India building a single government app
Work starts on Prime Minister Modi’s “next big mission”.
The Indian Government is building a single mobile app that will pull together over 200 existing apps.
From applying for a new passport to checking exam scores, citizens will need to download just the UMANG app - the “unified mobile app for new-age governance”.
It will pull together services from central, state, and local governments, and some private sector apps. Citizens will be able to make payments, like taxes and utility bills, through Internet banking, credit cards, and mobile wallets.
The app will be integrated with identity numbers for online authentication. Citizens will be able to submit documents directly to agencies from the app.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year said “Taking the country ahead on mobile governance is my next big mission”.
The National E-Governance Division this week floated a request for a proposal to select a private sector partner that will build, roll out, and maintain the app. It has also asked for a web version that should run on poor internet connections. Users without internet or a smartphone will be able to use services via text messages and a toll-free number.
Agencies would be able to integrate new services through application programming interfaces (APIs), which allow apps to share data automatically. Officials will get dashboards to track its use and performance based on location and demography. They will also monitor citizen preferences, like what kind of payment modes they use.
Other countries in the region are consolidating digital services into single government portals. India has taken a mobile-first view to this approach.
The first year of UMANG will see 50 apps included, and finally, 200 apps integrated in three years.