In News 

    • Addressing the 24th National Conference on e- Governance in Hyderabad, Union Minister of Science and Technology emphasized that the e-governance initiatives should be citizen centric and increase transparency and accountability.

    About e-Governance

    • E-government is the use of technological communications devices, such as computers and the Internet, to provide public services to citizens and other persons in a country or region.
    • E-government offers new opportunities for more direct and convenient citizen access to government and for government provision of services directly to citizens.
    • The term consists of the digital interactions between:
      • Citizen and their government (C2G),
      • Between governments and other government agencies (G2G),
      • Between government and citizens (G2C),
      • Between government and employees (G2E), and
      • Between government and businesses/commerce’s (G2B).

    Significance of e-Governance

    • Post COVID era: The government stressed the need for right and optimum use of e-governance initiatives especially in the post COVID era.
      • It has provided flexible timings and helped people especially employees during COVID pandemic.
    • Ease of life: The purpose of e- governance is to bring ease of life for common citizens.
    • One nation-one portal: Over grievances and redressal, the linking of the Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System with that of the states is almost done realizing Prime Minister’s vision for one nation-one portal.
    • Simplification: To support and simplify governance for government, citizens, and businesses.
    • Transparent and accountable: To make government administration more transparent and accountable while addressing the society’s needs and expectations through efficient public services and effective interaction between the people, businesses, and government.
    • Corruption: To reduce corruption in the government.
    • Speedy delivery: To ensure speedy administration of services and information.
    • To reduce difficulties: for business, provide immediate information and enable digital communication by e-business.

    Issues/ Challenges of e-Governance

    • Lack of computer literacy: India is still a developing country and a vast majority of the citizens lack computer literacy which hinders the effectiveness of e-governance.
    • Lack of accessibility: to the internet or even computers in some parts of the country is a disadvantage to e-governance.
    • E-Governance results in a loss of human interaction: As the system becomes more mechanized, lesser interaction takes place among people.
    • Risk: It gives rise to the risk of personal data theft and leakage.
    • E-Governance leads to a lax administration: The service provider can easily provide excuses for not providing the service on technical grounds such as “server is down” or “internet is not working”, etc.

    Various initiatives by the Government towards E-governance

    • Aadhaar is a unique identification number issued by UIDAI that serves as proof of identity and address on the basis of biometric data. It is being used to provide many benefits to the members of the society. One can e-sign documents using Aadhar.
    • myGov.in is a national citizen engagement platform where people can share ideas and be involved with matters of policy and governance.
    • UMANG is a Unified Mobile Application which provides access to central and state government services including Aadhar, Digital Locker, PAN, Employee Provident Fund services, etc.
    • Digital Locker helps citizens digitally store important documents like mark sheets, PAN, Aadhar, and degree certificates. This reduces the need for physical documents and facilitates easy sharing of documents. 
    • PayGov facilitates online payments to all public and private banks.
    • Mobile Seva aims at providing government services through mobile phones and tablets. The m-App store has over 200 live applications which can be used to access various government services.
    • Computerisation of Land Records ensures that landowners get digital and updated copies of documents relating to their property. 
    • DigiSevak platform connects interested citizens with the government to volunteer for various Digital India activities by Ministries and agencies of government.
    • Online Registration System (ORS) is an online portal where citizens having Aadhaar can enroll for appointments in hospitals across various States and Union Territories of India.
    • IndiaStack is a set of APIs that allows governments, businesses, startups and developers to utilize a unique digital Infrastructure to solve India’s hard problems towards presence-less, paperless, and cashless service delivery.
    • PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation) is aimed at starting a culture of Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation. It is also a robust system for bringing e-transparency and e-accountability with real-time presence and exchange among the key stakeholders.

    Some State level e-governance initiatives

    • E-Seva (Andhra Pradesh) facilitates payment of utility bills, issuance of certificates, licenses and permits.
    • Khajane Project (Karnataka) digitalized the treasury system of the state.
    • FRIENDS (Kerala) is a single-window facility to pay taxes and other financial dues to the State government.
    • Lokvani Project (Uttar Pradesh) is a single-window solution relating to the handling of grievances; land record maintenance and providing a mixture of essential services.

    UN e-Government Development Index

    • The Division of a Public Administration and Development Management of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) conducts a bi-annual e-government survey which includes a section titled e-Government Development Index (EGDI).
    • It is a comparative ranking of 193 countries of the world.

    The National e-Governance Plan (NeGP)

    • The National e-Governance Plan takes a holistic view of e-Governance initiatives across the country, integrating them into a collective vision, a shared cause.
    • Around this idea, a massive countrywide infrastructure reaching down to the remotest of villages is evolving, and large-scale digitization of records is taking place to enable easy, reliable access to the internet.

    e-Kranti – Electronic delivery of services

    • E-Kranti is an essential pillar of the Digital India initiative.
    • Considering the critical need for e-Governance, mobile Governance and Good Governance in the country, the approach and key components of e-Kranti have been approved by the Union Cabinet with the vision of “Transforming e-Governance for Transforming Governance”.

    Source: AIR