E- Governance in India

INTRODUCTION:
E Governance can be understood as the utilisation of ICT by the Public Sector Enterprises for
the purpose of enriching quality and range of information and facilities available to citizens of
country. The purpose is to promote citizen empowerment and enhance transparency, efficiency
and accountability of govt. it is the way of linking the Govt with citizens (G2C ie Govt to
Citizens) with the help of ICT with a motive of enhancing effectiveness and efficiency of Govt
services. It is implementation of ICT to the system/infrastructure of Govt functioning.
E-Governance is a practice of restructuring in the manner Governments work, distribute
information, empower
citizens and extend services. The components of E Governance include
• Government to Citizen (G2C) – services like ration card, aadhar card, passport, Id cards,
licenses, taxes and fees, education etc.
• Citizen to Government (C2G) – Includes interaction of the citizens with the govt in the
form of polling, feedback, RTI etc.
• Government to Government (G2G) – Interaction of the governments in the states with
the central govt. for the purpose of administration, coordination, cyber laws etc.
• Government to Business (G2B) – Interaction of the governments with the industry for
the services like E licensing, E tendering, registration of companies, procurement of
materials etc.
II. PILLARS OF E GOVERNANCE:
Before we proceed further to discuss challenges in the way of successful E Governance, it is
imperative to understand what pillars upon which E Governance rests are. In a developing
country like India, success of E Governance largely depends upon political stability, public
support and central coordination amongst various departments. As shown in the figure below,
the pillars of E Governance are connectivity, content, capacity and capital.
• Capital: E-governance services are capital intensive and to fulfill the motive of speedy
and efficient at subsidized rate, further makes it more costly as govt has to bear the
major portion of cost.
Connectivity:The very basic purpose of e-governance is to connect citizens with govt
which is possible if the services are in reach of each and everyone and a large chunk of
society is beneficiary.
• Competence: Competence is the ability to harness the skills and intelligence of those
who are at the planning and implementation level as well as to help govt work in
synergy with people, realizing and solving their problems so that they can reap the
actual benefits of E Governance.
• Content: Content here refers to the availability of services in regional language so as to
connect maximum people with E Governance. In India it‟s a challenge due to Multiple
Languages. Operational problems at the root level remain unattended.
The scope of E Governance planning is as following:
• State Wide Area Networks (SWAN)
• State Data Centers (SDCs)
• Common Service Centers (CSCs) to penetrate specially the rural and remote areas
• E Districts
• E Bharat
• Capacity Building
• RTI
• Public Private Partnership (PPP)

LEGAL AND POLICY FRAMEWORK:
The following provisions have laid down the legal and policy framework for ICT and e-
governance.
• Information Technology Act 2000
• The Action Plan endorsed by the Conference of Chief Ministers in 1987 had already
addressed the pertinent issues of accountable and citizen friendly administration; and
transparency and right to information. In pursuance of these issues, the Information
Technology Act was promulgated in 2000. The objective of the Act is “to provide legal
recognition for transactions carried out by means of electronic data interchange and
other means of electronic communication, commonly referred to as ‘electronic methods
of communication and storage of information’; to facilitate electronic filing of documents with the Government agencies; and further to amend the Indian Penal Code,
the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, the Banker’s Book Evidence Act, 1891 and the Reserve
Bank of India Act, 1934 and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”
• Both e-commerce and e-governance transactions are covered under the ambit of this
Act, which facilitates acceptance of electronic records and digital signatures. The Act,
thus, stipulates numerous provisions. It aims to provide for the legal framework so that
legal sanctity is accorded to all electronic records and other activities carried out by
electronic means. The said Act further states that unless otherwise agreed, an
acceptance of contract may be expressed by electronic means of communication and
the same shall have legal validity and enforceability.
• CHAPTER III of the Act details about ‘Electronic Governance’ and provides interalia
amongst others that where any law provides that information or any other matter shall
be in writing or in the typewritten or printed form, then, notwithstanding anything
contained in such law, such requirement shall be deemed to have been satisfied if such
information or matter is:
i. rendered or made available in an electronic form; and
ii. accessible so as to be usable for a subsequent reference.
• Report of the Working Group on Convergence and E-governance 2002-2007: The
Report of the Working Group on Convergence and E-governance proposed the need for
administration to transform itself from a passive information and service provider to a
platform/ forum for the active involvement of citizens. This Report primarily concerned
itself with public investments. It could not visualise the extent of private initiative that
could be expected to come forth in the convergence area or in e-commerce or allied
segments. It felt the need to set up a central body for taking stock of the total IT picture
in the country. This central body could be a ‘Council for E-governance’ or an adhoc
‘Commission on Re- engineering Administrative Procedures for E-
governance.’Another alternative it suggested was to set up a National Institute of Smart
Governance.
• Common Minimum Programme: The importance of e-governance has been recognised
in the Common Minimum Programme of the UPA Government, which inter-alia states
that e-governance will be promoted on a massive scale. It made a solemn pledge to the
people of the country with a government that would be corruption free, transparent and accountable; and an administration that would be responsible and responsive at all
times.
• National E-Governance Plan: Three important elements of the National E-Governance
Plan, which form the core infrastructure for effective service delivery are- Data Centres,
State Wide Area
• Networks and Common Service Centres. The 10-point agenda of the Department of
Information Technology announced for growth of ICT in the country includes
expeditious implementation of a ‘National E-Governance Plan’ to bring about
transparency and citizen centric approach in administration.
• Expert Committee: An expert committee had also been constituted for the amendments
in the IT Act 2000 to include the technological developments post IT Act 2000. The
Expert Committee completed its deliberations and submitted its report in August 2005.
Now the Expert Committee’s recommendations have been put on the website of the
Department of Information Technology for inviting public views and suggestions. The
Committee, during its deliberations, analysed some of the relevant experiences and
international best practices. The Committee, while formulating its recommendations,
kept in view the twin objectives of:
(i) using IT as a tool for socio-economic development and employment generation; and
(ii) further consolidation of India’s position as a major global player in IT sector.
• Right to Information Act 2005: The Right to Information Act 2005 confers on the
citizens the right to:
i. inspect works, documents and records of the government and its agencies;
ii. take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records;
iii. take certified samples of material; and
iv. obtain information in form of printouts, diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in
any other electronic mode.
v. This has ensured a transparent and accountable government to the people. It has also
established a two-way dialogue between the citizens and the government. It has enabled
citizens to make well-informed decisions. Further, it is an important step towards
tackling corruption and has ensured better monitoring of services provided by the
government.
CONCLUSION:
As our Prime Minister Mr Modi has said – “Access to e governance has to be guaranteed
with transparent systems that deliver responses and outcomes. The strengthening of
democratic governance empowers the population to become active partners in the
growth of country”. Despite best effort by the government to reap the benefits of E
Governance, the success is still a far dream. Although the challenges are many as
discussed above but government is working to cope with those challenges and hopefully
the targets will be achieved provided the people understand the benefits and support in
implementation.

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