Digital India Transforming Governance : Abhishek Rastogi

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Abhishek Rastogi, Head - Govt COE at Newgen Software Technologies Ltd

A roadmap for Digital India is being scripted in the government corridors. From the recent technology success stories some milestones that should be inclusive to the vision are illustrated by Abhishek Rastogi, Head – Govt COE at Newgen Software Technologies Ltd

Delivering citizen services to majority pouplation without an economic, social or regional bias, is a key governance imperative essential to the overall success of the nation. While one cannot have speacialists in every nook and corner, their services can be easily rendered through modern day technology.

Footsteps for growth
The digital India initiative aims to provide thrust to nine pillars identified as growth areas. These pillars include – broadband highways, everywhere mobile connectivity, public internet access program, e-Governance, e-Kranti, information for all, electronics manufacturing, IT for Jobs and early harvest programs. Robust technology platforms will be the mainstay in government’s bid to build these nine pillars, enroute to a digitally empowered nation. Here is a look at some the initiatives planned and the role of IT in their success.

Digital Lockers
Certificates issued by the government — education, residential, medical records, birth certificates, etc. — are to be stored in individual ‘digital lockers’ and a communication protocol established for government departments to access them without physically having to see the hard copy. These will be crucial to fulfill the need for a robust Document Management System (DMS). Digital lockers will store highly sensitive information and citizen documents. In a country of over a billion people, digitally storing all citizen information will require a system that is capable of dealing with innumerable documents, and is highly secure and accessible. A smart document management system is therefore a ‘must have’ to centralise operations across government agencies.

Government Process Reengineering
Thousands of government departments are still delivering public services manually, in a highly inefficient manner. e-Governance can bring about significant transparency and efficiency to a plethora of government services including income tax filing, license and permit issuance, and many more. Business Process Management (BPM) provides the essential enablers for e-Governance initiatives by setting up a continuous improvement platform. It offers a host of capabilities that work in tandem to ensure end-to-end process visibility, eliminate redundancies, provide real time access to relevant data, and foster collaboration within and across government departments/agencies.

In developing countries, mobile platform provides a unique interface between the government and the citizens, to make public services more accessible. There is high penetration rate as well as adoption of mobile phones in India, that can be utilized by government to enable real-time, two-way dialogue with citizens.

Enterprise Mobility Platform
A configurable, end-to-end mobility platform that integrates citizen centric applications with multifarious backend systems is essential to manage and track the delivery of citizen services. The mobile platform can also be used by governments for sending terror alerts or other very time-sensitive information quickly and directly to citizens. Government agencies must deploy a single unified system to ensure consistency and effectiveness.

Social Media Record Management
Social media is changing the way governments work, communicate and socialise, by creating opportunities to reach out to citizens via its inexpensive and readily accessible platforms. It provides an interactive and real-time two way communication mechanism through which the government can not only inform citizens about its services and policies but also gather their feedback. Moreover, social media platforms can be used by governments to reach out to citizens to make announcements about new policies, initiatives, deadlines, and new regulations, and communicate emergencies. Social Media Record Management is quite different from the conventional records management, because of the dynamic and collaborative nature of content being managed. Globally, governments have taken the initiative to archive data that exists on Social Media and document it for legal (e-Discovery) as well as regulatory purposes. Similar policies are also needed to leverage the most out of social media records within the boundaries of well-defined regulatory guidelines.

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