“We cannot march through the twenty-first century with the administrative systems of the nineteenth century.”— Prime Minister Narendra Modi
The information era has irrevocably changed the foundations and the institutions and procedures of service delivery. Since the 1990s, governments throughout the globe have been seeking to enhance public service delivery systems by reinventing government.
Rapid advances in information and communication technology (ICT) have enabled governments to reinvent themselves and better serve the requirements of a varied citizenry. The vision expresses a desire to change the way government operates and interacts with its citizens. This concern gave rise to the notion of electronic governance, sometimes known as e-governance.
India has been at the forefront of the IT revolution, which has had an impact on public administration systems. Indeed, if the potential of ICTs is effectively tapped, it provides a lot of prospects, particularly in social and economic progress.
E-governance is the application of ICT in government functioning to bring in SMART governance implying: simple, moral, accountable, responsive and transparent governance.
Simple- simplification of government laws, regulations, and procedures via the use of ICTs, resulting in a more user-friendly government.
Moral-The formation of an altogether new set of ethical norms in the political and administrative apparatus is referred to as moral. Interventions in technology boost the effectiveness of anti-corruption agencies, police, the courts, and so on.
Accountable-facilitating the design, development, and implementation of appropriate Management Information System and performance assessment systems, assuring the accountability of public servants.
Responsive- simplifying procedures to improve service delivery and system responsiveness.
Transparent-bringing information hitherto confined in the government documents to the public domain and making processes and functions transparent, which in turn would bring equity and rule of law in responses of the administrative agencies.
How to Proceed:
Telecommunication services serve as the basis for e-governance. To improve telecommunications, infrastructures must be built so that end users may access services quickly and efficiently. There is a need to increase internet integration
Capital To develop a digital economy
A high rate of investment in IT capital, as well as a supporting environment, are required. Given the government's resource constraints, there is a need to create resources from the market and private sector. In this context, a public-private collaboration may be advantageous since the private sector may join and offer cash and experience.
The internet has yet to reach the rural and underserved areas. Efforts are being made, however, to extend ICT connection into rural regions via the engagement of Gram Panchayats. The National Informatics Centre (NIC) has created extensive web-based software for panchayati raj and rural applications,With the computerization of the majority of panchayats, access to numerous services has become simple.
There is a need to deliver information that is helpful. The information's substance should be such that it is entertaining, helpful, and attractive to the audience. In this respect, the Government of India and certain state governments have created a vision paper for e-governance while keeping people' demands in mind. Though many departments' citizens' charters are accessible on the internet, more public awareness of such facilities is essential to allow the public to acquire the relevant information.
Development of Human Resources
Despite the fact that employment in the IT industry is growing at a rapid pace, there is a shortage of qualified workers. In the IT personnel market, there is a demand-supply imbalance. India seems to need additional technical colleges to provide education and training in order to develop a pool of people resources in the sector.
Service delivery will be more successful if trained personnel are available. Despite the fact that computer training is being provided to all basic public servants, save in a few circumstances, effective use of ICT has yet to be shown.
Changing Government Employees' Attitudes
Accepting change necessitates a shift in the mindsets of both service providers and recipients. The government officials must be made aware that they are there to serve the customers in accordance with policies and programmes, and that technical innovation is merely a facilitator to solving people's issues, not a solution in and of itself. There is a need to give orientation and training programmes to service providers in order to modify their perspective.
The success of e-government is also dependent on contact with citizens in their native languages. English is now the most extensively used language for e-government. However, given the societal realities in India, unless we design interfaces in vernacular languages, it would stay out of reach for many individuals who are unable to use these services in English.
A certain level of bureaucratic independence is required for speedy decision making and maintaining government efficiency. E-governance is being promoted as one such technique to increase bureaucratic efficiency. To begin with, allowing e-governance via digitization and automation is crucial for documentation and record keeping.
Furthermore, it assists in the consolidation of instructions, the improvement of searchability, the creation of an electronic trail for decision making, and the reduction of time required for different operations. However, in the absence of behavioural adjustments, technical advancements remain only surface-level. Training modules must be tailored, maintained up to date, and should go beyond simple procedural features like procurement and money to systemic topics like decision-making skills.