E-Governance means use of Internet and Telecommunications to improve the governance in India with the major aim of bringing public services closer to citizens. Basically there are 3 categories of E-Governance: - G2C: Government to Citizen, G2B: Government to Business, G2G: Government to Government.
The National E-Governance Plan (NeGP) is a joint effort of (DEITY) Department of Electronics and Information Technology and (DARPG) Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances.
Majorly NeGP aims at providing efficient, reliable and transparent Government services to citizens and businesses at an affordable cost ensuring that it would be accessible even to a common man in his locality. NeGP comprises of 27 mission mode projects and this is probably the first Government project of its kind which has been successful in bringing together the civil society, citizens, private sectors, youths, entrepreneurs and the researchers.
In this article we will check certain features of the E-Governance initiatives which have been planned to reach out and help the citizens of India at State and Central levels:
- UIDAI: A project which uses Biometric data to provide a Unique Identification number to the citizens of India. Government has further made good use of this UIDAI in following fields:
- LPG Subsidy: This is known as PaHal scheme, LPG users are given subsidy in the rates of the gas cylinder for a particular number of the cylinders per year. For example: Suppose Government has fixed the upper limit of 12 gas cylinders for a year then users will receive the subsidized amount in cash which is directly deposited in their bank account to which their UID number has been linked. Now if user goes for 13h cylinder in that year then he has to pay the actual amount of the cylinder and the subsidy will not be given. Government plans to make this scheme available only to the deserved ones based on their yearly tax slabs.
- Digilocker: Here Government has created a special Cloud wherein citizens can store the images of their important documents like their Birth certificate, Pancard, Driver license, Passport and all such business document which they can access from anywhere in the world. Citizens would need to create an account for themselves in the site: Digilocker.gov.in and then use their UID number as the PIN to ensure security. With this feature Government of India has made Cloud as a Portable medium which will now carry all the required entitlements of the citizens. This will help Citizens so as to avoid carrying the original certificates when they are travelling.
- Other online services like: Filing of Income Tax returns, Online Pension schemes for old aged people, online payments of the utility bills. All these online services would help citizens to save their time and also help them avoid the long queues and waiting periods.
- Online application: For Passports, for jobs and exams, for admissions in colleges through centralized system, for Scholarships, Immigration, Visa & Foreigners Registration and Tracking (IVFRT).
- Digitalization of the Land Titles: This process makes it easy to evaluate the ownership and tenancy of the particular land.
- E-Governance introduced various different schemes at the State Level; however, due to digital illiteracy these schemes were not that successful.
- Scheme Gyandoot: In Madhya Pradesh it provides a direct connectivity between the district administration and the citizens.
- Scheme Lokvani : This was introduced in Uttar Pradesh for handling citizens grievances.
Government needs to now take measures to increase the digital awareness amongst the mass along with the literacy drives. There are many ways wherein the technology can really help the Government to enhance better governance and a vibrant #DigitalIndia is surely a must for future which would give more transparent government to the citizens with reduced administration expenditure cost on government.