If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don't bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a new tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking. - R. B. Fuller.
Management Information System has been a proven tool to convert information into inputs for policy-formulation and decision-making. And its importance for Revenue and Disaster Management Department cannot be over-emphasised in view of the fact that this department plays a critical role not only in determining the structure, but also the texture of the fabric of land management and governance. There are several processes defined in the Assam land revenue Regulation, 1886, Assam Land Records Manual etc. for the functioning of the departmental functionaries, maintenance of land records, preparation of reports, and delivery of services. It is essential that information on all the processes and their intended outcomes are available at one place for informed decision-making and also to ensure that prescribed norms are being observed by all concerned at all echelons of revenue administration.
Governance should be based on what Walter Benjamin describes as the immanent logic of the principle of operativity. Whatever be the nature of the project or enterprise, to be effective it must equally address the parameters of ‘activity time’ and ‘activity logic’. And to understand this logic, it is imperative to have a solid scaffolding of information about different aspects of the project or enterprise arranged and woven into an organic manner. MIS for Revenue Administration has been designed to help the department capture the immanent logic of the operative principles of the functioning of Revenue Department.
All the systems of governance are faced with serious issues of inadequacy, cognitive and strategic, as the pace and dimensions of change in the modern world gathers momentum giving rise to higher expectations of transparency, accountability and objectivity. Denis Waitley says, There are two primary choices in life: to accept the conditions as they exist, or to accept the responsibility of changing them. Truth of the matter is that we have little choice but to accept the responsibility to change. To use the words of Will Rogers: Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there. To remain relevant and effective, it has become unavoidable for the systems of governance to keep themselves abreast of latest developments in the realms of thought and technology, keep analysing the existing structures and capabilities, minimise the time lag between the sprouting of the problems and remedial action. As Alvar Aalto has observed, we should work for simple, good, undecorated things, but the things which are in harmony with the human being and organically suited to the little man in the street. Simplicity and citizen-centricity have become the hallmarks of a good governance system.
When John D. Rockefeller says that Good management consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people; he is basically underlining the importance of process re-engineering for efficiency in governance. W. Edwards Deming also makes the same point: If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing. It is essential for any system to put in place processes and work-flow channels that are simple, standardised and swift, and keep evaluating them in the light of empirical evidence. Albert Einstein says: You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else. MIS provides a framework to the employees to learn the rules of the game better; and to the management, data to analyse their effectiveness with the help of credible outcome parameters.
Revenue and Disaster Management Department have embarked on an ambitious path to simplify and standardise various processes to align them with the changed expectations and requirement of e-governance projects. MIS provides a platform for the simplified and standardised processes.
Human Resource Management is another critical area for the Department. There are several aspects to it: availability of sufficient manpower, imparting right kind of skills to the manpower, motivating it for contextual performance and insightful performance appraisal to promote efficiency. In the manual system of record-keeping decision regarding filling up of the vacancies, extending retirement benefits to the employees etc. get delayed for the cumbersome process of collecting information. MIS makes it possible to monitor the scenario on regular basis and make timely interventions.
MIS brings into play what we know as Hawthorne Effect to ensure that the administrative machinery does not get away with negligence of duty by creating a platform for the monitoring of the handling of those jobs and responsibilities; and more than that it provides space to build a robust database on issues concerning law and order and security that serve as institutional memory for better planning to cope with the challenges on these fronts.
Lou Holtz says: The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the man who dropped it. This is fundamentally a word of caution against not being prepared enough for the job to be done. In the field of revenue administration this unpreparedness is very obvious in relation to the information management. MIS helps in plugging this gap. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle posits: When you change the way you look at something, the thing you look at changes in response. Availability of right kind of information provides useful vantage points to look at how the land lies and the curves and bends to be negotiated, twists and turbulences to be tamed.
The MIS in its present form contains 34 entry modules for the Circle Officers, 17 entry modules for Deputy Commissioners, 10 entry modules for Sub-Divisional Officer (Civil) and 11 entry modules for Sub-registrar offices.
The MIS has now the facility to copy and transfer the information of the previous month, quarter or year to the reporting period and edit it only as per the requirement. Besides, it also facilitates multiple entries in a module against specific data fields.
The most important feature is the provision for online certification by D.Cs, S.D.Os, C.Os and S.R.Os. It is mandatory for all the four levels of officers to update each of the modules every month (as required) and submit the certificate online in support of this by 7th of every succeeding month, starting with 7th of February, 2017.