e- governance, when shorn of all technological jargon, boils down to the simple paradigm as a comparatively fair mode of governance in a knowledge era.
This was further reinforced by the outcome of eAsia 2007 and the track egov Asia 2007, organized by CSDMS in the Malaysian city Putrajaya in February. The event, while successfully connecting a galaxy of leading practitioners, policy makers, captains of industry, academia and civil society organizations, innovators and implementers to the cause e-Governance, identified the new trends and challenges in the domain, both from a global and regional perspective.
In a sense, egov Asia 2007 succeeded in capturing the essence of global standards in egovernance, by showcasing the best practices in Malaysia, India, Korea, Nepal, France, Sri Lanka, UAE, Singapore, Philippines, Australia, USA, UK and Japan that are ripe for replication in any part of the world. Nearly 1000 delegates from 55 countries converged, and shared their repertoire of knowledge and experience, in the globally noticed event.
Of course, technology will play a critical role in advancing e-Governance practices, as technology provides the opportunity to transform policies towards better outcomes. However, the challenge
cannot be missed- the need to seize the opportunity offered by technology and linking it with various perspectives emerging from events like eGov2007 and converting them into remarkable policy developments and processes.
The whole gamut of issues pertaining to governance will again come
in for a serious brainstorming at the upcoming eIndia conference, to be held in New Delhi by the end of July (www.eindia.net.in).
Incidentally, the 10th national conference on egovernance held in Bhopal also needs a mention. It stated that India is graduating from pilot projects to mission mode projects but seamless connectivity remained a serious problem and called for “out of the box” thinking from all sides.
In the matter of connectivity and reaching the last mile, perhaps WiMAX technology is the existing answer. WiMAX as a hot wireless technology is spearheading connectivity to far-flung areas curbing the disastrous digital divide. Needless to say, it is facilitating the reach of e-Governance in a big scale.
WiMAX with its high-speed wireless connectivity and infrastructure can be extended to provide portable and mobile devices. The current issue tries to demystify the mystery of WiMAX.