Online caste verification hits a roadblock

On 15 committees, 10 have chairman post vacant, heads of three are on leave

The state government's move to push online caste certificate registration and verification may hit the slow lane with most of the 15 committees set up for the purpose lacking the requisite members.

This is likely to delay the process. The state already faces a pendency of over 1.8 lakh applications, 23,000 being Punes' share.

As many as 10 of the 15 three-member committees appointed to clear applications have the chairman post vacant. Three of the chairmen are on leave. Only two committees have the all the three members, chairman, member secretary and member.

The major hurdle in the online process that took off on Tuesday is filling the vacant posts, said officials.

"This is a major hurdle and even as online registrations have taken off from December 25, these committees will have to have all the members to take decisions,'' said senior officials handling the online registration office.

Online applications are forwarded to the committees for validation.

"Not having full-time members, many positions being vacant and some members being on leave will again delay the process. The state government needs to look into the matter,'' said an official. Pune-based Babasaheb Ambedkar Research and Training Institute (Barti) that has developed the website had announced earlier that applicants can register online from December 25.

"Government officials are well aware of the issues and should recruit committee members. They should be full-time members to help us deal with applications faster,'' said Barti officials.

A proposal to increase members of the committees to speed up the process is pending. Barti officials have announced that if application is valid, it should not take more than 15 days to be processed.

"It would only be possible if there are more full-time members to clear pending applications,'' said the official. The online system that was developed in three months is available on website http://barti.maharashtra.gov.in. Applicants can log in after generating a user ID. Once the applicant fills the form, he/she gets a detailed acknowledgement with a provision of amendment.

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