Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave today launched a website for filing of e-application for seeking the National Biodiversity Authority's nod to access biological resources and associated knowledge.
As part of the government's 'Digital India' policy, Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) will also accept online applications.
Launching the website through video-conferencing, Dave said the meaning of good governance lies in making the processes transparent and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is inspiring everyone to embrace e-governance.
"E-governance will be made 100 per cent operational in the near future and all the processes of the ministry will be made fully transparent," he said.
Facilitating online filing of the Access and Benefit Sharing applications will promote 'Digital India' and ease of doing business.
The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) teamed up with the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to launch the online filing of Access and Benefit Sharing applications.
If an Indian or foreign individual and entity like a registered company wishes to access biological resources and associated knowledge for various activities, prior approval of the NBA or state biodiversity boards is a prerequisite, the environment ministry said.
"The NBA will adhere to stipulated timelines to process applications. With the process being made online, the attempt is to address these issues better and also to keep pace with digitisation," it said.
"Digital technology must be used not only to promote ease of doing business, but also to facilitate transactions for the public. NBA will put all other processes in digital format so that people gets better service," environment secretary Ajay Narayan Jha said.
The NBA website hosts the detailed procedure for filing of applications, key information required and the supporting documents that are to be submitted by applicants.
The ministry said the online process is user friendly and allows the applicant to edit and review the application, put in digital signature among others.
The portal also provides for online payment of fees for the application. Once the website is fully operational, it is expected to ease the submission of application and speed-up the process of granting approvals by the NBA.
"These features are expected to considerably reduce the processing time of applications," the ministry said.
Till date, over 1,600 applications have been received and 980 applications have been cleared. A total of 440 agreements have been signed by the NBA with the applicants, which is construed as an approval.
The NBA is a statutory body established under the provisions of the Biological Diversity Act (2002).
It performs facilitative and advisory functions for the government on issues of conservation, sustainable use of biological resources, and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of biological resources.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)