[ecis2016.org] e Governance: Know the objective of e-governance and its drawbacks
Applying the concepts of Information Technology and Communication in Governance is called e governance. Through e-governance, information can be passed along to the public in a transparent manner.
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What is e Governance?
Electronic Governance or e-governance is the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) by the government to provide government services, exchanging information, communication transactions, and integration of various standalone systems and services.
Technology is used to perform government activities and achieve the objectives of governing. Through e-governance, government services are made available in an efficient and transparent manner. Some examples of e-governance include the Digital India Initiative, Prime Minister of India Portal, National Portal of India, Aadhaar, Common Entrance Test etc.
E governance in India
E governance in India was a concept that has only been developed in recent years. The launch of National Satellite Based Computer Network (NICENET) in 1987 and the launch of the District Information Network by the National Informatics Centre (NISNIC) programme launched shortly after to computerise all the district offices in the country for which free hardware and software were provided to the governments acted as an impetus for the arrival of e-governance in India.
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Today, there are a lot of e-governance initiatives at the Union and State levels. In 2006, the National e Governance Plan (NeGP) was made by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology and Department of Administrative Reforms and PublicGrievances that aims at making all government services accessible to the common people, ensure efficiency, transparency and affordable costs catered to fulfil the needs of the common people.
Various initiatives have been brought about by the NeGP into the e-governance field, such as:
- Digital India was launched in 2015 to empower the country in the digital arena. Main objectives of Digital India include:
- Developing a digital infrastructure that is secure and stable
- Delivering government services digitally
- Achieving Universal digital literacy.
- Aadhaar is a unique identification number developed by UIDAI. It acts as a proof of identity and address on the basis of biometric information. It is being used to provide many benefits to society.
- MyGov.in is a citizen engagement platform where citizens can discuss the Nation’s policies and plans etc.
- UMANG is a unified Mobile Application that can be used to access a lot of Central and State Government services like Aadhaar, employee provident fund, Digital Locker etc.
- Digital Locker is a portal that helps citizens digitally store important documents like mark sheets, degree certificates etc. This reduces the need to carry physical documents everywhere and helps in easy transfer of documents.
- PayGov helps with payments to all public and private banks.
- The Mobile Seva app aims at providing government services through phones and tablets. The m-app store has over 200 live applications that offer government services.
- Computerisation of land records ensures that landlords get digital and updated versions of their documents related to their property regularly.
E Governance: Some state level initiatives
- E-Seva (Andhra Pradesh) offers payment of utility bills, downloading of certificates licences, etc.
- Khajane project (Karnataka) service digitised the treasury of the State.
- FRIENDS (Kerala) is a single-window facility to pay taxes and other governmental dues to the state.
- Lokvani project (Uttar Pradesh) handles grievances, land record maintenance, and other essential services.
- To simplify governance for the government, citizens and businesses.
- To make government administration more transparent and accountable.
- Addressing the citizen’s needs for more efficient services and communication with the government and businesses.
- To make sure that the administration of services and information are speedy and efficient
- To reduce difficulties for businesses, provide information immediately and facilitate digital communication by e-business.
Interactions in e Governance
There are four major types of interactions that take place in e-governance.
Government to Government (G2G)
Information is exchanged within governments, i.e. from the Central Government to the State Government or Local Governments or different branches in the same government.
Government to Citizen (G2C)
The citizens are provided with a platform to interact with the government and to get access to a lot of the services offered by the government.
Government to Businesses (G2B)
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Businesses interact with the government freely respecting the services offered by the government for businesses.
Government to Employees (G2E)
The communication between the government and its employees is very fast and efficient.
E Governance portal of India
The Indian e-governance portal (https://nceg.gov.in) helps citizens to get information on the National Conference on e governance and details of its next meeting. Addition, it also provides links to the following platforms:
- Digital India
- National Portal of India: provides access to information and services of the government.
- PM India website: gives information related to the PMO.
- United Nations e-governance website
E Governance: Drawbacks
While e governance offers the advantages of efficiency, transparency and convenience, it also has its drawbacks.
- Digital Illiteracy: India is a developing country where a lot of people still don’t know how to make good use of electronic devices, this cancels out the convenience of e governance.
- Lack of internet accessibility: Lack of internet access in many parts of the country undermines the effectiveness of e-governance.
- Lack of human interaction: There is a lack of human interaction when it comes to e-governance. At the end of the day, the problems faced by the people should be listened to by the people who work for their well-being.
- Threat to data: There is a danger of your personal data being stolen.
- e-governance can lead to the administration’s actions becoming more lax, where they might neglect people’s problems under the excuse of technical issues.
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