Continuity: An Issue in Initiatives

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Ram Prasad
Senior Business Manager – Consumer Product Group
Epson India

Post-implementation analysis and impact analysis are important to map the success, failure and causes of both

The various e-Governance initiatives in India have changed the way we interact with the government. There are so many areas where we have made progress- online land record details, income certificate, interactive classrooms, e-Passport, online income tax return; technology has transformed the way we do those necessary but time-consuming activities.

Obviously, a lot more can still be done and there is a long way to go. Not talking of bigger changes but simple services like booking movie or rail tickets online has made life easier. Such small (though big in reality) changes actually make citizens feel empowered as these are the ones that actually make a difference, make life easier for everyone across classes. Rail ticket is the need of all the segments of people whereas filing income tax online might not be. In the coming years such more services should come up coupled with better capacity building and awareness programmes for the rural population.

Continuity is a major problem in majority of government initiatives. Suddenly we see a lot of new developments happening in a project and then all of a sudden it’s on a standstill, nothing is happening. A good example here could be Common Service Centers (CSCs). We started off very well but where are we now? We have not yet achieved the target of one lakh CSCs and many of the ones started have been shut down. So how much was actually implemented? Post-implementation analysis and impact analysis are very important to map the success, failure and causes of both.

Feedback from citizens is also very essential. The authorities should have clear targets. What is it that they want to ultimately achieve? Is it just computerisation of some departments or they actually want to deliver some application-based services too. Last-mile connectivity, disconnect between employer and employee and non-awareness among citizens; all these are major setbacks and need to be tackled.
Awareness is needed at a large scale. Common everyday education is the key to success for these e-Governance initiatives and ultimately achieving a digitized economy.

“e-Government should be the enabler of public sector transformation, and as such it has to be an integral part of administrative reform programmes rather than a stand-alone initiative”

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