GOV & SOCIAL ISSUES

E-Governance

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Introduction 

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:

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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: 

  1. 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.

  2. 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. 

  3. 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. 

  4. Improve efficiency within Government:  use of technology will help improve  inter-governmental interactions, i.e.  between centre-state and inter-states. 

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. To reduce cost of Governance: It also  aims to reduce governance cost by  cutting down on expenditure related to  physical delivery of services.  

  9. 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 

  1. Speed: Technologies such as the  Internet and Cell Phones have reduced  the time taken in communication. 

  2. Greater convenience: with the help of  e-governance, people can access the  government services from anywhere at  any time.  

  3. 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.

  4. 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. 

  5. Accountability and transparency:  The Governing process automatically  becomes accountable if it is made  transparent.

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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: 

1. Computerisation;

 2. Networking; 

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).

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