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About this blog

Read about what is current about Forms in India, how are we trying to get the forms for you and how best to bridge the gaps.

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shrawan

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In the era of Internet, there is a strong movement to digitise all forms format and force users to visit online to fill the form. Does this mean that in due course physical forms will lose its purpose and will be completely replaced by the online mechanism?

Yes, the advantage of the online form is tremendous. You get the details in the digitised format. Secondly, you can receive payments for the forms online by using online payment gateways. This way, the process is simplified, the user need not go to the office to obtain the form and then to submit the form in the office. The user gets the acknowledgement, and he/she can track the application/ form status online (in of course majority of the cases). 

Then why do you still need physical forms?

Persons with no access to internet

Number one requirement for the physical form is for those who still do not have access to the web, computer or smart phones.  The report said overall Internet penetration in India is currently around 31%. (Source). And the major penetration problem is in the rural India. Here is what one report state

Quote

“Urban India with an estimated population of 444 million already has 269 million (60%) using the Internet. Rural India, with an estimated population of 906 million as per 2011 census, has only 163 million (17%) Internet users. Thus, there are potential approximately 750 million users still in rural India who are yet to become Internet users; if only they can be reached out properly.”

A similar TRAI report states like this

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Persons with poor knowledge of internet / online system

If you see the current generation of mobile/computer users, the majority of them are limited by the use of social media like WhatsApp and Facebook. But once it comes to filling the form online, the users just fails. It may either due to non-selection, incorrect format, missing validation entry or may be attributable to internet failure.  It is essential that either the online form is flawless or there is an option for offline form entry.

Errors in Online Form

The biggest problem in online form filling is online form itself. How many times you have witnessed, server errors, errors on the incomplete page redirection, failure in submission e.t.c. Most of the Government are using local developers hired on contract from NICSI by NIC and placed for development. What is meant is that every time the wheel is re-invented. Every time a coding is done and using all most always different backend application. Admit it, the Government Online form system is still in infancy and will take much more time to mature. Now we do have 20-30% computer penetration, but we have 60-70% mobile penetration. Do we have the online mobile optimised forms? The answer is big NO.

Persons with Disability

The biggest problem faced is the PoW, the Persons with Disability. These people have the real issue in accessing the forms online. The assistance is weak, and they struggle even to find the form. 

Conclusion

Till the industry matures, Government standardises the formats and backend, the interface is seamless, intuitive and interactive, the need for offline forms will continue for long and the Government sadly who are doing away with offline forms (even the links to the forms are also not visible or hidden deep down in the website), will have to evolve and keep the game simple. So does our efforts to capture and provide free forms for everybody. Read our mission here:  What do FormStore Stand for

shrawan

Imagine India where anyone can easily learn how to get anything from Government. A world where access to comprehensive step-by-step instructions in multiple languages enables billions of people to get their work done from Government and improve their lives. That’s the India we want to create.

At FormStore, a community of knowledge helpers are collaborating to create this world. We are driven by a shared passion to create a high-quality collection of forms. We keep on collecting and improving each form until we think it has become the single most helpful set of forms and also contains step-by-step instructions to use.

While we recognize that this ambitious goal will take years to accomplish, we take pleasure in knowing that we already help lakhs of people every day.

What do we do at FormStore.in

FormStore.in is a collaborative effort to create India's most helpful and comprehensive forms and guides in Government matters. Our Model is like Wikipedia, in that anyone can write or edit a form on the site. We want to become a resource centre for thousands of people from all over the country to collaboratively share forms and write guides.

But for us this is a herculean task to achieve. When we collect, consolidate and upload each form, it has already gone through a gruelling process of search and validation. Finding each form is such a difficult task from Government websites. Some State shall provide web portal for registration before one can download a form and the registration itself shall be so difficult, some shall hide the form in deep links within the website, some state Governments shall have multiple portals and multiple variety of forms for the single process, and some of them simply be not available at all anywhere. We wonder why our email, my mobile number, my computer IP address need to be recorded just to obtain a public utility form? When we started, we visited each state Government website to download the forms. Now we don't know at how many places we have given our mobile numbers and create an account just to download a form.

The world from where we collect those forms, we find it to be compartmentalized due to diversity. This is an irony that our constitutional integration, does not provide means to integrate our Government processes and procedures across the states. We know we shall be of no use had the Government themselves provided these forms in one easy place. But as the things stand, we at FormStore shall have to help bind and bring India in whatever small manner by providing transparent and accessible methods of Government forms.

Who we are

A vibrant volunteer community of conscious and aware citizens from across the country form the core of FormStore. Everyone who contributes to FormStore does it because it's fun. Other common reasons people contribute include the desire to help others, the joy of collaborating on something larger than any individual could achieve independently, and the thrill of being used and read by a very large audience.

FormStore.in founder, Dr. Shrawan Pathak help keep FormStore moving forward.

How FormStore Works

Because FormStore is editable by anyone, our content can change every day. Each version can be seen, which gets reviewed constantly. We collect our forms from all publicly available websites of Government and also writes and create forms basis our experience. We share our forms and Guides freely via a Creative Commons license that allows FormStores' to be republished by any organization or person for any non-commercial purpose.

We consider ourselves a hybrid organization (Which uses the power of for-profit business to accomplish a charitable mission), a for-profit company focused on creating a global public good in accordance with our mission. We support ourselves financially by showing optional advertising. Yet, we don't think that ads should be shoved down your throat. We allow anyone to opt-out of ads by simply registering an account to join our editor community. We do not ask for any financial assistance from our editors and members.

To us, a hybrid organization combines the best elements of traditional businesses with non profits:

  • Like a nonprofit, FormStore focuses on fulfilling its goal to help provide forms and guides to people for free.
  • Like a business, it uses thin profits to finance its operations, innovate, expand, and assure stability for the project.

Our Mission

By collecting and making available public utility forms and writing the most comprehensive helpful guides to use the forms, we will empower every Indian's to achieve freedom from Bureaucratic clutter and delays.

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