Current Public Administration Magazine (October - 2014) - mGovernment

Sample Material of Current Public Administration Magazine

Information & Communication Technology


m-Governance is not a replacement for e-Governance, rather it complements e- Governance. m-Governance, is the use of mobile or wireless to improve Governance service and information “anytime, anywhere”. Mobile applications also rely on good back office ICT infrastructure and work processes.

Agriculture Department in Maharashtra is sending customised SMSes to farmers on CUG (Closed User Group). Under Pull Push SMS gateway services, users can know status of their Application, or to lodge a complaint ,and get the response.

  • LBS (location based services) give information of nearby Restaurants, ATMs, CSCs, Polling Booths and Ambulances etc.
  • Some Municipal Corporations allow you to click photograph of an overflowing garbage can or a pothole and upload it to a website. So that the prompt action can be taken.
  • Some Traffic police websites allow you to upload geo-tagged time-stamped photos of traffic violations that resides on a server and use them as evidence to penalise offenders.
  • Some departments are giving smartphones or tablets to their staff to enter MIS data from field level itself. So that the headquarter can be aware of the ground realities.

m-Governance can be defined as ‘a strategy for the implementation of Governance and its implementation involves the utilization of all kinds of wireless and mobile technologies, services, applications, and devices. It improves upon the benefits for those involved in e-governance, including citizens, businesses, and all government units'. For example, the following table shows the applications of m-Governance in various fields for delivering several services.

Mobile government, mGovernment, is the extension of eGovernment to mobile platforms, as well as the strategic use of government services and applications which are only possible using cellular/mobile telephones, laptop computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and wireless internet infrastructure.

The world's first mGovernment studies initiated by Professor I. Kushchu in Japan at the mGovLab - now grown into Mobile Government Consortium Int (mGCI) - setting the stage for the transformation from eGovernment to mGovernment. Proponents of mGovernment argue it can help make public information and government services available "anytime, anywhere" and that the ubiquity of these devices mandates their employment in government functions. An example of such beneficial use of mobile technologies would be the sending of a mass alert to registered citizens via short message service, or SMS, in the event of an emergency.

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To quote mGovernment theorist and proponent Ibrahim Kuchshu, "As e-business evolves towards m-business, eGovernment seems to follow the trend with a few but significant mobile government (mGovernment) applications."

mGovernment is now evolving on four dimensions - transforming eGovernment services directly to the mobile platform, providing access to mobile technologies and application for the field workers of the public sector, enabling smart / flex working and providing citizen services any time, any where.

Benefits of mGovernment

Mobile Government can be defined "as a strategy and its implementation involving the utilization of all kinds of wireless and mobile technology, services, applications and devices for improving benefits to the parties involved in e-government including citizens, businesses and all government units" (Kushchu and Kuscu, 2003)

  • Cost reduction
  • Efficiency
  • Transformation/modernization of public sector organizations
  • Added convenience and flexibility
  • Better services to the citizens
  • Ability to reach a larger number of people through mobile devices than would be possible using wired internet only

These benefits can be enriched and analysed under three categories: benefits to the government, citizens and the industry.


India's Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Department of Information Technology (DoIT) has announced plans for all its department and agencies to develop and deploy mobile applications to provide all there services through mobile devices. Following are the main measures laid down by DoIT:

  1. Web sites of all Government Departments and Agencies shall be made mobile-compliant, using the “One Web” approach.

  2. Open standards shall be adopted for mobile applications for ensuring the inter operability of applications across various operating systems and devices as per the Government Policy on Open Standards for e-Governance.

  3. Uniform/ single pre-designated numbers (long and short codes) shall be used for mobile-based services to ensure convenience.

  4. All Government Departments and Agencies shall develop and deploy mobile applications for providing all their public services through mobile devices to the extent feasible on the mobile platform. They shall also specify the service levels for such services.

To ensure adoption and implementation of the framework in time bound manner the government will develop Mobile Service Delivery Gateway (MSDG) that is the core infrastructure for enabling the availability of public services in through mobile devices.

Issues with mGovernment

  • Wireless and mobile networks and related infrastructure, as well as software, must be developed
  • To increase citizen participation and provide citizen-oriented services, governments need to offer easy access to mGovernment information in alternative forms
  • Mobile phone numbers and mobile devices are relatively easily hacked and wireless networks are vulnerable because they use public airwaves to send signals
  • Many countries have not yet adopted legislation for data and information practices that spell out the rights of citizens and the responsibilities of the data holders (government)

Suggestions for mGovernment Development

  • Perfecting mGovernment relevant laws, regulations and standards
  • Establishing the information security system of mGovernment
  • Rebuilding and optimizing the administrative business processes
  • Strengthening the evaluation of eGovernment

Question :

1Q. There is no existing M-Governance policy in India, because of which it’s not a wise option to utilize MGovernance services in India. Comment. 200 Words

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