Saturday, May 7, 2016
Information Communication Technology enabled Good Governance in the World, India and Uttar Pradesh
Today, efficiency of a government is measured by how innovatively and satisfactorily it can serve its citizens. World has a come at a point where the general public is the God and everything which a government or the public sector undertakes has to be for their benefits. To serve this God, governments are coming up with innovative ideas and services and are trying very hard to please them. The term coined where the deeds, services or the work done by the government is for the betterment of the people is governance. Good governance is the involvement of the people at every level of decision making and providing services which are consumer centric and are available to them with ease and 24*7. By providing such services the government wants to instill faith in the hearts of the people that it is working for them and in their best interest. Good governance is the need of the hour, as every country needs to prosper and grow and to provide the best possible services to its citizen. This level of efficiency and interaction between the public and the government can be achieved by implementing good governance practices which are based on the information and communication technology.
Information technology is used in every field now days, so why not governance. The application of IT for governance is called e-governance. Governments all over the world are using e-governance to reach a large section of its citizens, as it has wider reach, it can reach the remotest of places where physical transportation is not possible. It provides information every hour of the day, which can be used at any point of time, etc. It has been of great help to the governments of various countries. It has also helped in curbing the greatest menace of all that is corruption. Governments now days boast of a corruption free public workings based on the e-governance practices which are heightening the faith of the people in the government. The weaker section of the society now feel empowered by such practices as they now have the power to work on their own and not be at the mercy of the government officials.
All the governments of the world are taking up the practices of e-governance which is helping them make a strong repo with their citizens. Governments are using IT in innovative ways like linking of all the government departments and providing services from every department at a single point, or proving services in cases of natural disasters. The presence of IT and internet can be felt at every nook and corner of the society. The countries like Republic of Korea, Australia are building their economy on the backdrop of the practices of good governance and e-governance. The Republic of Korea is the country which has the highest ranking in terms of connecting the public and the government through the use of e-governance to make a better society.
In this world there is a country called India in which we live, which is trying to utilize the full potential of the e-governance services. Most of the Indian population lives in the rural area and reaching them is a matter of concern for the government, to provide a solution to this problem the Government of India has started using e-services to reach those far off lands. Various services have been started by the government to provide one point solution to the problems of the citizens. It has organized forums where in people can point out the short comings of the government, so the officials can work on them to provide better facilities to its citizens. Services like land recording online, forms submission online, etc have helped the rural people in saving the money of rural people which they usually spend on travelling. The benefits to the urban people have not been any less; the government has facilitated easy submission of taxes, rent and bills of various utilities at a single point. Still our country has not been able to reap the benefits of this amazing facility due to various reasons.
The most populous state of India is Uttar Pradesh where in many e-governance services have also been initiated to help simplify the lives of the public. A land scheme, scholarship scheme, utility bill payment scheme are few of the many initiatives which have been started by the Government of Uttar Pradesh. The e-services have been very successful in Uttar Pradesh in comparison to few other states because of the low literacy level in the state, low income group people residing in that area, etc. Still, the Government of Uttar Pradesh is trying to overcome these problems and is working towards proving a better future for the people of the state by inviting various IT companies in the state and building IT infrastructure in the state. The state has a long way ahead of itself but it has started on the path to a glorified future.
1.0. Government, Governance and Good Governance
Government is the collection of people, a body which is entrusted with the work to govern a state, country/nation or other political units present in the country (Allen, 2000). The government’s job is to focus on the society and work in public interest. Government is one of the parts of governance (Pani & Mishra, 2009).
Governance is not the same as government (Plumptre & Graham, 1999; Graham et al, 2003). The concept of governance is not new but has been present since the start of civilization. The concept of governance first came into existence in the 1990’s because of the political and economic changes in the decade and it was recorded the first time in a World Bank document on the Sub-Saharan Africa. It identified the four important dimensions of governance which are the management of public sector, accountability, legal framework for development and information and transparency in the working (Pani & Mishra, 2009; Wouters & Ryngaert, 2004). Government is one of the components in the machinery of governance; other components include the civil society and the private sector. In the absence of these factors, the government will not be able to provide its citizens a working governance model (Jabeen, 2006). Governance is the process of decision making and working together in cooperation and participation with all the sectors of the society (Pani & Mishra, 2009; TESEV, 2008), with the decisions being taken in a transparent, accountable, effective and responsible manner (TESEV, 2008). Governance is a set of factors that how the political and economic interactions happen (Grindle, 2012) and it involves rational use of resources, services available for the betterment of the citizens and protection of the country. Government involves running of the government not only by the elected members but also the involvement of other members such as civil society, organizations, professional chambers, private sector organization, universities, etc. Governance aims on making public administration effective and bringing it closer to the citizens, it combats corruption, strengthens the bond with the citizens and the democracy in the society (TESEV, 2008).
1.3. Good Governance
Governance is the path to reach the desired results and good governance models are implemented, which lead to the economic and social results which are desired by the citizens (Plumptre & Graham, 1999). Good governance is the proper management of government (De Vries, 2013). Good governance is the use of resources and public power in a legal, accountable and effective way to accomplish the social-economic goals of the nation (Johnston, 2006). Good governance is a major method in improving the quality of decision making process and it in turn improves the quality of life by effective and rational use of public resources (TESEV, 2008). Good governance is government steering, supporting, and guiding the process of development as opposed to the earlier practice of command and control (Jabeen, 2006). A major portion of the development process was in some way related to good governance by the year 2000, the international agencies by this time had created a department catering to the governance and they also included governance as a point in their assistance and transferred funds towards funding of various good governance initiatives in various countries. It encompasses all the good things like the human rights, environment protection, women empowerment, anti-corruption measures and many other conditions and it also tells the government what it should do like reduction in poverty, economic stability in the economy (Grindle, 2012; Gani, 2011) and provide basic services to the citizens of the country (Grindle, 2012). A proper working good governance is a fundamental building block for the effective functioning of the market based economies (Gani, 2011) and for this to happen a proper working and a better model of National Information Infrastructure should be implemented in the developing countries (Meso et al, 2009). Good governance is the most logically appropriate governance (Wouters & Ryngaert, 2004). Good governance may be treated as an exercise between the economic, political and administrative authorities of the government to efficiently manage the affairs affecting the country at all levels, whether it be local or national (Pani & Mishra, 2009).
Good governance signifies a well functioning public sector and it also implies that the government puts its political, administrative and finance departments in proper order with socio-economic growth. But some of the countries are lacking in these concept of good governance because of the lack of man power and financial resources to carry out such a process (De Vries, 2013). Good governance cannot happen by chance, the citizens should demand it as a right and they should be made a part of the process freely, openly and fully. In India, for good governance to become successful India should become a socially developed nation (Singh, 2013). Various bodies derive the benefits of using good governance, for leaders it may be opportunity to take credit for all the good work in the society, for citizen it may be improvement in the justice system and a better life and for the neighboring societies it may be sharing of values, experience in implementing process (Johnston, 2006). Good governance is the major measure of analyzing what is missing in the countries which are struggling with the economic and political development or the developing countries (Grindle, 2012).
1.3.i. Good Enough Governance
Implementation of good governance practices is posing a problem for the developing countries at the level of implementation of plans as different international agencies propose different plans for the good governance plans. Concepts such as decentralization, privatization, public-private partnership has helped the developed countries transform themselves but they have made no headways in the developing countries, because the people in the developing countries look towards their government for the fulfillment of their needs (Jabeen, 2006). Grindle (2004) defined good enough governance as the level of government performance and civil administration participation which is minimally acceptable, and that does not significantly prove to be a road block in the path of economic and political development and allows the working of poverty reduction programme. Though in its initial stage, it is proving to be a realistic agenda, which is universally applicable but it does provides some challenges at the concept building, methodology and practical level (Jabeen, 2006).
1.3.ii. Principles of Good Governance
In the country of Bangladesh some constitutional provisions for good governance have been formularized such as the equal participation of men and women in the every section of the society, judiciary should be free to be able to give proper judgment, constitution is above everything else in the process of good governance, it is the aim of the government to make the nation free from exploitation, good governance protects the right of democracy of the citizens and equitable distribution of resources in the country (Alam & Hasina, 2014). Thailand also defined the characteristics of good governance in its legislature of The Regulation of Good Governance (1999). They are the Rule of Law, Rule of Moral, Rule of Participation, Rule of Accountability and Value for Money (Trakulmututa & Chaijareonwattana, 2013).
Many donor agencies have made good governance a major borrowing requirement when giving out loans to the nations (Gisselguist,2012). Each agency defines the characteristics of good governance differently like World Bank defines it in terms of participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law (Pani & Mishra, 2009). United Nations defines good governance on the basis of democracy in the country, human rights promotion, rule of law, efficient and effective management of public services, accountable and transparent, free of corruption, free elections and promotes equity and security. Asia Development Bank defines the characteristics of good governance as participation in the democracy, effective public service management, accountability and transparency, management of economic resources and predictability in the management of the affairs of the nation. International Monitory Fund also describes different characteristics of good governance and they are transparency in government accounts, effective management of public resources and reforms in public sector institutions and administrative procedure (Gisselguist,2012). Every country defines good governance characteristics and how to achieve good governance in different ways like Australia lays down strategy, culture, relations and communications, performance monitoring program and compliance and accountability as the main components of achieving good governance (www.publicsector.wa.gov.au). Council of Europe defines good governance in twelve characteristics which are fair conduct of elections with proper participation and representation, responsiveness on the part of the public service department, efficient and effective use of resources, openness and transparency in the working, rule of law, ethical conduct to fight corruption, competency in working, innovative techniques and ready for change, sustainability in the working process, right financial management techniques, human right protection and cultural diversity is protected and accountability (www.coe.int). United States has defined different characteristics for good governance which include democratic system of the society with participation from the citizens, effective and efficient public services management and the public service are made accountable (Gisselguist,2012).
The United Nations has described eight important characteristics of good governance which every country should follow to provide a friendly and efficient work environment for its people. They are:
For a good governance initiative to be successful both men and women should participate in the process of decision making and formulation of ideas. People should participate in the decision making but they should also be informed about the topic (Sheng, Graham, et al, 2003). The people should be heard in the decision making process if not individually then through a legitimate intermediary institution which would represent their interests to the government. This level of participation can only be built on the foundation of freedom of speech (Second Administrative Reforms Commission, 2007; Sheng; Graham, et al, 2003). If all the stakeholders are included in the decision making process the possibility of implementing the service increases. Participation from not only the individuals but from the civil society is also required (TESEV, 2008). In those cases where the some group of people is indirectly affected, in those cases also a consultation process should be organized which would look after their needs. If participation characteristic of governance is looked after then the commitment and support of the local people increase for any service which is intended for them (International Fund for Agriculture Development, 1999).
To increase participation of the public in Tunisia, the Ministry of Education there launched a programme “Online Academic Orientation”. This service allows the students to interact with the academic staff, so they can receive advice and guidance for their studies and to apply to different courses. It has increased the participation of students in the process of taking control of their studies (United Nations, 2009).
In India public participation is of great importance to the government so that it can provide better services to its citizens. The Government of Nagaland introduced the Programme of Communitisation of Public Institutions and Service. The programme is aimed at improving the service delivery for the population of Nagaland. The programme brought the citizens in the fold of the working of the practices and they were made responsible for the service delivery and for the collection of fees and payment which would be required for the programmes running. The most distinguishable feature of this public service delivery initiative was that the government, political leadership, bureaucracy, civil society and the church were all involved in the delivery of services and the villagers voluntarily participated in the working of the programme. It covered the area of health, education, utilities, improvement in attendance of both students and teachers and the community school were made popular (United Nations, 2009).
In the state of Uttar Pradesh also to increase the people participation an E-Procurement Initiative was launched. The system included various departments like Public Works Department, Irrigation, etc. The system has included all these departments under its domain to increase participation of people (Gosaliya).
1.3.ii(b). Rule of Law
Good governance is based on the principle that the services provided are legal and they are enforced impartially. The practices should protect the rights of the minorities. The major requirement for impartial enforcement of services is an independent judiciary and an impartial and non corrupted police force (Sheng, Second Administrative Reforms Commission, 2007). The decisions regarding the practices of good governance should be based on objective information which comes under the law and all the working is done through a legal channel (TESEV, 2008). All the rules and regulations should be enforced impartially regardless of the party organizing the practice, mainly the human rights laws (Graham, et al, 2003). Under the practice of rule of law no one is above the law not even the government, so it makes the government more accurate in the decision making process. In every constitution all the citizens are provided equality before the law, so the good governance practices should be formulated keeping in mind the rules of the country (Singh, 2013). Rule of law should not only be followed but the citizens should be made aware about their rights and the laws of the country (Maldonado, 2010).
When the rule of law is implemented strongly the citizens don’t fear the law but work in tandem with it because they trust in the efficiency of it. The country of Botswana in the 1990’s was hit by a government scandal which brought about enquiry by the anti-corruption agencies and public enquires. Law breakers had to face legal penalties and social sanctions. Botswana is following some key themes to fulfill the wishes of its citizens, they are rule of law, transparency and accountability (Johnston, 2006).
To determine that the government is working under the rule of law and the general people are accordingly benefited by the working of the government. Right to Information provides the citizens right to ask the government about its working and weather it is performing the work under the rules of the constitution (Walia, 2009).
Nivesh Mitra (Investment Friend) is a facility which helps entrepreneurs submit forms online and updating them under the jurisdiction of the government. It also facilitates getting time bound approval of various projects from the government through a legal pathway (Gosaliya).
Transparency is the building block of good governance which means the decisions are taken and their enforcement is done in such a manner that is acceptable by law. It also means that the information will be freely available to all which would be affected by the new practice. The information provided hear in would be easily available and can be accessed through various medias platforms available (Sheng). All the information should be shared with all the stakeholders of the country (TEVSEV, 2008) and flows freely in the country among its citizens (Graham, et al, 2003). The information provided to the citizens also has some limits on the amount of the information which should be provided so the privacy and security is protected. Transparency is based on the relationship of the officers and the groups of people for whom the information is intended. A transparent government makes the public known about the rules and procedures which are being followed, why certain actions are being taken and who will be implementing these actions so as to make the working transparent and in turn make good governance practice effective. Providing a transparent environment to the people requires a great deal of working on part of the government and it may also slow down the procedure of providing the services to the citizens (Johnston, 2006). To combat the evil of corruption transparency is of great importance especially in the case of budgeting system and the procurement process and it will bring about efficiency in resource utilization and reduction in waste (International Fund for Agriculture Development, 1999).
To increase transparency and efficiency in the legislative process in Austria a digital law making system was incorporated. ‘eLaw’ which includes the involvement of all the institutional stakeholders and all the integrated parties in the process of law making. It was implemented as the people had no access to the legal acts, and it was making the judiciary system opaque for the general public. Now all legal acts can be accessed online through ‘eLaw’ and they are accessible to all the citizens. It has helped in making the judiciary system transparent for the people and they are becoming aware of the rules, regulations and acts of their country (United Nations, 2009).
The Government of Karnataka made a commitment to improve the governance in the state and to upgrade the states infrastructure and services. In view of these functions a Banglore Task Force was formed which included prominent citizens of the city, industries and people from civil society were taken up so they would be more involved in the development of the city. The Force which is formed keeps a track of all the officials working in the civil department. To increase transparency in the tax system a method was formulated where in citizens can apply for tax themselves. To further bring transparency in the working various meeting were held at various sites in the city. People were also asked to give feedback for the services which were provided for them so as to bring transparency in the system of providing services to the masses (Johnston, 2006).
VYAS (Vanij Yakar Automation System) is a facility to digitize VAT processing and includes registry of the tax, filling of return and generation of challan online. The system makes the people aware of the rules, notification, circulars about the VAT process and it brings transparency in the system of payment of VAT, as, the people can check payment details by collecting their payment receipt (Gosaliya).
Another important characteristic of good governance is that the government and the institutes should be responsive. Institution and government should serve all the stakeholders of the society. Another point being the services provided should be in a timely fashion which ultimately serves the needs of the citizens (Sheng; Graham, et al, 2003; Second Administrative Reforms Commission, 2007). Time bound completion of the work by the government will reduce the cases of corruption in the government machinery. When the people will have knowledge about the time frame under which the work should be done and if they are not provided with the services, they can complain to the relevant authority (Singla, 2011).
Haiti developed a Sahana Disaster Management System which provides modular, web-based disaster management application services. It has been deployed in many disasters around the world. It provides information needed for the relief operation. The organisation kept the track of all the relief operations so to avoid duplication of services. It also coordinates with various relief organisations and has also launched a SMS service through which the citizens could request assistance and information. Many such services are provided through the Sahana Disaster Management System (United Nations, 2014).
Gyandoot was implemented in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh. It connects 21 rural cybercafés and each one provides services to about 10 to 15 village panchayats, 20 to 30 villages and to almost 20,000 to 30,000 people. This plan to cut out the middleman from the agriculture produce supply chain and the farmers can earn the best prices. People can send applications for just Rs. 10 and in a period of less than 10 days they are informed if the certificate is ready or not, and the knowledge about the action about the grievance is taken or not. It provides knowledge about various facts like rates of agriculture commodities, grievance redressal, applications for certificate, etc (Saxena, 2005).
Uttar Pradesh is the first state to start a project called Telemedicine in partnership with Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute and IIT Kanpur and is mainly focused on the rural area. Its main point is to work in the field of distribution of medicines in the rural area and looking after the needs of the ill. It has shown a high degree of responsiveness as the government is inclined towards helping the poor and the sick in the rural areas (Nandan).
1.3.ii(e). Consensus Oriented
Every person in the society has their own view point about a problem. Good governance is unity of different interests in the society to reach such a level of consensus which is acceptable by all in the society and is in the best interest of the society and the best ways in which it can be achieved (Sheng; Graham, et al, 2003; Second Administrative Reforms Commission, 2007). The decisions taken should be based on policies and procedures of the government (Graham, et al, 2003; Second Administrative Reforms Commission, 2007). It encompasses the long-term direction on what is needed for a sustainable human development and to achieve the goals of development. Such level of development can only be achieved if there is full understanding of the historical, culture and social factors of a given society or commodity (Sheng).
The official website of Seoul, Republic of Korea is an apt example of engagement of general public. It is a website which provides information and services to a majority of people and is an important ingredient for any good governance or e-governance initiative to be successful as it should cater to the needs of the masses. Another such facility is iHealthRecord of the United States of America where the medical records are made available online for the masses to see. The people can visit the website and can make relevant changes which suit their needs. This facility serves a majority of people in United States of America (United Nations, 2006).
Project Swajal which works in 1000 villages of two states that is Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand is another example of a facility which serves the masses. It works in collaboration with the World Bank and the Government of India to provide better quality water, sanitation facilities and hygiene benefits to the rural people fulfilling their basic needs (Planning Commission, et al, 2000). Another project which serves the masses is the is in Gujrat- Institutionalization Managing Drinking Water Supply Programme and User Level Water Quality Monitoring Programme which was developed by the Water and Sanitation Management Organisation, 2002. It looks to providing drinking water to the villages in the draught hit area which is a necessity of the masses (United Nations, 2009).
E-District project of Uttar Pradesh works in 6 districts and provides 22 services to the masses. Services like certification, pensions, ration card, employment registration, etc which cater to the needs of the masses and provide them with better quality of services (Gosaliya).
1.3.ii(f). Equity and Inclusiveness
All human being are equal and have equal rights to dignity of living (Graham, et al, 2003). A society should ensure that all its members have a stake in the working and are not excluded from the mainstream society. It requires all that all the groups and mainly the most vulnerable section of the society have a proper opportunity to improve in their life and is able to maintain their well being (Sheng). Everyone in the society should have the same rights and should not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, etc and non discrimination of people makes the basis of freedom, peace and justice in the world (Graham, et al, 2003). Both men and women should have equal opportunities to improve their lives (Second Administrative Reforms Commission, 2007).
To provide equal opportunity to all in Uganda an innovative education system was started where in people’s beliefs were equally respected and proper education was provided to all the sections of the society. In Karimojong, Uganda children did not go to school and the literacy rate was the lowest and parent discouraged children from attending school. The Alternative Basic Education for Karimojong (1998) was launched which would provide education keeping in mind the lifestyle of the children. To accommodate the thinking of the children and their parents the classes were held in the morning or the afternoon which provided ample time to the children to fulfill their household chores. The teachers were given proper training to look after the needs of these children. Almost 1,000 children were enrolled by 2004. It has improved the education system there, and more and more students were enrolling regularly for better education facilities but a there is a need for constant improvement in the program (United Nations, 2007). Another example of providing equal medical facilities to all has been in the country of Zambia, Itezhi Tezhi District of Health Office has come up with Integrated Mobile Community Voluntary Counseling and Training and other Health Services which provides counseling to the general public. It provides training and health services through a mobile clinic to improve the overall health of the community. It has resulted in lower child mortality rate, improvement in maternal health, better treatment for the HIV/AIDS patients and has increased the number of portable water sources (United Nations, 2009).
To provide just and equitable services to all a system of Aadhar or Unique Identification has been implemented so that everyone is equally served during the development process. It is system of providing unique identification number to the citizen on the basis of which the government can authenticate the type of service one needs from the government. The scheme started in 2010 and covers the whole of India (Rao, 2013). To further extend the concept of equality in the dissemination of government services to the masses a Ration Card system has also been implemented. The issuance of the ration card has now been computerized which cut shorts the delivery period and the practice of duplication can be curbed down (Walia, 2009).
To increase equality among the people of the state of Uttar Pradesh a service of e-scholarship was introduced to give a growth opportunity to the students without the consideration of their financial background. Uttar Pradesh is the first state in the country which has started online disbursement of scholarship to primary, upper-primary, secondary and higher education students who belong to Scheduled Caste, Schedule Tribe, OBC, Minority and BPL family in the state. The project will bring about socio economic equality in the education sector of the society (Gosaliya).
1.3.ii(g). Effectiveness and Efficiency
The resources used in the process and by the institutions should be effectively and efficiently used (Second Administrative Reforms Commission, 2007). The decisions taken by the government should be beneficial to all the people equally and there should be reasonable correlation among the results to be achieved. The resources should be judicially used and there adverse impact should be reduced (TEVSEV, 2008). The results should meet the expectations of the society with the use of the best resources at their disposal. The work should be efficiency done so that the resources are utilized efficiently and the work should be in such a way that it is environmentally friendly (Sheng). Imposing time limit also increases the efficiency of the work done by the government (Singla, 2011). The resources are used efficiently and effectively to produce the results which are expected by the people (Graham, et al, 2003).
To increase effectiveness in the public works department Poland introduced a training programme for the government officials. Poland has established a National School of Public Administration to provide the relevant knowledge, training to the civil servants and cultural education is also provided. It promotes international knowledge sharing which improves the quality of the services disseminated. It promotes effective, open, responsive, socially responsible and transparent government (United Nations, 2009). To provide effective and efficient medical services to the rural poor people of South Africa, an innovative medical service was started to reach the inner most areas of the country. A Phelopherpa Health Care Train with 16 coaches moves around South Africa to reach the far off inaccessible rural areas with medical treatment every year for a week. It provides affordable and accessible primary health care facility and health care education to the citizens. It has been working since 1994 and is based on a public private partnership. It provides dental and eye care facilities and provides health counseling. The service has till now catered to the needs of over 4,500,000 people. A group of 16 people are provided education about the health procedures which mainly focuses on HIV/AIDS in a particular village which the train reaches (United Nations, 2009).
To improve efficiency in the farming process of the countries farmers, two new methods have been implemented to provide relevant information about farming and selling of crops. AGMARKET is a facility which connects wholesale market of agriculture product in country to share market information. It has been formed to strengthen relationships between the government and the non government agencies, farmers, traders, exporters, policy makers, etc (Wali, 2009; Suri, 2005). Kisan Call Centre initiative helps farmers to use the expertise of farming experts, information about the latest irrigation technology, which fertilizers to use, information regarding crops. Database of crop type, fertilizers, water salinity, etc can be accessed through this initiative (Wali, 2009).
To bring about efficiency in the dissemination of giving out driving licenses and to do away with the middle men involved a new initiative Vahan has been started by the Government of Uttar Pradesh. It has computerized the working of 19 RTO and ARTO offices and in the years to come the project will be extended to other RTOs of the state also (Nandan).
It is the basic requirement for any good governance initiative to work properly and serve the nation. The government and the institution should be answerable to the stakeholders who are directly affected by the decisions of the government and the institution (Sheng; Graham, et al, 2003; Second Administrative Reforms Commission, 2007). It is preparation of proper accounting books of the funds used by the public officials and then the budgets is prepared on the basis of that, so that the public officials can account for the amount spend (TEVSEV, 2008; International Fund for Agriculture Development, 1999). The accountability of the officials also depend on the factor that the decisions which are taken are internal or external (Graham, et al, 2003; Second Administrative Reforms Commission, 2007). It goes a long way in making the government or institutions responsible for their actions and the general people can view the progress of their request or problem (Singla, 2011).
In Australia an annual State of the Service Report is presented in the Parliament which is prepared by the Australian Public Service Commissioner, it is a report which provides the big picture of how the commission is working in the current environment. Further discussion on it results in new ways of improvement in the future and makes the people in the Commission accountable for the work they have done (United Nations, 2009). Botswana was hit by a corruption scandal wherein many big names were included, so to clear its image for the people to rely on them, the Government started a new project which would make them accountable to the people for every work done by them. Botswana was hit by the corruption scandal in the 1990’s which involved the political sector and the civil society high class. It destroyed the people’s faith in the government. The politician did not take any action against it until they were forced by the people and the media. It was proving to be an obstacle in the government’s working. To tackle the problem of corruption a Corruption and Economic Act was adopted and a Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime was established in 1994 which would include a wide range of public institutions, government agencies and the public. The Directorate looked after the complaints or an offence on the part of public sector and it was entrusted with the work of improving anti-corruption procedures. The Directorate itself gathered the information used by the media, public to gather the corruption data. The Directorate could ask anybody to produce any documents relating to the working of the public sector or any private body and failure to respond to the request would be a punishable offence. It also requires all parliamentarians to disclose their financial assets. The public is made aware of the anti-corruption program and it highlighted the harm which corruption is doing to the nation (United Nations, 2007).
Bhagidari is a programme developed by the Government of Delhi to increase the coordination between the public and policy makers, the people are able to give their inputs and discuss their problems. Interaction is between the various Bhagidari Cells, local groups such as the Resident Welfare association, Market and Trade Association and the policy makers in public services department. It deals with the problems like the effective delivery of services like the water supply, sanitation, school system, power supply, urban transportation, protection of the environment and the related public services which benefits all the citizens. The interaction is between the various societies and the government representatives who hear the problems and discuss about the possible solutions to the public (United Nations, 2009). To make the Government accountable to the labour force in the country an initiative Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) has been started, which looks after the corruption in public service department and makes the government accountable for the work done by it. It is a right to access and copy the government documents. Public hearing was introduced as a government checking and keeping a check on the expenditures of the government. It most adheres to the illiterate class of people so the public hearing platform is best suited for them as the people are held accountable in the general eye. It was a stepping stone to the Right to Information (United Nations, 2007).
To increase accountability of the government a new facility has been started by the Government of Uttar Pradesh, that is Treasury Computerization. It is certified ISO project by the government which provides interaction within the government departments and interactions with the customers. It provides information regarding pensions to 73 treasuries of the state and provides information over the internet (Nandan). The service also facilitates online voucher acceptance, validation, bill passing, budget checking, etc. The receipts of these services are also monitored (Gosaliya).
1.3.iii. Factors Contributing to Good Governance
A survey was conducted to determine the factors which contributed to good governance programme are that the government should develop good education facilities which results in jobs, government should develop basic infrastructure like road, bridges, power, telecom, etc, law and order in the society, effectiveness and efficiency in the working of the government employees, reducing the inequalities in the economy, providing freedom of speech, religion, work and attitude towards the government, corruption free dealing with government, free working environment, citizen centric services by the government, etc (Kalsi et al, 2009).
1.3.iv. Model of Good Governance
Various models have been applied by different countries to reach a stand of good governance but a single model is not appropriate for all the countries. Like in the developing countries the population of the youth exceeds the population of older people so the government should focus on building and developing more schools and colleges than the developed countries which have high number of older people as they should be focused on building more old age homes. The working of good governance differs with every country so there is no one best model for governance that every government should follow. The model also varies with when different countries have different growth rates, revenue dependency, access to the skilled workers, infrastructure which needs to be provided to the people. But nevertheless developing countries can learn a lot from the models which the developed countries have implemented. They follow the same path when they are faced with similar issues and make use of their data to set up a similar kind of model which meets the specific needs of the developing country (Andrews, 2008).
1.3.v. Challenges of Good Governance
Good governance is great concept if it has been implemented with proper research and it is able to reach the people who it is intended for. But sometimes it may not reach the respective people or the work is not managed properly to cater to the needs of the people. Some of the issues faced by the good governance programmes in Bangladesh are non independence of the judiciary the cases lag on for years and when the justice is denied to the people they resort to violent means. Another factor is the wide gap in the living of people and a number of occurrences of terrorist activities also hamper good governance. There is a lack of accountability for the work done whether good or bad. High level of corruption and mismanagement of funds deployed for the public work in the public department hampers the work done for the implementation of good governance. Illiteracy is a road block in the way of implementing good governance as people don’t understand the good they will get out from the work (Alma & Hasina, 2014). Some of the general issues faced during the implanting of good governance programmes can be strict and excessive legislation and control as it does not provide enough freedom to the officials to implement the programme which would benefit the citizens. The programmes should have a strong support base, local communities’ involvement should be present to better develop plan for the betterment of citizens. No proper attention is given to the benefits which the public would demand like reduction of tax rates, new employment avenues; most of the attention is given to the honesty, cultural work, etc. Public is of utmost importance when devising plans as it is intended for them and most of the time they are ignored in the light of other things. The government should be made to perform self check to measure extend of work done, which is missing in most cases. It lacks proper planning in the field of resource allocation and utilization. Government starts thinking in the short term which is not beneficial for the good governance projects which should work for the long term to provide the intended benefits (Johnston, 2006).
1.3.vi. Importance of Good Governance
The importance of governance can be valued such that it provides the facilities or things which the citizens value the most. It was noticed in many instances that the government acting alone was not able to fulfill the needs, requirements of the citizens. To achieve the goals interaction with the citizens was needed and there was a need of interaction in the society to achieve the “good governance” (Plumptre & Graham, 1999).
Digital Technology which includes services like cloud computing and various mobile applications have come up as the main ingredient for economic growth and a source for empowering the people, and they are used by the people every day. It is a medium through which people connect, share their education and issues pertaining to them and they are also helpful in solving the issues in real time (https://mygov.in/group/digital-india/). Information and Communication Technology is the pillar on which the structure of e-governance stands but it not the solution to all the world’s problems but it does help in solving most of the problems of the world like infrastructure development, improvement of the human life and the economic development E-governance uses Information and Communication Technology to improve the working of the government and the public administration so they could achieve the concept of good governance in the country (Kalsi, et al, 2008).
E-governance is much more than just cutting short the process and efficiently delivering the services, but it is about changing the very working of the government and reinventing the way citizens participate in the democracy (Kanugo, 2003). E-governance is the use of information technology to provide government services at the door steps of the citizens, businesses and any other stakeholders of the government (Yadav & Singh, 2013). It can be defined as the application of Information and Communication Technology to the administration of public services. It does not means a computerization of all the working or processes of the administration services but it means to bring about fundamental changes in the government working (Pani & Mishra, 2009). In a more detailed sense e-governance can be explained as the use of Information and Communication Technology to change the various aspects, efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability of information and transactional exchanges, within the Government, between Government and Government agencies (National, State and Municipal), with the citizens and businesses. It is the empowering of the citizens, general public through the use, access and knowledge of the information provided on the electronic medium (Kanugo, 2003).
2.1. E-Governance and E-Government
E-government is defined as the delivery of government services and the information regarding various plans, policies, services to the citizen using an electronic medium. Where on the other hand e-governance refers to the interaction and participation between the government and the citizens and it brings about a change in the working of the government (Pani & Mishra, 2009).
2.2. History and Evolution of E-Governance
Historically Chile was the first to provide e-governance solution to the masses in the seventies but currently what e-governance we see has been given by has come out from the “Information Super Highway” which was started by US Vice President Al Gore. Firstly it was started to expand the fiber optic network but later socio-economic considerations were also included in its scope (Walia, 2009). The first time that e-governance came into being in the 1970’s when the government instituted the National Informatics Centre (NIC) which started the work of connecting the departments and for the use their knowledge directory for the proper implementation of e-governance (Subramanian & Saxena, 2008). In the 1980’s and 1990’s government was lagging behind the commercial world in implementing the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in their regular working and the governments were the last to use the ICT for the purpose of e-governance. Initially the government implemented ICT in only a partial manner along with the older manual procedure and it did not result in any improvement in the working of the government. Still the use of ICT has been limited to the use of e-mail, internet and video conferencing for various government functions. Proper implementation of the e-governance by the government has resulted in effective and efficient functioning of the government (Prabhu, 2013).
2.3. Focus of E-Governance
The primary focus of the e-governance initiatives have been on the automation and computerization of the various public services. Whereas the State Government uses ICT tools for services ranging from individual departments, electronic filling, handling and work system, access to other entitlements from the government, public grievance redressal system, tax payment to meeting poverty alleviation goals and provisions for market information (Kanugo,2003). For achieving the primary services of the government four building blocks/ pillars have been identified for proper implementation of the e-governance service. One of them is connectivity which tells about the level of connection between the citizens and the services which are being provided by the government for their benefit. A strong connection is needed between the government and the citizens for making the e-governance initiative successful. Second is knowledge, the government should employ skillful engineers who can manage the working of e-governance initiative of the government. Third is data content, a strong and effective e-governance programme is based on the strong system of data base of the government regarding its services. Lastly is based on the capital, a strong monetary base is needed for proper implementation of the e-governance initiative (Yadav & Singh, 2013). For an e-governance initiative to be successful the government needs to be connected, they should be able to share and integrate among different organizations is needed. The UN has defined some steps which are essential for a connected government, the first step being re-engineering of the intra processes of the government which are effective and efficient government processes which are made keeping in mind the citizen’s needs. Second step being re-engineering of the inter-government process which include a borderless government in which there is interaction between different government departments. And lastly reengineer the mindsets and skills of the people, the technology available (Rao, 2013).
2.4. Concepts of E-Governance
E-governance and e-government have the same relationship with their components. The various concepts include:
G2G: Government to Government- It is the relationship between the various governmental organization like interaction of the national, state and local government with the foreign government organizations. It allows the governments to share information about skills, databases, resources, capabilities, etc (Pani & Mishra, 2009; Rao, 2013; Sapru & Sapru, 2014, United Nations, 2014).
G2B: Government to Business- It is the interaction of government agencies and the private businesses. It reduces the time lag in delivery of goods and it simplifies regulatory processes and makes the businesses competitive. Web presence makes the work easier and in term saves cost (Pani & Mishra, 2009; Rao, 2013; Sapru & Sapru, 2014, United Nations, 2014).
G2CC: Government to Citizen- It allows interaction, promotes communication between the government agencies and citizens. It allows customers to access government services, facilities, health benefits, licensing services more conveniently, from anywhere by the use of multiple channels such as mobiles, phones, internet, etc (Pani & Mishra, 2009; Rao, 2013; Sapru & Sapru, 2014, United Nations, 2014).
G2CS: Government to Civil Service- This concept includes interaction of the government with the NGOs, PVOs, etc and maintaining a continuous interaction with them regarding various socio-economic policies (Pani & Mishra, 2009; Rao, 2013).
2.5. E-governance Models
Models of developed countries differ from the models that can be implemented in the developing countries. There are four generic models of e-governance for the developing countries and they are:
Broadcasting/Wider Dissemination Model: The model is applicable when the relevant information is already in the domain of the public but reach of the information to the masses is required through the use ICT. The models is used to make the citizen more informed about the government functioning and provide relevant information regarding the government. This project can be applied in situations like uploading government rules and regulations, contact information of the relevant persons, information about the various government plans, budgets, performance, providing court judgments for the people to view. It is the most important model as it provides the most basic information about the government working (Prabhu, 2013).
Critical Flow Model: This model channels the relevant important information to the intended audience through the use of ICT. It also involves locating the users who need the information more important functions. The application of this model serves in transferring the relevant information about the corruption to the intended agencies, can be applicable where research studies, enquiry reports need to be send to the affected parties by the government. The model is focused on the transfer of critical information to the concerned agency (Prabhu, 2013).
Comparative Analysis Model: The model continuously assimilates new information from the public and private domain and forms them as a benchmark for to influence or bring about changes in the current government policies and plans. This model can be applied to the measure the effectiveness of the polities of the government, where improvement in the decision making process is needed and future course of action needs to be formulated. It can also be used to evaluate the performance of a government official or ministry. The model is dependent on the availability of information and the ability of the users that they can decipher it (Prabhu, 2013).
Interactive Service Model/ Government to Citizen to Government Model (G2C2G): The model involves participation of the citizen in the government process. It makes the full use of ICT and improves participation, transparency in the government process and reduces cost and time on the part of the citizens. It makes the services of the government directly accessible to the citizens and is applicable where interaction between the government and citizen is needed to improve the functioning of the government. It allows the public to perform functions like payment of bills, taxes and vote in the online ballot (Prabhu, 2013).
Along with various models which formulate the working of the e-governance initiatives, the guiding principles which govern the formulation of e-governance practices in various countries include efficiency, participatory government, universal accessibility of the data, the service is user oriented, the working of the government is made transparent, it builds reliability, the service is user friendly, the services provide a one stop point for all the services, it makes the government accountable for the deeds, etc (Rabaiah & Vandijet, 2011).
2.6. Stages of E-Governance
E-governance initiatives are mostly done in a phased approach in India. In India there is a four steps phased approach to bringing about an e-governance initiative into being. First is making a presence felt on the web like a government site providing information. Second is some kind of interactions between the government and the citizen. Third being the citizen is able to perform some functions on the internet like payment of bills. And the last is interaction and data sharing among various departments of the government and performing of all the functions on the internet (Alhomod et al, 2012).
2.7. Challenges of Implementing E-Governance Services
Implementing these e-governance involve a huge amount of cost in terms of the huge investment in the infrastructure building. The cost of designing the e-portal with all the hardware, software, personnel, designing and working on the website involves cost, maintenance and support of the hardware is also a costly work which involves big investment on the part of the government. Technology risks like cyber attack also hamper the services provided by the government in terms of cost, as blocking them is also a full time job. The cost of e-governance is not only bore by the government but is also bore by the citizens also. Not all the citizens are computer literate so they have to learn working on one which involves money and people also have to incur the cost of buying a computer and an internet connection (Sheng, U.N.).
The growth of the e-governance services have been low and this can be attributed to various factors, such as: the general public lack the adequate knowledge about information technology and they are not aware about the benefits of the various e-governance programmes, the administrative structure of the government is not geared up for maintenance storage and retrieving the governance information. Secondly there is underutilization of the ICT resources and there is large time gap between the installing the hardware and bringing them to proper use with the recent technologies. The government officials resist implementation of technological support as it undermines the power of the officials. A major drawback is no coordination among the government officials and the people who develop the software for the e-governance project. The process of reengineering in the government department, making them up-to-date with the latest information technologies is not welcomed by the administrative officials and they are reluctant to learn the new technologies, which in turn makes the content on the e-governance initiatives websites not dependable (Kanugo, 2003). A proper working e-governance project at the national level requires a strong and available infrastructure, and it is missing in the Indian context. Some officials may have the proper requirement for the project and they might excel but not every one of the official posses such quality of infrastructure (Kanugo, 2003; Sapru & Sapru, 2014).
2.8. Benefits of E-Governance
The e-governance programme may be lacking on a lot of fronts but the benefits of such programs cannot be neglected, both from the citizen’s point of view and the governments. Some benefits for the citizens include, a major benefit to the citizens is that is provides easy access to the government services and information which is a time saver for the citizens and especially people living in the remote areas and the disables. It provides access to government information and services 24*7 and 365 days. All people rich or poor, businesses big or small receive the same kind of information and service from the websites (Sheng, U.N., Almood et al, 2012). It leads to less human error and provides less scope for the officials to ask for bribes, hence reduces corruption. Greater participation on the part of the citizens is brought about through various modes of communication between them. It also provides various benefits to the government like it reduces the cost of providing information to each and every citizen as they now have access to information all the time. They are able to cope with the ever increasing transaction of the people and provide better service through the internet. It improves the collection of government revenues and reduces human error. It reduces corruption in the system which improves the image of the government (Sheng, U.N.). It improves interaction and flow of information both within and with other civil agencies. Information cannot be stored by a few to exploit others, the information is provided fair and square to everyone in the nation. It gives a chance to the citizen to have a say in the policy formulation part of the government. The policy makers make better judgment calls as they know they are being watched by the general public and whether or not they are fulfilling their work for the betterment of the citizens and they cannot hide the relevant information as they are watched over by the people (Prabhu, 2013).
2.9. Trends in Growth of E-Governance
Press reports have shown an increase in the number people opting for e-governance and making it a success. Government e-governance services have been mainly used for information search and for downloading the information searched. Online government transactions have shown an increase and the people providing their personal information has also increased. Australia leads in the area of the most increase in the number of people using the online governance systems provided by the government followed by Turkey, the Netherlands and the US (Prabhu, 2013).
M-governance is another means of reaching the masses as it available anywhere, anytime and can be made available on any device which is internet enabled. It is not a replacement to the e-governance but an extension and a complement to the e-governance initiative of the government (Subhash, 2004). M-governance is of great value to those countries where internet penetration is low but the usage of mobile is on the rise. A wide of range of services can be made available through the mobiles which include health care, education, agriculture, employment, transportation, law and order, etc (Hellstrom, 2011). The use of mobile technologies in the e-governance process has reduced the cost of decimating services for the government, improved communication of information between the citizens and the government, improved efficiency in service delivery and has connected people digitally. The growth of the m-governance can be attributed to a few factors which include that the reach of the mobiles is very high, it is convenient for the people to use, it bring the government closer to the citizens for which it has been made and that the m-governance services are cheaper than the computer based services. They are also provided quality services, availability of services is also high on mobile devices, there is a high level of communication between various stakeholders and it forms a better image of the government in the minds of the people (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2011).
By 2014, 50 countries under the United Nations were using mobile apps and mobile portals for poverty eradication, social inclusion and gender equality programmes, were promoting economic growth, environment protecting information was provided through mobile services and various disaster management information was provided through mobile services. So many countries are reaping the benefits of the mobile evolution because of its low cost as it does not depends on the governments but it does requires commitment from the public service department (United Nations, 2014).
3.1 Benefits of M-Governance
Some of the benefits of m-governance for the citizens include: it is very convenient to use mobile services and mobiles have a wide access and reach a large plethora of people, people living in far off area can receive health care through m-services and they can contribute in the public safety also, banking and finance facilities can be provided to the people through the use of mobiles and they reach the people who are the correct recipient of it and teachers have also started using m-services to reach their students for educational purposes. M-government not only benefits the citizens but it also has a wide variety of uses for the government also: government can provide personalized services through mobile technology, it saves cost for the government and mobile technology has the potential to reach the intended public very quickly, it increases the involvement of the people in the government processes. Some basic benefits which can be provided through the use m-services includes facilities like it can reach the different sections of the society like the older people, people with disabilities, etc., the availability of the service 24*7, people can be provided personalized services, it saves cost for the government as a wide section of people can be reached in a cost effective way, it increase the participation of the people in the government and it is also helpful in saving the environment in the form of reduced use of paper(Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2011).
3.2 Challenges of M-Governance
M-governance also presents some challenges which the government needs to overcome to provide better service to the citizens including: technology failure is a matter of great concern many services could not be implemented because of the non-existent technology or the people are not able to use the technology. The government also faces financial and economic challenges like the cost incurred on the implementation, all the government working needs to be re-engineered to infuse the m-services, expenses on the long-term contract with the private sector and expenditure on the safety of the services and the data (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2011). Designing these m-services for the generation-Y means a lot of changes need to be brought about in the process of designing and operating these services. The new programmes should be designed keeping in mind the intended citizens who would be using these products, older service need to be restructured for meeting the requirements of the new generation and the services provided should be transparent and measurable so they appeal to the masses (Ward, 2009).
4.0 Other Electronic Services provided by the Government
M-governance is gaining a lot of popularity in today’s world but there are some other methods also which are being used by the governments all around the world. One such new method is the use of social media by the governments. The use of social media around the world has more than tripled from 2010 to 2012 and it has also shown a 50% rise, till 2014. Out of the 193 member nations of the United Nations 118 countries use social media for e-consultation with the public, 70 countries use it for general government work. The use of kiosks has also increased in the recent times to provide specialized services to the public. In 2012, 24 countries were using the services of kiosks and it increased to 36 countries in 2014. Kiosks are greatly helpful public spaces with open access to all and on the locations which provide free online service access. They are a great hit in the remote areas and where the individual use of ICT is not in use and people don’t have knowledge about it (United Nations, 2014).
5.0 Good Governance in the World
5.1 Good Governance Practices in Various Countries
Good governance is being followed in many countries for the betterment of their citizens. Various innovative practices are being followed in the field of public delivery system, human rights, policy making through innovation, improving transparency in the government process, etc. Various examples of the best practices of good governance worldwide are as follows:
In Albania good governance was employed to protect the human rights and to develop a transparent constitution as for many decades the people of Albania were living under political and civil unrest. To renew the confidence of the people in the government and constitution, a renewal of the constitution was needed which would be transparent and which would involve the public in decision making and protects their rights. The program was formulated with the help and coordination of The Parliament, Ministry of Legislative Reform, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Council of Europe, international NGO’s, national civil society organizations. A national program for public participation was formulated and inputs from the people were collected. The constitution was legit in the eyes of the citizens as they had helped in formulating it and their inputs were heard and included (United Nations, 2007).
Ecuador: In the 1990’s Ecuador witnessed a major macroeconomic crisis, which decreased the public spending and increased poverty, inequality and exclusion of certain minority groups. There was wide spread unemployment and fall in the spending on hospitality industry. Decrease in public spending had a major impact on the social spending, standard of living and less services available to the poor and the minority group. A multi agency was launched to bring transparency in the budget and create more platforms for public participation. Transparency and civil spending could bring about more equitable social spending. Transparency in spending will increase the appropriate level of spending by the Government. Social Front and 11 States agencies worked together for the proper spending of the government revenue, to make it more transparent and accountable. Visual tools were used to reach a large section of people. In 2000 the government formulated a program to reduce poverty and increase access to health and education. This information has improved the social dialog between the citizens and the government and it has improved the policy formulation part of the government (United Nations, 2007).
Sweden: City of Pita in Sweden developed a comprehensive system of benchmarking to promote interaction between government and citizen and would increase the input of citizens in planning the budgetary expenditure. Before its implementation people had little knowledge about the expenditure planning of the government and there was no way to access the public satisfaction. A system was established to measure the citizen’s satisfaction of the expenditure in the budget. It has improved the change management in the government, provided a platform for interaction between the citizens and the government, brought about goal oriented working and annual conferences to seek information from the public and inputs from them for better working. It brought about effective decision making in the government and in the budgetary system (United Nations, 2009).
E-government is the opportunity with which the public administration can be transformed. E-government as defined by the United Nations is the use and application of Information Technology in public service delivery to make the work flow more efficient, to manage the information and data more efficiently, improve the quality of public services delivered and to build a strong communication network to empower people. E-government can help in making the governments more environmentally friendly, which includes proper utilization of natural resources and improve economic growth and social inclusion. E-government with ICTs is becoming a platform to share knowledge, skill development in the society, it also increases employment in the society and better facilities of health and education can be administered through the efficient and proper utilization of e-government programs in the countries (United Nations, 2014).
The United Nations has adopted three dimensions of the e-government approach, they are online services are made available, connectivity infrastructure or the telecommunication infrastructure and human capabilities are enhanced, so that the people are able to use the services intended for them.
5.2.i Various Worldwide E-governance Services
Republic of Korea is the undisputed leader in providing innovative e-governance services to its citizens and it is followed by Australia and Singapore (United Nations, 2014). Countries worldwide have adopted various e-governance schemes to help their fellow citizens to lead a comfortable, relaxed and health life. Some country wise initiatives are given below:
Ghana: School of public health at the University of Ghana, United Nations Information Technology Service and World Summit on the Information Society started the project to cater to the health needs of the people of Ghana. It kept a computerized record of names, ages, pregnancies, illness, births, etc which were used for better health care in the future (United Nations, 2006).
Mauritius: The Ministry of Finance started The Contributions Network Project; it connects all the large employers with the government tax department for the payment of tax at single point. All the payments are made electronically and the payer receives a confirmation of the payment from the site (United Nations, 2006).
South Africa: Cape Gateway Portal provides all the information about the government including information about health departments, transport, licensing, education etc. It provides conscience and simple information to the people of South Africa (United Nations, 2006).
Africa: Association for Progressive Communications (APC), HIVOS have developed an ICT APC-Africa-Women programme which is instrumental in bringing gender equality. It provides support to the women and does various studies on the gender equality topics (United Nations, 2006).
Australia: Information Management Initiative provides cost effective facilities to various government department. They include Fedlilnk, Open Source Content Management, etc for the proper working of the government (United Nations, 2006).
Baharin: Baharin e-visa service provides facility to the applicants to pay the fees and application for the visa processing. It monitors each visa for security threats and connects it to the relevant agencies (United Nations, 2006).
United Kingdom: 3 Island Project aims at reaching the remote areas of Colonsay, Islay, Jura and connect them through e-technology and address the problem of public service delivery (United Nations, 2006).
Qatar: Qatar e-governance portal is a useful e-service provided by the government. It provides services like students registration, payment of fines for traffic violation, applying for visas, etc. The site is in Arabic version but a few pages are also available in English (Hafeez & Sher, 2006).
The Millenium Development Goals (MDG) which had been set by the leaders of the world has made an impact on the lives of billions of people, like it has reduced poverty, has made progress in providing safe drinking water to the people, providing housing facilities, providing proper HIV treatment and it has also increased the number of children attending school (United Nations, 2014).
5.3.i. Some World Wide examples of M-Governance Services (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2011)
a. Mexico City, Mexico: It uses a SMS based system to warn people and sends alert messages about high-rain in the area, low temperatures, potential disasters and emergency locations and emergency contact numbers.
b. Australia: It uses a SMS system to alert people about the delays in the transportation services, notification of examination results, parking space availability, etc.
c. Uganda: Uganda’s m-service PurcAI Mobile allows teachers to enter grades of the students directly in the database and which can be assessed by the students, teachers and parents using SMS service.
d. Republic of Korea: It also uses m-services which provide public transportation maps with real time information of traffic conditions. Train passes can also be purchased through it and reservation conformation information can be checked on the mobile.
e. Brazil: A SMS system for registration of unemployed people and the employers. It provides notification for the job and a 24 hr notice to appear for the interview.
f. Norway: In Norway tax can be paid via SMS service. If a person has to make no changes in the form they have received in the mail, the number along with few other details can be send through SMS to the relevant authority and it reduces cost and allows efficient tax payment in the country.
g. United States: United States uses mobile technology for better coordination among emergency professionals, police officers, fire fighters and public works department professionals with field reporting, ambulance tracking and other necessary communication between them.
h. Bangladesh: The country provides SMS classified ads which serve as a market place for buying and selling of goods and services.
i. Hong Kong: It uses PDA technology to enter inspection at the scene, review of the results of the past inspection. It is being used by China’s Mobile Field Inspector System and the system provides them easy use, saves time and increasing productivity.
6.0 Good Governance in India
6.1 E-Governance in India
E-governance is no longer just a concept for the Government but it has become a reality which allows the citizens to participate in the Government and in the democratic processes of the government. E-governance has insured that the outcomes of the policies are up to the expectations of the people and they are of quality. These e-services increase democratic participation, accountability on the part of the government, transparency of the working and improving the quality and speed of the service delivery (Kalsi, et al, 2008). The Government of India has approved the formation of National E-Governance Programme (NeGP) in 2006, whose main focus is on delivery of government services to the citizen and businesses through electronic transactions (www.digitalindia.gov.in; Sapru & Sapru, 2014). In 1980’s India saw a rise and importance of the computerization in the government process and 1990’s saw computerization of the Indian working system. The e-governance initiative took the shape of what it is today, in the decade of 2000. To deal with the growing need of the e-governance every state has State Electronic Mission (SEM) which looks after the e-governance needs of the state. The government has taken many initiatives in the process of providing e-services to the people. It includes setting up of 31 Mission Mode Projects (MMP), 8 Government Support Components for building the infrastructure with partnership from private sector and E-Government Management Structures committees which help in solving the logjams in the working. Some of the government departments which help in the proper working and providing e-governance facility to the masses are Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), National Informatics Center (NIC), Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DAR&PG), NITI Aayog, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Directorate of Standardisation, Testing, Quality and Certification (STQC), Controller of Certifying Authority (CCA), National Institute of Smart Government (NISG) and Media Lab Asia (MLAsia) and NeGD (Sapru & Sapru, 2014). Along with the various agencies helping in the implementation of e-governance programme in India, e-governance programmes are also backed by three layer architecture. First layer constitutes of the citizen, businesses and other stakeholders through various channels like e-mail, website, touch screen, kiosks, etc. Second layer comprises of the data centers, servers, network, gateways which help in the working. And lastly the back-office layer which comprises of core and common applications and services (Rao, 2013).
The Mission Mode Projects under the NeGP did not give any fruitful results and they have not fulfilled any of the e-governance objectives. So, it was felt that the country required a new programme which would help in the growth of the electronic services, products, devices, increase job opportunities and electronic manufacturing would show a growth. To bring about a transformation in delivery of public services though the use of technology, the Government of India launched the Digital India Programme which will make the society and the economy empowered and knowledgeable (www.digitalindia.gov.in).
The government is doing its part in the form of the biggest initiative “Digital India” but some other points can be concluded about the state of e-governance in India. Some of the factors which the residents of India feel are important and contribute to good governance in the economy include: (i) education facilities which are provided by the government and which ultimately help in reducing unemployment (ii) development of the infrastructure in the country like the construction of bridges, airports, transport services, etc. (iii) condition of law and order and safety of life and property (iv) reducing unemployment by creating new jobs in the private and the government sector (v) efficient working of the government and its staff (vi) providing a free market economy which gives impetus to the business environment in the country (vii) reducing the digital divide in the country and working in the favor of the poor section of the society (viii) give its citizen freedom of speech, religion, work and freedom of non-interference by the government (Kalsi, et al, 2008).
6.1.i Digital India
A mass coverage project of the Indian government involving the use of ICT for good governance was formulated the “Digital India” programme. It is an umbrella programme which covers a wide range of ministries and departments. Digital India works in coordination with DeitY and is being implemented by the entire government (NeGP, 2015). It will enable the citizens to access the services and data anytime and anywhere on the device which is user friendly. “Digital India” would provide services such as the availability of high speed communication technology and digital services to the remotest regions of the country and help in the computerization of the records. The service will provide a one touch option to the people and they can access all the information and services at a single point which would make the citizens technologically empowered. To make this “Digital India” programme a reality and to transform it in a project of smart governance some point of importance are included in its domain, like building of high speed broadband infrastructure which would connect all the remote areas of the nation. Digital India will provide access to the mass through the use hand held devices which the people use frequently. The service will open new door for the people for various kinds of services. The programme will revolutionize the concept of good governance. All the services will be provided through the use of internet, from the submitting of the application to reply on the application. “Digital India” will work for a system where everything is connected through internet and all the information is accessible from the computer or a mobile device. The programme would increase the demand for the IT goods and hence there would be job openings in the field of IT (Sharma et al, 2015; Jani & Tere, 2015). The Digital India programme has three basic components that they facilitate in the creation of the technological infrastructure, delivering of services and resources digitally and it will enhance the digital knowledge in the country. Few key points of the Digital India programme can be pointed out like higher broadband connectivity, phones can be accessed anywhere easily, public internet access programme, reforming/ reengineering the structure of the government through technology e-governance, delivery of services electronically- the “e-kranti” project, information is made accessible to all, electronics manufacturing will increase and in turn will increase employment in the economy (Jani & Tere, 2015).
One of the pillars of the Digital India programme is the e-kranti mission, which is the electronic delivery of all government services. The Government of India has defined some objectives and some key features of e-kranti. Some objectives of e-kranti include increasing the number of citizen oriented services, the e programs should use ICTs for delivering services to the masses, apply different models of service implementation and to make use of the emerging technologies. Some of the key principles of e-kranti are all the proposals should increase the delivery of services in some way or another, all the Mission Mode Projects under e-kranti need to undergo Government Process Reengineering (GPR) without which new projects would not be sanctioned, all the available ICT infrastructure should be provided to the e-kranti projects on demand, use of cloud to be encouraged and specifically the use of government cloud, all the services should be so designed that they can be made available on the mobiles, all the projects should follow the set standards and protocols and the all the data needs to be made available in the local language. Some approaches need to be adopted when implementing e-kranti project which is the ICT infrastructure should be freely leveraged for the projects, the already ongoing MMPs should be revamped to include the changes which have been brought about in the e-kranti concept, e-kranti incorporates the concept of giving freedom to the states to decide regarding which programme to implement keeping in mind their socio-economic needs, e-kranti initiatives encourages Public Private Partnership and Aadhar card should be adopted for the efficient delivery of benefits to the citizens (Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India, 2015).
It is a department of the Government of India which is working for e-development in India, which will transform the country in a developed and empowered nation. It provides infrastructure support for the delivery of service, impetus for the manufacturers of hardware and the IT industry and provides support for the development of e-skills. It promotes the use of ICT and it works towards enhancing the role of India on a Global platform of Internet Governance (http://deity.gov.in/content/vision-mission). It provides assistance to other department in the implementation and promotion of e-governance, e-commerce, e-medicine, etc. It is the body which governs Unique Identification Authority of India. It is the department which promotes standardization and testing in the field of IT application and tasks (http://deity.gov.in/content/functions-deit).
A major sub-part of the DeitY is the National E-Governance Plan which is working towards making the services accessible to the common man with the formation of a single point of service delivery, which will ensure efficiency, transparency and reliability in the delivery of service. A need was felt to encompass all National, State, District and even block level e-services to be brought under one roof, which would involve sharing of core and support infrastructure, standardized procedures in the implementation, etc. They need to be guided by a common vision, strategy and their core objectives should be same so that they benefit the ultimate user that is the citizens. NeGP was formulated to govern the e-services throughout the country. NeGP consists of 27 Mission Mode Plans which are to be implemented at the National, State and Local Levels and it also comprises of common core and support infrastructure (NeGP, 2011).
6.1.v NITI Aayog
NITI Aayaog helps in facilitating of the services and is a major requirement of good governance in India. It helps in making good governance activities people centric, participative, collaborative, and transparent and policy driven. NITI Aayog will help in the development process of the nation, will be focused on bringing about some constructive outcomes and will bring about some new ideas for the development process (Government of India, 2015). It works on the concept of feedback from the public and incorporates them in the new framework so corrective measures can be brought about in the existing system. One of the functions of NITI Aayog is to maintain a resource centre which will be like a depository of research on good governance and best practices for sustainable development. Another centre of focus for the NITI Aayog is up-gradation and building infrastructure for the technical progress in the country (http://niti.gov.in/content/functions.php).
6.2 Various E-Governance Services provided by the Government in India
All the states in India are implementing various e-governance initiatives, and the state leading in this race are Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Meghalaya (NeGP, 2015). The citizens are expecting more and more services in the online mode from the government and the government officials and leaders of the nations have come to the conclusion that e-governance is a necessity as it involves the public in the decision making process and makes them a part of the development process. Soon e-governance would not be optional for the governance but would become necessity as the demand of implementing e-governance initiatives is coming from the citizens themselves (Kanugo, 2003). So various e-governance projects have been implemented in various fields for the betterment of the public, which would be beneficial to the citizens by the government. Some of the cases are:
6.3.i. Transportation: in the form of issuing time table of buses, booking facilities in buses, improvement management. Indian government has started various e-governance services in the context of making transportation easier:
a. CFST- Citizen Friendly Services of Transport Department by the Andhara Pradesh government, which issues learner, renewal of licensees, etc (Yadav & Singh, 2013).
b. HRTC: Himachal Road Transport Corporation allows for booking, cancellation, enquiry of buses and seats, etc (Yadav & Singh, 2013).
6.3.ii. Online payment of bills and taxes: Services are provided in the form of online transactions, payment of bills, taxes, EMI’s. Some of the services under this head are:
a. E-SEVA- Started by the Andhara Pradesh government for the payment of the utility bills, getting the trade licenses (Yadav & Singh, 2013).
b. DOMESTIC: Started in Daman and Diu for the payment of electricity bills (Yadav & Singh, 2013).
c. VAT Information Computerization to Optimize Revenue Yield: It is a Jharkhand initiative which aims to provide a fully automated tax payment system online (Rao, 2013).
6.3.iii. Municipal Services: Services relating to maintaining property records, house tax assessment, billing, payment and issue of the death certificates are provided through e-governance programmes.
a. E-Panjeeyan- It deals with the land sales, legal heir certificate, issue of passport through e-services (Yadav & Singh, 2013; Rao, 2013).
b. Palike- It is software that deals with the property tax and payment details of the citizen (Yadav & Singh, 2013).
6.3.iv. IT for the masses: IT services are provided at the door step of the general public through this and especially for those living in the remote area.
a. E-Mitra: An initiative in the state of Rajasthan which works on the public private partnership. Services provided under it include payment of electricity bills, payment of taxes, making reservations, passport application form, issuing death and birth certificate, etc (Walia,2009; Rao, 2013).
b. E-Seva: An e-governance initiative by Andhra Pradesh which provides solution in the field of financial information, human resource management, provides the facility of e-procurement and information about past acts, rules, judgment, policies, etc, provides the facility of registration of vehicles, issue of licenses, etc (Rao, 2013).
c. E-SLA: An e-service for the public of Delhi which manages the citizen’s grievances, various forms are available for various services, gazette notifications are also available, etc (Rao, 2013).
d. Jeevan: An initiative in Delhi which provides all citizens centric services (Rao, 2013).
e. E-Smapark: It provides all the services centered on the citizen at a single place/ window in the state of Chandigarh (Rao, 2013).
f. E-Gazette- An e-service provided in the state of Goa which provides information regarding orders, circulars, rules, schemes, notices, tenders of the government and provides e-forms regarding the same (Rao, 2013).
g. E-DISHA: It provides an interface between the citizens and the government and provides information about court cases and provides tracking information to the people of Haryana (Rao, 2013).
h. FRIENDS: A state of Kerala initiative to provide one stop solution to all the bill payment, information related problems of the citizen (Rao, 2013).
i. CHOICE (Chhattisgarh online Information System for Citizen Empowerment): It is e-governance service of Chhattisgarh which provide facilities like the caste certificates, income certificate, birth and death certificate, certificate of residence, it also deals in public complains, it also has the facility of payment of electricity bills, etc (Subramanian & Saxena, 2008).
6.3.v. Treasury E-management: Various sites are working to provide information about the government’s treasury department.
a. E-KHAJANA: An e-service which caters to the need of treasury accounting and management of services in the state of Bihar (Rao, 2013).
b. E-KOSH- An online service of Chhattisgarh which looks after the treasury department (Rao, 2013).
Various e-services in rural areas have also been started to provide the benefits of e-services to the rural public:
6.3.vi. Local Information: Government has started various e-services to provide the public with information regarding prices of seeds, fertilizers, etc.
a. E-Jansampark- Started in Chandigarh. A common man is provided with services and information in his locality to meet his basic requirements (Yadav & Singh, 2013).
b. Prajavani-It a service which monitors public grievances through online system in Andhra Pradesh (Yadav & Singh, 2013).
c. E-Samadhan- It is an e-service which provides timely redressal of grievances of general public in Himachal Pradesh (Yadav & Singh, 2013).
6.3.vii. Disaster Management: State government uses e-services to mange disasters which are unpredictable.
a. Chetana: It is an e-service in Bihar which deals with the information on the occurrence of floods and earthquakes (Yadav & Singh, 2013).
6.3.viii. Land Record Management: E-services which maintains millions of land record in electronic form.
a. Bhoomi: It was the first land record management system which provided e-services which provided its services to the people of Karnataka (Yadav & Singh, 2013; Rao, 2013).
b. Comprehensive Modernization of Land Rcords (CMLR): It involves electronic property registration, updating of survey maps, etc in the state of Andhra Pradesh (Yadav & Singh, 2013).
c. Land Record Computerization: The programme allows computerization of land transfer deeds, regularization of the occupied land, etc at the district level (Yadav & Singh, 2013).
d. HimBhoomi: An e-initiative of Himachal Pradesh which keeps computerized records of the land deeds in the state (Rao, 2013).
e. DevBhoomi: An Uttarakhand state initiative, its aim to provide computerized land records (Rao, 2013).
6.3.ix. Panchayat: It involve e-services which cater to the issue of birth and death certificates, names in the voter list, conduction welfare schemes of the poor, rural water supply and sanitation facilities.
a. E-Gram Viswa Gram Project: An initiative in the state of Gujarat which connects 13716 Gram Panchayats and 6000 Common service centers (Yadav & Singh, 2013).
b. Samanya Mahiti: An initiative in the state of Karnataka for the connectivity of panchayats (Yadav & Singh, 2013).
c. CAPnic: E-governance initiative which comes under Kerala which manages the allotment of seats in the professional courses (Yadav & Singh, 2013).
d. VHSE Examination System: E-service which handles pre-examination activities of vocational higher education (Yadav & Singh, 2013).
6.4. Major E-Governance Initiatives
Some other E-governance initiative by the Indian Government may include:
6.4.i. Indian Passport System
The service is an initiative by the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India and the National Informatics Centre for the online issue of passport. The site has helped increase the transparency in the passport issue process and reduced the time involved in the issue process. It can be said as the most successful e-governance initiative by the Government and has also reduced corruption in the passport issuing system. The website is also available in Hindi language and forms can be downloaded in both the languages and both are acceptable. The site helps the citizens to fill the forms by printing it, the amount of fees involved can be searched and the status of the passport can be checked through the website. The website has reduced the travelling time there by making the system fast and has decreased the role of intermediaries. Website also provides the provisions to make appointment at the office which reduces the waiting at the office (Walia, 2009).
6.4.ii. Indian Railway Passenger Reservation Enquiry System
It is an e-governance initiative under the Central Railway Information System. The main feature of the website is that it earns its revenue through advertisement. To make the website more relevant for the users the website is also available in Hindi and all the documents can be easily downloaded and are provided in small sizes. The website is compatible with various formats and browsers. Train schedule, PNR status, seat availability, etc can all be done on the website (Walia, 2009).
6.5 Issues Concerning E-Governance Practices in India
The state of e-governance can be transformed in India if due diligence is paid to some factors like the network infrastructure and the connectivity issues, the interface should be user friendly which includes content in the native language, the management process of the e-governance service should be effective and a Chief Information Officer should be appointed to look after the implementation, designing, developing of the e-governance services and to promote the e-governance initiative and educate the people about the merits of such a system. Some factors which the Indian citizens feel are required to make an e-governance initiative successful are that the service should increase the convenience of the people by providing solutions to all their needs at a single place, the service should reduce the corruption level in the economy and should make the government working transparent, it provides and maintains all the data and information of the government readily and e-initiative should be simple and friendly (Kalsi, et al, 2008).
6.6 Challenges in Implementing E-Governance Projects in India
Indian politicians don’t have the will to implement e-governance programmes; people are not ready to change their practices as they still work with the old mind sets. The e-governance practices have not gained importance in the state of Chhattisgarh because of the wide spread poverty in the state and people cannot afford to learn about computing and cannot bear the cost of computers and the state lacks the infrastructure facilities which are needed for the proper functioning of any e-governance project (Suramanian & Saxena, 2008).
Supplying a nation India which has a population of more than one billion people is not an easy task. Some requirements for the successful implementation of the e-governance project needs to include enough bandwidth to accommodate the population, rural connectivity framework should be made strong and can be brought about through different means like e-governance kiosks in the local language, development of the national citizens database to cater to the needs of the general public, means to be taken to secure information transfer between the state and central government department and proper data centers to be build in the center and state to handle the huge workflow (Kanugo, 2003). Some issues which hamper the working of e-governance, such as the technical issues which may include privacy, security. There may be organizational issues also which may be short on the staff of the people capable in operating, different languages spoken in different regions, population density in India. Economic challenges are also present which may include cost of the structure, portability of the structure of e-governance (Yadav & Singh, 2013).
6.7.i Some Examples of M-Services in India
A SMS service is provided in India to empower people against pollution. People can send alerts regarding smoke-bleaching public buses and other vehicles and it also involves people in the fight against crime and illegal drugs use.
a. DarNet is a store and it is a forward wireless broadband network. It uses a Mobile Access Point, which is mounted on a regular bus to transmit information between the village and headquarters. Villagers who request land records through village kiosk receive their information through this.
b. India also provides a weather forecast system which helps the farmers and fishermen about when to plant, harvest and water their crops and when to fish. The system has greatly helped in improving the wealth of the farmers and fishermen.
7.0 E-Governance in Uttar Pradesh
As we have seen in the above section the use of e-governance is growing and many states are following the example of the successful programmes, but there are still some states which lack in the growth of e-governance initiative. One such state is Uttar Pradesh which still has a long path to travel towards its aim of providing its citizens the benefits of e-governance. Uttar Pradesh is most populous state in India and the growth of the state has not been satisfactory to the point (Nandan). Uttar Pradesh is growing in terms of e-governance development like it is providing innovative services in its daily governance activities to provide transparent administration environment, reciprocal bureaucracy, investment friendly policies and a user friendly government. There is also a possibility of converting many potential cities and towns in IT cities by creating IT parks keeping in mind the basic point of providing government services at the doorsteps of the citizens. To encourage the IT industries to come to the state of Uttar Pradesh, is that the government offers preferential allotment of land, continuous power supply, 100% exemption from the stamp duty for the IT companies and provides a safe and secure environment for the investors and the employees (Gosaliya).
7.1. Some Examples of E-Governance Initiatives in the state of Uttar Pradesh
i. eSuvidha: It was developed as a bridge between the general public and the government departments and it is an example of public-private partnership. It provides the public with a single window to deposit their electricity, water, house tax, telephone and mobile bills. It is now being expanded to include services like passport services, tourism, and many more (Nandan; Yadav & Singh, 2013).
ii. Bhu-Lekh: It is a land record initiative in state of Uttar Pradesh (Yadav & Singh, 2013; Nandan) which was initially formulated to benefit the government but with ‘Khatauni on Web’, ‘RoR Aapke Dwar’ the project has helped government, banks, NGOs, etc and it has been implemented in 305 tehsils of the state (Nandan; Gosaliya).
iii. Lokvani: a Uttar Pradesh government initiative which provides information regarding tender, rules, e-mail directory, right to information, publications, etc (Rao, 2013).
iv. Prerna: It is a one stop electronic solution for property registration. It provides assistance to the general public and farmers particularly on the registration service is provided by it (Gosaliya).
7.2. Obstacles in Implementing Projects in Uttar Pradesh
UP has not been able to reap all the benefits of the e-governance projects as to the weakness of the policy, vision and priorities of the e-governance projects. A major obstacle in providing better services to its public has been illiteracy among the people of the state. The practices which have been implemented have mainly benefited the upper and the middle class and ignoring the poor section of the society. E-governance services have not been implemented properly because of the connectivity issues in the states, no computer knowledge among the citizens, low quality of services provided and the lack of IT infrastructure in the state like the lack of IT companies in the state (Nandan).
7.3. Solutions for the Growth of E-governance Services in Uttar Pradesh
People need to be made aware about the services provided by the government. The cost of services provided by the government should be reasonable so that even the poor section of the society can avail them. The Government needs to evolve its practices during a time frame so they are able to meet the newer needs of the society (Radhkumari, 2004). To tackle the problem of illiteracy among the people of the state more than 100 Technical Colleges, Polytechnics and Multi Disciplinary Universities have been set up where in 5000 students graduate every year in IT discipline (Gosaliya). A thorough SWOT analysis of the project needs to be done to know the impact and the reach of the project and the benefits which can be reaped from it. The people should be informed about the project and a good built infrastructure and technology should be provided for the project so that it is able to reach the masses. Another important factor which goes a long way in implementing the project is that the officials should be motivated enough to long after the project so that it is able to reach its peak (Nandan).
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