Learner’s Submission: E-Government Uptake in India

09/02/2015

“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


Learner’s Submission: E-Government Uptakes

13/01/2015

Untitled“After indexing the term E-government as Effective, Efficient and Engaging role of government makes use of the maximum attainment of the Information and Communication Technology assets into public service governance and its delivery towards citizens, next focus on usage perspective and the future aspects.

E-Government Readiness can be measured by – Foremost effective role of e-Government which provide Technical Infrastructure and its availability to get e-governance services –efficient role that shows user’s ability or skill to use e-government the facility given by digital infrastructure – An engaging role to provide no of online e-service delivery platforms and programs along with its full interoperatibility and interactiveness as online presence.

Main objective of e-government uptakes is to provide real assistance of public services and its ICT delivery towards citizens.   E-government uptakes can be shown as emerging challenges with two sides and its importance: supply side and demand side uptakes. The demand side of the equation presents scope of improvements while establishing e-services on the supply side. Supply side uptakes show investment on e-government with better Implementation of how public service delivery and its content reach to the citizens. E-government uptakes on supply side mainly focus on the areas or application which can generate high returns for sustainable development. Strategic Development leads to succeed in the e-government by not only considering the high end usage of e-services but it should gain actual benefit from that usage for citizens. Instead of focusing only supply side uptakes government needs to invest more in strengthening capacity building as a demand side uptakes for interactive Government to citizen as well as Citizen to Government e-service delivery and its extend usage to achieve social, environmental and economic sustainability. Current situation needs to focus on the e-government uptakes by the citizens making the use of e-services and improving it to the greatest possible extend.

In process of e-government development the demand side of the equation shows emerging challenges of e-government usage, global efforts, policy suggestions to increase e-service uptakes towards citizen centric services which generate high returns on investment of e-government for sustainable development.” – Vishalkumar Ganatra – Gujarat State, India


Learner’s Submission: E-Government for the Future We Want – A Case Study of Odisha, India

26/11/2014

“In this article, I have discussed the E-Governance initiatives of the Govt. of Odisha (India) and the emerging challenges in the E-Government Uptake.

What is e-Governance?

E-Governance is the application of information and communication technologies to transform the efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability of informational and transactional exchanges within the Government and between the Government (including Union, State, Local bodies etc.) and Citizens/businesses. The most common interactions in e-Governance is Government to Citizens (G2C), Citizen to Government (C2G), Government to Businesses (G2B) and Businesses to Government (B2G).

Odisha, formerly known as Orissa, with official web site www.odisha.gov.in, is an Indian state on the subcontinent’s eastern part, with 4.7 % of India’s landmass (8th largest state), 3.47 % of the India’s population (11th largest). Odisha is famous for its Puri (Shri Jagannath and Ratha Yatra), Konark and Temple City Bhubaneswar.

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(Image-1, Odisha State Assembly, Bhubaneshwar; Image Source: http://www.pragativadi.com/)

Major E-Governance Initiatives of Govt. of Odisha, India

To keep pace with the increased importance of e-Governance at national level, Government of Odisha took major e-Governance initiatives in early 2000s. The state took statewide planned initiatives which included development of ICT policies, infrastructure and software development to transform citizen centric service delivery in the state. The vision of ICT policy of Government of Odisha was to develop IT/ITES/ESDM industries for inclusive growth and employment in the state of Odisha and leverage IT & ITES in governance to transform the state to a knowledge driven welfare society by improving the service delivery to the citizens.

e-District Project (http://edistrictorissa.gov.in/)

One of the biggest e-Governance projects in the state is the e-District project which has been implemented in all the 30 districts. The e-District Project involved integrated and seamless delivery of citizen services by district administration through automation of workflow, back-end digitization, integration and process redesigning across participating sections/departments for providing services in a most efficient manner to the citizens. This project enables the people to access following seven crucial certificates through the online systems.

  1. Issuance of Residence Certificate
  2. Issuance of Caste Certificate
  3. Legal Heir Certificate
  4. Issuance of SEBC Certificate
  5. Issuance of Solvency Certificate
  6. Issuance of Income Certificate
  7. Issuance of OBC Certificate

All these certificates issued under e-District project can be verified online with the Certificate Barcode No. which is printed on each certificate.  The e-district odisha portal is available at http://edistrictorissa.gov.in/ in 3 languages – Odia (the native language of Odisha), Hindi and English.

Bhulekh (Land Record Web portal of Orissa) http://bhulekh.ori.nic.in/

Bhulekh provides online information on land records. It is an initiative taken up by Directorate of Land Records & Surveys, Government of Odisha. The system enables optimized maintenance of records and provides accurate copies of Records of Rights (ROR) to the landowners all across the state. The RoR Information for 171 Tehsils of Odisha is available online.

ITIMS (Integrated Transport Information Management System)

(http://www.odisha.gov.in/commerce_transport/)

The department of Commerce & Transport has implemented Integrated Transport Information Management System” (ITIMS), for automation of its processes. The project has been implemented at major RTA offices and check gates and is being replicated at other offices. This project involves issuance of Driving License via ‘Saarathi’, Issue of registration and permits for Motor vehicles via ‘Vaahan’ and Collection of Motor Vehicle Taxes via ‘Check Gate Computerization’.

Emerging Challenges in the E-Government Uptake

What is e-Government Uptake?

E-Government Uptake is a key measure of the degree to which the e-government services provision is actually used by the end-users. E-government uptake by the citizens is “the percentage of individuals (aged 16–74) who have used the Internet to interact with public authorities”, as measured by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and other major organizations.

Challenges in E-Government Uptake in Odisha, India

The actual use of E-Government initiatives by the end-users seems to be very less in the State of Odisha, though I could not find any study in this regard to confirm the exact figures on the“E-Government Uptake” in Odisha. Low level of E-Government Uptake in Odisha is due to the following challenges:

  1. Typical Government attitude of employees in the Government offices/departments.
  2. Corruption by Government officials, Ministers, Businesses etc. (high level of corruption leading failures of various large projects/initiatives).
  3. Low level of participation by the people in the policy formulation & implementation, leading to huge gap in what should-be and what is actually delivered.
  4. Involvement of Middlemen/Dalals/Mafias in Government service delivery, who intentionally delay project implementation or create gap between Government and Citizens so that they can benefit out of this gap.
  5. Lack of will power and vision by the political leaders (irrespective of political party).
  6. Improper co-ordination among various authorities/agencies implementing the projects.
  7. Lack of awareness among the people to avail various e-Governance services (demand side barrier)” – Srihari Subudhi – New Delhi, India 

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