Good governance can be achieved only by improving the delivery of services. Governments today are under increasing pressure to deliver a range of services- from ration cards, motor licenses and land records to health, education and municipal services- in a manner that is timely, efficient, economical, equitable and transparent. The recently released India-specific, World Bank’s Development Policy Review, has concluded that the strong economic growth in India has bypassed large sections of the society and there is an urgent need to ensure that its fruits are shared by all sections of the populace. On a number of socio-economic parameters the country has done well. Yet nearly a quarter of India’s citizens still live below the poverty line. Thus, there is a need to focus on the delivery of core services- such as health care, education, power and water supply- to all citizens.
In this direction, e-Governance comes as an excellent tool for government to respond to the increasing demand from citizens and business communities and to accelerate the pace of development. Technology reduces direct interface between functionaries and the public. However, there needs to be systematic displacement of discretion in administrative applications to induce hassle-free systems. IT and governance cannot take-off in isolation without commensurate administrative reforms and process re-engineering. There is also a need to identify the areas where there can be possibilities for convergence of services. In this context, there is a need to make the best use of the initiatives such as the common service centres for integrated delivery of various government and private services to citizens.
It is in this backdrop that the XIth National e-Governance Conference is being organised which is closely looking into the issues of public service delivery, multi-channel delivery strategies, public-private participation, change management and related aspects. The conference is being organised jointly by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Government of India, Department of Information Technology, Government of India and Department of Information Technology, Government of Haryana. It is our pleasure for this magazine to be the media partner of this national level e-Governance event which is held annually to create awareness and generate debate and deliberations on issues and challenges related to e-Governance initiatives in the country.
We are also happy to announce the eINDIA 2008, which is the largest ICT for Development event in the country with seven tracks, around 3,000 meters of exhibition area and approximately four thousand people attending the event. We are committed to take the e-Governance in India to the next level and we look forward to your continued support to our endeavours in this direction!