Today India sits on the cusp of digital revolution. The Data Portal (http://data.gov.in) set up by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) has so far published more than 3500 datasets from 49 government departments. The number of published datasets is increasing by the day. It is only a question of time before we see the rise in myriad apps that will make use of the information from the datasets to provide all kinds of e-Governance services to the common citizens of the country.
The Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) has already initiated the Mobile Seva programme that is dedicated to leveraging the available wireless and new media technology platforms, mobile phone devices and applications, for delivery of public information and services to citizens and businesses. In this issue of eGov magazine, we have the interview of Dr Rajendra Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY). He has spoken at length on the subject of the expanding the scope of e-Governance through the proliferation of mGov apps. Many interesting ideas emerge from the interview.
Of course, the success of m-Governance and other e-Governance initiatives is directly linked to the quality of connectivity. Currently connectivity is a major stumbling block, in the urban areas the price of broadband is high and in rural and semi-urban areas we have concerns regarding not only the price, but also the speed. Without a robust backbone infrastructure, we will not be to achieve the aim of connecting all our towns, villages and cities through Internet. The National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) project, which aims to connect 100,000 village panchayats through Internet, has been plagued by delays; it is now set to usher multi-dimensional e-Services only by March 31, 2013.
It is clear that the Government of this country awards sufficient amount of importance to the area of e-Governance. Even the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of the largest democracy in the world and a living heritage, has taken e-Governance initiatives to make it easier for citizens to have a tour of its premises. We have a cover story on this subject. This issue of the magazine also has a coverage of the eINDIA 2013 Summit, which we organized on 23-24 July, 2013, at Hyderabad International Convention Centre, Hyderabad. We have tried to present a summary of the views of all the speakers who attended that prestigious summit. Reading the report on eINDIA 2013, you do get a holistic view of the e-Governance initiatives that are being executed in the country.
You will be pleased to know that eGov magazine is now organizing a Global Forum called Financial Inclusion and Payment System (FIPS), on 24-25 October, 2013, at Eros Hilton, New Delhi. The FIPS Forum will be attended by some of the most important stakeholders in the Financial Inclusion and the broader BFSI space. We will have Ministers, officials from Finance Ministry in Centre and the various States, representatives from Public and Private Sector Banks, Insurance Organizations and various other areas. We hope you will be there at FIPS to contribute to the discussions that take place on the crucial subject of how best we can manage the country’s finances so that there is inclusive and holistic development.