e-Governance Initiatives in India
Establishment of National Informatics Centre (NIC) in 1977 was the first major step towards e-Governance in India. However, a major drive for e-Governance was provided by the launching of NICNET in 1987 – the national satellite-based computer network.
A National Task Force on Information Technology and Software Development was constituted in May 1998. The task force recommended the launching of an ‘Operation Knowledge’ aimed at universalizing computer literacy and spreading the use of computers and IT in education.
National e-Governance Plan was launched with the aim of improving the delivery of Government services to citizens and businesses, is guided by the following vision:
“Make all Public Services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets and ensure efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs to realize the basic needs of the common man.
At the central level
- Central Government Portal
- It provides G2C, G2B and G2G services.
- It provides information about government structures and function
- It also put the latest bill for public consultation
- Digital India:
- Government accorded high priority to Digital India programme, an umbrella programme for transforming India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
- It is centred on three vision areas: Digital Infrastructure; Digital Empowerment and Digital Governance.
- Nine Pillars of Digital India: The above mentioned three vision areas have been further divided into nine pillars as follows:
- Broadband Highways
- Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity
- Public Internet Access Programme
- e-Governance: Reforming Government through Technology
- e-Kranti – Electronic Delivery of Services
- Information for All
- Electronics Manufacturing
- IT for Jobs
- Early Harvest Programmes
- E-Kranti: National e-Governance Plan 2.0
- Part of Digital India
- It includes 44 Mission Mode Projects and Core ICT Infrastructure
- The implementation of e-Kranti is vital for Digital India and for the delivery of e-governance, easy governance and good governance in the country.
- PRAGATI: It was launched on March 25, 2015. It aims at:
- Bringing e-transparency and e-accountability with real-time presence and exchange among the key stakeholders.
- Addressing common man’s grievances
- Simultaneously monitoring and reviewing important programmes and projects of the Government of India as well as projects flagged by State
- MCA 21:
- It is a G2G, G2B, G2C project.
- It is a Mission Mode Project under the NeGP in September 2006
- It provides easy and secure online access to all registry related services provided by the Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs to corporates
- G2G: Share information between different depot.
- G2B: It enables registration of a company
- G2C: Enables citizens to access to relevant records and grievance redressal
- Digilocker: The platform enables citizens to securely store, retrieve and share their documents (including certificates, land documents and tax receipts etc.) with service providers who can directly access them electronically
- Common Service Center 2.0: It provides many G2C services. It provides high quality and cost-effective video, voice and data content and services, in the areas of e-governance, education, health, telemedicine, entertainment as well as other private services.
- Jeevan Pramann: It validates Digital Life Certificate to the pensioner without the necessity of the pensioner being present in person before the Pension Dispensing Authority (PDA).
- And many more projects are being implemented by various departments and ministries.
At the State level
- Official portal of AP government similar to MyGov at the central level.
- It provides information about all the departments.
- Offers citizen-centric services like Birth/Death Certificates, Property Registration, Driver’s License, Govt. Applications & Forms, Payment of taxes/utility bills etc.
- e-Seva: Electronic delivery of Services
- It was started in 1999 with a single centre
- It provides G2C and B2C
- Now it has 200 centres- almost all Mandals
- It offers services like passport and pan card application, booking of tickets, Western Union money transfer, payment of property tax, income tax etc.
- e-Pragati CORE-CM Office Realtime Executive Dashboard:
- It is a G2G, G2C program
- It is an integrated dashboard-established to monitor category-wise key performance indicators of various departments/schemes in real-time.
- Users can check key performance indicators of various departments, schemes, initiatives, programmes, etc.
- It means ‘at your service’.
- Offer services like providing digitally signed Land records, Registration records and records of Socio-economic survey and Income certificate and Caste or Community certificate, etc.
- Adherence to citizen charter time limits
- It ended the 'tyranny of ink signatures' from Tahsildars to Police SHOs to municipal commissioners etc.
- Bhoomi Project in Karnataka: G2C
- Online Delivery of Land Records
- The traditional system was marred with lack of scrutiny that resulted in manipulation and favouritism and the process of title transfer was also time-consuming.
- Computerisation empowered rural communities
- It was felt that rural land records are a major channel to delivering better IT-enabled services to citizens because they contain multiple data elements: ownership, tenancy, loans, nature of the title, irrigation details, crops grown etc.
- The project is self-sustaining through the collection of user charges for computerisation of land records.
- LOKMITRA: It offers the following e-governance services:
- Online registration of applications,
- Rural e-mail facility, village auction site etc.
- Information on Mandi (farm products market) rates
- On-line public grievance redressal
- Sending and receiving information regarding land records, income certificates, caste certificates and other official documents.
- Market rates of vegetables, fruits and other items
- This project offers services like online registration of applications, rural e-mailing facility and village auction site so on.
- It also provides services such as Information on Mandi (farm products market) rates, online redressal of public grievance, provides caste & income certificates and Gaon ka Bazaar (Rural Market).
E-governance has to be implemented across different departments and organizations with a wide spectrum of activities and with varying levels of readiness for e-Governance.
Former President, APJ. Abdul Kalam said, “No country has so far implemented an e-Governance system for one billion people. It is a big challenge before us.”
- Digital Divide: Large section of the population still lacks digital literacy.
- According to GSMA’s 2020 Mobile Gender Gap Report, only 21% of women are mobile internet users while 42% of men have access.
- According to NSSO, only 14.9 % of rural households have access to the internet against 42% of households in urban areas.
- Security of government IT apparatus: IT systems are prone to attacks. Many cyber-attacks on government apparatus have been launched by outsiders earlier. Government IT systems are prone to the following attacks:
- Denial of Services Attack
- Repudiation etc.
- Political will: Large e-Governance projects, having large scale impact require total support at the political level.
- Privacy: The data of the citizen shall not be misused by the public or any private authority.
- Authentication failure: Lack of error-free authentication systems lead to wrongful inclusion and exclusion of real beneficiaries.
- There has to be a strong will from within the government itself to crossover from the present system to e-Governance. Many departments in various states have not seriously implemented e-governance initiatives.
- Errors in Data entry: Often wrong data entry excludes a right beneficiary from entitlement.
- Training and capacity building: Training government official is necessary for better understanding of IT tools and faster response and also increases their acceptance of e-governance initiatives.
- E-governance has great potential to and transform the society into an informed society and also ensures accountability and transparency
- e-governance integrated with mobiles will revolutionise the service delivery. For example, Tamil Nadu PDS department adopted technology that sends SMS alerts about stocks in Fair Price Shops to beneficiaries. This would particularly benefit remote or tribal people.
- Sky is the limit for innovations in e-governance in meeting the ever-growing demands of the people. For example, a state of the art technology would make citizens file complaints on the go and also review the real-time status of the complaint. AP state has taken initial steps with regard to real-time monitoring of projects and resolution of complaints. Similarly, Online voting in elections, registering complaints by sending pics to the urban municipality, etc.
- Ever-increasing technological breakthroughs will help provide better services to citizens on auto-pilot.
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