E- Governance Transforming the Rural India
An Analysis of major Projects and Initiatives
E-Governance is the use of information and communication technologies to support good governance. A number of countries across the world have adopted E-governance schemes to transform the life pattern of their denizens. Information and communication technologies have a valuable potential to help meet good governance goals in India. The government of India and several state governments have been continuously endeavoring to provide citizen services in a better manner in all areas of Public administration such as Public Services, Rural Services, Social Services, Agricultural and Revenue Services,etc. The benchmark step taken by the Indian Government is the enactment of Information Technology Act (2000) .It has provisions to facilitate electronic commerce and electronic transactions, electronic contracts, prevention of computer crimes, electronic filing and digital signature, etc. The Union Government had approved the National E-Governance Action Plan for implementation during the year 2003-2007. The plan is an attempt to lay the foundation and provide impetus for long-term growth of e-governance within the country. E- Governance has helped in timely and accurate issuance of Records of Rights (ROR) to land owners. Agmarknet, Kisan Call Centres. E- Panchayats, E- Chaupal, E-learning in education, business and railways are other areas where E- governance is proving the effectiveness. India has a large network of Public Distribution System (PDS) and fair price shops (FPS) to provide essential commodities to the rural folk and E- governance will minimize the corruption and mismanagement of PDS. One goal of e-government will be greater citizen participation. Through the internet, people from all over the country can interact with politicians or public servants and make their voices heard. India has enforced the Right to Information Act (2005) and IT based services would lead to greater transparency in providing information under this Act. India is a country of villages and several types of disputes arise there. The pending court cases have brought the legal system to a halt. The application of ICT in Supreme Court and High Courts has enabled the parties to get information about their cases from remote areas. Further it will not only save the money and time of citizens but will also reduce the backlog of cases. The Postal department has already started effective services like delivery of Money Orders through Extended Satellite Money Order (ESMO) centres in certain stations. These services are being provided with the help of satellite based Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs). There have been several successful initiatives and noteworthy projects undertaken in various states of India. Some of the successful initiatives are: Bhoomi (Karnataka), Gyandoot (M.P.), E-seva(Andhra Pradesh),ASHA (Assam),Lokmitra (HP), Gramdoot (Rajasthan),Lokvani (U.P.),Sari ( Tamilnadu), Akshaya (Kerala), SETU( Maharashtra) and SUDA( Gujarat), etc. This paper specifically focuses on the E-Governance initiatives that have changed the life style of rural citizens and in which the citizens derive benefit through direct transactions with the services provided by the union and the provincial governments. The paper also highlights the variety of constraints in implementing the E-governance projects in rural areas.
Article DOI : 10.5958/2347-6869.2017.00009.7
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