Governments in India are focusing on ensuring their services reach the target beneficiary. However, the beneficiary, that is the common people, are forced to undergo ordeals of going to government offices, submitting the applications, and visiting multiples times to get things done. With the use of information and communication technology, common people can access the services anytime, anywhere. This is where e-governance comes in.
How is reforming government through technology executed?
When you’re looking for availing a government service, you may need to fill in one or several applications for submitting your data. The e-governance initiative ensures that the data submission is minimal and the system is easy to use.
Online application and tracking
E-governance enables applications for the various services provided by the government to be made online. The applications can be tracked to check their status at any time. Tracking also ensures the application retains the data and is useful for tracing data if need be.
Citizens are often required to submit documents such as birth/death certificates, certificates of educational qualifications, and identity proof documents in the physical form. Under the e-governance principle, use of online repositories is mandatory. The repositories enable citizens to keep their documents in digitized form online. This obviates the need to use the document in the physical form. It also ensures the security of the documents by mandating the businesses, etc. to register themselves with designated authorities.
Service and platform integration
To access the services of the government via different platforms, it is essential to integrate the various services and platforms. The Aadhaar platform of Identity Authority of India (UIDAI), Mobile Seva, payment gateway, sharing of data through open Application Programming Interface(API), and middleware including National and State Service Delivery Gateways (NSDG/SSDG) are a few examples.
Further, it is important to keep all databases and information in the electronic form. It should not be in the manual form. To ensure government processes are efficient and to enable the citizen to participate in these processes, the workflow in government department, as well as government agencies, should be seamless. nformation technology is to be used to automate, respond and analyze, in order to spot and fix problems that persist.
The National e-Governance Plan (NeGP),is an umbrella scheme for the whole country. Under the Plan, the various components of e-governance initiatives are to be integrated into one platform. The Plan ensures that a giant size infrastructure reaches the remotest of villages.
Redesigning, or reengineering as official sources put it, ensures e-governance is implemented effectively. This would make citizens actively participate in governance processes and would also make the government accountable. It would negate the need to go to government offices for application and having to queue up for long hours. It would ensure good governance by getting rid of human interface between government and people. Using information and communication technology, e-governance can cut down the paper work and also reduce the time taken to get the service.