Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Pancha Tantra software for Gram Panchayats

Check the status of your property using Pancha Tantra
Rishikesh Bahadur Desai, TNN Apr 11, 2010, 09.37pm IST
HUBLI: Young engineers need not spend sleepless nights in the US worrying if their ancestral property in their native village has been encroached. They can check the status of their property and its ownership online, by a software tool developed by the government.

The tool called Pancha Tantra (from the words `Panchayat and `Tantramsha, Kannada for software) has been developed by the department of panchayat raj and the National Informatics Centre. Using this, people can make online tax payments, give applications for licenses or file complaints. Acknowledgements can be collected for all these. The user-friendly tool is available to the public at It is in Kannada and English. Importantly, Pancha Tantra promises to plug leaks in gram panchayat administration, ensure proper use of funds and ensure accountability.

Ministers or senior officials in the department can check if any official at any GP has misappropriated funds, diverted money or drawn more money than he or she should. All accounting data entered by operators is automatically processed as per double entry accounting system. It does not allow officers to deviate from the department rules.

It is proving to be a game changer in Bagalkot where it is on a pilot run. Officials here have uploaded all district-geographic, demographic, economic and administrative data. Operators also enter data relating to development works on a daily basis. This data can be accessed by any one anytime. However, the second part of the tool is more important. Apart from making administration easy to officials at village levels, it provides complete online administrative control of the panchayats to senior officials in the district and state levels. Officials can access, monitor, regulate or control data on a daily basis using Pancha Tantra.

``Sitting in Bagalkot, we track every rupee being collected from people and every rupee spent in the 163 panchayats," says ZP CEO G C Prakash.

RDPR minister Jagadish Shettar is excited. ``It will do to panchayat administration what Bhoomi did to land records -- bring transparency in the entire process,'' he said. All the 5,628 panchayats in the state will be asked to use the tool, Shettar said.

``Pancha Tantra is rewriting the rule book. It will redefine the way the whole panchayat system is run and perceived. It was essentially developed to reform the accounting system in panchayats. But it has evolved into a comprehensive system that meets all requirements of gram panchayats,'' P Ravikumar, secretary rural development said.

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