Learner’s Submission: E-Government Uptake in India

“India being one of the world’s largest democracies needs to have a bidirectional communication between government and citizens at all the levels of Governance. With the vision of our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi who believes that “Success of democracy is impossible without participation of the people” an earlier framework of National E-Governance Plan has been innovated to increase the outreach of the existing system to expand the usage. The Vision of this plan states that: “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 realise the basic needs of the common man.”

With this specific vision of our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched “MyGov: A Platform for Citizen Engagement towards Good Governance (i.e. Surajya)” on July 26, 2014. This web portal enables the citizens to “Discuss” as well as “Do” through multiple channels. There are specific themes for different categories of decision making processes of Government and its subsidiary institutions. To expand the usage Government had initiated a competition through the portal to create an App for Android, iOS and other mobile platforms which would increase the participation of citizens as 117 million of the Indians were using smart phones in 2013 according to the latest ‘Internet trends 2014’ report by Mary Meeker, partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). This is expected to rise by 45% this year. With this increasing trend we can expect an increasing participation of citizens and mostly the current generation diving in governance through the Mobile App.

Some of the Innovations which can be implemented for the existing system as per my views are:

  1. An SMS based E-Government system could be incorporated as in India currently there are total 933 million mobile subscribers as per report of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India(TRAI) out of which only 117 millions can avail the facility of E-Governance through Mobile Applications.
  2. There should be a decentralised discussion centres controlled by the Government where the discussions and ideas from the people out of the reach of electronic media could communicate their views which can later be compiled as proceedings and uploaded on the National Portal as there are approximately 1260 million citizens in India (2014) out of which the electronic system is not in reach of around 30-40% of peoples.
  3. At present the website includes the module for accepting feedbacks. It needs to have a transactional evaluation and monitoring system which will enable citizen to directly evaluate government plans through ranking or polling. This will help the government to decide which plans needs to be reconsidered and the status of the same should be provided on the portal which would increase the faith of citizen in Governance and the vision of Surajya.

The blogs provided on the portal needs to be served through 24/7. This would enable to track spontaneous emergency situations and will be very helpful if the grievances are registered and enquired through the same blog.” – Suraj Kumar – Maharashtra, India

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