The National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) is a Union Government initiative to enable citizens to access government services. 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. This article discusses the e-governance initiative NeGP.
Evolution of e-governance in India
To start with, e-governance in India was initiated with the computerization of operation of government departments. The objective was to make services citizen-focused, and to improve service orientation and transparency in the operations. Important improvements have been made based on the past performance of the plan and its deficiencies.
Of late, the emphasis is on accelerating the implementation of e-governance by ensuring its implementation in various organizations of the government at all levels – Union, State and Local. A program with a common approach has been conceived in the form of National e-Governance Plan(NeGP) to ensure consistency at all levels.
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, infrastructure on a mass scale is being evolved. This includes digitization of the records on mass scale to enable uninterrupted and easy access to such records through the Internet.
The overall objective is to take government to the doorsteps of the people. As the NeGP says, “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 its assent for 27 Mission Mode Projects and ten components. In 2011, four projects in health and 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, as well as meta data standards, Enterprise Architecture, Interoperability, information security, and so on, and the new initiatives include authentication framework.
National e-Governance Plan could be a noble objective realized within its deadline provided 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 are addressed.