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Diversifying Dimensions of E- Governance A Pre-requisite for Transforming Economy

Authored By
Dr.Shobhit Goel
Assistant Professor, Amity Business School
Amity University,Lucknow
Ph.: +91 94154 69880
E-mail.: drshobhitgoel@gmail.com

Diversifying Dimensions of E- Governance A Pre-requisite for Transforming Economy


Abstract
The emergence of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has provided means
for faster and better communication, retrieval of data and utilization of information to its users. EGovernance is basically the application of ICT to provide government services to the citizens
through internet. In developing countries like India, where literacy level is very low and even
most of the people are living below poverty line, people are not even aware about the benefits of
e-Governance activities and people do not use Information and Communication technologies to a
much extent, there exist a number of problems to implement e-Governance activities. This
research paper highlights the concept and challenges related to the implementation of eGovernance in India.
Keywords- Cost, different languages, e-readiness rank, e-Governance, ICT, literacy level, per
capita income, separation.

Diversifying Dimensions of E- Governance A Pre-requisite for Transforming Economy


Introduction
Electronic

governance or e-governance is

the

application

of information

and

communication technology (ICT) for delivering government services, exchange of information


communication transactions, integration of various stand-alone systems and services. Through egovernance, government services will be made available to citizens in a convenient, efficient and
transparent manner. The three main target groups that can be distinguished in governance
concepts are government, citizens and businesses/interest groups. In e-governance there are no
distinct boundaries.
It is not limited to the public sector only but also includes the management and administration of
policies and procedures in private sector as well. The use of internet not only delivers the services
faster but also brings more transparency between the government and the citizens. But in
developing countries like India, where literacy level is very low and most of the people are living
below poverty line, it is very much difficult for the government to provide its services to such
citizens via means of internet.
The E-Readiness Rank of India is very low. E-readiness is defined as the ability to use
information and communication technologies to develop economy and welfare. According to the
Global Information Technology Report 2012, the e-Readiness rank of India is 69 with the score of
3.89 out of 10 that means the use of ICTs in India is very low. Many other factors like privacy and
security related to users personal information, digital divide etc. are also huge challenges for the
implementation of e-Governance in India.
Challenges for e-Governance in India
There are a large number of obstacles in implementation of e-Governance in India. These
can be categorized under the following titles: Environmental and Social Challenges, Economical
Challenges and Technical Challenges.
Environmental and Social Challenges
i)

Different Language: India is a country where people with different cultures and
different religions live. People belonging to different states speak different languages.
The diversity of people in context of language is a huge challenge for implementing eGovernance projects as e-Governance applications are written in English language.
And also, English may not be understandable by most of the people. Therefore, it
becomes a challenge for the government to write e-Governance applications which are

to be implemented for the whole nation in more than one language so that these may
be acceptable to the users of a particular language.
ii)

Low Literacy: Literacy can be defined as the ability to read and write with
understanding in any language. A person who can merely read but cannot write cannot
be considered as literate. Any formal education or minimum educational standard is
not necessary to be considered literate. Literacy level of India is very low which is a
huge obstacle in implementation of e-Governance projects. Illiterate people are not
able to access the e-Governance applications; hence the projects do not get much
success.

iii)

Low IT Literacy: Much of the Indian people are not literate and those who are literate,
they do not have much knowledge about Information Technology (IT). Most of the
people in India are not aware about the usage of Information Technology. So, in India,
having such low level of IT literacy, how can e-Governance projects be implemented
successfully? We can say that IT illiteracy is a major obstacle in implementation of eGovernance in India. So, first of all Indian people must be made aware about the usage
of Information Technology.

iv)

Recognition of applications: Recognition of the e-Governance facilities by the citizens


is another huge challenge. It is a challenge to have all the citizens well aware of the
facilities offered by the e-government and have them to trust in it, so that citizens
should be ready to accept these facilities.

v)

User friendliness of government websites: Users of e-Governance applications are


often non-expert users who may not be able to use the applications in a right manner.
Such users need guidance to find the right way to perform their transactions.
Therefore, government websites must be user friendly so that more and more people
can use them easily. Hence, these websites can be more effective. If government
websites will be designed in an easier format only then these will be more usable for
the users who are not expert users of IT.

vi)

Services are not accessible easily: The concept of e-Governance is claiming for
increased efficiency and effectiveness of the government, but these goals will be
achieved only if the service will be available to the 100% of the citizens. So, every
service should be accessible by anybody from anywhere and anytime. Even if the
users of Internet are growing but still there is a major part of Indian population which
is not able to access e-Governance activities for variety of reasons, e.g. some people
may have limited access to Information and Communication Technologies and

devices. Therefore, government has to provide internet access through public terminals
as a part of their universal access efforts.
vii)

Confidence on technologies provided by government: The implementation of public


administration functions via e-Government requires that the user must be confident
and comfortable while using the technology. He must also trust that technology that
he/she is interacting with. Even the government should provide the measures so that
the users can trust the technology provided to them. The government has to make a
balance between ensuring that a system prevents fraudulent transactions and the
burden that extensive checks can take place on people who are honest.

viii)

Separation: The separation that exists between the individuals, communities and
businesses that have access to Information Technology and those that do not have such
access. Economic poverty is closely related to the limited information technology
resources. People who are living below poverty line cannot afford a computer and
internet connection for themselves to take the benefits of the e-Government and other
on-line services. Economic poverty is not the only cause of this separation; it may also
be caused by the lack of awareness among the people. In India even some of the
economically stable people do not know about the scope and services of eGovernance. Indian government has to take some actions to narrower this separation to
effectively implement the e-Governance projects.

ix)

Struggle to Change: The struggle to change phenomenon can explain much of the
hesitation that occurs on the part of the constituents in moving from a paper-based to a
web-based system to interact with government.
Citizens, employees and businesses can all have their biases with respect to how
transactions

should be processed. Government entities

and public policy

administrators cannot ignore the changes that occur as a result of the implementation
of the ICT. Education about the value of new system is one step towards reducing
some of this struggle
x)

Population: Population of India is probably the biggest challenge in implementing eGovernance projects. As population is considered to be an asset to the country but it
also offers some other challenges e.g. establishing person identities. There is no unique
identity of individuals in India although Indian government is making efforts for
providing unique identity to its citizens. Apart from this, measuring the population,
keeping the database of all Indian nationals and keeping this database updated and

then providing the e-governance services to the whole population are major
challenges.
xi)

Lack of integrated services: Most of the e-governance services which are offered by
the state or central government are not integrated. Lack of communication between
different departments of government may be its major cause. Therefore, the
information that resides within one department has no or very little meaning to some
other department of the government.

xii)

Lack of awareness in people: Most of the Indian people are not aware of the benefits
of e-Governance services. Even the government do not pay much attention to make the
people aware about e-Governance activities. Unawareness is a major challenge in the
implementation of e-Governance projects.

Economical Challenges
i)

Cost: In developing countries like India, cost is one of the most important obstacles in
the path of implementation of e-Governance where major part of the population is
living below poverty line. Even the politicians do not have interest in implementing eGovernance. A huge amount of money is involved in implementation, operational and
evolutionary maintenance tasks. These costs must be low enough so that to guarantee a
good cost/benefit ratio.

ii)

Applications must be transferrable from one platform to another: e-governance


applications must be independent from hardware or software platforms. Therefore,
these applications can be used at any platform irrespective of the hardware or software
and from one platform to the other platform. These applications may also help on
possible reuse by other administrators.

iii)

Maintenance of electronic devices: As the Information Technology changes very fast


and it is very difficult for us to update our existing systems very fast. Regulations of
different devices and their different characteristics may vary and the system in use
must be capable to handle all the emerging needs. Maintenance is a key factor for long
living systems in a rapidly changing technical environment.

iv)

Low per Capita income: Per capita income means how much each individual receives,
in the terms of money, of the yearly income generated in a country. This refers to what
each individual receives if the yearly national income is divided equally among
everyone. Per capita income of India is low as compare to the other countries.
Therefore, people cannot afford on-line services provided by the government which is
a challenge for implementation of e-governance.

v)

Limited financial resources: The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is one of the
measures o national income and a countrys economy. GDP is defined as the total
market value of all final goods and services produced within the country in a given
period of time. GDP of a country is the measure of its financial strength. India has
limited financial resources so as to implement and maintain the e-Government projects
properly.

Technical challenges
i)

Interoperability: Interoperability is the ability of systems and organizations of different


qualities to work together. The e-Governance applications must have this characteristic
so that the newly developed and existing applications can be implemented together.

ii)

Scale of applications: e- Governance projects have to be designed to scale from the


day one. e-Governance is supposed to affect every citizen of the country, so eGovernance applications must have the scale to interface with every citizen.

iii)

Multimodal Interaction: Multimodal interaction provides the user with multiple


modes of interfacing with a system. An e-Government application can be really
effective if its users can access it using different devices.

iv)

Privacy and Security: A critical obstacle in implementing e-Governance is the privacy


and security of an individuals personal data that he/she provides to obtain
government services. With the implementation of e-government projects, some
effective measures must be taken to protect the sensitive personal information of the
people. Lack of security standards can limit the development of e-Government
projects that contain personal information such as income, medical history etc.

v)

Scope of applications: The very first step in creating a good application is to define its
scope very well and everything else comes later. The applications which are provided
by e-Government, their scope must be known in advance for the accurate
implementation of e-Governance projects.

vi)

Tried and tested technologies: Technology tends to get out of date very fast. Our
government may not be in position to buy new servers every year. So, it is better and
safer to use technologies and products which are tried and tested for longer periods of
times than using the latest ones.

vii)

Geographical problems: Corporate networks reside on reliable and controlled


networks. Government networks have to go into all areas which are even unfriendly to
live. It is, however, costly to wire up all the villages in the country. So, e-Governance

systems must have to use the wireless networks like existing cellular networks to reach
the applications into remote areas irrespective of the geographical issues.
viii)

Local language: The acceptance of English language in India is very low. The egovernance applications are written in English. That is why e-Governance projects do
not get success. Hence, the e-governance applications must be written in local
language of the people so that they may be able to use and take advantage of these
applications.

Four Models of E Governance


Generally four basic models are available government-to-citizen (customer),
government-to-employees, government-to-government and government-to-business.

"E-government" is the use of the ICTs in public administration - combined with organizational
change and new skills - to improve public services and democratic processes and to strengthen
support to public. The problem in this definition to be congruence definition of e-governance is
that there is no provision for governance of ICTs. As a matter of fact, the governance of ICTs
requires most probably a substantial increase in regulation and policy-making capabilities, with
all the expertise and opinion-shaping processes along the various social stakeholders of these
concerns. So, the perspective of the e-governance is "the use of the technologies that both help
governing and have to be governed". The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) based e-governance
projects are hugely successful in India. United Telecoms Limited known as UTL is a major player
in India on PPP based e-governance projects . Each project had mammoth state wide area
networks in these states.
Many countries are looking forward to for a corruption-free government. E-government is
one-way communication protocol whereas e-governance is two-way communication protocol.
The essence of e-governance is to reach the beneficiary and ensure that the services intended to
reach the desired individual has been met with. There should be an auto-response to support the

essence of e-governance, whereby the Government realizes the efficacy of its governance. Egovernance is by the governed, for the governed and of the governed.
Establishing the identity of the end beneficiary is a challenge in all citizen-centric
services. Statistical information published by governments and world bodies does not always
reveal the facts. The best form of e-governance cuts down on unwanted interference of too many
layers while delivering governmental services. It depends on good infrastructural setup with the
support of local processes and parameters for governments to reach their citizens or end
beneficiaries. Budget for planning, development and growth can be derived from well laid out egovernance systems
Government to Citizen
The goal of Government to Customer (G2C) e-Governance to is offer a variety of ICT
services to citizens in an efficient and economical manner, and to strengthen the relationship
between government and citizens using technology.
There are several methods of Government to Customer e-Governance. Two-way
communication allows citizens to instant message directly with public administrators, and cast
remote electronic votes (electronic voting) and instant opinion voting. Transactions such as
payment of services, such as city utilities, can be completed online or over the phone. Mundane
services such as name or address changes, applying for services or grants, or transferring existing
services are more convenient and no longer have to be completed face to face.

International Situation
The Federal Government of the United States has a broad framework of G2C technology
to enhance citizen access to Government information and services. Benefits.Gov is an official US
government website that informs citizens of benefits they are eligible for and provides
information of how to apply assistance. US State Governments also engage in G2C interaction
through the Department of Transportation, Department of Public Safety, United States
Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Education, and others.
As with e-Governance on the global level, G2C services vary from state to state. The Digital
States Survey ranks states on social measures, digital democracy, e-commerce, taxation, and
revenue. The 2012 report shows Michigan and Utah in the lead and Florida and Idaho with the
lowest scores. Municipal governments in the United States also use Government to Customer
technology to complete transactions and inform the public. Much like states, cities are awarded

for innovative technology. Government Technology's "Best of the Web 2012" named Louisville,
KY, Arvada, CO, Raleigh, NC, Riverside, CA, and Austin, TX the top five G2C city portals.
European countries were ranked second among all geographic regions. The Single Point of
Access for Citizens of Europe supports travel within Europe and eEurope is a 1999 initiative
supporting online government. Main focuses are to provide public information, allow customers
to have access to basic public services, simplify online procedures, and promote electronic
signatures.
Asia is ranked third in comparison, and there are diverse G2C programs between
countries. Singapores eCitizen Portal is an organized single access point to government
information and services. South Koreas Home Tax Service (HTS) provides citizens with 24/7
online services such as tax declaration. Taiwan has top ranking G2C technology including an
online motor vehicle services system, which provides 21 applications and payment services to
citizens.
Government-to-Citizen is the communication link between a government and private
individuals or residents. Such G2C communication most often refers to that which takes place
through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), but can also include direct
mail and media campaigns. G2C can take place at the federal, state, and local levels. G2C stands
in contrast to G2B, or Government-to-Business networks.One such Federal G2C network
is USA.gov: the United States' official web portal, though there are many other examples from
governments around the world.
A full switch to Government to Customer e-Governance will cost a large amount of money
in development and implementation. In addition, Government agencies do not always engage
citizens in the development of their e-Gov services or accept feedback. Customers identified the
following barriers to Government to Customer e-Governance: not everyone has Internet access,
especially in rural or low income areas, G2C technology can be problematic for citizens who lack
computing skills. some G2C sites have technology requirements (such as browser requirements
and plug-ins) that won't allow access to certain services, language barriers, the necessity for an email address to access certain services, and a lack of privacy.
Government to Employees
E-Governance to Employee partnership (G2E) Is one of four main primary interactions in the
delivery model of E-Governance. It is the relationship between online tools, sources, and articles
that help employees maintain communication with the government and their own companies. EGovernance relationship with Employees allows new learning technology in one simple place as

the computer. Documents can now be stored and shared with other colleagues online. Egovernance makes it possible for employees to become paperless and makes it easy for employees
to send important documents back and forth to colleagues all over the world instead of having to
print out these records or faxG2E services also include software for maintaining personal
information and records of employees. Some of the benefits of G2E expansion include:
1. E-Payroll- maintaining the online sources to view paychecks, pay stubs, pay bills, and
keep records for tax information.
2. E-benefits- be able to look up what benefits an employee is receiving and what benefits
they have a right to.
3. E-training- allows for new and current employees to regularly maintain the training they
have through the development of new technology and to allow new employees to train and
learn over new materials in one convenient location. E-learning is another way to keep
employees informed on the important materials they need to know through the use of
visuals, animation, videos, etc. It is usually a computer based learning tool, although not
always. It is also a way for employees to learn at their own pace through distance learning.
G2E is an effective way to provide E-learning to the employees, bring them together and to
promote knowledge sharing among them. It also gives employees the possibility of accessing
information in regard to compensation and benefit policies, training and learning opportunities
and civil rights laws. G2E services also includes software for maintaining personnel information
and records of employees.
G2E is adopted in many countries including the United States, Hong Kong and New Zealand.
Government to Government
From the start of 1990s e-commerce and e-product, there has rampant integration of eforms of government process. Governments have now tried to use their efficiencies of their
techniques to cut down on waste. E-government is a fairly broad subject matter, but all relate to
how the services and representation are now delivered and how they are now being implemented.
Many governments around the world have gradually turned to Internet Technologies (IT) in an
effort to keep up with todays demands. Historically, many governments in this sphere have only
been reactive but up until recently there has been a more proactive approach in developing
comparable services like e-commerce and e-business.
Before, the structure emulated private-like business techniques. Recently that has all
changed as e-government begins to make its own plan. Not only does e-government introduced a

new form of record keeping, it also continues to become more interactive to better the process of
delivering services and promoting constituency participation.
The framework of such organization is now expected to increase more than ever by
becoming efficient and reducing the time it takes to complete an objective. Some examples
include paying utilities, tickets, and applying for permits. So far, the biggest concern is
accessibility to Internet technologies for the average citizen. In an effort to help, administrations
are now trying to aid those who do not have the skills to fully participate in this new medium of
governance, especially now as e-government progressing to more e-governance terms
An overhaul of structure is now required as every pre-existing sub-entity must now merge
under one concept of e- government. As a result Public Policy has also seen changes due to the
emerging of constituent participation and the Internet. Many governments such as Canadas have
begun to invest in developing new mediums of communication of issues and information through
virtual communication and participation. In practice this has led to several responses and
adaptations by interest groups, activist, and lobbying groups. This new medium has changed the
way the polis interacts with government.
The purpose to include e-governance to government is to make means more efficient in
various aspects. Whether it means to reduce cost by reducing paper clutter, staffing cost, or
communicating with private citizens or public government. E-government brings many
advantages into play such as facilitating information delivery, application process/renewal
between both business and private citizen, and participation with constituency. There are both
internal and external advantages to the emergence of IT in government, though not all
municipalities are alike in size and participation.
In theory, there are currently 4 major levels of E-government in municipal governments:

The establishment of a secure and cooperative interaction among governmental agencies;

Web-based service delivery;

The application of e-commerce for more efficient government transactions activities,;

Digital democracy.

Overview
Government-to-Government

is

the

online

non-commercial

interaction

between

Government organisations, departments, and authorities and other Government organisations,


departments, and authorities. Its use is common in the UK, along with G2C, the online noncommercial interaction of local and central Government and private individuals, and G2B the

online non-commercial interaction of local and central Government and the commercial business
sector.
Objective
The strategic objective of e-Governance, or in this case G2G is to support and simplify
governance for government, citizens and businesses. The use of ICT can connect all parties and
support processes and activities. Other objectives are to make government administration more
transparent, speedy and accountable, while addressing the societys needs and expectations
through efficient public services and effective interaction between the people, businesses and
government
Government to Business
Government-to-Business (G2B) is the online non-commercial interaction between local
and central government and the commercial business sector with the purpose of providing
businesses information and advice on e-business 'best practices'. G2B:Refers to the conduction
through the Internet between government agencies and trading companies. B2G:Professional
transactions between the company and the district, city, or federal regulatory agencies. B2G
usually include recommendations to complete the measurement and evaluation of books and
contracts.
The objective of G2B is to reduce difficulties for business, provide immediate information
and enable digital communication by e-business (XML).In addition, the government should re-use
the data in the report proper, and take advantage of commercial electronic transaction protocol.
[24] Government services are concentrated to the following groups: human services; community
Services; judicial services; transport services; land resources; business services; financial Services
and other.[25] Each of the components listed above for each cluster of related services to the
enterprise.
Benefits for Business
E-government reduce costs, carry out all companies to interact with the government.
Electronic trading saves time compared to human doing business. No need for driving to
government and no waiting time. If the transaction is not completed, you can use the mouse to
click on the return trip rather than drive to the office. As more and more companies are doing
online conduct government business, and their transaction costs will be reduced. More technology
and less workers needed reduce the business cost.
E-Government provides a greater amount of information that business needed, also it makes those
information more clear. A key factor in business success is the ability to plan for the future.

Planning and forecasting through data-driven future. The government collected a lot of economic,
demographic and other trends in the data. This makes the data more accessible to companies
which may increase the chance of economic prosperity.
In addition, E-Government can help businesses navigate through government regulations
by providing an intuitive site organization with a wealth of useful applications. The electronic
filing of applications for environmental permits gives an example of it. Companies often do not
know how, when, and they must apply. Therefore failure to comply with environmental
regulations up to 70%, a staggering figure most likely to confusion about the requirements, rather
than the product of willful disregard of the law. The government should concern that not all
people are able to access to the internet to gain on-line government services. The network
reliability, as well as information on government bodies can influence public opinion and
prejudice hidden agenda. There are many considerations and implementation, designing egovernment, including the potential impact of government and citizens of disintermediation, the
impact on economic, social and political factors, vulnerable to cyber attacks and disturbances to
the status quo in these areas.
G2B rises the connection between government and businesses. Once the e-government
began to develop, become more sophisticated, people will be forced to interact with e-government
in the larger area. This may result in a lack of privacy for businesses as their government get their
more and more information. In the worst case, there is so much information in the electron
transfer between the government and business, a system which is like totalitarian could be
developed. As government can access more information, the loss privacy could be a cost.
The government site does not consider about "potential to reach many users including
those who live in remote areas, are homebound, have low literacy levels, exist on poverty line
incomes."
Examples

e-Tender Box (ETB) system- ETB system was developed by Government Logistics
Department (GLD) to replace Electronic Tendering System Users can use ETB system to
download the resources and gain the service from the GLD.

e-Procurement Programme- e-Procurement Programme provide a simple, convenient online ways for suppliers of the participating bureaux/departments (B/Ds) and suppliers of
Government Logistics Department and agree to provide the low-valued goods and service.

Finance and support for your business - UK Government provide the on-line financial help
for business including grants, loans, business guide, what's more, it also offer the funding for
the sunrise businesses(just start) or small scale firms.

Conclusion
The overall benefit of e-governance when dealing with business is that it enables business
to perform more efficiently. E-governance is a wonderful tool to bring transparency,
accountability and whistle blowing in India. However, it has its own share of challenges that
include administrative, legal and technological challenges. There may be instances where egovernance can itself be a source of corruption. Use of e-governance in India would also require
an efficient mechanism to deal with e-waste. Absence of privacy and data protection laws has also
created many hurdles before successful implementation of e-governance in India. However, the
biggest hurdle before Indian e-governance initiatives comes from poor cyber security in India.
According to techno legal experts, e-governance without cyber security is useless in India. In fact,
that makes the critical infrastructure of India vulnerable to sophisticated cyber attacks. Absence of
mandatory e-governance services in India is the main reason for apathy towards this crucial field.
As the usage of Information Technology is growing very fast, Indian government is making many
efforts to provide services to its citizens through e-Governance. Although Indian government is
spending a lot of money on e-Governance projects but still these projects are not successful in all
parts of India. Unawareness in people, local language of the people of a particular area, privacy
for the personal data of the people etc. are main challenges which are responsible for the
unsuccessful implementation of e-Governance in India. Government must take some actions to
make the people aware about the e-Governance activities so that people may take full advantage
of these activities and e-Governance projects can be implemented successfully. The participation
of people can play a vital role in implementation of e-Governance in India.
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