In this article, we will look into topic of e-Governance in India. In the syllabus of GS 2 , following aspects have been mentioned wrt e-Governance
- limitations, and
What is e-Governance
Using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in government functioning with aim of making it (SMART) simple, moral, accountable , responsive and transparent
In whole process , government use Information and Communication Technology as tool
Note : It is not just using Apps or Websites for purpose of governance (as people assume it commonly) . Infact, it covers use of whole range of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools.
Models of E-Governance
5 models of e-Governance are given by American Prof Arie Halachmi (from IGNOU Public Administration)
Model 1 : Broadcasting
|What||Use of Information and Communication Technology & Media to disseminate / broadcast governance info that is already present in paper form.|
|Application||1. Broadcasting Laws, Rules , Judgements, result-marksheet on internet |
2. Information about tourist spots, fees, taxes etc on government sites
Model 2 : Critical Flow
|What||– Some what like broadcasting |
– Release critical information through Information and Communication Technology /media to targeted audience .
|Application||1. Inform Pregnant women’s address to ASHA worker so that she can take proper care of that women |
2. Making available corruption related data about a particular Ministry / Division/ Officials online to its electoral constituency or to the concerned regulatory body.
Model 3 : Comparative Analysis
- More popular in 3rd World nations
- They create Benchmark parameters (for parameters like Infant Mortality Rate, Maternal Mortality Rate, Life expectancy etc) & then measure Regional parameters at District , State & National level to compare it with benchmark parameters
Model 4 : e-Advocacy Model
|What||1. Make some online forum & start gathering opinion of public for particular policy. |
2. Other way to use is to place opinion of eminent persons on online forum & try to convert public opinion towards opinion of those persons .
|Application||1. Human Resources beyond Boundaries : Can use human resources beyond geographical & bureaucratic barriers |
2. 2 way channel : People can also tell what they think & what they want .
Model 5 : Interactive Services
|What||– It is 2 way channel |
– Mainly used in providing public services online to public .
– Government to Consumer to Government Model (G2C2G Model)
|Application||1. Financial E-Payment of Taxes & getting slip of payment (paying tax is C2G and Getting slip is G2C) |
2. Polity/Accountability : E-Referendums , opinion Polls (Government asking opinion is G2C & People giving opinion is C2G)
3. E-Grievance Redressal like SWAGAT in Gujarat
4. Human Resource Development : E-Education, E-Gyankosh (give education via internet to people and the take online exams from Public)
ICT initiatives in Governance
1 . e-Vidhan
- Using e-Governance in Legislative Process .
- It is a mission mode project to make functioning of State Legislatures paperless.
It is Software suite of
- Public website
- Secure website (for members)
- mobile apps
that fully automate the functioning of legislative assembly
- Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs is the Nodal Ministry for the project.
- Himachal Pradesh became the first state to use e-vidhan site and launch a mobile app
What will be done
- No papers in the House. All replies to questions, copies of bills and reports will be provided online
- MLAs will use touch-screen device at their tables
- Government departments will communicate with Vidhan Sabha online for sending replies to approved questions
- Government will cut down expenditure incurred on use of paper and other overheads.
- Digital audio and video recordings facility available.
- Common people will also get access to important documents and videos
- Common people can also ask question to MLA through the mobile app and public website.
- e-Samiksha is an online monitoring and compliance mechanism developed by Cabinet secretariat
- It is used for tracking the progress on projects & policy initiatives by cabinet secretary and PM on a real-time basis.
- e-Patrachar facility has been launched which sends meeting notices and agendas, circulars, letters, etc. through e-mail and SMS .
3. UPaAI System
- UPAAI is a hindi word meaning ‘solution’.
- UPaAI = Unified Planning and Analysis Interface
- It will provide an integrated platform for data on infrastructure and social indices for each constituency to the MP and help him or her take better decisions related to MPLAD funds and also other Central Schemes.
- It will be monitored by PMO too
- In the next phase, it will be extended to include state schemes, and bring district magistrates and members of legislative assemblies on same platform.
4. Government e-Marketplace (GeM)
- GeM aims to ensure that public procurement of goods and services is carried out through the online platform.
- It promotes transparency & eliminates corruption.
- Helpful in easy auditing because it will leave audit trail
- NIC has developed e-Office to transform the traditional functioning of departments of the governments.
- It has functions like
- Unified Internal Messaging
- e-Filing : To make digital files and share it with others
- e-Financial Management
- Knowledge Management System providing important documents and files accessible at any place
e-Technology in the aid of farmers
ICT can be used to provide extension services to the farmers (extension services are those services which change outlook of farmers to use scientific research and new knowledge in farming practices )
Examples where e-Technology is used in aid of farmers
1 . e-Nam
- Using ICT , farmer can sell his product anywhere in India
- Helps in better price realisation .
2. m-Kisan Portal
- Run by Agriculture Ministry
- There are more than 800 websites of union & state departments of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry & Fisheries but due to Digital Divide web traffic is dismal
- Govt came up with innovative idea to leverage advantage from 40 crore mobiles in rural areas. M-Kisan portal is used in two ways
- Push SMS system used to send advisory to farmers by Government
- Pull SMS & USSD used by farmers for asking queries
- USSD module of M-Kisan : Faster & efficient than SMS and works on any mobile with nominal charge of ₹6/month
3. e-Mausam Krishi Seva
- Weather information is send
- Can be received both online or through SMS by registering on online portal
4. Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)
- PMFBY aims to assess the damage to crops for insurance purposes through GPS aided mobile images, satellite and Drone imagery. This will improve accuracy and compensation.
5. PUSA Krishi App
- Developed by Indian Council of Agricultural Research
- Information about various varieties of particular crop and the region it is best suited for
- Information about animal feed and bio-fertilizers
- Farmers can get realtime solutions from ICAR Scientists by posting their queries there
6. e-Krishi Kiran
- Site for farmers of Gujarat State
- Connects farmer with various government departments & Universities
- Farmer just have to provide his land record number and all information would be given back to him
Private Sector using E-technology in the Aid of Farmer
1 . Kisan Raja
- For controlling the ON/OFF switch of water motors using mobile .
- Horticulture app made by Bangalore based company
Use of e-Technology in Education
How Information and Communication Technology (ICT) helps in spreading quality Education .
1 . Swayam Portal
- Started in June 2017 by Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD)
- Web portal where Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) will be available on all kinds of subjects.
- System also allows the transfer of credits that a college student earns from a course on Swayam directly into their academic records
2. Swayam Prabha TV
- It is group of 32 channels telecasted on DTH to deliver educational content
- Institutions like IGNOU, IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi etc are the contributing partners.
3. e – Pathshala
- Provides access to textbooks & other resources
- Developed by the NCERT
4. e-Basta Platform
Student and Teachers open account on this platform
|Publisher||– Publisher can place e-books on this portal & students can buy e-books from this platform. |
– No piracy because publisher himself will be selling his book .
|Teacher|| – Can bundle e-books , maps & videos as per his module and send to account of students |
– This is e-Basta
|Students||Students can access anywhere , anytime & don’t have to carry any weight|
5. Vidya Lakshmi Portal
- Started in 2015 Budget
- Single portal where student can apply for loan from multiple banks & scholarship from government
6. PRIVATE Platforms
There are numerous private educational platforms like
- Khan Academy (pioneer in online free classes)
- Udemy (best lecture on all subjects from coding to literature by private teachers who are best in their field)
ICT in Public Health
1 . ECHO Clinic
- Under this concept of weekly or fortnightly classes held by best specialists using teleconferencing to reach out to under-served areas.
- It does not provide care directly to patients like in telemedicine. Instead, they equip primary healthcare clinicians in remote areas with the knowledge and support to manage complex cases.
2. Mera Aspataal
- Mera Aspataal’- (My Hospital) application is an IT based feedback system to collect information on patients’ level of satisfaction
- Implemented in Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.
- National E-Health Authority
- When patient go from one hospital to other he/she is asked for undergoing same tests . Using this portal data of all past health checkups is recorded in his account so that doctor can check his past health history
4. Pharma Jan Samadhaan
- Under NPPA (National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority)
- Complaint can be launched on this portal if
- Particular drug is overpriced or
- There is non availability of particular drug or
- Sold without approval
- Actions within 48 hours is assured
5. Kilkari Project
- It is mobile voice message service launched by Government of India with help of Melinda & Gates Foundation
- Deliver weekly messages to families about pregnancy, family planning, nutrition, childbirth and maternal and child care.
- Database for the Kilkari programme will be taken from the successful Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS) . Every woman registered with MCTS will receive weekly messages
- In all, 72 free audio messages, each of about two-minute duration, will reach targeted beneficiaries from the fourth month of pregnancy until the child is a year old.
- ANMOL is a tablet-based application that allows ANMs to enter and update data for beneficiaries of their jurisdiction.
- This will ensure more prompt entry and regular upgradation of data
- Mother and Child Tracking System
- It is a tracking system to ensure all pregnant women receive their antenatal care check ups and children receive free immunization
- Patient Management System
- Developed by C-DAC
Use of ICT in Policing & Public Order
1 . Khoya Paya Portal
- 70 thousand children in India go missing each year & forced to child labour, sex trafficking to middle east
- On this portal
- parent & other known can upload photo & information about the lost child or
- if somebody has found or sighted some lost child
- Note- this is not FIR which need to be filed separately
- Crime & Criminals Tracking Network System
- System will change to Online record keeping for better police management , intelligence sharing & case tracking
3. Virtual Police Station for Public
- Launched in National Capital Region
- International NGO Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) has developed this
- First-of-its kind training tool to acquaint public with the functioning of a police station
4. Surakshit Naari, Sashakt Naari
Following things done under this scheme
- Panic Button & GPS System in Mobiles => women can send distress signal and her current location
- 181 – Universal Women Helpline number which will be active 24X7
- Himmat App
- CCTV Surveillance cameras in trains to be installed .
- Middle Bay in trains reserved for women.
1 . In Administration
- It helped in decreasing distance between government and citizen
- It has also helped in increasing citizen participation in governance
- Resulted in increasing transparency and accountability
2. To Society
- Inclusive growth : Those who cant afford education are getting it via MOOCs
- Telemedicine and projects like Kilkari etc helping pregnant women and reducing IMR, MMR etc
3. To Economy
- It has resulted in Ease of doing business
- Farmers are getting extension services helping to increase the productivity of farmers.
- Tax compliance has been increasing as it has become easy to file taxes
- Resulted in less leakage in subsidy via JAM
- E-governance is seen more as computerisation & office automation rather than as a means to transform citizens from passive to active participants in governance.
- Digital Divide => Rural vs Urban & Male vs Female => Approximately 70% of the population lives in rural areas where illiteracy is high.
- Funding to these programs is short in comparison to our huge ambitions we have placed on these schemes
- Privacy & No Data Protection Law (Legal Vacuum) : Aadhar information & other records are to be used but there is no law to ensure privacy will be insured .
- Quality of Local content is not good. Most of portals aren’t user friendly.
- No special programmes to make public aware about these programmes. Mere ads willn’t serve the purpose.
- Status Quo attitude of the government departments : Despite a push given to e-governance initiatives, many government departments continue insisting upon physical forms and signatures.
- Security and privacy of information is a technical challenge for e-governance implementation as people are wary about sharing their information with the government agencies.
Conclusion : Kentaro Toyama, formerly CEO of Microsoft India, has shown IT intervention has limited impact on developmental outcomes when the political will is absent. This is because technology can only be the ‘force multiplier’, it is not the force itself. The positive intent must originate in politics and motivate the bureaucracy to deliver on its mandate.