Editorial

M-Factor in Governance

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ravi-guptaDeveloping countries are largely deficient in physical infrastructure, more so in case of governance infrastructure, therefore, hindering delivery of government services to the population located in far-flung areas. However, with fast expansion of mobile phone subscriber base in India, which currently stands at over 900 million connections, mobility has emerged as a powerful tool to take services to the hitherto excluded sections of the society.

Recognising the fact that an estimated 10 million subscribers are becoming mobile-enabled every month, the Government of India launched the Mobile Governance initiative in 2013. And, there has been no looking back ever since. Apart from the Central Government, more and more states are implementing mGovernance in different fields like education, healthcare, banking & finance sector, etc.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently described mGovernance initiative of the government as a ‘game changer’ in driving India’s economy and fighting corruption in administration. So very true! While empowering the hands of the masses by integrating more and more services with the mobile platform will bring the elements of immediacy and convenience to the users, making information readily available on their fingertips will add accountability and transparency to the entire process of service delivery.

Among the states to have successfully launched mGovernance, Karnataka has taken the lead by launching its mGovernance platform – Karnataka MobileOne – loaded with a number of citizen services. Also, the initiative is said to be as one of the largest multi-mode mobile governance platforms in the world.

This issue of eGov magazine is dedicated to the phenomenon of steady transition from electronic governance mode to mobile government mode that India is witnessing. We have tried to cover the issue from all angles, so as to bring you a 360-degree view of the status of mGovernance in India, with special focus on Karnataka.

We also interacted with a host of industry leaders to have their views on mobility and mGovernance, in particular, and impact of the Digital India campaign of the Modi Government on the mobility industry, in general.

Besides, the magazine also carries a special feature on the concerns of netizens over the ‘threat’ to Net Neutrality and the reported move of the service providers to charge for Over-the-Top service apps like Whatsapp and Skype. Bytes from the industry have been incorporated to help you understand how free the Internet would actually be on the ground level if it is allowed to retain its ‘neutrality’. Hope you like the packaging.

Happy reading!

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