GOV & SOCIAL ISSUES
Electronic Governance (e-Governance) involves the use of information and communication technology (ICT) for delivering government services, communication transactions, interchange of information and assimilation of various stand-alone services between government-to-business (G2B), government-to-customer (G2C) and government-to-government (G2G).
Key Considerations in e-governace are:
Need of e-Governance:
Exchange of information;
Faster and more efficient delivery of public services;
Improving internal efficiency;
Reducing costs / increasing revenue;
Re-structuring of administrative processes; and
Improving quality of services.
e-Governance Vs. e-Government:
e-Government is the use of ICT in government operations, as a tool to increase the outreach of the government services to the general public.
e-Governance is the use of ICT in transforming and supporting functions and structures of the system.
e-Government is a one-way communication protocol. On the contrary, e-Governance is a two-way communication protocol.
Objectives of e-Governance:
Better service delivery to citizens: By enhancing citizens' access to government services and designing service delivery mechanisms that cater for all sections of society, including vulnerable groups.
To build an informed society: An informed society is an empowered society. Thus, providing access to all, to every piece of information of public importance is one of its basic objectives.
To increase Government & Citizen Interaction: In the physical world, the Government and Citizens rarely interact. E-Governance aims to get feedback from the people and to make the Government aware of people's problems.
Improve efficiency within Government: use of technology will help improve inter-governmental interactions, i.e. between centre-state and inter-states.
Enhancement in citizen participation: E-governance aims to restore democracy by improving citizen participation in the Governing process, access to information by improving the feedback and participation of the citizens in the decision making.
To bring transparency and accountability in the governing process: It makes the Governing process transparent by making the Government data available to the people for access. It is to make people know the policies and decisions of the Government.
To make Government accountable: Government is answerable for every decision taken by it. E-Governance makes the Government more accountable by bringing transparency and making citizens more informed.
To reduce cost of Governance: It also aims to reduce governance cost by cutting down on expenditure related to physical delivery of services.
To reduce reaction time of the Government: Due to red-tapism, the Government takes a long to reply to people's queries. E-Governance reduces the reaction time of the Government to the people's problems and queries.
Types of Interactions in e-Governance
1. G2G (Government to Government):
ICT is used to restructure the governmental processes and increase the flow of information and services within and between different entities.
This kind of interaction can be horizontal (between different government agencies and different functional areas in an organisation), or vertical (between national, provincial and local government or between different levels within an organisation).
Primary objective is to increase performance, efficiency and output.
2. G2C (Government to Citizens):
An interface is created between citizens and government which expands the accessibility and availability of public services and also advances the quality of services.
It gives citizens the option regarding when to interact, from where to interact and how to interact with the government.
3. G2B (Government to Business):
E-Governance tools are utilised to help the business community to seamlessly interact with government. Aim is to cut red tape, save time and reduce operational costs
The G2B initiatives can be transactional (licensing, permits, procurement), revenue collection, promotional and facilitative, such as in trade and investment.
4. G2E (Government to Employees):
Like any organisation, the government has to interact with its employees on a continuous 53 basis. Use of ICT tools makes these interactions fast and efficient and also increases satisfaction levels of employees.
Benefits of e-Governance
Speed: Technologies such as the Internet and Cell Phones have reduced the time taken in communication.
Greater convenience: with the help of e-governance, people can access the government services from anywhere at any time.
Cost reduction and revenue growth: Paper-based communication involves numerous stationary, printers etc. which increases expenditure. The Internet and Phones on the other hand makes communication cheaper.
Clarity: Citizens can see the Government information whenever they want to see thus bringing clarity. It is because every piece of information of the Government is uploaded on the internet.
Accountability and transparency: The Governing process automatically becomes accountable if it is made transparent.
Evolution of e-Governance in India Initial Steps Taken
• The establishment of the Department of Electronics in 1970 was the first step towards electronics governance in India.
• National Informatics Centre (NIC) established in 1977, launched the District Information System program to computerize all district offices in the country.
• The main thrust for e-governance was provided by the launching of NICNET in 1987 – the national satellite-based computer network.
Stages of e-Governance
The following stages of E-governance were outlined by the United Nations E-Readiness Survey:
1. Emerging Presence: This Stage considers online availability of limited & basic information which involves an official website and few Web Pages. Links to various ministries and departments may not be available. Most of the information remains static without any options for citizens.
2. Enhanced Presence: At this stage the Government provides more public information such as policies, laws, reports, newsletters. This stage might allow users to search the information within the documents. But there is no interactivity as the information is only flowing towards the citizens rather than from citizens to Government.
3. Interactive Presence: Government initiates interactivity in their websites such as availability of downloadable forms & applications for payment of taxes, bills and renewal of licenses.
4. Transactional Presence: This Stage allows two-way interaction between the Government and citizens. It includes options such as applying for ID cards, birth certificates, passports, license renewals and allowing the citizen to submit forms and applications online 24/7.
5. Networked Presence: It is characterized by an integration of G2C, G2G and G2B interactions. The government encourages citizen participation, online participatory decision-making and involves the society in a two-way open dialogue.
Four stage evolution of e-governance:
3. Online presence; and
4. Online interactivity.
• Computerisation: The personal computers were available in many government offices. Many departments of government started using personal computers and programmes like word processing, data processing etc.
• Networking: In this stage, many government offices were interconnected through a network. This facilitated the inter-departmental network for information sharing and flow of data.
• Online presence: With increasing the network capabilities of government offices, need was felt to have an online presence of government departments. Websites of government departments came into existence. These websites provided basic information to the citizens such as reports, surveys, schemes etc.
• Online interactivity: The two-way communication was established in this stage where people could send their feedback to the government through an online portal. This changed the role of citizens merely from the recipient of services to the active involvement of citizens in governance.
Various Government Initiatives Towards e-Governance:
Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), in association with the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) and the Government of Meghalaya, organized the 22nd National Conference on e-Governance (NCeG) 2019 in 2019 at Shillong.
‘Shillong Declaration’ states that the Government of India and State Governments would collaborate to improve the citizen’s experience with Government services by promoting the timely implementation of India Enterprise Architecture (IndEA) and implementing a single sign-on for interoperability and integration among e-Government applications throughout the country.
The National e-Governance Plan permitted in 2006 has made steady progress through Mission Mode Projects and Core ICT Infrastructure. • This initiative provides the intensified impetus to promote inclusive growth that covers electronic services, products, devices, manufacturing and job opportunities.
Under the National e-Governance Action Plan (NeGP) (which is now subsumed under Digital India) core infrastructure components such as State wide Area Networks (SWANs), State Data Centres (SDCs), Common Services Centres (CSCs), e-District, State e-Governance Service Delivery Gateway (SSDGs) and Capacity Building are being implemented.
The focus of the e-Kranti is to expand the portfolio of Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) in e-Governance under various Government Departments by undertaking Government Process Reengineering (GPR), introducing the latest technologies such as Cloud and mobile platform, workflow automation and focus on the integration of services.
Jeevan Pramaan is an Aadhaar based Biometric Authentication System for Pensioners. The Prime Minister inaugurated the Jeevan Pramaan in 2014. The scheme ensures the validity of Digital Life Certificates without requiring the pensioner to appear in person before his Pension Dispensing Authority (PDA).