June 2011

Let Go of the Mindset that IT Means PC

Views: 98

Sandeep Menon
Country Head
Novell India Pvt Ltd

With such a high penetration of mobile phones in the country, it should be the preferred medium of bringing services within reach to citizens

We have definitely witnessed a huge transformation as far as e-Governance in India is concerned in the last 5-7 years. From simple computerisation of various departments in the past, to SLA-based delivery models now, it clearly shows the entire focus is to ensure a speedy delivery of citizen centric services.  Coming from an era of infrastructure-based projects, we now see that most of the projects are application driven (MCA, Passport, ESIC etc), so as to ensure that citizens can access various services in an online or physical format which can improve efficiency and bring transparency into the system.

The future though lies with efficient use of technologies such as cloud computing. Cloud Computing is going to play vital role in e-Governance in the near future. We can visualize a scenario where general services like mail messaging, office automation softwares can be offered to various departments though the cloud platform (for eg. on pay per use basis).

There are some great projects from the government but there are certain reasons which are pushing us backwards and preventing us from achieving our targets. The remote parts are still not-so-well connected and this pushes all the schemes/e-services backwards. Local language enablement in all the e-Services is another cause for concern as there is a major chunk of population which still is not proficient in either Hindi or English. The citizens don’t have much of a say when it comes to feedback regarding any particular service. This acts as a major speed-breaker as the beneficiaries don’t get to say what is good or bad in a particular service.

Last but not the least we need to let go of our mindset that IT means PC. With such high penetration of mobile phones in the country, it should be the preferred medium of bringing services to citizens as it is the most accessible medium today. This can also resolve the issue of PC penetration, broadband penetration and computer proficiency to a certain extent.

“In some markets, interoperability means that all products have passed some external conformance test, usually against some “reference” software”

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