Syllabus: General Studies Paper 2 (Indian Polity)
Explain how technological initiatives like Digitization can bring transparency in governance? (15 Marks)
Digitization is the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business.
By digitizing, governments can provide services that meet the evolving expectations of citizens and businesses, even in a period of tight budgets and increasingly complex challenges.
In order to transform the entire ecosystem of public services through the use of information technology, the Government of India has launched the Digital India programme with the vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
The journey of e-Governance initiatives in India took a broader dimension in mid 90s for wider sectoral applications with emphasis on citizen-centric services. Later on, many States/UTs started various e-Governance projects. Though these e-Governance projects were citizen-centric, they could make lesser than the desired impact. Government of India launched National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) in 2006. 31 Mission Mode Projects covering various domains were initiated. Despite the successful implementation of many e-Governance projects across the country, e-Governance as a whole is yet to make the desired impact and fulfil all its objectives.
Impact of digitization on governance
- Transparency: Corruption Perception Index: monitors corporate & political corruption in international progress
- E-government – E-government Development Index: measures digital interactions between government and citizens
- Education – Inequality-Adjusted Education Index: based on a subcomponent of the HDI
Digitization programmes launched by Govt of India
To bring out the transparency in governance, Govt of India has launched a flagship programme called digital India, and many other schemes.
- Digital India aims to provide the much needed thrust to the nine pillars of growth areas, namely
- Broadband Highways,
- Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity,
- Public Internet Access Programme,
- e-Governance: Reforming Government through Technology,
- e-Kranti – Electronic Delivery of Services,
- Information for All,
- Electronics Manufacturing,
- IT for Jobs and
- Early Harvest Programmes.
- Digital platform named as “myGov” (http://mygov.in/) to facilitate collaborative and participative governance.
- My Gov.in is a platform to share inputs and ideas on matters of policy and governance. It is a platform for citizen engagement in governance, through a “Discuss”, “Do” and “Disseminate” approach.
- National e-Governance Plan aimed at bringing all the front-end government services online.
- UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) is a Government of India all-in-one single unified secure multi-channel multi-platform multi-lingual multi-service freeware mobile app for accessing over 1,200 central and state government services in multiple Indian languages services include.
- AADHAR, DigiLocker, Bharat Bill Payment System,
- PAN, EPFO services, PMKVY services, AICTE, CBSE,
- tax and fee or utilities bills payments
- education, job search, tax, business, health, agriculture, travel, Indian railway tickets bookings, birth certificates, e-District, e-Panchayat, police clearance, passport
- other utility services from private companies and much more.
- e Sign frameworkallows citizens to digitally sign a document online using Aadhaar authentication.
- eHospital applicationprovides important services such as online registration, payment of fees and appointment, online diagnostic reports, enquiring availability of blood online etc.
- Digital attendance:gov.in was launched by PM Narendra Modi on 1 July 2015 to keep a record of the attendance of government employees on a real-time basis. This initiative started with implementation of a common Biometric Attendance System (BAS) in the central government offices located in Delhi.
- Black money eradication.
The causes of corruption in India include excessive regulations, complicated taxes and licensing systems, numerous government departments each with opaque bureaucracy and discretionary powers, monopoly by government controlled institutions on certain goods and services delivery, and the lack of transparent laws and processes.
The 2016 Union budget of India announced 11 technology initiatives including the use of data analytics to nab tax evaders, creating a substantial opportunity for IT companies to build out the systems that will be required.
Government has initiated digital public procurement through GeM (Government e-Market).
Government has launched GeM to digitally transform public procurement systems to achieve enhanced efficiency, accountability, transparency, and participation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Digitally transforming public procurement would also accelerate national development objectives, such as enhancing public service delivery, developing human capital and the private sector, and gender empowerment.
By digitizing processes and making organizational changes, governments can enhance services, save money, and improve citizens’ quality of life.
Transparency can strengthen the public’s trust in government and its civic engagement. A useful step toward sharing data is unifying registries of public information.
Digitizing the government’s capabilities and establishing the right organizational enablers. Governments that transform in these areas can ease budgetary strain and improve their citizens’ quality of life.
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