The National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) is a Union Government initiative to enable citizens to access government services on a digital platform. Over the past several years, a large number of e-governance initiatives have been taken by governments at the Union and State levels. The overall objective is to improve the delivery of public services to people.
Evolution of e-governance in India
To start with, e-governance in India was initiated with the computerization of the operations in government departments. The objective was to make services citizen-focused, and to enhance service orientation and transparency in the operations. Over the years, based on the performance of e-governance and the deficiencies noticed in it, important improvements were made to the e-governance program.
Of late, the emphasis has been on accelerating the implementation of e-governance across government organizations at all levels – Union, State and Local. This has led to the conception of the NeGP program as a single platform for developing the e-governance charter in India.
National e-Governance Plan (NeGP)
The NeGP takes an umbrella view of the steps taken by the authorities across the country. Based on this central idea, the plan was initiated with the evolution of high-end infrastructure, backed by digitization of the records on mass scale.
The overall objective is to take the government to the doorsteps of the people. As the NeGP puts it:”Make all Government services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets, and ensure efficiency, transparency, and reliability of such services at affordable costs to realize the basic needs of the common man”.
In May 2006, the government sanctioned 27 Mission Mode Projects and ten components. In 2011, four projects, namely health, in Public Distribution System, were sanctioned assent, and the number of Mission Mode Projects was increased from 27 to 31.
The government has approved the vision, strategy, approach, and key components, implementation methodology, and management structure of NeGP as a whole.
To promote e-governance in a comprehensive manner, different policy measures have been taken to develop the core and ancillary infrastructure. The main core components are State Data Centers (SDCs), State Wide Area Networks (S.W.A.N), Common Services Centers (CSCs) and middleware gateways, including National e-Governance Service Delivery Gateway (NSDG), State e-Governance Service Delivery Gateway (SSDG), and Mobile e-Governance Service Delivery Gateway (MSDG).
The main supporting components are the core policies and guidelines on security, HR, citizen engagement, social media, metadata standards, Enterprise Architecture, Interoperability, information security, among others, and the new initiatives include authentication framework.
If the government is successfully able to address major challenges such as absence of needs analysis, interoperability across Mission Mode Projects, coping with new technology trends including mobile interface, digital signature, and cloud computing, the National e-Governance Plancould be a noble objective realized within its timeframe.