E-Governance is the use of information and communication technologies to support good governance.
It has the following main applications:
Government To Citizen (G2C)
G2C will aim at connecting citizens to government by talking to citizens and supporting accountability, by listening to citizens and supporting democracy, and by improving public services. It will involve better services to the citizens through single point delivery mechanism and will involve areas like:
Under e-citizen integrated service centers are created. The purpose of these centers is to provide various customer services. It offers services like issue of Certificates, Ration Cards, Passports, Payment of Bills and taxes etc. These centers will become one-stop Government Shops for delivery of all services.
The transport aspects that can be easily e-governed include: Registration of motor vehicles, Issue of driving licenses, Issue of plying permissions (Permits), Tax and fee collection through Cash and Bank Challans and Control of Pollution.
It involves linking of various hospitals in different parts of the country, thus providing better medical services to the citizen.
E-Education constitutes various initiatives of educating the citizen and the Government with the various Information Technologies.
E-Governing the registration and transfer of the properties and stamp duty to be paid thereon brings substantial reduction of paper work and reduces the duplicating of entries. Further the transparency in work increases and the overall time of process registration reduces.
Essentials for achievement:
- Information for All: Keeping the citizen informed, providing him with details of Government activities. The citizen will act as a watchdog to the Government if the information is available to him. Certain interest groups like the journalists, the opposition will always keep an eye on the expenditure of the Government, status of which will be available online. The same will bring accountability amongst Civil Servants. The rationale is to increase the pressure on staff to perform well and to improve public understanding of the government.
- Citizen Feedback: Citizen Feedback is a must for improving the Government Services. Unless the Government listens to its citizens, it will not be able to find out what he wants. Thus it is an effort to make the public sector decision responsive to citizens’ view or needs.
- Improving services: World’s best companies have done it, Indian companies have copied them, Governments abroad have followed the suit, why can’t the Indian Government. The aim should be improving the services delivered to citizens on dimensions such as speed, quality, reliability, convenience and cost. Information Technology will have a big role to play in the same; the services can be delivered from 24-hour one-stop Government shops.
Consumer To Government (C2G)
C2G mainly constitutes the areas where the citizen interacts with the Government. It includes areas like election when citizens vote for the Government; Census where he provides information about himself to the Government; taxation where he is paying taxes to the Government.
The e-democracy is an effort to change the role of citizen from passive information giving to active citizen involvement. In an e-democracy the Government informs the citizen, represents the citizen, encourages the citizen to vote, consults the citizen and engages the citizen in the Governance.
Taking the citizens input about the various government policies by organizing an e-debate will further strengthen the e-democracy. The concept of e-debate is similar to chat over the Internet, wherein not only the citizens but also the political leaders contesting the elections participate.
The citizens give their feedback about the various policies of the parties and particularly the manifesto of the party. The initiative will further strengthen the process by enhancing the representative role, improving accessibility of citizens to their elected members and developing the capacity of elected representatives to engage in e-government.
Elected members will also be provided with access to the local authority’s Intranet and e-mail systems so that they become available online for decision making and people can easily access them.
Essentials for achievement:
- Citizen Participation: For achievement of the above initiative the citizen has to participate in the Government Business and therefore spreading awareness becomes the responsibility of the State.
The elections should not be fought on the principle of what one party or other has to offer. But they should be fought on the principle of what the citizens require.
Market research programs should be carried out using the Information Systems to determine the needs of the citizens. GIS could be used as a tool to find out potential gaps in the services offered.
Government To Government (G2G)
This can also be referred as e-Administration. It involves improving government processes by cutting costs, managing performance, making strategic connections within government, and creating empowerment. It involves networking all Government offices so as to produce synergy among them. The major areas are:
Secretariat which is the seat of power has a lot of valuable information regarding the functioning of the State. The cross-linking of various departments and exchange of information amongst various components simplifies the process of Governance.
E-Police will help to build citizen confidence.
There will be two databases: one, of police personnel and the other of criminals.
The database of personnel will have the records of their current and previous postings. This will help to track policemen specialized in certain geographical regions and skills. For example, we want to look for a forensic expert. The database within seconds gives the list of all forensic experts. The same database will keep a track of their details like service record, family background etc which will also be helpful in intelligent posting and promotion of personnel.
The second database will be of criminals. This database has to be upgraded to national database for its total utility. By just typing the name of a criminal a police officer will be able to know the details of his past activities, including his modus operandi and the area of operation. Further, a database like this will help tap the criminals easily as all the police stations will have simultaneous access to their record.
The module also includes G2C activities like online filing of FIR’s, finding the case status of an FIR etc. Creating a database of Lost and Found can assist further lost and found of valuables and individuals.
The pending court cases in India have brought the legal system to a halt. Not only are the consumers asking for changes in the administration, but also the system will collapse if it continues in this manner.
Information Technology can transform the system and bring in the court cases to a level of zero dependency. Creating a database of cases can do the same.
In fact such a system will help to avoid all the appeals to High Courts and Supreme Court, for the Judges can consider the appeals from an intranet wherein the case remains in the same district court but the Higher Court gives their decision online based on the recorded facts of the case.
Such a step will not only help the citizens but will also reduce the backlog of cases. Further the use of IT in the areas like recording of court proceedings, high resolution remote video to identify fraudulent documents, live fingerprints scanning and verification, remote probation monitoring, electronic entry of reports and paper work will further speed up the court proceedings.
- State Wide Networks
This involves linking all the departments of the Government with various district headquarters and the state capital, facilitating the flow of information between the various state departments and its constituents. Here various blocks are linked to district Headquarters, district headquarters to State Headquarters and State Headquarters to the National Capital.
Essentials for achievement:
- Cutting Expenditure: With proper process control the input output ratio can be improved. The same can be achieved by cutting financial time costs. Cutting Government expenditure will lead to saving and accountability.
- Organize around outcomes, not tasks: This principle suggests that a single person should perform all the steps in a process and that the person’s job be designed around the outcome or objective rather than a single task. Say, for example, a citizen applies for a permit – it becomes the duty of the receiving authority that the citizen gets the same, rather than moving around to get it done.
- Managing process performance: planning, monitoring and controlling the performance of process resources (human, financial and other). Informatisation supports this by providing information about process performance and performance standards. The rationale is to make more efficient or effective use of process resources.
- Establish a network: Treat geographically dispersed resources as though they were centralized. Government can use databases, telecommunications networks, and standardized processing systems to get the benefits of scale and coordination, while maintaining the benefits of flexibility and service. Strategic connections in Government should be established like central-to-local, ministry-to-ministry, executive-to-legislature, and decision maker-to-data store.
- Delegate and Empower: Put the decision point where the work is performed, and build control into the process.
Thus, for overall Government Process Reengineering (GPR) to succeed the decision making should pass on to the people who do the actual work, from the people who are just monitoring it. People engaged in actual activities should be empowered to make decisions at the required focal point and hence to delegate such activities on their own so that the process itself can have built in controls. This will not only speed up the process but will cut cost as well.
Government To Business (G2B)
This constitutes the various services that a business house needs to get from the Government, which includes getting licenses etc. In a similar scenario, it can also flow from a business house to the Government as in the case of procurements, from such business houses by the Government. This will become a B2G service.
Essentials for achievement:
- Standards: Standards for Electronic Transactions or E-Commerce needs to be built. The standards will also include standards on content etc.
- Payment Mechanism: A secure payment mechanism needs to be built to enable payments over the electronic medium.
- PKI: PKI or Public key Infrastructure is required for secure and authentic transactions.
Government To NGO (G2N)
Building interactions beyond the government boundaries by developing communities, building government partnerships and civil society.
It involves building various associations or interest groups that will ensure the betterment of the society. Such initiatives deal particularly with the relationship between government and citizens: either as voters/stakeholders from whom the public sector derives its legitimacy, or as customers who consume public services.
Essentials for Achievement:
- Publishing: Delivering data to citizens. This involves open access to Government Information. The citizen has a right over Government information and its activities.
- Interaction: Delivering data to citizens and receiving data from citizens. This involves taking feedback from the citizens and interacting with the interest groups.