Impact of Information Technology on E Governance

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Project Report on
Gyandoot Vs E-Mitra

Submitted to
Prof. Kavitha Ranganathan
Prof. Subhash Bhatnagar

In partial requirements of the fulfillments of the course

Digital Inclusion for Development

Chetan Jajoria|Rohit Raj|Suresh K
Introduction
Many governments all over the world are today embarking on an ambitious e-governance projects aimed at bridging the digital divide between the rich and poor as well as the urban and rural citizens. However a closer look at the statistics at this stage would give us the real picture. According to a World Bank estimate about 85% of the e-governance projects across the developing countries have failed to achieve the desired result either totally or partially. The problem is also compounded by the lack of clear criteria for evaluating the success of such projects. There is little doubt that e-governance increases the efficiency and productivity of government services, thereby reducing the costs involved. However the problem lies in the conceptualization of the project. Any e-governance project should involve the people, process and technology in the said order. However the projects tend to veer of their objectives when they unduly stress on the technology and tend to ignore the people or when they set their priorities in the reverse order. Technology plays a role albeit a very minor one in determining the success of such e-governance projects. Projects should be built on needs of the citizens as the core with processes and technology acting as the supplemental factors. Only the there will significant involvement from the citizens. The other reasons for failure of the e-governance projects could be attributed to tardy implementation, non-consideration of opportunity costs, sustainability, project management skills, short-term and long-term tradeoffs. In this report evaluation of two such e-governance projects from India, Gyandoot of Madhya Pradesh and e-Mitra of Rajasthan have been done. E-Mitra is being touted as the most successful e-governance project in the country. While Gyandoot started off well initially today it is on the verge cessation of its existence.

Gyandoot
Gyandoot is a rural intranet project in the poor tribal district of Dhar in Madhya Pradesh initiated by the state government of MP with the objective of providing better access to government information and services. The project was conceptualized in January 2000 and became operational within a record two months. Under this scheme computer kiosks also referred to as soochanalayas were set up in each of the 20 village centers initially and were wired through intranet. The latest data shows 40 kiosks to be operational catering to about half million population in 550 villages with each kiosk serving a 5km radius surrounding it. Each kiosk, manned by a trained operator, was set up to serve a population of about 20000-30000 villagers. The entrepreneurs also referred to as soochaks were the local youths who ran the cyber-cafes cum-cyber offices and were chosen by the local community. The project was conceptualized on the basis of people, content, services and server.

Goals and Objectives (Roger Harris and Rajesh Rajora. UNDP-APDIP ICT4D Series. A Study of Rural Development Projects in India)

• To ensure equal access to emerging technologies for the marginalized society • To create an economically and financially viable, replicable model to take IT to the masses • To promote grass-root entrepreneurial model as well as self employment • To ensure quicker response to the needs of the citizens • To ensure increased community participation in the governance and local affairs through the effective use of IT

Services provided by the kiosks
After holding discussions with the villagers it was decided that all the content would be in the local language. This was a good move since they had taken the users into consideration before beginning with the project, which in a way assessed their needs and...
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