1.INTRODUCTION:

World economies have recognized Information Technology as an effective tool in catalyzing the economic activity in efficient governance and in developing human resource. They have made significant investments in it and successfully integrated it with the development process, thereby reaping the benefits to their society. In India also, these developments have impacted the industrial, education, service and Government sectors and their influence on various applications is increasingly being felt of

late.

As the era of digital economy is evolving, the concept of governance has assumed significant importance. The e-Governance has consequently become an accepted methodology involving the use of Information Technology in improving transparency, providing information speedily to all citizens, improving administration efficiency and improving public services such as transportation, power, health, water, security and municipal services.

India has been harnessing the benefits provided by the Information & Communication

Technologies to provide integrated governance, reach to the citizens faster,provide efficient services and citizen empowerment through access to information. The aim is to redefine governance in the ICT age to provide Smart Governance. Several significant initiatives have been taken at the Centre and the State level in this direction. At the Central level, the government has extensively promoted the use of IT in managing

its internal processes and has drawn up a ‘Minimum Agenda of e-Governance’. The

Ministries/Departments have provision of 2 to 3 percent of their annual budgets to be spent on IT related activities.

The Government has enacted IT Act 2000, which provides legal status to the information and transactions carried on the net. Several State Governments have also taken

various innovative steps to promote e-Governance and have drawn up a roadmap for IT implementation and delivery of services to the citizens online. The applications that have been implemented are targeted towards providing G2B, G2C and B2C services with emphasis on use of local language.

2.DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY’S INITIATIVES:

As part of the increased thrust on e-Governance, Ministry of Communications &

Information Technology, Department of Information Technology, Government of India

has set up a Centre for e-Governance (CEG) at its premises – Electronics Niketan in New Delhi.The Centre, first of its kind in the country,

showcases several e-Governance applications and solutions that have been successfully

deployed in various states and offers such other services like technical consultation, proof of concept and thematic presentations. Conducting programmes for creating awareness among decision makers in the Centre and State Governments and helping them in defining and

implementing process and policy changes for effective e-Governance are other important

objectives of the Centre.The primary activities of the Centre are:

o To showcase the best practices in the area of Electronic Governance, which would

encompass technology, processes as well as public policies

Conduct programs for creating awareness among decision makers in the Central and state Governments

Demonstrate the feasibility of Electronic Governance to decision makers through

workshops, demonstration programs,video/teleconferencing, etc.

Help the Central and State Governments in defining and implementing process and policy changes

To enrich the repository of best practices through continuous interaction with subject matter experts from India and abroad.

The Centre also draws upon leading companies, technical institutions and business partners in India and abroad and help initiate projects to address specific needs. The Centre continuously strives to establish strong links with similar institutions worldwide to enrich the repository of best practices through interaction and

participation.

3. SOME E-GOVERNANCE PROJECTS/APPLICATIONS OPERATIONAL ACROSS INDIA:

3.1 Bhoomi (Land Records)

Bhoomi is a self-sustainable e-governance project for the computerized delivery of 20 million rural land records to 6.7 million farmers through 177 Government owned kiosks in the Indian state of Karnataka, which has eliminated red tape and corruption in the issue of land title records, and is fast becoming the backbone for credible IT-enabled Government services for the rural population.

3.2 Stamps Registration and Archiving (SARITA)

The Stamps and Registration Department of a State is typically one of the top revenue earners for any Government. Stamp & Registration software provides efficient government citizen interface, and also enables enhanced revenue earnings for the Stamps and Registration operation. The heart of this application consists

of the Registration and Valuation module. Other modules are the Networking and Scanning modules that enable exchange of information securely across departments, and “electronic copying” of the registered documents thereby enabling return of the original document within few minutes of presentation.

3.3 Versatile Online Information for Citizen Empowerment (VOICE)

Municipalities have a challenging task of providing various kinds of citizen services.VOICE caters to these challenges through the use of state-of-the-art information Technology.In addition to computerisation of the day-to-day operations,VOICE also provides a powerful Community and empowers the citizen. This application ensures a quick, transparent and efficient administration at a lower operating cost

with increased revenue collections.

3.4 e-Seva

eSeva is the first-of-its-kind of service in the country, providing a wide spectrum of citizenfriendly services that save citizen the bother of running around various departments. The services offered are Payment of Utilities Bills,Registration of Birth/Death, Issue of Birth/Death certificates, Permits/Licences, Reservations etc.

There are 35 eSeva centres (with 280 service counters) spread over the Twin Cities and

Ranga Reddy District.

3.5 Gyandoot

Gyandoot is an intranet in the tribal district of Dhar in Central India connecting rural Cybercafes catering to the everyday needs of the masses. It is a community-based, highly costeffective and financially self-reliant approach to bringing the benefits of Information Technology to the doorsteps of tribal villagers. The objective of the Gyandoot project has been to establish a community-owned, innovative and sustainable

information technology project in the most poverty stricken and tribal dominated rural

areas. The project is designed to cater to social,economic and development needs of the

villagers through an innovative G2C model.There are around 1600 villages in Dhar district and 80 information kiosks/cyber offices(Soochanalayas). Each kiosk caters to about 25 to 30 villages. The entire network of 31 kiosks covers 311 Panchayats (village committees),over 600 villages and a population of around half a million (nearly 50% of the entire district).

3.6 e-Choupal

Started by ITC’s international Business Division as a cost-effective alternative supply chain system to deal directly with the farmer to buy products for exports is getting transformed into a meta market for rural India. The tobacco giant

has already set up over 700 choupals covering 3,800 villages in four states

— which include Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra

Pradesh — dealing with products ranging from soya bean, coffee, aquaculture and wheat.

3.7 VidyaVahini

This portal provides the opportunity for schools,teachers and students all across the nation to express and share their creative and academic potential via the internet. The portal aims at creating such an environment by providing facilities for content development, content deployment and collaboration. Shiksha India – a

non- profit organisation – is working in partnership with the Ministry of Information

Technology in the project Vidya Vahini and Ministry of Human Resources under the CLASS scheme, which aims to connect 60.000 schools (approximately 20 million students) across the country in the next five years.

3.8 Aarakshi

Aarakshi is an intranet-based system for the Jaipur City Police to facilitate FIRs,criminalsrecords, vehicle thefts, missing person’s records etc. It is like a private & closed user group accessible to only authorised personnel. Its potential users are all field level officers of the city like police station, circle officers SP and even district collector.

3.9 Webciti

WebCITI (Web based Citizen-IT Interface) is an e-Governance project for building citizen-IT interface for services offered by district administration at Fatehgarh Sahib in Punjab. It provides web-based interface to citizens seeking services from district administration and provides complete workflow automation in District Commissioners office. It is information dissemination system designed to facilitate public to get information about various government schemes such as eligibility criteria, procedures, contact addresses, downloadable forms etc. These include issuance of certificates

such as death/birth, caste, rural area etc.,licenses such as arms license, permission for

conferences/rallies etc., benefits from socioeconomic schemes etc. The information about

various schemes and procedures, status of an application etc. can be found through the web Interface available at the intranet counters at developmental block/revenue tehsil and kiosks.

3.10 Drishtee

Drishtee is a unique socio-technological effort towards creating an Information backbone in Indian Villages. Drishtee is a public limited company providing IT enabled, fee based services to villagers through community owned kiosks. It is a platform for rural networking and marketing services for enabling e-governance, education, health and allied IT based services. The services it enables include access to government programs & benefits, market related information and private information exchanges & transactions.

4. E-GOVERNANCE IN TAMILNADU:

Government has taken as a policy to promote e-governance initiative to

ensure transparent, speedy and responsive delivery of government services to the

citizens. E-governance initiatives were taken in major departments like Registration,

Revenue, Transport, etc. The Electronic Delivery of Services (EDS) is receiving a lot

of thrust. The payment of utility payment service charges of TNEB, Metrowater and

Chennai Corporation can be effected through the EDS centres. To promote egovernance

in the Government during 2004-05, a sum of Rs.2357.52 lakhs has

been provided in the State Budget under Part-II (new) schemes for 2004-05 of which

Rs.1836.52 lakhs is provided under Plan schemes and Rs.521 lakhs under Non-

Plan towards hardware and software for the Departments of Commercial Taxes,

Registration, Treasuries & Accounts, Survey & Settlement, BC & MBC, Town and

Country Planning & Adi-Dravida Welfare, etc.

4.1 Tamil Nadu e-governance Mission:

As part of the increased thrust on e-governance, IT department is setting up

an e-governance Directorate exclusively to work on the Policy and Planning of

Information & Communication Technology initiatives of the Government and also to

augment the e-Governance initiatives and projects of the Government of Tamil

Nadu. As a first initiative, e-governance cell at ELCOT in the name

and style of “TN e-governance Mission”, is formed which will form a part of the

Directorate later. TN e-governance Mission, from its inception has been

scouting around for the best e-governance practices world over for adoption in the

e-governance project initiatives of the Government to provide electronic delivery of

services to the citizen at a reasonable cost and for improvement of Government –

Citizen Interface.

The Tamil Nadu Government has decided to give a major push to its e-governance initiatives. Besides constituting panels at three different levels for implementation of National e-Governance Action Plan (NeGAP), it is also planning to appoint a consultant to conduct a study and prepare an information and communication technology (ICT) roadmap for e-governance.

Besides floating a global tender for appointment of the consultant, the government has constituted a State Apex Committee (SAC) that will oversee and provide policy direction to NeGAP and ensure inter-ministerial co-ordination.

There will be a State e-Governance Group (SeG) to provide overall direction, standardisation and consistency through programme management of e-governance initiatives of the state.

The SAC will be headed by the Chief Secretary, with Information Technology secretary as the Chief Information Officer and the Managing Director of Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT) as the member secretary.

The SeG will have the Development Commissioner and Principal Secretary (Finance) as the chairman and the director of the to-be created directorate of e-Governance as the member secretary. The IT secretary, who will also be a member of the SeG, will have the lead role in advising the government on IT trends and also coordinating technology utilization

The deputy director general of the National Informatics Centre (NIC) will also be a member of the SeG to provide technology expertise and to monitor new technologies, besides assessing their potential to use in the e-governance programme.

The SeG will function as a permanent advisory body to develop and implement processes for management of programmes like conflict management, audits, knowledge management, financial management, risk management, and project planning and monitoring, besides institutionalizing e-governance processes and tools.

The e-governance groups will also be set up at state government department levels, with the secretary of the department concerned as the chairman, to help the departments prepare detailed project reports, business process re-engineering, change management, financial sustainability, technology expertise and manage implementation of the project.

5. SOME OF THE IMPORTANT E-GOVERNANCE PROJECTS IN TAMILNADU:

5.1 TamilNadu InfoSystem on Land Administration and Management (Tamil NILAM):

TamilNILAM is an important e-governance initiative of Government of TamilNadu. All the taluk offices in TamilNadu have been provided with computers under this programme.

The major applications on these systems are,

§ Land Records

§ Old Age Pension Management

§ Certificates Management

§ Public Grievances Redressal

§ Personnal and Payroll system

At present twenty nine taluks were provided with the touch screen for the public use. The services offered by it are,

Land owners can view their own Land ownership and can also obtain a copy of Chitta Exact.

Birth and Death certificate particulars can be viewed and a copy of the certificate can also be obtained.

Old age pension details can also be maintained in it.

The welfare Scheme of the Revenue Department are explained with the details for availing these services and the benefits.

5.2 Simplified and Transparent Administration of Registration(STAR):

Simplified and Transparent Administration of Registration is a Citizen-centric application which has been implemented at 300 sub registrar office in TamilNadu. With the computerized system the issue of Encumbrance certificate has become quicker and easier. The documents are scanned and archived. The Data will be maintained in Tamil.

The Application software was developed by NIC TamilNadu state Unit with the active involvement of the team from Registration Department. The hardware procurement and installation has been carried out by the ELCOT.

5.3 Treasury Computerization:

The Treasury computerization is one of the earliest e-governance project developed for the Government of TamilNadu. Now the system is used in the following offices,

§ 29 District treasuries

§ 205 sub treasuries

§ 7 pay and accounts office

§ Pension Pay office, Chennai

The Daily transaction is captured in batch mode at sub treasuries and consolidated at the district treasuries. The monthly account prepared using the system by the district treasuries, pay and accounts department are submitted to the AG’s office.

6. Conclusion:

Although e-government has been around since the 1990s, many developing countries have not fully reaped its benefits because they lack the key conditions for it to thrive:

· healthy political and regulatory environments,

· well-developed IT infrastructure, and

· a large pool of Internet users.

Skeptics believe that e-government is not an appropriate tool for low-income countries with limited technical capability. But some developing countries, such as India, have successfully implemented e-government in certain areas, despite this shortcoming.



Source by Thara Radhakrishnan

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