June 2011

Finer Aspects of Governance

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The next decade will define all the building blocks for the design and running of effective e-Governance

eGovernance in India has steadily evolved from mere computerisation of Government departments to initiatives that summarise the finer aspects of Governance, such as citizen centricity, service orientation and transparency. An important observation is that India has developed consciousness and cognizance towards ‘citizen centricity’.

The Indian Government has already set up the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) with a vision to make all Government services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets and to ensure efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs. Also a move towards ‘self-service’ wherein the control moves to the citizen rather than the service provider has been initiated, this brings in transparency by eliminating intermediate touch points between the citizen and the service provider, in this case Government agencies.

Appointment of professionals from the corporate sector to drive projects like UID is also a huge evidence of the shift in the intent and commitment of the Government. A few e-Governance programs have been implemented in India so far and the results have been encouraging.  The government’s effort on creation of various NeGP programs, policies and implementation are in the right direction but the journey has just started and we must ensure that we do not make the same errors as others have made while undertaking this journey.

In the coming years too, e-Governance will further move from simply e-enabling a particular service or department to a large program with a solid governance structure, ultimately resulting in economic and political development. This speaks of a radical shift from ‘what technology can do’ to ‘what citizens need and how can it be delivered’. So the focus shifts from a technology stand-point to a user-driven perspective.

The globalisation of business, greater awareness among citizens and the revolutionary force of IT have changed the perspective of what governments can do. All the work that is being done by the government and private sectors will be wasted if we don’t devise a mechanism that incentivises the people at large to adopt e-Services over conventional methods.

“We should see ‘rights’ not as stated rules of access to PSI

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