Learner’s Submission: Online Public Services in India

04/02/2014

“Internet as a social network evoked the world with its vast input database and knowledge sharing system. Today in the modern world, the share of public services information online has become a major important aspect.  The online service is a huge network source which provides a space for information to public, private and other resources activities.

In India, Online public services in term of availability of online data is accessible in various service providing sectors related to public, private, organational, educational, consulting, banking and others. It is important to have identity of information availability relating to the particular activities in each sector. Another important aspect about the online data is the security and worm mail threats. Every online services provider has to provide with domain to login-in to be utilized to be safer side of the site. In India after the 90s a revolution of inter user came to utilize the online resources for the online services providers on various sectors.

In India the web is now established as a mass market media channel for the wealthy. Email has become a mass market media channel for office workers and professional classes. The main changes in internet access have happened in the last five years and the internet has become an essential part of office life, and plays a key role in many homes. The number of people with access continues to rise, but so too does the time they spend online. Broadband access is growing fast, but the number of home connections lags behind comparable markets; however although the number of connections is low, a large number of people in high-end demographics have access. Significant infrastructure problems remain, creating a high cost for access compared to average wage rates.

Social Media has now become part of everyday life for a majority of online Indians, with two-thirds of the country’s web users accessing social media daily, according to new research.

Today social networking, blog and web relating sources are competition the user with fast provision of data relevant to weather, network, locality, features and other possibilities. Online data can provide knowledge sharing and also some kind of misuses the network resources. Scientists describe the internet as a prime example of large scale highly engineered yet highly complex system and is heterogeneous for instance of data transfer and physical characteristics of connections.

If the resources is utilized in a proper manner to develop the aspect, it reflect the achieving the growth of sustainable goals to take forwarding the nation to a developed world.  Security threats has to be resolve for safety and security of the web resources providers.

The internet is a gateway to world knowledge as well as a massive platform for national media and documentation. Once people start using the internet their behavior changes permanently and already in India over two thirds of people with access use it several times a week or more. Work audiences account for significant amounts of the online total population.” – Kishore Kumar Neelam – Andhra Pradesh, India


Learner’s Submission: Online Public Services in India

27/01/2014

“I have used several online Services like Passport Seva Portal (www. passportindia.gov.in), MCA 21(http://www.mca.gov.in/MCA21/), RTI Online (http://rtionline.gov.in/), Income Tax E-Filing (https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/), Employment Bank (http://employmentbankwb.gov.in/), National Employment Service (http://www.employmentservice.nic.in/), etc.

In India e- Governance was initiated by National e-Governance Plan of Indian Government which was take on May 18, 2006. Several Central Government/ State Governments have/ had installed online public services. Those services are categorized as Citizens Services, Business Services and Government Services
The e-Governance Standards have been divided into categories like – Policy or Frameworks, Standards, Guidelines. Various Expert Committees have been setup in priority areas, like Metadata and Data Standards (MDDS), Biometrics, Localization, Security, Mobile Governance, Interoperability Framework for e-Governance in India (IFEG), Digital Signature, etc. to formulate standards.
This e-Governance Standards portal provides a platform for sharing of ideas, knowledge, and draft documents among the members of various committees involved in standards formulation process. It also has a provision for web publication of draft documents for review comments by the Closed User Group and the Public. The duly approved standards by Government’s Apex body consisting of Senior Strategic members from: Deity, NIC, NASSCOM, BIS, CDAC, Planning Commission etc. would be released on this portal for free download and usage.
Key projects and enterprises of public welfare and governance get stalled due to lack of consensus among the stakeholders and later results into implementation interruptions and over budgeting.

In spite of such challenges, India has seen some of the biggest e-Governance initiatives in recent times including the establishment of common and support IT infrastructure such as State Wide Area Networks (SWANs), State Data Centers (SDCs), Common Services Centers (CSCs) and Electronic Service Delivery Gateways.
This initiative has provided a solid framework across the nation to figure and roll out, a wide range of e-Governance programs by numerous government bodies and ministries. For instance, the passport seva kendras, digitization of postal department, online income and sales tax collections, implementation of a single core banking platform across all 14 nationalized banks, voter identity cards (IDs) and permanent account number (PAN) cards for income tax are some of the nationwide e-Governance initiatives. In various public support sites like MCA21, Income Tax site, Passport Portal, Identity can be verified by PAN Number is automatically when filing documents.
Among the most determined and politically debated e-Governance initiative of India is the Unique Identification Authentication (UID) or the Aadhaar card project. Its objective is to empower residents of India with a unique identity and a digital platform to authenticate. Various services are getting authenticated by it like, Passport Application, Getting Government Subsidies in gas; it will also authenticate bank accounts.” – Rupak Ghosh – West Bengal, India


Learner’s Submission: National e-Governance Plan in India

16/01/2014

“On May 18, 2006, Central Government approved the National e-Governance Plan, comprising of 27 Mission Mode Projects and 10 components. The National e-Governance Plan was designed by the DEITY (Department of Electronics and Information Technology) and DARPG (Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances).

National e-Governance Plan have 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 realise the basic needs of the common man.”

Application of e-Governance is a complex process requiring facility of hardware & software, networking, process re-engineering and change management. National e-Governance Plan have following elements:
a) Common Support Infrastructure: – Common IT infrastructures like, State Wide Area Networks, State Data Centres, Electronic Service Delivery Gateways, Common Services Centres etc
b) Governance: Department of Electronics and Information Technology do the work of coordinating and monitoring. Institutions like NIC, STQC, CDAC, NISG helps the department in this work.
c) Centralised Initiative, Decentralised Implementation: Its required to develop citizen-centric models
d) Public-Private Partnerships: PPP is used for better and faster implementation
e) Integrative Elements: Adoption of unique identification codes for citizens, businesses and property like Permanent Account Number (PAN), Aadhaar Number of The Unique Identification Authority of India has been initiated.
f) Involvement of the National and State levels: Various Government Departments of Union Government and State Governments are involve for better and effective implementations in a holistic manner.
g) Facilitator role of Department of Electronics and Information Technology: various Ministries and State Governments and also provides technical assistance and DEITY taken the role of facilitator to coordinate all efforts.

Services provided by e-Governance can be categorized by following manners:
i. Services for Citizens
ii. Services for Business
iii. Services for Government

Services for Citizens:
We can access various citizen services such as agriculture services, registration of documents, learner’s licence, vehicle life tax collection, birth certificate, etc. Information about service name, category, degree of enablement, outreach, etc. is available. Some important Services are:

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, Online Passenger Reservation System: Indian Railway is an Indian state-owned enterprise providing Railways Transport system which is a major transport system in India. Through IRCTC Portal (https://www.irctc.co.in/) citizen can book railways Tickets, check availability of Tickets, Trains to their destinations. It’s a major initiative and helps us to get those services online.

Passport Seva Portal (www. passportindia.gov.in): Through it Passport Services become easy. Users can apply for fresh passport. Information on reissue of passport is obtainable. Information on passport requirements and suitability is available. Users can locate passport cell, Passport Seva Kendra, and also calculate fee. Applications status can also be tracked online. Through Downloadable e-forms passport application are made, checking status of it become easily available.

Birth and Death Registration and Issue of Certificate: Those Services are provided by various Municipalities (Local Governments). That is a major example of centralized initiative and decentralized implementation of e-Governance Project. Municipalities are providing online registrations of birth and death and are issue of certificate. Application Download, Online Application, Online Payment of fee/charges are the major features of it. According to Census 2011 lists there are 7,935 towns in India and 31.16% of the total populations are staying there. Cities and Major Municipalities are providing those services through their own website.

Online Employment Service: Both Central Government as well as the State Governments are providing Online Employment Service through their respective portal. Where Job seekers can register their details, those are available to the registered Employers. Physical verifications and validations of information’s are made by the District Employment Exchanges. http://www.employmentservice.nic.in/ is the portal of National Employment Service; it’s the portal of Central Government. Employment bank (http://employmentbankwb.gov.in/) is the portal of Government of West Bengal that is of a State Government.

Services for Business
E-governance services for business are important aspect such as online Registration, VAT/TOT Collection, Tax Payments etc

MCA 21(http://www.mca.gov.in/MCA21/): MCA21 Project, the e-Governance initiative of the Ministry of Company Affairs (MCA). MCA21 is an innovative eGovernance initiative that aims at continuously repositioning Ministry of Company Affairs (MCA) as an organization proficient of fulfilling the aspirations of its stakeholders in the 21st century. For any program to be outcome-based, a paradigm shift in the service delivery is inevitable. A Service Centric Approach by the Government is the principal driving factor to the transformation.

Income Tax E-Filing (https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/): Income Tax e-filing can be done online through the Income Tax Website.

Services for Government:

E-Governance is helping the governments for better governance. It is enhancing internal communications. Like e-Governance in Police departments enable them to exchange crime record in faster and smarter way. Those are important for prevention of Crime.” – Rupak Ghosh – West Bengal, India


Learner’s Submission: E-Services in Bahamas

10/01/2014

“In 2011, we launched a government portal with over three hundred (300) government forms, procedures for over three hundred (300) services, and five transactional services online. Those e-services were Real Property Tax, Renewal of Driver’s License, Traffic Fines, Vendor Inquiry, and Online Customer Service. My first attempt at using an e-service was in 2013, and I used two of the transactional e-services.

The first on-line e-service I used was the application for a Passport Renewal.  For this e-service I did not have to be a registered portal user. I chose the passport e-service and then completed the on-line passport application within forty-five minutes. I was disappointed that it took so long, but I found the questions to be ambiguous and not easily understood. I submitted the application and got a message that the transaction was successful and I would receive a confirmation email within forty-eight (48) hours. The confirmation email would include my appointment date to do the interview. Upon receiving the appointment date, I would have to go to the main office and do the following:

  1. Submit supporting document (e.g. my expired passport).
  2. Pay the renewal passport fee.
  3. Complete the interview and get a receipt with a return date to collect my new passport.
  4. Return to the main office with the receipt and proof of identification to collect passport.

I am disappointed to say that this first on-line e-service experience was unsuccessful. After waiting two weeks for the confirmation email, I decided to visit the main office to enquire about the status of my application. I discovered that the back-end system was not working and they were unaware of my submission. I proceeded to reapply for the renewal of my passport by filling out the application all over again. I completed the steps one to three above, and then I returned four weeks later to collect my new passport.

The second on-line e-service I used was the Renewal of Driver’s License. The on-line process was easy and flawless. However, again the back-end process presented challenges that made this experience a frustrating one for me.  This on-line e-service requires all users to be a registered portal user. I selected the e-service and it prompted me to login to the portal.  After logging in, immediately my registration and driver’s license information appeared in the required fields. I selected my renewal period, and the payment amount appeared for the renewal.  I then proceeded to make payment by using my credit card. I submitted the payment information, and immediately received an acknowledgement that my transaction was successful. I printed my receipt to take to the main office, and logout.

The challenge came when I went to do the pickup three days later. I discovered that the printing of my new driver’s license had been delayed because the back-end system was mal-functioning. I was able to obtain my new license two weeks later rather than the normal two days when done manually.

Both experiences were frustrating for me, and in each instance the problem was the back-end system because the e-service notified me that both transactions had been successful. Since these on-line services are fairly new (less than five years old) I am hoping that by the next five and ten years when I renew my driver’s license and passport respectively, the experience will be different.” – Lynn Williams – Nassau, Bahamas


Learner’s Submission: Online Public Service in India

02/04/2012

“There are various procedures and services online in my country and I am using many of them frequently as per my need. Here I would like to share my experience of using online public reservation system and online service to pay income tax.

In India, Indian railways is very popular public transport system across country.  Reservation of berth between any of two stations can be done through online reservation system. This is the one of the very popular online public system in India. I am a very frequent user of this online railways ticket reservation system. This online system provides flexibility regarding selection of type of berth, train, stations etc. It also provides options for priorities/preferences/quota to customer segments like ladies & senior citizens. This system also accepts information reading choices (e.g. vegetarian, non-vegetarian) of food habit during the journey so that the same type of food can be provided at customer seat. This online system also provide choices of online payment like Credit Card, Debit Card, internet banking of approximately all popular banks of India. The payment transaction through this online reservation system is highly secure and reliable.

Along with booking of the journey ticket, this online system also provide flexibility to cancel the booked tickets either completely or partially. After cancellation of ticket, passenger can get refunded  the amount automatically in the bank account through which payment has been made. Another interesting feature of this online reservation system is that on each transaction through this system, the user gets details on provided mobile number along with a unique PNR (Passenger Reservation) number. On the basis of this PNR number, the status of ticket can be traced any time. Along with this online reservation system Indian railways support this with 24/7 services. This online reservation system also book waitlisted reservation tickets which can be confirmed as per the cancellation of booked ticked. In case of wait listed ticket, if it remain in wait listed till last time of reservation, then that waitlisted ticket automatically get cancelled and refunded into the concerned bank account. By this way, this system prohibits the travel of waitlisted passengers. In order to apply online, every user has to register an account on the website for getting userID and password. This system also charges a nominal amount for every booking and cancellation of ticket.

Here, I would also like to share my experience of payment of income tax which I paid through online service provided by the Government of India. Online tax payment service provides income tax payment services to the citizens of India. Every citizen of Republic of India can submit online income tax through concern website. This online tax payment facility helps to submit the tax through online transactions by selecting internet bank account. This online tax payment facility also provides flexibility & options regarding income tax payment to government. After filling online tax, system generates a barcode on the filled form that can be sent through postal mail to the tax department. By this facility even a person who is not computer savvy can submit their tax online with the help of any internet/computer operator. This online income tax payment system is getting popular among new generation technocrats due to flexibility & time saving. This is the fastest and most convenient way to pay income tax in compare to the traditional method.

Since I am also associated with e-Governance project, I realize the many scopes and challenges ahead of all the e-Governments. I feel there is much need to integrate e-Governance elements People, Process & Technology in much better way for its success.” – Ashutosh P. Maurya – New Delhi, India


Learner’s Submission: Suggestions for Online Services in Zimbabwe

16/11/2011

“On this submission I will be focusing on my native country Zimbabwe, where virtually there are no online public services offered by the government.

Following the setting up of the Government of National Unity (GNU) in 2009 as a positive outcome of good Crisis Diplomacy by the parties involved, the people of Zimbabwe had so much hope in the new political dispensation. But sadly the GNU in Zimbabwe still lags behind in terms of offering its citizens services online.

In my opinion, I would like to see the following service being offered online in Zimbabwe:

  1. Tax e-filing system to be administered by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRE) to specifically deal with online tax administration services such as online tax filing and registration, e-VAT administration, e-tax submissions, and e-customs duty management. Individuals and companies would be allowed to log into the ZIMRE website and create accounts with log in details and passwords and get unique reference details once their online registrations have been approved. Then they will have to confirm and activate their online accounts of which they would also get a website link to use in the future. This would effectively eliminate delays associated with tax collections and submissions and improve Zimbabwe’s tax revenue collection capacity.
  2. An Electronic Trade and Industry Marketing Agency must be introduced to, amongst other things, provide online trade information services such as import and export opportunities, business registration requirements, official business policy documents, contact details of various Trade and Industry Agencies and contact persons and tax incentives for starting businesses in that country to potential foreign investors. Interested parties with web access can access the website and subscribe the to Agency’s monthly Trade newsletters which would be distributed through an e-mailing system.
  3. Through the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), an Electronic National Crime Command Centre must be established tasked with providing online crime reports and statistics as well as online detailed information on the most wanted criminals, as and when that information is recorded, approved and/or declassified for public access purposes. Anyone with web access must be able to subscribe to e-mail newsletters and have the information sent conveniently. This would help foster regional and international collaboration with other Law Enforcement Agencies on crime fighting and terrorism.
  4. An Online National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) should be established and managed by the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare to ensure that all the citizens get access to medical and surgical treatment whenever required. This Fund ought to make use of medical cards with magnetic stripes, which can be swiped on an electronic device and enable medical staff to get instant online medical information of the patients on a computer screen. As such, a proper electronic patients information database should be put in place and properly managed first before the full implementation of the Fund.
  5. Through the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), an electronic voting system must be put in place, to widely cater for the millions of displaced Zimbabwean citizens living in the diasporas, who are often unable to go back to their home country and cast their votes due to political violence that is always encountered in that country.  E-voting stations and electoral centers should be set up in the major cities of foreign countries where there are large concentrations of the Diasporas. These should be equipped with computers and voting assistants to help its citizens electronically register to vote, inspect the voters’ roll, cast their electronic votes and the centers would publish the electronic results. An Electronic Electoral Monitoring Unit which must comprise of election observers from the SADC region and other International Interested Parties such as the UN, EU and donor countries should be established, to an play advisory role and ensure transparency of the whole exercise.
  6. The Zimbabwean parliament should go online to increase online civic participation in bills under debate in paliarment, make available online newly passed bills, treaties, amendments to the constitution and the whole constitution in PDF. This would make it possible for its citizens make print outs for educational and analytical purposes. A knowledgeable citizenry can properly exercise their rights and overall become law-abiding citizens and take part in law-formulation processes. Sharing knowledge is power.
  7. In conclusion, a National Cyber Monitoring and Regulatory Board (NCMRB) has got to be established, comprised of patriotic IT experts and parliamentarians tasked with the mandate of analyzing global trends of e-governments, identify new opportunities for further e-government development and align them to local needs and aspirations and further formulate strategies for dealing with challenges brought about by changing trends. These strategies should be incorporated into the government’s decision-making systems which form part of its knowledge management programs.

This board should report directly to parliament and further play a major role in advising and assisting parliament with the procurement of proper ICT equipment and the formulation of laws that regulate electronic commerce. Special attention should be given to authenticity, privacy and security laws as these do have a direct effect on the e-government hemisphere. The Computer Society of Zimbabwe should be involved in each and every initiative of the board to make sure that International technical and security quality standards are ever maintained.

Finally, total political commitment from the top strata of the GNU is vitally needed if such an e-government programme is to bear meaningful fruits.” – Butholezwe Bhebhe – Johannesburg, South Africa


Learner’s Submission: Online Services in Canada

17/10/2011

“I moved from Grenada to Canada in April of 2011, after spending almost 6 years in Grenada. Being at the policy level in a developing country pushing for e-governance was really hard. I just wanted to see a light at the end of the tunnel, but it was hard to sell the positive impact it can bring to society.

Here I will give an example of Property Tax payment in Canada. I have an online account in my bank’s website, and through this account I can pay all my utility bills and my taxes. I pay online, at the ease of my convenience, and I can also pre-authorize my payments so I will not miss them or be late.

The drivers license and license plate renewal  can be done in kiosks located in shopping malls, which serve as a one stop shop for most government services. In Grenada, it takes a day to renew your license or pay taxes.  People who live in parish areas have to travel to the office, paying for the bus fare plus for his/her food for the day, so they can pay their taxes or renew their licenses.

I would definitely like to see one day Grenada with all the social and economic benefits that is possible to offer to citizens through the implementation of e-government applications. By doing so, I am positive that the productive time of people could be saved and used for other activities. There is a need to show some quick solutions, maybe with economic reward, to encourage governments to really make use of ICTs and other e-governance practices as an economic vehicle for development. This will bring transparency, accountability, and will facilitate citizen’s lives. I believe that for this to happen, there is a need of the private sector to play a more active role in governance process. Public Private Partnership (PPP) is one of the best models for e-government application for economic benefit.” – Anurag Sinha – Ontario, Canada


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