What is E-Governance?
eGovernance is about redefining the vision and scope of the entire gamut of relationships between citizens and government. By doing so, it attempts to rework the socio-political setting of our civilization. E-Government is the use of IT & communication technologies, to deliver public services in a much more convenient, customer-oriented, cost-effective and altogether different and better way. But it has to be noted that it is not all about technology, but to use it as a facilitator to modify, and in turn make our processes better.
Prerequisites of eGovernance in India
Evolution of E-governance is a highly complex process requiring provision of hardware, networking, and software and re-engineering of the procedures for examination of cases and decision-making. A truly e- governed system would require minimal human intervention and decision on cases would be system driven' rather than individual driven'. Human intervention and the scope for subjective interpretation would have to be minimized in the process of disposal of cases. This will, no doubt relate to a stage that will come after the systems of delivery of information and other routine services has been established in an effective manner. Before e-governance can be implemented as a national level initiative, some key systems and processes will need to be put in place. These in fact are important prerequisites for e-governance and could include the following:
Technology implementations: The introduction of computers in every department/ministry of the central and State governments and their subordinate organizations is the starting point of E-government. This would involve huge investments for the acquisition of hardware and software. 2.
Support to regional languages: The access of information would have to be made available in the language most comfortable to the public user, generally the regional/local language. Existing technologies such as GIST (Graphics and Intelligence based Script Technology) can be used for these purposes. 3.
Training to end users: Training to the end users is an area which has to be looked upon seriously. Inadequate training leads to inefficient functioning of the system and in turn failure of the intended purpose. 4.
Standardization: E-governance demands standards in all areas. Some of the key areas are: data encoding (ISCII or UNICODE), application logic for common horizontal applications, user interfaces, data dictionaries, etc. These standards will need to be put in place before E-governance can effectively be implemented. 5.
Security issues: Public Key Infrastructure and Certification Authorities to provide digital certificates that help create an on-line identification and security system for the Internet allowing individuals, corporations and government organizations to conduct transactions and communications is an important requirement for E-governance and E-business. The challenges in processing, transmitting, and storing information in a manner which protects its authenticity, integrity and confidentiality have been well publicized and have become part of the public debate on the future of communications in general.
Objectives of eGovernance
The egovernance drives its inspiration from a set of objectives which are defined by the government. As defined by the tenth five year plan of India (revised on March 15th, 2002) the set of objectives that Indian government
Audit ability/Fair trial
Equity/ Social justice/ inclusion
Accessibility/ spread/ regional language Cost effectiveness
Affordability, Value Proposition
Democratic / consultations
Integration & Collaboration
Convenience, Citizen centric & Cost & Time saving
Scope of eGovernance
References: • Agnihotri, V.K. and Ramani, K.V. (2001) ‘Change Management and Process Re-engineer¬ing ', Presentation at the Roundtable on IT in Governance, 12 January, New Delhi. [http://www.ima-india.com/papers/itindex.htm]
• Berleur, Jacques (1997) ‘Culture and Democracy Revisited in the Global Information Society ', Information Technology in Developing Countries 7(1). [http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/egov/ifip/jan97.htm].
• Budhiraja, Renu (2001) ‘Electronic Governance — A Key Issue in the 21st Century ', Ministry of Information Technology, India. [http://egov.mit.gov.in]
• Centre for the Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) (2000) ‘Towards E-governance ', 10 December, 1999, Bangalore, India. [http://www.cdacindia.com/html/press/spot08.htm]
• Bedi, Kiran & Singh.P.J, (2001) ‘Government@Net: New governance opportunities for India ', Sage Publications, New Delhi
• Planning commission, ‘Tenth Five Year Plan ', revised March 15th, 2002, [http://www.planningcommission.com]
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