With the government’s push for expanding e-governance in providing the various public services, it becomes essential for common people to avail them easily. The mobile phone has become a handy tool for common people to avail the services offered by the government. Increased penetration of mobile phones, including smartphones as well as non-smartphones, has helped people gain easy access to the various services. The wide usage of the mobile phone has made a healthy cause for the popularity of m-governance. However, it’s important to note that m-governance is not going to take the place of e-governance. m-governance is within the purview of e-governance. And, thus it aids the latter.
Further, m-governanceinvolves use of mobile or wireless communication devices such as cellular phones, laptops tablet devices, equipped with wireless Internet to improve the provision of government services. Further, the performance of m-governance depends on the back office information and communication technology infrastructure and work process, data quality procedure.
M-governance intends to enable fast and easy access to public services for citizens via mobile devices. Enabling timely and accurate information is significant.
Usage of m-governance
M-governance finds wide application in government departments of health care, agriculture, communication, civic services (utilities charges, etc.), transportation and the like. M-governance is popular among businesses as well. Banking, airlines, entertainment, media, buying movie tickets, are a few examples where m-governance is immensely popular. Of course, the list is not exhaustive.
When it comes to the government sector, m-governance is popular in food and civil supplies department for information on ration at fair price shops, in irrigation department for monitoring reservoir water levels, grievance redressal, water supply (SMS for water tanker), in the Railways for ticket booking and to know the status of PNR, and for publication of examination results by state and central education boards. More new services are likely to be added.
In stock market, buyers and business people can know the price of shares, commodities (precious metals, etc.) and so on.
Policy measures taken
- Websites of all government departments and agencies are to be mobile compliant through the ‘One Web’ approach.
- Open Standards are to govern the usage of mobile application to ensure the inter-operability of application in different devices and operating systems under government’s Open Standards for e-Governance policy.
- All government departments and agencies are to develop and make live mobile application for providing all their services through mobile devices.
- The Mobile e-governance Service Delivery Gateway (MSDG) enables providing services over mobile devices using mobile applications installed on users’ mobile handsets. It provides sets of mobile-based services to backend organizations and citizens.
The number of mobile phone users in India crossed one billion in 2015. This shows the popularity of the mobile phone. Though a small device, it enables the users to enter a whole new world where they can access a complete gamut of services from business, governments, and for entertainment. On account of this all, m-governance under e-governance projects would play a significant role in making mobile usage engaging.