It may sound too basic to re-emphasise that e-Governance is citizen-centric and not officer-centric. But there is no denying that localisation continues to be the key in implmenting it fast. Any dithering on it will beconstrued as an assault on the concept of equal opportunity and even a violation of human rights.
At the demand side, the time is ripe to launch new initiatives albeit collectively. Across the board; G2C, G2G and G2E or even B2C, B2B services are craving for more attention in the localisation area. With e-Governance fast transforming into m-Governance, localisation is asserting itself as never before.
In the current issue of the magazine localisation is the core theme, where an array of experts unlocks their scholarly thoughts.
The problem with India, as some experts point out, is that the hardware is ready but the development of content for various projects is lagging abysmally in pace. In other words, e-Readiness of various government services offered to the people are dragging.
Reason is India’s unique situation. Only 5% in India speak English. About 40 % knows Hindi. Nearly 80% of people speak their native tongue. To reach out to this vast mass, and curb the digital divide, all out efforts are needed on localisation. Bundling of multi-lingual software with PCs and other access devices will be one way of promoting it in the country as in China.
India as a member of Unicode Consortium and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is committed to develop, extend and promote use of the Unicode Standard, which specifies the representation of Indian language text in modern software products, web technology Standards and other related standards.
Before concluding, it is heartening to note the progress in egovernance in the far flung Mizoram, state in India, where for the first time property registration is going online, moving away from manual registration in wills, mortgage and Lease. A state-wide roll out is under process now.
This is expected to add more transparency in land transactions, reduced court cases on ownership of land, faster delivery of certificates to citizens and removal of land disputes. More delighting will be the news that plans are afoot to make the system highly web-enabled.