e-Governance – Promoting efficiency and transparency in India – Dr. Sanjeev Bagai

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e-Governance is the application of information and communication technology (ICT) for delivering government services, exchange of information, communication transactions, integration of various stand-alone systems and services between government-to-customer, government-to-business, government-to-government as well as support systems, processes and interactions within the entire government framework.

Through e-Governance, various government services will be made available to citizens in a convenient, efficient and transparent manner.

The three main target groups that can be distinguished in governance concepts are government, citizens and businesses/interest groups.

The World Bank explained the e-Governance as the use of information technologies (such as Wide Area Networks, the Internet, and mobile computing) that have the ability to transform relations with citizens, businesses, and other arms of the government. These technologies can serve a variety of different ends: better delivery of government services to citizens, improved interactions with business and industry, citizen empowerment through access to information, or more efficient government management.

The resulting benefits can be less corruption, increased transparency, greater convenience, revenue growth, and or cost reductions.

e-Governance has emerged as one of the driving forces for the Government by enabling the administration to re-design and improve its existing processes, connect with citizens and facilitate interactions with and within the society.

The combination of readily available Internet access and spatial information through geographic information system (GIS) enables the government authorities to provide a new level of service to both businesses and the public.

Geographic information system (GIS) enabled websites can provide services in various ways such as:

  • Government-to-business applications for economic development, land development, licensing or permitting.
  • Government-to-citizen applications for online information on government services and to streamline interaction for accounting and feedback.
  • Government-to-government applications to improve the amount, quality, and speed of information exchange within and among various levels of government.
  • Better communication to enable governments and citizens for using resources more wisely. In addition, it also allows agencies to collaborate on large-scale planning problems and respond to the emergencies.

Generally, four basic models are available – government-to-citizen (customer), government-to-employees, government-to-government and government-to-business. This is useful and gives impetus to virtually all segments of our lives including, taxation, billing, health, education, communications, access to information etc.

In health it’s particularly important to give better clinical results, improve survival, improved patient comfort, ease to health professionals, better and efficient building management systems, energy conservation, water conservation, operative excellence, higher profitability, better utilisation of resources and manpower, access to remote areas in order to reach inaccessible population, home monitoring, newer innovations amongst other benefits.

Information & Technology (IT ) with e-Governance has transformed our lives. With easy apps on our phones and in our homes, every citizen has control on productivity and efficiency. It also brings transparency and righteousness in our lives. It’s a path of transforming lives in an era of infinite evolutionary changes.

In the medical arena, it has transformed education, research and consultations with penetration. Sensors and biosensors, data analytics, cloud computing, predictive analytics, voice over control, wifi enabled treatment of chronic and acute disease, regenerative medicine, genomics, bioengineering, 3 D printing of tissues, precision nano therapy with targeted drug use are just some of the ongoing impacts on our lives.

Tracking of manpower, devices and equipment has become a routine affair. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology and bar coding are a norm. Real-time data access with interpretation is vital.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) augmented reality, advanced virtual thinking helps clinicians decide rightly and speedily with near cent percent accuracy. The entire gamet of human or medical errors is passé. It endures the test of time.

Hospital-acquired infections which have been our medical scourge till now will be eliminated soon. This entire scenario has made patients as a centre fulcrum of decision-making in the area of therapy.

It brings about ease and comfort in our day-to-day lives. Primitive protocols are permanently in cold storage now. Day to day processes like traffic regulation, ambulance services, critical care, google maps, navigation is a part of our lives now.

Linking our PAN cards to Aadhaar cards and Aadhaar cards to the banking systems is a progressive move. It will help eliminating corruption and black money, strengthening the taxation recovery, better use of public money spending, efficient record tracking and making paper use obsolete, making paper money transition to card usage, capturing the real data of revenue vs expenditure etc. It’s a step for the future. It’s a big step towards the realisation of the big dream of building digital India.

All the concepts like e-health, e-education, e-learning are a part of this umbrella. Telemedicine and medical tourism, for example, are a small part of it set to be harnessed.

The present government with the unified tax reforms of GST is fulfilling the national dream of proficiency, result-oriented and performance-based evaluating protocols.

The young and educated and ambitious middle-class of our nation wants to go forward with this faith in the government systems.

Well, e-Governance is the easiest way to our goal. One nation and one simplified taxation is the way to go!

Internet and connectivity have changed our lives, by making it efficient and easy. Net banking, e-filling of taxes, complaints and redressal, judiciary, RTI, online results are a few examples of this system.

Media — print or electronic — are modes of communication for a million of citizens. It unifies our political and executive, links public to information, makes our borders more secure, helps in science and innovation, explores the outer realms of space and does a lot of other things.

e-Governance truly depicts our motto of the people, for the people and by the people.

One couldn’t imagine even 10 years ago, the use of IT in the area of shopping, paying bills, the ease of access to any and every information. It’s also a process of police reforms, law and order improvement, and justice delivery amongst the others.

It plays an important role in preventing the killing of an unborn girl child, the PNDT Act, tracking birth and death registry, coding the profile of disease management, profiling epidemics and its therapy, warning of sudden climate changes like floods. It is also contributing to Tsunami warning alert systems, in farming and productivity, in roads and infrastructure, in construction and industry growth etc.

The immense impact on the generation of alternative energy for a clean nation, climate change, less air pollution, recycling items, and forest conservation can’t be ignored.

As the spread of IT continues, cyber security remains a dominant issue to safeguard data and confidentiality.

Numerous checks and balances along with innovative methods are in vogue to keep the hackers away. Today, many countries spend millions of dollars to update their IT security. Storage of data, data sharing and analysis is the cornerstone. As we get into the new decade, the data content in the healthcare sector alone will increase nine-fold. It’s critical to transform unstructured data into logical inference to help us predict, react and learn quicker.

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