E-governance in India
The “e” in e-Governance stands for ‘electronic’. Thus, e-Governance is basically associated with carrying out the functions and achieving the results of governance through the utilization of ICT (Information and Communications Technology).
While Governance relates to safeguarding the legal rights of all citizens, an equally important aspect is concerned with ensuring equitable access to public services and the benefits of economic growth to all. It also ensures government to be transparent in its dealings, accountable for its activities and faster in its responses as part of good governance.Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India, has envisaged e-Governance in the Indian framework as “A transparent smart e-Governance with seamless access, secure and authentic flow of information crossing the interdepartmental barrier and providing a fair and unbiased service to the citizen.”
Success Stories Of E-Governance In India
Bhoomi is the Land Records computerization effort by the Government of Karnataka. Work on the project commenced in 1999. In 2001, the first online services were provided to the citizens and other stakeholders of the project Bhoomi has not only sustained its commendable levels of service achieved in 2006, but has also made very significant progress over the past five years, i.e., from 2006 to 2011. Currently, as many as two and half crores of property records are being issued to citizens every year, under the Bhoomi programme.
Intranet in Tribal District of Dhar  (State Government of Madhya Pradesh) This project offers e-governance services including online registration of applications, rural e-mail facility, village auction site etc. It also provides services such as Information on Mandi (farm products market) rates, On-line public grievance redressal, caste & income certificates and Rural Market (Gaon ka Bazaar). It was winner of Stockholm challenge IT Award 2000.
E-GOVERNANCE: MAJOR ISSUES IN INDIA
Countries like India people are poor and infrastructures are not up to the mark. Under such condition it becomes very difficult to provide government services to the people. There are number of reasons for that- 2.
Internet access is too expensive for the poor in developing countries like India. Installing the necessary telephone lines needed for internet or email access is equally unaffordable in most poor countries. In India, each telephone connection may cost as much as Rs30,000 in urban areas and Rs70,000–80,000 in villages, which is unaffordable by most low income families.
2. Technical illiteracy
There is general lack of technical literacy as well as literacy in countries like India, the correlation between education level and use of electronic means or Internet and other ICT means are quite significant.
3. Language Dominance
The dominance of English on the internet constrains the access of non-English-speaking population. It is found that of all the web pages in the world, about 84 percent are in English. In the case of India, 95 percent of the population does not speak English . Due to such overwhelming dominance of English over these communication channels, computers and the internet are quite useless in Indian villages, and the use of local languages does little to alleviate the problem due to the poor literacy level mentioned earlier.
There is general lack of awareness regarding benefits of e-governance as well as the process involved in implementing successful G-C, G-G and G-B projects. The administrative structure is not geared for maintaining, storing and retrieving the governance information electronically.
5. Lack of Participations of Society, Public and Private sectors
Designing of any application requires a very close interaction between the govt. department and the agency developing the solutions. At present the users in govt. departments do not contribute enough to design the solution architecture. Consequently the solution developed and implemented does not meet the requirements of an e-governance project and hence does not get implemented.
Inequality in gaining access to public sector services between various sections of citizens, especially between urban and rural communities, between the educated and illiterate, and between the rich and poor.
Lack of necessary infrastructure like electricity, internet, technology and ways of communications as in Table1 will affect the speed which delays the implementation.
8. Impediments for the Re-Engineering process
Implementation of e-governance projects requires lots of restructuring in administrative processes, redefining of administrative procedures and formats which finds the resistance in almost all the departments at all the levels.
9. Operational Reluctance
The psychology of government servants is quite different from that of private sectors. Traditionally the government servants have derived their sustenance from the fact that they are important repositories of government data. Thus any effort to implement Documents Management and workflow technologies or bringing out the change in the system is met with resistance from the government servants.