'Challenge Funds' remain unused

BANGALORE: The state government, which had established a Rs 10-crore ‘Challenge Fund’ to design and implement innovative ideas and projects that would ensure speedy and cost-effective delivery

Published: 23rd January 2012 03:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:20 PM   |  A+A-

BANGALORE: The state government, which had established a Rs 10-crore ‘Challenge Fund’ to design and implement innovative ideas and projects that would ensure speedy and cost-effective delivery of state services to the people, has remained unutilised for the past two years.

The Challenge Fund was meant for employees in various government departments and organisations, and envisaged a small amount to confer cash awards in recognition of the individual, team or the organisation, who successfully float pilot projects. The objective of the fund was to support innovative ideas of technology through implementation of scalable pilot projects to improve quality of existing services, reduction in cost and introducing a new public service for the convenience of the people.

Any individual or members of a team of any department can come up with a project or plan and submit it to an empowered committee headed by the Chief Secretary and an array of other senior officials.

The proposal emanating at any level in the state organisation should establish feasibility of scaling up of the project and vendor neutral technology and shall be routed through the department of personnel and administrative reforms with the recommendations of the principal secretary to the department concerned. Once the proposal passes the approval mechanism, the funds required for the implementation of the project will be taken from the Challenge Fund scheme.

Speaking to Express, Karnataka Chief Secretary S V Ranganath, while confirming that so far the fund has remained unutilised, however, informed that the committee (which is headed by him) has received two-three proposals, which would be placed before the committee next month.

“The committee can also rope in an independent agency to evaluate the success of the pilot project before scaling up the proposal,” he explained.

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