Current Public Administration Magazine (August - 2016) - A Step Towards e-Governance

Sample Material of Current Public Administration Magazine

Information and Communication Technology

A Step Towards e-Governance

ELECTRONIC GOVERNANCE is an emerging global phenomenon within public sector institutions and is a fast growing significant discipline within the field of public administration. It is the movement of governments to
deliver their services and programmes online and also to provide government information promptly. It further interacts with the citizens and this is done electronically. This results in the formation of new relationships between the citizens and the state.

E-Governance refers to the use of emerging IT like the internet, websites and mobile phones to deliver information about government services to citizens. It includes dissemination of information about government services
on websites from where citizens can download application forms for these services. The appropriate use of this technology will usher a new era in public administration by making governmental functioning and process more transparent and accessible.

E-Governance goes far beyond mere computerisation of public works; it is an able mechanism to bring about good governance. E-Governance is being seen as an effective tool for tackling corruption and provider of hassle
free services to the people. It facilitates:

  • Increased openness and transparency in governmental operations;
  • Improvement in service delivery at a low cost;
  • Empowerment of people through dissemination of information;
  • Reduction in corruption by eliminating personal or physical contact between people and public officials; and
  • Effective linkages between citizen and administration with the use of IT, the following facets of governance significantly help in improving:

(a) Government to Citizen (G2C) interface
(b) Government to Business (G2B) interface
(c) Intra-Governmental processes (G2G) interface.

It is used not merely to automate processes but simultaneously simplify procedures and revamp processes. Electronic governance brings in the following benefits:

(a) Any-where, any-time services to citizens;
(b) One-stop shop for all transactions in the Government to Citizen interface;
(c) Better accountability, responsiveness and transparency on part of Government employees;
(d) Improve the efficiency of the government machinery and systems; and
(e) Objectivity, reduced discretion and arbitrariness and thus minimal corruption.

Historical Perspective

To achieve various objectives of E-Governance, the concept of information technology originated in India in the 1970s with a focus on EGovernance applications in the areas of economic monitoring, planning and the deployment of IT to manage data intensive functions in the areas like elections, tax administration, Census, etc. The Government of India established the Department of Electronics in 1970.The establishment of the National Information Centre (NIC) in 1977 was the first step towards e-Governance in India. In the 1980s, the efforts of the NIC to connect all the district headquarters was a significant step. The launching of NICNET in 1987 facilitated e-Governance, the national satellite-based computer network, which was followed by District Information System of the National Informatics Centre (DISNIC) programme to computerise all district offices in the country for which free hardware and software were offered to the state governments.

In the 1990s, several initiatives in areas like land management, transport, education, grievance-redressal, health, etc. were introduced in many states by both public and private sector agencies. This has facilitated wider sectoral applications with the setting up of kiosks at the village level. The people can utilise them as “One Stop Shops” for availing timely basic services at the village level, and also to gain access to vital information. There has been an increased involvement of International donor agencies under the framework of e-Governance to catalyse the development of e-Governance laws and technologies in developing countries.

All these developments resulted in the launch of the National e-Governance Programme in 2006. In the last few years, e-Governance has focused on the state governments around the country, and today, most of them have a degree of departmental computerisation and an IT policy on governance related issues. The Union Ministry of Information Technology has set up a centre focusing on e-Governance solutions and services.


applications are expanding very fast due to increasing awareness of IT among Indian state governments, which is a considerable improvement in policies of the government aiming at one-stop services to citizens.

E-Institutional Framework

Create the required institutional framework like the Department of Information Systems and Administrative Reforms, IT Corporation for Joint Ventures, collaborations, strategic partnerships, agreements, etc. for making strategy, enabling policies, action plans and evolving standards and methodologies to facilitate the effective implementation of such IT policies.


Create world class IT infrastructure and connectivity to facilitate EGovernance, E-Education and make the State of Punjab a favoured industry destination.


Provide an efficient and cost effective Government by improving the internal processes of the government through administrative reforms, process re-engineering, modernisation and deployment of Information Technology. E-Governance should be deployed to ensure an efficient, effective, productive, objective and accountable Government.

E-Public Interface

To provide a productive government-citizen interface and a public service oriented quality governance which is affordable, friendly, transparent and convenient. Make information and services more accessible through multiple services delivery channels established with the participation of the private sector using a shared infrastructure.

E-Human Resources Development

Invest in human resources to improve the knowledge base and skill sets of the youth of the state. Produce a high quality and competitive IT workforce of world-class capability.


Improve the quality, reach, effectiveness and delivery of education systems through the use of IT. Enhance the value and thus employability of the youth of the state by equipping them with the knowledge of IT, both at school and college levels, thus help in creating IT enabled workforce. To create an IT friendly culture through education enabling knowledge based society.


Create more jobs for Information Technology enabled workforce in all sectors of economy by leveraging the use of IT in agriculture, industry, business and service sector.


Encourage and promote the knowledge industry in general and Information Technology industry in particular by providing institutional framework and enabling environment for the computerisation of High Tech and Knowledge Industry. Encourage the private sector participation in creation and management of IT related infrastructure to provide services on the basis of a self-sustaining revenue model.


Generate more domestic and export revenues through development of IT enabled services, IT services, software development and e-business for improving the overall economy and thus quality of life of the citizens of Punjab. Make Punjab globally competitive through e-enablement of businesses for borderless marketing.


E-District project envisages integrated and seamless delivery of citizen services by district administration through automation of workflow, backend computerisation, data digitisation across participating departments. The project aims to target high volume services delivered at the district level and to undertake back-end computerisation to enable the delivery of citizen services through Common Service Centres in a systematic way. It further aims to integrate multiple applications, faster processing of public cases/appeals/grievances, dissemination of information as per public requirement and redesign the processes for the core services to be delivered through the Common Service Centres. Services provided under this project are-

  • Certificates: Making and distribution of certificates for income, domicile, caste, birth, death, etc.
  • Licenses: Arms Licenses, etc.
  • Public Distribution System (PDS): Issue of Ration Card, etc.
  • Social Welfare Schemes: Disbursement of old-age pensions, family pensions, widow pensions, etc.
  • Complaints: Related to unfair prices, absentee teachers, nonavailability of doctor, etc.
  • RTI: Online filing and receipt of information relating to the Right to Information Act.
  • Linking with other e-government projects: Registration, Land Records, and Driving Licences, etc.
  • Information Dissemination: About government schemes, entitlements, etc.
  • Assessment of taxes: Property tax, and other government taxes.
  • Utility Payment: Payments relating to electricity, water bills property taxes etc.


Information technology application implies a smoother interface between government and citizens and affects day-to-day life. Though it is felt that it cannot entirely replace manual governance, even its limited application means changing fundamentally how the government operates. The initiatives taken by the Punjab Government have truly been appreciated by the Government of India. As these have revolutionised the state by providing the citizens with the services at their doorsteps. Citizens here now do not need to travel miles to deposit their telephone, electricity or water bills. However, there is need to review the progress of the projects periodically for the sustainability of the benefits for the future generations. This shall also assist in making necessary modifications and rectifications as per the changes in society, requirements of the citizens and the emerging situations. It is also necessary to create awareness among masses regarding the use of services of E-Governance projects. Without the popularisation of these mission mode projects and the steps initiated by the Punjab Government in this direction, the desired results cannot be achieved. Besides creating awareness about the available services in various spheres, it is also essential that the citizens are motivated to participate in strengthening of such governmental efforts.

(Source- PURVA MISHRA @ IIPA Journal)

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