A Tech-Savvy Officer in the PMO
- Bhakti Kothari
- Published on 5 Dec 2020, 4:58 pm IST
- 4 minutes read
IAS officer Amrapali Kata is a master of many trades. From beautifying the city of Warangal to making people’s lives easier through technology, she believes in pushing the envelope in most situations. Her entry into the Prime Minister’s Office a few weeks ago, therefore, did not surprise too many people!
- IAS Amrapali Kata
Among the three IAS officials who recently made it to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Ms Amrapali Kata is also one of the youngest to have cracked the UPSAC. Ms Kata is a woman of many talents, and has worn many hats during different periods in her career.
Having scored All India Rank of 39 in the UPSC, Ms Kata is now the Deputy Secretary in the PMO. Prior to this, she also held the honor of being the first lady IAS officer to be appointed to the newly formed Warangal Urban district in Telangana. But there is much more to her.
During her stint as the Collector and District Magistrate of Warangal, Ms. Kata undertook several initiatives to give a facelift to the city. Warangal is a 1,100 year old city with rich cultural tradition. Through national government programs like HRIDAY (The National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojna), she preserved and incorporated this heritage into city’s development. By doing so, she preserved the unique environment of a large number of water bodies.
Ms Kata made the district open defecation free, under the `Swatchh Bharat Mission’ and focused on developing waterways and installing better drainage networks under her ‘Save Water Program’. “We are getting closer to achieving an integrated water grid to ensure a 24×7 water supply for the whole city, and also reducing transmission and distribution loss” she said in an interview.
WARANGAL GOING CASHLESS
Ms. Kata tried to reduce the hassle of carrying cash everywhere you go, by introducing cashless transactions in the district. Warangal being an education hub, there exists a large number of young students here. Keeping that in mind, Ms. Kata drove the program on two fronts – firstly, to ensure all points of sales provided alternates to cash through Point of Sales (POS) swiping devices and smart phone enabled services, and secondly, to ensure all users are motivated to shift to smartphone-based solutions. To introduce the concept to people, various stakeholder levels meets and college workshops were organized.
“Our drive was largely focused on ensuring financial inclusion and tying up the loose ends. We are willing to ensure that every citizen has an active bank account and ATM card, which is linked to his/her Aadhaar and mobile number. With the limitation of smartphone and internet usage in villages, one cannot just depend on mobile apps” she had stated.
IMPROVING EDUCATION AND HEALTHCARE FACILITIES
Initially, educational institutions and healthcare facilities in Warangla did not have even basic amenities at many places. When Ms. Kata saw the condition, she decided to tie up resources for basic minimum facilities for schools. Efforts were made to raise funds through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as this was an area that required investment. By the next month, all schools in Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC) had basic minimum facilities, all because of Ms. Kata’s efforts.
“We are ensuring every possible effort to improve the quality of education. We are also ensuring college students in the city are involved in the development of the district through active involvement of National Service Scheme (NSS) and various other means” she said in an interview.
AN AVID ART CONNOISSEUR
Not many people know that Ms. Kata is also a writer and an art connoisseur. She admired artwork so much that she went on to hire professional artists, and made them create wonderful art on the walls of government offices and the flyovers in the city. The project was named ‘Nagar Sundarikaran Project’. The artists worked hard for several days and nights, and beautified the entire city.
A TECH-SAVVY OFFICER
Ms. Kata is quite tech-savvy too and is known for multi-tasking. She can type a message without even looking at the phone while talking to fellow officers or media. She became extremely popular among the youth due to her hard work and passion, and gained quite a following. She has used technology to enhance the results of the district. She understands that the use of technology makes life quicker and easier. This was the reason she distributed electronic tablets and PCs to Village Revenue Officers.
Ms Kata has been praised by both the Government and the people for her work in solving the problems of common people, and for making innovative use of technology.
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