Additional Secretary and Financial Advisor, Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of IndiaIndian IT capabilities have been recognised around the world, but another aspect of the IT revolution in India – that of a game changer in governance is only being recognised now. Although governance in India has never been easy, it is becoming more complex in the light of increasing expectations from life.The concepts of crisis of rising expectations and relative deprivation that started gaining prominence from the 1970s have now acquired centre stage in terms of citizens’ expectations from government. People are not satisfied with whatever the government is able to deliver and with increased exposure to the rest of the world, people want the experiences of developed countries to be replicated in India. This increase in aspirations is a big challenge for government and leveraging IT to reform the system of governance and make a transition to a whole new paradigm of governance which is more predictable and transparent than the present system.Predictability of the system and its processes is perhaps more important than transparency in terms of providing satisfactory governance. IT is changing the rules of governance as we know it and helping us better meet expectations of people.
The introduction of IT in different ways to improve governance is of utmost importance and is becoming increasingly critical to the process with every passing day. Concerns of effective service delivery and on larger issues such as probity in public life and in governance can be better addressed with increased leveraging of the strengths of IT. Important schemes such as the MGNREGS and services such as providing passports have shown the qualitative difference IT can make to delivery. The Ministry of External Affairs has met with great success in utilising social media for engaging directly with stakeholders. We need to encourage innovativeness in designing the integration of IT in service delivery and take government closer to people. Going forward, I think sky is the limit as far as possibilities of leveraging IT are concerned.