- As per World Bank, “e-Governance refers to the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) at various levels of the government and the public sector and beyond, for the purpose of enhancing governance.”
- According to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, e-governance is the application of Information and Communication Technology to promote ‘Simple, Moral, Accountable, Responsive and Transparent (SMART)’ governance.
Significance of e-Governance
- e-Governance is a mechanism through which public services are made available and accessible to the common man at their doorstep at ease, through common services delivery outlets.
Benefits of e-Governance
- Better access to quality services for citizens
- Simplicity, efficiency and accountability
- Expanded reach of e-governance
- Citizen empowerment through access to information
- More efficient government management
- Less corruption
- Increased transparency
- Greater convenience
- Minimising interface between government and public
- Revenue growth, and/or cost reductions.
Scope of E-Governance
- Government-to-Government (G2G):
- G2G is the electronic sharing of data between and among government organisations. The goal of G2G is to support e-government initiatives by improving communication, data access and data sharing.
- Using G2G e-governance, government offices can be more efficient and streamline procedures, allowing citizens to access information over the Internet.
- Government to Citizens (G2C):
- The goal of G2C e-governance is to offer a variety of ICT services to citizens in an efficient and economical manner and to strengthen the relationship between government and citizens using technology.
- Government to Employees (G2E):
- G2E is the online interactions through instantaneous communication tools between government units and their employees.
- The objective of G2E is to improve effectiveness and efficiency, eliminating delays in processing and improving employee satisfaction and retention.
- Government to Business (G2B):
- G2B refers to business-specific transactions (such as payments, selling and acquisition of goods and services, etc.) and the provision of business-focused services online.
Government Initiatives e-Governance
- Digital India:
- The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) launched the “Digital India” programme in 2015 to transform India into a knowledge-based society and economy.
- It aims at ensuring digital access, digital inclusion and bridging the digital divide.
- Unified Mobile Application For New-age Governance (UMANG):
- UMANG is a Government of India’s all-in-one single unified secure platform for accessing over 1,200 central and state government services in multiple Indian languages.
- It includes services such as AADHAAR, Digi Locker, Bharat Bill Payment System, PAN, EPFO services, PM- KVY services, AICTE, CBSE, tax and fee or utilities bills payments, education, job search, tax, business, health, agriculture, travel, Indian railway tickets bookings, birth certificates, e-District, e-Panchayat, police clearance, passport, other utility services from private companies and much more.
- Common Service Centres (CSCs):
- CSCs are shops/Kiosks that deliver various government services online like public utility services, social welfare schemes, healthcare, financial, education and agriculture services to citizens in rural and remote areas of the country.
- CSCs have been trying to bridge the gaps in digital literacy and skills of rural citizens through a range of literacy initiatives focused on digital, financial and legal literacy and e-learning and skill development courses.
- DigiLocker eliminates the use of physical documents as part of the government’s Digital India drive, since all data is stored in the cloud.
- One can upload scanned copies of their documents (PDF, JPEG or PNG format) and access it anywhere they want. One can also e-sign these uploaded documents, which works like self-attestation of physical documents.
- The issued documents in DigiLocker system are deemed to be at par with original physical documents as per the Information Technology (Preservation and Retention of Information by Intermediaries providing Digital Locker facilities) Rules, 2016.
- Unified Payment Interface (UPI):
- UPI is India’s mobile based, ‘fast payment’ system that facilitates customers to make round the clock payments instantly using a Virtual Payment Address created by the customer. This eliminates the risk of sharing bank account details by the remitter.
- UPI supports both Person to Person and Person to Merchant payments as also it enables a user to send or receive money.
- It was developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), an RBI regulated entity.
- MyGov portal has been established as Government of India’s Citizen Engagement Platform which collaborates with multiple Government bodies/ Ministries to engage with citizens for policy formulation and seeks the opinion of people on issues/ topics of public interest and welfare.
- MyGov platform is designed, developed and hosted by the National Informatics Centre under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY).
- Diksha is a national-level educational platform that helps students and teachers to participate, contribute and leverage a common platform to achieve learning goals at scale for the country.
- More than 7000 courses are available and more than 15 crore enrolments have been done.
State Government Initiatives
- The Government of Andhra Pradesh in collaboration with Microsoft has deployed a combination of artificial intelligence and machine learning to predict the possible drop-outs in schools.
- The algorithm helps in identifying students who are likely to dropouts and immediate interventions in the form of governmental support, counselling, academic support, etc. are offered to stop the drop-outs.
- In the states of Telangana and Tamil Nadu, blockchain technology has been successfully utilised for digitising land records. Blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network. Since the ledger is immutable, there are no chances of disputes as no one can alter the records in an unlawful way.
- While e-government focuses on creating online services, the future will center on how digital government may change governance by harnessing societal creativity and resilience to advance Sustainable Development Goals.