E−Governance: Governance in 21st Century
E−Governance is slowly gaining importance day by day in the advanced world. It is the use of modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) such as Internet, mobiles etc by Government to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, service delivery and to promote democracy. E−Governance provides an access to information to empower citizens, enable their participation in the government and enhance economic and social opportunities to citizens, so that they can make life better, for themselves and for the next generations. According to National E−Governance Plan’s(NeGP) vision−"Make all Government services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets and ensure efficiency, transparency & reliability of such services at affordable costs to realize the basic needs of the common man.". There have been several successful initiatives and many noteworthy projects that have been undertaken in various states of India. Bhoomi, RAILNET, E−Suvidha, SARITA, E−Sewa etc are some of the successful achievements. The experience of e−governance projects in our country shows that 15% projects are success, 35% projects are partial failure, 50% projects are failures. For successful implementation Standards, Infrastructure, Legislations and Strategy all need to be in place. And above all it requires e−readiness in the minds of citizens. The paper will be incomplete without giving a direction to our Strategy and this direction comes in the words of Mahatama Gandhi ,". Whether what we are doing benefits the common man in anyway "
E−Governance is slowly gaining importance day by day in the advanced world. E−Governance is gradually opening doors for using electronic power in creating discipline in an economy. It is also a way of using modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) such as Internet, Local Area Networks, mobiles etc by Government to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, service delivery and to promote democracy. E−Governance is the application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for delivering government services, exchange of information, communication, transactions, integration of various stand−alone systems and services between Government−to−Citizens (G2C), Government−to−Business(G2B),Government−to− Government( G2G) as well as back office processes and interactions within the entire government frame work. Its target is to create an effective, transparent , disciplined machinery for the better management of human financial and physical resources in an economy which will further lead to faster economic development .
GOVERNMENT Vs. GOVERNANCE
Both the terms are treated to be the same, however, there is some difference between the two. "Government’s foremost job is to focus society on achieving the public interest." "Governance is a process of strengthening the relation between the government and the various other environmental perspectives such as social, legal, economical, political, technological etc. So, the perspective of the e−governance is "the use of the technologies that both help governing and to be governed".
NEED OF E−GOVERNANCE
The need for good governance for India’s development is widely accepted. The challenge before the Indian government is to look ways to improve governance through e−governance i.e. the use of Informational and Communication Technology (ICT) which is a significant enabler in such endeavors. India’s National e−Governance plan has paved the way for a systematic wide scale implementation of e−Governance across the country. "Think Big, Start Small, Scale Fast" clearly gives the direction in which the e− Governance Vision of the country should be. E− Governance can transform citizen service, provide access to information to empower citizens´, enable their participation in government and enhance citizen economic and social opportunities, so that they can make better lives, for themselves and for the next generations. The key objectives of the e−Governance initiative are to: 1 Provide single window system for delivery of
services and information to citizens. 2 Provide integrated and simplified services to
citizens on any time, anywhere basis. 3 Decentralize service delivery and improve
accessibility of information to citizens. 4 Increase the efficiency and productivity of
ULBs. 5 Re−engineer processes for better service
delivery. 6 Integrate data and services of various
departments. 7 Enhance efficient inter−departmental
coordination. 8 Provide timely and reliable management information relating to municipal administration for effective decision−making.
NATIONAL E−GOVERNANCE PLAN
NeGP (National e−Governance Plan) is a plan of the Government of India to make all government services available to the citizens of India via electronic media. NeGP intends to institute and enable mechanisms to improve the system of governance and thus provide better services to the citizens by effective use of ICT. E−governance in municipalities is one of the Mission Mode Projects under the NeGP, which is expected to result in improved service delivery by local governments for the citizens. Implementation of e−Governance reform is one of the mandatory reforms under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). This plan was an outcome of the recommendations of the second Administrative Reforms Commission. It is under the administration of the Department of Information Technology of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India.
VISION OF NeGP
The NeGP has the following vision: "Make all Government services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets and ensure efficiency, transparency & reliability of such services at affordable costs to realize the basic needs of the common man". This vision articulates the priorities of the Indian government for improved governance through use of technology leading to the improvement in quality of life for the average Indian citizen.
GOVERNANCE WITH NeGP
NeGP is monitored and coordinated at the highest level by the National e−Governance Advisory Group. Appointments to the Group were done in first week of November, 2010 with its first scheduled meeting on 12 November 2010. It is headed by the Minister of Communications & Information Technology, Government of India.
ONLINE SERVICES UNDER NATIONAL e− GOVERNANCE PLAN
Find below the information about some of the online services being provided under different Mission Mode Projects of the National e− Governance Plan:
1 E−Filing of Income Tax Returns 2 Online Registration of E−Return Intermediary 3 Online Application for Permanent Account
Number (PAN) 4 Check Status of PAN Application Online 5 Online Application for Tax Deduction Account
1 Online Status Enquiry of Passport Application
1 Online Company Directory 2 Lodge Investor Complaint Online
1 Registration for Service Tax Payers 2 Registration for Central Excise Assesses 3 Know your Service Tax Tariff 4 Know your Service Tax Location Code 5 e−filing of Central Excise Returns 6 e−filing of Service Tax Returns
1 Online Pension Payment Order (PPO) Status
Enquiry Land Records
1 Check your Land Registration Records
1 Obtain Driving License 2 Vehicle Registration
1 Land/Property Registration
1 Check Agricultural Market Prices Online
1 Obtain Birth Certificate 2 Obtain Death Certificate
Gram Panchayats (Rural)
1 Online Collection and Sale of Handicrafts by
1 Online Status of Stolen Vehicles
1 Register with State Employment Exchanges
as a candidate 2 Register with State Employment Exchanges
as an Employer
1 Cause list of Indian Courts 2 Court Judgments (JUDIS) 3 Daily Court Orders/Case Status
THE E−GOVERNANCE INITIATIVES IN INDIA
The government in India has been continuously endeavoring to provide citizen services in a better manner. There have been several successful initiatives and many noteworthy projects that have undertaken in various states of India. 1 Andhra Pradesh: E−Seva, CARD, VOICE,MPHS, FAST, E−Cops, AP online− One−stop−shop on the Internet, Saukaryam, Online Transaction processing 2 Bihar: Sales Tax Administration
Management Information. 3 Chattisgarh: Chhattisgarh Infotech Promotion Society, Treasury office, e−linking project. 4 Delhi: Automatic Vehicle Tracking System, Computerization of website of RCS office, Electronic Clearance System, Management Information System for Education etc. 5 Goa: Dharani Project. 6 Gujarat: Mahiti Shakti, request for Government documents online, Form book online, 7 G R book online, census online, tender notice. 8 Haryana: Nai Disha. 9 Himachal Pradesh: Lok Mitra. 10 Karnataka: Bhoomi, Khajane, Kaveri. 11 Kerala: E−Srinkhala, RDNet, Fast, Reliable, Instant, Efficient Network for the Disbursement of Services (FRIENDS). 12 Madhya Pradesh: Gyandoot, Gram Sampark, Smart Card in Transport Department, Computerization MP State Agricultural Marketing Board (Mandi Board) etc. 13 Maharashtra: SETU, Online Complaint
Management System−Mumbai. 14 Rajasthan: Jan Mitra, RajSWIFT, Lokmitra,
RajNIDHI. 15 Tamil Nadu: Rasi Maiyams−Kanchipuram; Application forms related to public utility, tender notices and display. 16 Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram & Nagaland: Community Information Center. Forms available on the Meghalaya website under schemes related to social welfare, food civil supplies and consumer affairs, housing transport etc. The aim of all these projects is to lay the foundation for e−governance, create visible impact of the intention of the Government in this direction, and facilitate the interaction of the citizens with
the Government to make it more transparent, pleasant and satisfying.
E−GOVERNANCE: SUCCESS STORIES
Following are some success stories of E− governance: 1 Bhoomi Project: Bhoomi project is an attempt made by Karnataka State Government for computerization of Land Records. Under the Bhoomi E−governance project of all 20 million land records of 6.7 million land owners in 176 talukas of Karnataka have been computerized. This system works with the software called "BHOOMI" designed fully in−house by National Informatics Center, Bangalore. 2 Indian Railways´ RAILNET: The Indian Railways is Asia’s largest and the world’s second largest rail network. Adopting E− governance in right earnest and to reap the benefit of IT explosion, Indian Railways have established a ’Corporate Wide Information System’ (CWIS) called RAILNET. It provides smooth flow of information on demand for administrative purposes, which would enable taking quicker and better decisions. Realizing the important role that information plays in customer services and in railways operations, IR has embarked on its computerization program. IR has developed a dedicated skeletal communication network, as a basic requirement for train operations. After the early introduction of basic computer applications e.g. pay rolls, inventory control and operating statistics, railways went for deployment of computers for productivity improvement through building up operational databases. 3 Case of Gujarat check−posts: In Gujarat, a team of techno−savvy bureaucrats have finally succeeded in bringing corruption under check and consequently increasing state’s tax revenues through the effective usage of computers and other electronic devices at some 10 remote interstate border check− posts. Until now in Gujarat, inspection of 100% of commercial vehicles had been impossible with check−post inspectors being notoriously corrupt. The drive to curb the number of overloaded vehicles has only proved to be ineffective. In order to maximize their earnings from each vehicle, trucking companies have prompted transporters to load their trucks beyond permissible axle load thus creating a serious safety hazard. In Gujarat’s traditional check−post system, a suspect vehicle is flagged to a stop, and then weighed on a weighbridge located away from traffic. The legal penalty for overload is Rs 2,000 per ton. 4 E−Suvidha: This project was accomplished to provide services like − birth registration, death registration, marriage certificates, category certificates etc. This also provides information about agricultural prices and related matters, and educational and employment opportunities. 5 SARITA: A truly successful E−governance application delivering transparent and efficient service to the public in a most cost−effective manner (BOT basis) − a true Private Public Participation. 6 E− Sewa is the first major initiative in the country to employ information technology as a tool to improve services for citizens. The Andhra Pradesh government launched the e−sewa programme to provide integrated services to citizens of the state. The e−sewa center is a one stop−shop for more than 30 government−to−consumer (G2C) and business−to−consumer (B2C) services. From payment of electricity, water and telephone bills to the issue of birth and death certificates, permits and licenses, reservation of bus tickets and receipt of passport applications, the e−sewa centers offer a wide range of services under one roof. Most e−Governance efforts have defined the current ambition as achieving a Simple, Moral, Accountable, Responsive and Transparent (SMART) Government.
E−GOVERNANCE PROJECTS: INDIAN SCENARIO
India is a great country and we are proud to be Indians. India’s GDP(measured on Purchasing
Power Parity) now ranked 4th in the world. The ever−increasing Tele−density and Internet penetration is now empowering even the remote citizens and creating vociferous demand for information and services at their doorsteps. The speed of e−governance roll out in the country shall be determined by the speed of the ICT penetration in the rural areas. Therefore five things that our country needs are as follows:− 1 Strong political will. 2 Attitudinal Change− Self and towards rural strength. 3 Citizens empowerment to demand better service and information. 4 Sincere implementation of NeGP in the country. 5 Innovation: Unavailability of power hinders the roll out of e−governance in the unreached area. E−governance success and failure depends on the size of gap that exists between ’current realities’ and ’design of the E−governance project’. Analysis of E−governance projects indicates that seven dimensions, Information, Technology, Processes, Objectives and values, Staffing and skills, Management systems and structures and other resources, time and money, are necessary and sufficient to provide an understanding of gap lying between reality and the design.
When we talk of e−governance projects in our large and diverse country of 121 crore people, we basically talk of huge numbers. Therefore any worthwhile e−governance project would involve large population. The experience of e−governance projects in our country shows that: 15% projects are success. 35% projects are partial failure 50% projects are total failures.
Thus from the above discussion we conclude that both a long term and a short−term strategies for E−Governance implementation are the need of the hour. For successful implementation things like Standards, Infrastructure, Legislations, Strategy all needs to be in place. It also requires establishment of various institutions under the Ministry of Information Technology. It requires a Global Vision and local implementation. And above all it requires e−readiness in the minds of citizens and the Government employees.
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4. HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi