E-Governance – Advantages, Challenges, Types, E-Governance UPSC PDF

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

E-governance is the usage of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) measures in the governance mechanism to ensure better efficiency, transparency, accountability, and effectiveness of public services. The “e” in e-governance stands for ‘electronic’. It allows for the seamless transfer of information between government agencies at the National, State, and Municipal levels for the last-mile connectivity of public services.

E-governance can also be defined as the application of communication and information technology for facilitating government services, transactions, exchange of information, and integration of services that existed priorly and portals of information. E-governance is an essential topic for the UPSC exam governance segment. In this article, you can read all about electronic governance, its objectives, pillars, initiatives taken for electronic Governance in India, its advantages and disadvantages.

What is e-Governance?

The definition of e-governance prescribes to be the application of information and communication technology (ICT) for furnishing the services provided by the government, transactions, information exchange, and integration of services that were existing priorly and portals furnishing information. The main reason for opting for e-governance was that governance per se had become highly complicated and there was an increase in citizens’ expectations from the government.

Electronic Governance in India

In India, the primary propel for e-Governance was facilitated by the launching of NICNET in 1987 – the national satellite-based computer network. Succeeding the introduction of the District Information System of the National Informatics Centre (DISNIC) program which focused to make all the district offices computerized in the country for which free hardware and software were provided to the State Governments. NICNET was expanded through the State capitals reaching all district headquarters by 1990.

Models of E-Governance

The Government interactions for Electronic Governance are embarked on various levels. There are four types of government interaction, G2C, G2E, G2B, and G2G, all four interactions are as listed herewith.

  • G2C (Government to Citizen): G2C is the transaction between the government and citizens. It includes basic citizen services such as registration of birth and death, consolidation of land registry and ownership, and registration of biometric details. For instance, the National Portal of India, Passport Seva, mSarathi, etc.
  • G2E (Government to Employee): G2E is the transaction between the government and the employee. It includes online conferences for employees, online training, and a departmental grievance forum. For example e-training for employees on, Mission Karmyogi, etc.
  • G2B (Government to Business): G2B is the transaction between government and business. It includes disseminating policies, memos, etc.; business information such as application forms, renewing licenses, registration; Startup India Portal, etc.
  • G2G (Government to Government): G2G is the transaction between the central/national and local governments and between government departments and agencies, and organizations. It includes records by the state government, welfare schemes, plans, initiatives, and the marketplace of inter-departmental goods. For example Government e-Marketplace.

Importance of e-Governance

E-governance is a crucial set-up in the 21st Century due to multifarious reasons. The importance of electronic governance reiterates the major benefits received by the substantial contribution to the welfare of the ecosystem.

  • Normal governance is costly, expensive, and environmentally unsustainable. On the other hand, e-governance has reduced the overall carbon footprint of paper and reduced the transportation costs of the delivery of essential public services.
  • Electronic governance is more participative and democratic since it ensures strict open-source transparency and accountability by allowing citizens to register their grievances seamlessly and rate government services. It empowers people to gather information regarding any department of government and get involved in the process of decision-making. For example, posting grievances on the CM Portal allows people to ensure public services are delivered without any unnecessary delay.
  • E-governance also ensures better compliance with the law since it conveniences the rules and regulations. It is easier to upload a picture online and mail the document than to visit the nearest government department and get the application form attested. Hence, electronic governance is a revolutionary means to enhance governmental service delivery, simplify compliance with governmental laws for citizens, and improve citizen engagement and trust in the public, thereby decreasing fraud and improving cost efficiency for the government.

Objectives of Electronic Governance

The prime objectives of e-governance have been listed here, get in touch with the aims of electronic governance. It will widen the scope of emanating knowledge and uplift the efficiency of work. Take a look at other objectives of this initiative.

  • Improvement in service delivery to citizens.
  • Ease in providing information.
  • Increase efficiency in working between states or between center and state.
  • Improve interaction with businesses and different industries.
  • Bringing transparency and accountability to government matters.

e-Governance in India: Various Government Initiatives

The penetration of the internet, and telecommunication services in India has increased. Government is also optimistic about the future of E-governance in India, and to make it a success, it has launched various initiatives.

Digital India

Digital India is a program covering numerous Government Ministries and Departments. It is a compilation of a myriad number of ideas and thoughts into a single, effective perspective so that each one of them can be put to implementation as a segment of a larger objective.

The objective is to furnish the much-needed propel to the nine fundamentals of the areas of growth, namely Broadband Highways, Public Internet Access Programme, Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity, e-Governance: Restructuring the Government through varied technologies such as, e-Kranti – Information for All, Electronic Delivery of Services, Electronics Manufacturing, IT for Jobs and Early Harvest Programmes. The essential initiatives under Digital India include:

  • DigiLockers
  • E-Health Campaigns
  • E-Education Campaigns
  • E-Kranti (Electronic Delivery of Services)
  • BHIM – UPI Portal
  • E-Hospitals

There are various e-governance initiatives launched by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology under the Digital India Initiative such as:

  • Providing free WIFI to all secondary and higher secondary government schools.
  • Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyaan aims to spread digital literacy in rural India.
  • Justice delivery through e-Courts, e-Police, e-Jails, and e-Prosecution.
  • National GIS Mission Mode Project-based spatial planning for design and development.
  • Establishing National Cyber Security Co-ordination Centre to ensure a safe and secure cyber-space within the country.
  • Launching MyGov to more participative citizen-centric governance.
  • Launching DigiLocker for a repository of documents that can be accessed on the go.
  • PRAGATI and DARPAN were launched to monitor, analyze, and circumspect the performance of State departments in ensuring the completion of projects on time.
  • The National Centre of Geo-informatics (NCoG) was launched through Geographic Information System (GIS) platform for sharing, collaboration, location-based analytics, and decision support systems for Departments.

e-Kranti – Electronic Delivery of Services

e-Kranti is an efficient pillar of the Digital India initiative. Taking into consideration the primary mandate for mobile governance, e-Governance, and good governance in the country, the vision and primary segments of e-Kranti have been sanctioned by the government. The e-Kranti layout takes into consideration the electronic delivery of services through an envelope of mission-mode projects that influence numerous government departments.


It has been integrated and introduced by the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice, and works in a Mission Mode Project (MMP) comprises the objective of putting the use of technology for enhanced equipping of services pertaining to the judiciary to citizens.


It is introduced by the Department of Information Technology. It possesses the objective of delivery of high volume, related services catering to citizens at the District level, for example, issuing of income, caste certificates, birth/death certificates, old age, widow pension, etc.


The project comprises an objective to furnish electronic services to Companies. The companies under consideration will be those that have been registered under the Company Act and are launched by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.


The e-Seva project has become very popular among citizens, especially for the payment of utility bills. It is designed to provide ‘Government to Citizen’ and ‘e-Business to Citizen’ services.

Advantages of e-Governance

E-governance does not only hold economic potential but social potential as well. It caters to numerous needs and aims to uplift the system and address the various issues to increase the efficiency of work. The advantages of E-governance are listed here-

  • It has increased the scope and extent of the government services such as registration of personal information such as biometric registration through common Seva Kendra.
  • It has enhanced transparency and accountability in public administration. All essential information such as the legislations, laws, data, and statistics are provided online. It makes sure that transparency is maintained and integrated. This provides assistance to the taxpayers in getting knowledge of the legalities and rules.
  • Accountability will be ensured and regulated through apt and accurate recording of each transaction.
  • Improved service delivery in the form of better access to information and quality services to citizens.
  • The rapid growth of communications technology and its adoption in governance would support bringing government machinery to the doorsteps of the citizens.
  • It is environmentally more sustainable and optimizes the paper-based system which will help in less usage of paper, it will help in saving time, money, and the environment.

Disadvantages of e-Governance

Along with numerous advantages, it also carries various disadvantages that have been listed here. The digital illiteracy of the population and the associated threats related are the major disadvantages of e-governance that can be amended by spreading awareness.

  • E-governance measures have led to a loss of interpersonal communications which are considered vital in developing trust.
  • There are various logistical difficulties and a lack of technical know-how in maintaining e-governance. This also puts a burden on the digital infrastructure and even occasional hardware failure, power outage, slow or no connectivity, etc. will stop the delivery of public service completely.
  • It has been observed that there is over 85 percent of digital illiteracy present across India. This makes the fulfillment of the scope of e-governance measures more difficult. Also, it makes the citizens vulnerable to attacks of phishing and hacking of their sensitive personal data.
  • Various leakages of personal data have been reported. The instances of cyber-crime have increased multi-fold as well. This dents the intention to accord maximum governance through electronic means.
  • Enabling the digitization of age-old records of land and property is a herculean task and government officials are also not staffed suitably for the same.
  • Infrastructure investments in computer systems and anti-malware software to protect the servers are also low in India. With the introduction of the Internet of Things, the Smart City Model, more investment is required for the same.

E-Governance: Challenges

There are large numbers of potential barriers to the implementation of e-Governance. We need methodical strategies and plans of action for catering to these challenges and implementing e-governance at various levels.

  • Absence of basic facilities related to infrastructure such as electricity, internet, etc.
  • E-governance is an expensive step and would need greater amounts of public money.
  • Meeting the standards of security and protection of the data are areas of primary concern.
  • There is a wide difference between those who avail of government services and those who do not.
  • There is unequal access and availability of services due to a diverse population.

Future of E-governance

e-Governance is accelerating in India, but there are some essential issues that need to be taken into consideration such as the digital divide and public awareness. The future of e-Governance can be viewed as:

  • With the rise of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, the proliferation of Digital Platforms and the Digital Economy will propel a deeper need for e-governance in India
  • In order to build Digital Trust, Transparency, Security, and Privacy, there is a need to protect the personal data of the citizens.
  • All of the benefits of e-governance can be reaped by ensuring skilling and capacity building of the citizens through digital literacy camps, the use of communication media, and certification course.

Main Purpose of E-Governance

The main purpose of e-governance is to make government services more accessible and to simplify the entire process for citizens at different levels. It aims to transform the way government functions and interacts with citizens, businesses, and other stakeholders. E-governance allows citizens to access government services from anywhere and at any time, without the hassle of getting in lines to visit government offices.

Furthermore, it can help streamline government processes and reduce the time and cost involved in providing services. What’s more, e-governance makes the entire system more transparent by providing citizens with access to information and data. Hence, the government becomes more accountable and responsible.

Potential of E-Governance in India

In a country like India, e-governance has immense potential to transform the way government functions and interacts with citizens. Let’s take a look at a few ways it can benefit the nation.

  • E-governance can help make government services more accessible to citizens, especially those living in remote and backward areas.
  • It can help empower citizens by giving them a voice in the decision-making process of the government and providing opportunities for participation.
  • The Digital India initiative aims to transform India into a digitally empowered society that can compete with the first world nations in terms of technology and development.
  • E-governance can make it easier to start your own business venture and attract Foreign Direct Investment in India.

e-Governance UPSC

E-governance infers to mean that ‘electronic governance’ is putting to use information and communication technologies (ICTs) (such as Wide Area Networks, the Internet, and mobile computing) at numerous strata of the government and the public sector and further, for the objective of uplifting governance.

e-Governance UPSC Notes

To have the best preparation strategy, one needs to cover all the essential topics mentioned in the UPSC Syllabus. Current Affairs are also equally important. E governance is an important topic from the exam point of view.

E-governance Questions

The topic of e-governance is covered under both, UPSC Prelims and Mains General Studies II paper. Various flagship programs of the government such as Digital India are often in news, making this article important for the Current Affairs/contemporary aspects of the UPSC exam. Numerous questions are asked from these topics, the same are illustrated herein.

Question: Which of the following is/are the aim/aims of the “Digital India” Plan of the Government of India? [1] Formation of India’s own Internet companies like China did. [2] Establish a policy framework to encourage overseas multinational corporations that collect Big Data to build their large data centers within our national geographical boundaries. [3] Connect many of our villages to the Internet and bring Wi-Fi to many of our schools, public places, and major tourist spots.

Select the correct answer using the code given: (a) 1 and 2 only, (b) 3 only, (c) 2 and 3 only, (d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: Option C ( 2 and 3 only) Establish a policy framework to encourage overseas multinational corporations that collect Big Data to build their large data centers within our national geographical boundaries. Connect many of our villages to the Internet and bring Wi-Fi to many of our schools, public places, and major tourist spots.

Question: Elucidate how e-governance can incorporate economic inclusiveness and lead to social transformation in India.

Question: What is e-governance and what are the obstacles in the path of success of e-governance?

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