“This word ‘Innovation’ is misunderstood at times as many bureaucrats and other constituents feel that unless there is a huge change, it’s not an innovation. And, in such a complexity many times improvements do not take place,” Ranjan Dwivedi, Former Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh, opened his address on this note.
He added, “We see many officers make good innovations, however, the process of governance is such that if you want to change a rule it is a long process. The problem of rule changing or rulemaking does really steps in while absorbing the innovations and changes.” The governance has been designed in this way to ensure that even if someone makes changes to it no harm is caused, cited Dwivedi.
Essentially all these improvements indicate changes in the rules of business. Some are reengineering workplaces and some are reengineering processes, however, everything follows a written procedure. Governments function as per certain standard operating procedures (SOPs). Therefore, what the government leaders, policymakers must look at is how to absorb innovations and corrective changes in the SOPs in the fastest manner possible to avoid unnecessary delays, Dwivedi deliberated.
Further, he said, “With the inclusion of IT technologies, bringing changes in the procedures shall be eased… We should have the latest and the authentic version on the web and quoting the URL then becomes the latest version and not the official version.” If such changes are introduced then it will become easier to absorb new innovations that the young officers are making, he added.
Shedding light on the way forward for the governance, he said, “The future of e-governance and the use of ICT for governance was always bright. However, the adoption of ICT has been very slow. One of the reasons is that the bureaucracy is extremely conservative… I would say that only 45 to 50 per cent have been achieved of hat we could have achieved.”
On the impact of COVID pandemic on the governance, Dwivedi highlighted, “COVID has been a blessing in disguise. We see that there is a deadly pandemic with which we have to fight, however, in that silver cloud, there are so many silver linings.” Citing an example of technologies augmenting governance, he said that earlier we had to submit live forms and that as no easy task. But, since the onset of COVID, one can now apply online, get formalities done within a few clicks and gets the service delivered at the doorstep.
Contradicting his example above, he said, “But not all is so good. Ther are services where one can apply online but then has to visit the office for further formalities like for the vehicle registration certificate, one has to visit or take the vehicle to the authority. However, it should be in a way that if I apply only submit the required documents online then there should be no need for me to physically visit an office. So, we’re halfway through.”
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Concluding his address, Dwivedi pointed out, “Without bringing change and reengineering the business procedures, we cannot completely establish the e-governance or technology-based solutions. So, the government has to find out an easier way to change the rule book to absorb innovative solutions as soon as possible.”