The term “governance’ is wider than the term “government. Governance may defined as an activity of governing or controlling a country by its governmer controlling of an organisation or a company by its CEO or Board of Directors or controlling of a household by the head of the house. ‘e-Governance can be defined as governing of a country, organisation, company or a household with th help of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). e-Governance facilitat an efficient, speedy and transparent process of disseminating information to the public, and other agencies and for performing government administrative activitie The National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) is an initiative of the Government of India to make all government services available to the citizens of India via electronic media.
India’s Progress Towards e-governance
India started its own e-Governance initiative with the establishment of National Informatics Centre (NIC) in 1977. But the main thrust for e-Governance was provided by the launching of NICNET (National Informatics Centre Network) in 1987 which was the national satellite-based computer network. This was followed by the launch of the District Information System of the National Informatics Centre (DISNIC) programme to computerise all district offices in the country for which free hardware and software was offered to State Governments. NICNET wa extended via the state capitals to all district headquarters by 1990.
A large number of e-Governance initiative were taken at the union and state levels. In 1999, the Union Ministry of Information Technology was created. By 2000, a 12-point minimum agenda for e-Governance was identified by Governme of India for implementation in all the Union Government Ministries/Department
Importance of e-governance
e-Governance is the application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for delivering government services, exchange of information, communication transactions, integration of various stand alone systems and services between (i) Government-to-Customer (G2C), (ii) Government-to-Business (G2B) (iii) Government-to-Government (G2G).
A brief study of these systems will highlight the importance of e-Governance.
The goal of Government-to-Customer (G2C)
e-Governance is to offer a variety of ICT services to citizens in an efficient and economical manner, and to strengthen the relationship between government and citizens using technology. Under G2C, various projects viz Bhoomi project by Karnataka Government, Lokvani project by Uttar Pradesh Government, E-Mitra by Rajasthan Government, E-Seva by Andhra Pradesh Government, Gyandoot by Madhya Pradesh Government, UMANG App by the Union Government have been launched.
Purpose of Government-to-Business
(G2B) is the online non-commercial interaction between local and Central Government and the commercial business sector with the oviding business information and advice. G2B refers to the conduction through the internet between government agencies and trading companies. Under the projects like E-Procurement of Andhra Pradesh Government, MCA-21 implemented by Ministry of Corporate Affairs were launched.
(G2G) is the electronic sharing of data and/or information systems between government agencies, departments or organisations. The goal of G2G is to support e-government initiatives by improving communication, data access and data sharing. Some successful G2G projects are North-East Gang Information System (NEGIS), Khajane of Karnataka Government, Smart Government of Andhra Pradesh. Apart from these, Central Government introduced Mission Mode Projects (MMPs).
Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) and Different Divisions
Some Recent Initiatives in the field of e-governance Taken by the Government of India e
A Mission Mode Project is an individual project within the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), that focuses on one aspect of electronic governance, such as banking, land records or commercial taxes, etc. With NeGP, ‘mission mode’ implies that projects have clearly defined objectives, scopes and implementation of timelines and milestone, as well as measurable outcomes and service levels.
NeGP comprises 31 Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) which are further classified as Central, State and integrated MMPs. Central MMPs include Banking, Central Excise and Customs, Income Tax (IT), Insurance, MCA 21, Passport, Immigration, Visa and Foreigners Registration and Tracking, Pension, E-office, Posts, VID.
State MMPs include Agriculture, Commercial Taxes, E-District, Employment Exchange, National Land Records Management Programme (NLRMP), Municipalities, E-Panchayats, Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System (CCTNS), Road Transport, Treasuries Computerisation, PDS, Education and Health. Integrated MMPs include CSC, e-Biz, e-courts, e-Procurement, EDI for e-Trade, National e-Governance Service Delivery Gateway, India Portal etc.
Some recent initiatives in the field of e-Governance taken by the government of India
Some of the recent initiatives taken by the Government of India in the field of -Governance in the country includes
•Arogya Setu Application
The Arogya Setu application was launched in April, 2020 by the Union Government to map the spread of Covid-19 infection. Apart from contact tracing, Arogya Setu application was used for providing citizen services such as e-pass for travel and entry into a number of facilities such as metros and airports.
• TRACKPDS It was developed by the state of Haryana to capture food grains request during the Covid-19 lockdown period from the distressed residents. It was integrated with state helplines, district headquarters and unorganised labour portals. It also provides facility to manage the beneficiaries.
• On 22nd June, 2020, Jammu and Kashmir Governor launched e-Application-cum-Issuance of Domicile Certificate developed by JaKeGA. It is meant to speed up public delivery mechanism through minimum human intervention, besides ensuring efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services
• BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) mobile app launched in 2016 to facilitate e-payments directly through banks.
• Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) allowing online interoperable financial inclusion transaction through the business correspondent of any bank using the Aadhaar authentication.
Digital India Programme aiming to transform the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
• Direct cash transfer to facilitate disbursements of government entitlements like MGNREGA, social security pension, etc. of any Central or State Government bodies, using Aadhaar as supported by UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India)
• e-Kranti scheme for linking the internet with remote villages in the country launched in 2014.
• Survey of India has launched a new web portal called Nakshe to make open series of maps available to Indians for free. These maps are meant for development activities in the country and can also be used to plan scientific expeditions, research etc.
Some states viz, West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh have implemented e-Government modules in Panchayat. MMPs for e-Governance in Municipalities is implemented under Phase I of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and applicable to 65 Mission cities. The government has to publish all the information online through websites. This can be facilitated through centralised storage of information, localisation of content and content management. The information of government is public information, therefore the citizens are entitled to know every piece of information of the government, because the government is of the people, by the people and for the people.
Challenges Faced by e-Governance
Despite its advantages, e-Governance faces many challenges in various ways. Universal access to the internet still far away in India. India has a wide digital divide between rural and urban India, thus, the reach of e-Governance initiative is very limited. Lack of proper infrastructure particularly in rural areas, restricts the people from reaping the benefits of e-Governance.
Illiteracy of the users and their lack of ability to use computers is also a great impediment. Other hinderances include public concern over the cyber security, not providing e-mail address due to the fear of spam and government retention of transaction or interaction history, etc. States like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Kerala are ahead in e-Governance, but others like Bihar, Jharkhand, North-East are behind.
A vision is required to implement the e-Governance successfully in India. To meet the vision the challenges in the implementation of e-Governance should be overcome. Then, the environment needs to be developed for the effective implementation of e-Governance in India. In spite of many challenges India has number of award winning e-Governance projects like Andhra Pradesh’s rural e-Seva Project, e-Panchayat, etc. Therefore, we can say that, e-Governance is the key to the ‘good governance for the developing countries like India to minimise corruption, provide efficient and effective or quality services to their citizens.
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