name mis-spelled! i was quite happy that i was able to complete the process for getting an additional booklet in the first visit to the passport office. as per the current process, they issue a new passport with a 10 year validity.i was able to track the progress of my application online, and when i noticed the details for confirmation had my father's name mis spelt, the website had a provision to send comments to a special mail id.
many attempts to send a mail, failed. after 4 days, i sent the details of the failed attempts to the PRO - as per the escalation procedure - which again, was impressive - to see a government department having all this clearly spelt out. no responses.
a few days later, the passport arrived - with the wrong spelling.
once again, the website was very helpful - apparently this is not very uncommon - all i had to do was to fill a form, that is downloadable from the website, send it by registered post and, if the fault was that of the passport office, i would get my corrected passport in 4-5 working days.
only problem was that the page was not accessible.
the only option i have is to go to the passport office once again - and hope that the process is as smooth and efficient as the last time.

2. i saw an announcement about the electoral rolls available for verification.
my first search for my name did not return any results.
then i searched for my wife's name.
again no results.
searched for a partial name - and found hers.
my name was misspelt in that.
with the mis spelling, i could locate mine!
this time, i could download the form for correction, without any problems.
but, i cannot submit the corrections online.
i need to make a trip to the municipal commissioner's office for that, where the electoral office is..

i am happy that a lot of information is available online.
it is a lot of relief - to not have to depend on interpretations of intermediaries.

it should only be a matter of time to actually transact government business also online.
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