One of the biggest reasons our poverty alleviation measures have failed to achieve the desired impact is Corruption, inefficient targeting, and lack of information with the intended beneficiaries about plans and schemes meant to assist them. How can E-Governance help in this regard? (250 W)

Source:

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/government-mukt-governance/article24542415.ece

 

Model answer:

The “e” in e-Governance stands for ‘electronic’. Thus, e-Governance is basically associated with carrying out the functions and achieving the results of governance through the utilization of ICT (Information and Communications Technology). Governance is concerned with ensuring equitable access to public services and the benefits of economic growth to all. It also ensures government to be transparent in its dealings, accountable for its activities and faster in its responses as part of good governance.

How can E-Governance help in bringing accountability and eradicating poverty:

  • e-Gov maintains the relationship between government and citizens.
  • It allows citizens to access government information and services promptly, conveniently, from everywhere, by use of multiple channels.
  • Government-to-Citizens (G2C) model have been designed to facilitate citizen interaction with the government.
  • In this situation, an interface is generated between the government and peoples which enables the citizens to benefit from efficient delivery of array of public services.
  • This expands the availability and accessibility of public services on the one hand and improves the quality of services on the other.
  • Additionally, to make certain transactions, such as certifications, paying governmental fees, and applying for benefits, the ability of e-Gov initiatives to overcome possible time and geographic obstacles may connect citizens who may not otherwise come into contact with one another and may in turn facilitate and increase citizen participation in government.
  • E-Governance implemented by government, allows for government transparency.
  • Government transparency is significant because it allows the public to be informed about what the government is working on as well as the policies they are trying to implement.
  • It encourages accountability in all government dealings.
  • It plays major role in transforming Governments and renovating the way citizens participate in democracy.

Challenges for e-Gov:

  • Lack of IT Literacy and awareness regarding benefits of e-governance
  • Underutilization of existing ICT infrastructure
  • Government officials have different attitude as compared to private sectors when it comes to the use of ICT.
  • Lack of coordination between Government Department and Solution developers.
  • Infrastructure to support e-governance initiatives does not exist within government departments.
  • The use of connectivity options provided by govt. agencies are used in a very limited manner for data transmission purpose between various locations.

Way Forward:

  • e-Governance framework across the nation with enough bandwidth to service a population of one billion plus.
  • It is vital that the e-Gov focus on whole citizen experience. Focusing on the citizen is indispensable for long term success for poverty alleviation.
  • Connectivity framework for making the services to reach rural areas of the country or development of alternative means of services such as e-governance kiosks in regional languages.
  • National Citizen Database which is the primary unit of data for all governance vertical and horizontal applications across the state and central governments.
  • A secure delivery framework by means of virtual private network connecting across the state and central government departments.
  • Datacenters in centre and states to handle the departmental workflow automation, collaboration, interaction, exchange of information with authentication.

A transparent smart e-Governance with seamless access, secure and authentic flow of information crossing the interdepartmental barrier and providing a fair and unbiased service to the poor citizen is the need of the hour for India.