Acknowledging the mobile internet trend gripping the entire country where everyone nowadays wants an app to make processes easier and faster, the Kerala government has instructed its departments to join the party and utilise the services of startups registered in the state or cleared by its Kerala Start Up Mission (KSUM) for coming up with some easy to navigate but fun mobile apps for all their official projects.

The order issued by the Kerala state government dictates that the government has officially sanctioned direct purchase of mobile applications from startups who have found a mention in the list cleared by KSUM up to a cost of Rs 5 Lakhs. A purchasing officer is not allowed to buy more than two mobile applications in a given financial year from one KSUM registered/cleared startup.

The order allows Kerala state government's departments and agencies the power to right away purchase an already developed mobile application or get one made from scratch or even add a mobile interface to an already developed web app for inter or intra-departmental use or for service delivery.

Since egovernance is being pushed by centre ever since the Modi government came to power, several departments in Kerala state government are already making use of mobile applications to make processes less tedious and faster for the general public.

According to KSUM director Saji Gopinath, with the new order, the state departments can start by identifying if they have a requirement for a mobile app. If they do, the next step can be assessing if there's an app readily available with a startup, and if it is, the department can go for a direct purchase if the product has already been evaluated by the technical committee and listed by KSUM with features, price, service level, support cost etc.

He further added that there's just one condition that startups from which the apps are being purchased or being developed need not be incubated at the KSUM. They have to be registered in the state and meet the parameters mandatory for a startup firm in the state of Kerala. According to Gopinath, a few departments have already started planning apps, some for internal communication and updation and others for external interaction with different user-groups.

Gopinath also shared that if a particular product (mobile app) isn't evaluated by KSUM, the state department can approach KSUM with its proposal for purchase and support. The Kerala Start Up Mission has also been given the responsibility of evaluating things like financials, proposals etc. and recommend startups to state departments according to their requirements.

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