What is E-governance?
According to the World Bank, “E-Governance refers to the use of information technologies (such as Wide Area Networks, the Internet, and mobile computing) by government agencies that have the ability to transform relations with citizens, businesses, and other arms of government.
These technologies can serve a variety of different ends:
• better delivery of government services to citizens
• improved interactions with business and industry
• citizen empowerment through access to information
• more efficient government management
The resulting benefits can be less corruption, increased transparency, greater convenience, revenue growth, and/or cost reductions.”
Potential of e-governance
• Fast, Convenient and Cost Effective Service Delivery
• Transparency, Accountability and Reduced Corruption
• Expanded Reach of Governance
• Empowering people through information
• Improve interface with Business and Industry
Models of e-governance
E-Governance services can be shared between citizens, businessman, government and employees.
These four models of e-governance are:-
Government to citizen (G2C)
Government to government (G2G)
Government to businessmen (G2B)
Government to employees (G2E).
Government to Citizen (G2C)
This model of e-governance refers to the government services which are shared by the citizen.
This model strengthens the bond between government and the citizen.
Type of services which are provided by this model:
• Payment of online bills such as electricity, water, telephone bills etc.
• Online registration of applications
• Online copies of land-record
• Online filling of complaints
• Availability of any kind of online information
Government to Government (G2G)
This model refers to the services which are shared between the governments. There is lots of information that need to be shared between various government agencies, department and organizations. These types of services or information are:
• Government document exchange which includes preparation, approval, distribution, and storage of all governmental documents is also done through e-governance.
• Most of the finance and budget work are also done through e-governance.
Government to Businessmen (G2B)
Through this model, bond between private sector and government strengthens. They share information through this model like:
• Collection of taxes
• Rejection and approval of patent
• Payment of all kind of bills and penalty
• Sharing of all kind of information, rules and data
• Complaints or any kind of dissatisfaction can be expressed
Government to Employees (G2E)
This model increases the transparency between government and its employees and thus strengthens their relationship. Information that can be shared by this model:
• All kind of data submission(attendance record, employee record etc.) from various government offices
• Employee can file complaints and dissatisfaction
• Rules & regulation and information for employees can be shared
• Employees can check their payment and working record
E-Governance Initiatives in India
The Government of India is implementing the ‘Digital India’ programme with the vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. Digital India is an umbrella programme that covers multiple Government Ministries and Departments and is being coordinated by MeitY (the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology).
Various e-Governance initiatives taken by Government under Digital India programme are as follows:
• Under the National e-Governance Action Plan (NeGP) which is now subsumed under Digital India, core infrastructure components are being implemented such as
o State Data Centres (SDCs),
o State Wide Area Networks (SWANs),
o Common Services Centres (CSCs),
o State e-Governance Service Delivery Gateway (SSDGs),
o e-District and Capacity Building
• e-Kranti (Electronic delivery of services): The focus of the e-Kranti is to transform the e-Governance services by expanding the
o portfolio of Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) in e-Governance under various Government Departments,
o undertaking Government Process Reengineering (GPR),
o work flow automation,
o introducing latest technologies such as Cloud and mobile platform and
o focus on integration of services.
Following are some of the successful e-governance initiatives which are being implemented in India.
Government to Citizen (G2C) Initiatives:
• Computerisation of Land Records (Department of Land Resources)
• Bhoomi Project in Karnataka (Online Delivery of Land Records)
• Gyandoot (Madhya Pradesh): It is an Intranet-based service delivery with the twin objective of providing relevant information to the rural population and acting as an interface between the district administration and the people.
• Lokvani Project in Uttar Pradesh: Its objective is to provide a single window, self sustainable- Governance solution with regard to handling of grievances, land record maintenance and providing a mixture of essential services.
• Project FRIENDS in Kerala: FRIENDS (Fast, Reliable, Instant, Efficient Network for the Disbursement of Services) is a Single Window Facility providing citizens the means to pay taxes and other financial dues to the State Government.
• MyGov: It aims to establish a link between Government and Citizens towards meeting the goal of good governance.
Government to Business (G2B) Initiatives
• e-Procurement Project in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat: To reduce the time and cost of doing business, to realize better value for money spent through increased competition and to standardize procurement processes across government departments, this project was started.
• SWIFT initiative: would reduce interface with Governmental agencies, dwell time and the cost of doing business.
Government to Government (G2G) Initiatives
• Khajane Project in Karnataka: The project has resulted in the computerization of the entire treasury related activities of the State Government and the system has the ability to track every activity right from the approval of the State budget to the point of rendering accounts to the government.
There are a large number of obstacles in implementation of e-Governance in India. These can be categorized under the following:
Environmental and Social Challenges
• Non local Language: e-Governance applications are written in English language
• Low IT Literacy
• Users of e-Governance applications are often non-expert users who may not be able to use the applications in a right manner.
• People who are living below poverty line cannot afford a computer and internet connection for themselves to take the benefits of the e Government and other on-line services.
• Resistance to Change: hesitation that occurs on the part of the constituents in moving from a paper-based to a web-based system to interact with government.
• Cost: A huge amount of money is involved in implementation, operational and evolutionary maintenance tasks.
• Maintenance of electronic devices: As the Information Technology changes very fast and it is very difficult for us to update our existing systems very fast.
• Interoperability: Interoperability is the ability of systems and organizations of different qualities to work together.
• Multimodal Interaction: Multimodal interaction provides the user with multiple modes of interfacing with a system. An e-Government application can be really effective if its users can access it using different devices.
• Privacy and Security: A critical obstacle in implementing e-Governance is the privacy and security of an individual’s personal data that he/she provides to obtain government services.
• Connectivity to backward areas
• Local language: The e-governance applications must be written in local language of the people so that they may be able to use and take advantage of these applications.
• Lack of human resources: India is working hard towards creating better technicians day by day. But still, there is lack of matured technicians in the country to look after e-governance projects.
Recommendations of 2nd ARC on e-governance
Following are some of the important recommendations of 2nd Administrative Commission on e-governance:
- Building a Congenial Environment: Building a congenial environment is a sine-qua-non for successful implementation of e-Governance initiatives.
- Business Process Re-engineering: Governmental forms, processes and structures should be redesigned to make them adaptable to e-Governance, backed by procedural, institutional and legal changes.
- Capacity Building and Creating Awareness
- Public-Private Partnership (PPP)
- Protecting Critical Information Infrastructure Assets
- The Common Support Infrastructure: The State Data Centres (SDCs) should be maintained by
Government agencies such as NIC as it involves handling of sovereign data. Further, all data centres at the State level should be subsumed in the SDCs.
- Legal Framework for e-Governance
- Knowledge Management: Union and State Governments should take proactive measures for establishing Knowledge Management systems as a pivotal step for administrative reforms in general and e-Governance in particular.
Ease of Governance
• The idea of ease of governance was mooted very recently by the Minister of Personnel, Public Grievances and pensions.
• As per this idea, the main aim of e-governance should be ‘ease of governance’ leading to ‘ease of living’ of people. This is essential for the emergence of a ‘New India’.
• Ease of Governance essentially means Ease of access to governance where public policies are people centric with empathetic and responsive government mechanism with ear on the ground and connects far more effectively.