(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) E-Governance in Tourism
E-Governance in Tourism
- Application of ICT i,e. information and communication technology, for information exchange, to provide government services, in transactions, can be understood as e-Governance. The ‘e’ in e-Governance stands for ‘electronic’. There are 4 kinds of interactions in e-Governance, namely: G2C (Government to Citizens), G2B (Government to Business), G2G (Government to Government), and G2E (Government to Employees).
- Digital India aims to empower citizens, to avail services with more ease and to conveniently interact with the government. E-Governance is about transforming government mechanisms to make them simple, automated and efficient. E-Governance is expected to maximise citizen satisfaction, by improving responsiveness of public service delivery processes and by augmenting citizens’ participation in governance.
National e-Governance Plan 2.0
- National e-Governance Plan 2.0, initiated in 2015, aimed at, e-Education where all secondary and higher secondary schools were to be connected to broadband and Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) were introduced for leveraging e-Education. Financial inclusion was to be strengthened with the use of mobile banking, micro-ATM program etc. e-Courts, e-Police, e-Jails and e-Prosecution were aimed at improving the judicial eco-system through ICT usage. Other major e-Governance initiatives that impact the liveability conditions of destinations across India are, e-Hospital which is an online registration framework aimed to facilitate the patients to take online OPD appointments with government hospitals.
- MCA21 aims to provide electronic services to the companies registered under the Companies Act. It may facilitate entrepreneurial zeal in the tourism sector. Aadhaar, is a unique identification number issued by UIDAI. DigiLocker serves as a platform to enable citizens to securely store and share their documents with service providers, who can directly access them electronically. Aadhaar and DigiLocker can be used at multiple steps in the entire journey of tourist. SVAMITVA Scheme is a step towards establishment of clear ownership of property in rural inhabited areas. It can act as a facilitator in rural tourism development.
- Infrastructure is an umbrella term that covers all the structural elements constituting the framework on which different activities can take place: it includes transport platforms (such as roads, railway lines, airports etc,) as well as utility systems (such as water and electricity provision, sewage systems etc). Infrastructure can be of dual use, but in some instances it is developed primarily for tourists’ use.
Following PSU’s of Indian railways are a part of the digital ecosystem which enables e-Governance:
1. CRIS i.e. Centre for Railway Information Systems: It develops and manages the information technology applications of the Indian Railways. National Train Enquiry System (NTES) was developed by CRIS that gives us real time accurate train running information which helps passengers to conveniently plan their arrival at the stations.
2. Rail Tel: RailTel Corporation is ICT infrastructure provider and one of the largest neutral telecom infrastructure providers in the country, owning a pan-India optic fibre network on exclusive right of way (ROW) along railway tracks, in this year itself, Prime Minister Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI) scheme has been launched by RailTel, through which access to RailTel’s free public WiFi services will be provided in 100 Indian railway stations across the country.
Passport Seva Programme: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), early this year, signed an agreement for second phase of the Passport Seva Programme (PSP-V2.0) with Tata Consultancy Services Limited, appointing them as the Service Provider for the project. The PSP-V2.0 is a continuation and enhancement of PSP-V1.0, an e-Governance instrument, which introduced unprecedented delivery of passport related services to citizens. The focus was on timely, transparent, more accessible and reliable platform, accessed by citizens in a comfortable environment through streamlined processes; and a committed, trained and motivated workforce. The number of public dealing offices has increased across the country. MEA is working towards opening of a Seva Kendra in every Lok Sabha constituency where there is no Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) or Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK).
- The demographic profile of India and the geographical diversity makes the application of e-Governance even more important to empower its citizens and for overall economic development. India is characterised with the availability of telecom data at some of the lowest tariffs in the entire world and access to smart phones is also witnessing an upward growth trajectory. Advantages of e-Governance from an Indian perspective include, effectiveness in governance as it will be driven by data, it will also help in reducing the cost that government incurs on buying stationery, and it will make the functioning of the government transparent, this in turn will make the government officials more accountable for their actions.