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THE INTERNATIONAL Congress of eGovernment (A society for the advancement of knowledge in e-Governance) under the egis of Global Institute of Flexible Systems Management organised the 3-day 4th International Conference on e-Governance (ICEG 2006) from 15-17 December at the Seminar Hall, IIT-Delhi. The theme of the conference was ‘e-Governance and Development’. The conference was co-hosted by Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, and National Institute for Smart Government (NISG), Hyderabad. Prof. M. P. Gupta, Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi, was the Program Chair ICEG 2006.

On Day 1, the inaugural session was addressed by Kiran Karnik (NASSCOM), F. C. Kohli (TCS), Daniel Dias (Director, IBM Research Lab), and Wajahat Habibullah (Chief Information Commissioner, GoI). B. N. Jain, IIT-Delhi, presided. Keynote Session on ‘e-Gov Brass Tacks’ was conducted with Mr. Sushil from IIT-Delhi in the Chair. The session was addressed by Stan Kachnowski (USA), Rohit Kumar (Microsoft), Jaijit Bhattacharya (Sun Microsystems), D.C. Mishra (Retd. IAS), and M.L. Goyal (CMC). Three special sessions — Providing Urban Services to Rural Areas, e-Gov Infrastructure and Polity -Justice — were conducted. The day ended with a cultural programme followed by dinner. Day 2 began with the keynote session on e-Gov in megacities with reference to Delhi hosting Commonwealth Games, with a brief presentation given by a school student. R. Chandrashekhar (Addl Secy, GoI), Narendra Kumar (IT Secy, Delhi), Dr.Kamesh (CMC), Sam Pitroda (USA), Tanmoy Chakravarty (TCS) and R. Watal (Sports Authority of India) addressed the keynote session.

Special sessions on State of States, Economic Impact of Open Source and ODF, General Issues, Challenges, Security and Standards and Technology Models, were conducted. The day ended with dinner. On Day 3, special sessions on General Issues, Leveraging IT for Education, Rural e-Gov, Showing by Examples and Service Delivery, were conducted. An exhibition was also held. The day concluded with valedictory address by Oleg Laptenok, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus. Vinayahil Gautam, Professor, IIT-Delhi, was the Chief Guest.

Three books — Technology in Government, E-government: Macro Issues and Delivering e-Government — were released on the occasion. The ICEG had earlier published three books — Government Online, Towards E-government and Promise of E-governance. The issues emerging during ICEG 2006 are as follows: Standardisation of government processes and services is the first step before embarking upon a journey of e-Government, which is indeed a big challenge for a diverse country like India; Business Process Reengineering remains an area of concern; Rural sector has emerged as an important area. The challenge now is connecting ‘last mile first’; Government officers have to own up ‘e’ part of e-Gov; Use of open source software in e-Governance has become necessary; Education and awareness about the tools and services is important, etc.

ICEG was founded 3 years ago at IIT Delhi in 2003 to address the growing need for furthering our knowledge in e-Government. The response at that point was overwhelming. More than 600 delegates participated of which more than 100 were from abroad. Subsequently, in 2004, the conference was hosted at the University of Colombo and patronised by the Government of Sri Lanka, with the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka as the Chief Guest. In 2005, it was organized at Lahore with support from LUMS. ICEG has now become a signature event that brings together the thought leaders, policymakers and practitioners of e-Governance.

In ICEG 2006, more than 200 papers from authors and researchers hailing from different parts of the world such as Malaysia, Bangladesh, Australia, Canada, USA, Germany, Greece, Romania, Singapore, UK, Iran, Taiwan and India were received of which 94 papers were shortlisted. The Special Interests Group on E-gov (SIGeGOV) of CSI (Computers Society of India) has agreed to host ICEG 2007 from 28-30 December at Hyderabad.

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