KNC501/KNC601 Constitution of India, Law and Engineering
Chapter 18: E-Governance and role of engineers in E-Governance
E-Government can be defined as- The use of information and communications technologies by governments to enhance the range and quality of information and services provided to citizens, businesses, civil society organizations, and other government agencies in an efficient, cost-effective and convenient manner, making government processes more transparent and accountable and strengthening democracy.
Basically, e-Governance is generally understood as the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) at all levels of the Government in order to provide services to the citizens, interaction with business enterprises and communication and exchange of information between different agencies of the Government in a speedy, convenient efficient and transparent manner.
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, has visualized e-Governance in the Indian context to mean: “A transparent smart e-Governance with seamless access, secure and authentic flow of information crossing the interdepartmental barrier and providing a fair and unbiased service to the citizen.”
E-Government can transform citizen service, provide access to information to empower citizens, enable their participation in government and enhance citizen economic and social opportunities, so that they can make better lives, for themselves and for the next generation.
Components of E-governance:
The following components can be identified
- Technological Component with Electronic dimension.
- Social Component with Egalitarian dimension.
- Cultural Component with Ethical dimension.
- Political Component with Enactment dimension.
- Psychological Component with Extensional dimension.
- Service Component with Empowerment dimension.
Benefits of e-Governance:
1. Better access to information and quality services for citizens:
ICT would make available timely and reliable information on various aspects of governance. In the initial phase, information would be made available with respect to simple aspects of governance such as forms, laws, rules, procedures etc later extending to detailed information including reports (including performance reports), public database, decision making processes etc. As regards services, there would be an immediate impact in terms of savings in time, effort and money, resulting from online and one-point accessibility of public services backed up by automation of back end processes. The ultimate objective of e-Governance is to reach out to citizens by adopting a life-cycle approach i.e. providing public services to citizens which would be required right from birth to death.
2. Simplicity, efficiency and accountability in the government:
Application of ICT to governance combined with detailed business process reengineering would lead to simplification of complicated processes, weeding out of redundant processes, simplification in structures and changes in statutes and regulations. The end result would be simplification of the functioning of government, enhanced decision making abilities and increased efficiency across government – all contributing to an overall environment of a more accountable government machinery. This, in turn, would result in enhanced productivity and efficiency in all sectors.
3. Expanded reach of governance:
Rapid growth of communications technology and its adoption in governance would help in bringing government machinery to the doorsteps of the citizens. Expansion of telephone network, rapid strides in mobile telephony, spread of internet and strengthening of other communications infrastructure would facilitate delivery of a large number of services provided by the government.