E-Governance for Good Governance: Emerging Technology and New Opportunities
- Harsh Bangar
The actual term governance comes from an ancient Greek word, ‘kebernon’, which means to Steer. In current usage, to govern means to steer, to control, and to influence from a position of Authority. It is a set of the systems and processes concerned with ensuring the overall direction, effectiveness, super vision and accountability of an organization. E-Governance involves new styles of leadership, new ways of debating and deciding policy and investment, new ways of accessing education, new ways of listening to citizens and new ways of organizing and delivering information and services.
Just like the term e-Commerce, the term e-governance was born out of the Internet boom. However, it is not limited to Internet use or publicly accessible systems for direct use by customers or citizens. E-Governance started as a practitioner field, basically convening practitioners struggling to meet the new challenges of the Internet medium by implementing new systems creatively. For example, in the United States the (then) Vice President Gore led the National Performance Review, which placed a strong emphasis on the role of e-government in federal Services.
“E-governance is the application of information & communication technologies to transform the efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability of informational & transactional exchanges with in government, between govt. & govt. agencies of National, State, Municipal & Local levels, citizen & businesses, and to empower citizens through access & use of information”. In other words e- Governance is the implementation and delivery of government services through the information communication technology to provide Transparent, Effective, Efficient, Responsive and Accountable governance to the society. Good governance has eight
Responsiveness, Accountability, Equity and inclusiveness. Information and communication technologies have a valuable potential to help meet good governance goals in India. EGovernance is the application of Information-Technology in the processes of Government functioning to bring about Simple, Moral, Accountable, Responsive and Transparent (SMART) Governance.
E-GOVERNANCE IN INDIA
In the past, service delivery mechanisms of the government departments left much to be desired in India. Cramped spaces; shabby ambience; discourteous dealing personnel and their chronic absenteeism; demands of gratification; inefficiency in work; long queues; procrastinating officials; procedural complexities; etc., were some of the undesirable features of the working of the government departments. Consequently, a visit to government department by a citizen to make use of any service used to be a harrowing experience. With the rising awareness amongst the citizens and their better experiences with the private sector – the demand for better services on the part of government departments became more pronounced. The infusion of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has played a prominent role in strengthening such a demand. The metamorphosis in the quality of delivery of services to the citizens by the government has been more pronounced in recent years with the advent of e-governance. Egovernance, which is a paradigm shift over the traditional approaches in Public Administration, means rendering of government services and information to the public using electronic means. This new paradigm has brought about a revolution in the quality of service delivered to the citizens. It has ushered in transparency in the governing process; saving of time due to provision of services through single window; simplification of procedures; better office and record management; reduction in corruption; and improved attitude, behavior and job...
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