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Journal of E-Governance 36 (2013) 136142


DOI 10.3233/GOV-130349
IOS Press

Articles

Human factors affecting the adaptability of


e-governance the Indian public sector
Unnati Mishra and Manisha Sharma
Gautam Bhudda University, Greater Noida, India

Abstract. The public sector plays a very significant role in the development of any country, so it is very important that the
governance in these sectors should be very effective. E-governance is one of such initiatives, but as discussed by many researchers,
the human factors do affect the success or failure of any technological initiatives. Thereby, the present research is focused to
identify the human factors which play an important role as hindrances in adaptability of e-governance initiatives in Public Sectors
of India so that, by considering those factors in its implementation, the potential benefits may be achieved and good governance
may be established.
For the purpose, the primary data is collected from working people in the public sector organizations of NCR (National Capital
Region) of Delhi, India. Factor analysis method is used to identify the most important factors which affect the adoption of
e-governance initiatives which may further help the government in outlining these factors while implementing e-governance
initiatives.

1. Introduction
E-governance is a new area of study in the Information Systems field that is concerned with the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) by the
government agencies to electronically deliver its services (World Bank Definition). Government and public
sector organizations around the world are taking many
initiatives to reform their public administration organizations and deliver more efficient and cost effective
services, as well as better information and knowledge
to their stakeholders [7].
The Public Sector emerged as the driver of economic growth consequent to the industrial revolution in Europe. With the advent of globalization, the
public sector faced new challenges in the developed
economies [17]. It means the various economic, industrial and commercial activities are taken up by the central government, state government, union territories or
Corresponding author: Unnati Mishra, Gautam Bhudda University, Greater Noida, India. E-mail: unatti.mishra85@gmailcom.

local self-governments. The public sector, which has


entered into industrial and commercial activities in a
big way, has been set up and expanded in pursuance
of the Industrial Policy Resolutions of 1948 and 1956.
The main objectives of public sector enterprises are to
build a strong and sound base for heavy industries and
to create infrastructural facilities for self-reliance and
self-sufficiency in modern technological development.
It also focuses on greater welfare of the common man
and rise in his living standard through public ownership in the means of production and development by
preventing the concentration of wealth and economic
power in few hands [12].

2. Role of public sector in the development of


country
The Indian Public Sector has always played a dominant role in shaping the path of the countrys economic development. Prior to independence, the presence of the public enterprises was primarily confined to
Railways, Post and Telegraph and the Ordinance Fac-

c 2013 IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved


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U. Mishra and M. Sharma / Human factors affecting the adaptability of e-governance the indian public sector

tories. However visionary leaders of independent India drew up a roadmap for the development of Public
Sector as an instrument for the self-reliant economic
growth [12].
The public sector has been playing a vital role in the
economic development of the country. It is considered
as a powerful engine of economic development and an
important instrument for self-reliance. Filling the gaps
in capital goods, generating employment, balancing regional development and contributing to public exchequer is the main role of public sector in economy development. Apart from this, some public enterprises have
done much to promote Indias export. The State Trading Corporation (STC), the Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation (MMTC), Hindustan Steel Ltd., the
Bharat Electronics Ltd., the Hindustan Machine Tools,
etc., have done very well in export promotion. The foreign exchange earnings of the public sector enterprises
have been rising from Rs 35 crores in 196566 to Rs
42,264 crores in 200405. Public sector has laid strong
and wide base for self-reliance in the field of technical
know-how, maintenance and repair of sophisticated industrial plants, machinery and equipment in the country. Through the development of technological skill, it
has reduced dependency on foreign knowhow. With the
help of technological capability, public sector undertakings have successfully competed in the international
market [15].

3. E-governance in public sector of India


Looking at the importance of the role of public sector in the development of a country it is very important
that the governance in these sectors must be SMART
(Simple, Moral, Accountable, Responsive and Transparent), so that the objectives of public sector can be
achieved. The fruits of SMART governance are intended for various stakeholders of society i.e. citizens,
businesses, employees etc. E-Governance as a discipline has evolved in last one decade and is broadly
classified into Government to Citizens (G2C), Government to Businesses (G2B), Government to Government (G2G) and Government to Employees [16].
Before defining e-governance, it is important to
know about the proper meaning of governance. Governance is defined by UNDP [21] as the exercise of political, economic and administrative authority to manage a nations affairs. It is the complex mechanisms,
processes and institutions through which citizens and
groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal

137

rights and obligations, and mediate their differences.


The rapid development, deployment and proliferation
of the new and emerging information and communication technologies (ICTs) herald new opportunities for
better governance [13]. E-Government is the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to
improve the activities of government agencies [6]. Undoubtedly, e-Government has received more and more
importance and can provide a nonstop government information services to citizens, enterprises, public officers, government administrations and agencies over a
network [11]. E-government, which promises to make
government more efficient, responsive, transparent and
legitimate, is a technical, economic and social challenges, where wrong or short-sighted decisions can
waste resources [20]. Its strategy is a fundamental element in modernising the public sector, through identifying and developing organisational structure, the ways
of interactions with citizens and business, and reducing cost and layers of organisational business processes [8].
E-governance involves new styles of leadership, new
ways of debating and deciding policy and investment,
new ways of accessing education, new ways of listening to citizens and new ways of organizing and delivering information and services. It is defined as the application of information and communication technologies
to transform the efficiency, effectiveness, transparency
and accountability of informational and transactional
exchanges within government, between government
and government agencies of national, state, municipal
and local levels, citizen and businesses, and to empower citizens through access and use of information.
In other words e-Governance is the implementation
and delivery of government services through the information communication technology to provide transparent, effective, efficient, responsive and accountable
governance to the society [7].
E-governance is generally considered as a wider
concept than e-government, since it can bring a change
in the way how citizens relate to government and to
each other. The extant literature on public administration offers various conceptual definitions of both the
terms, however Sheridan and Riley [19] makes an interesting remark that e-governance and e-government
are often used interchangeably and also clarifies that
e-governance is a wider concept that defines and assesses the impact of technologies on the practice and
administration of government and the relationships
between public servants and the wider society. The
idea of adopting ICTs is to move beyond the passive

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U. Mishra and M. Sharma / Human factors affecting the adaptability of e-governance the indian public sector

information-giving to active citizen involvement in


the decision-making process. E-Governance can bring
forth new concepts of citizenship, both in terms of citizen needs and responsibilities. Its objective is to engage, enable and empower the citizen. Individuals and
organizations interacting directly or indirectly with the
government are known as the players of e-government.
These interactions can be named as Government-toGovernment (G2G), Government-to Business (G2B),
Government-to-Employee (G2E), and Government-toCitizen (G2C) [20].
Now days, e-Governance is considered as a high
priority agenda in India, as it is considered to be the
only means of taking IT to the Common Public [7].
But there are many factors in India which restrict or
create a challenge to develop and implement the egovernance. The previous studies shows that outcome
benefits are not acquired to that extent as they are expected to be, because of the factors like cost, institutional infrastructure, computer illiteracy and many
other [18]. There are many reasons behind the failure
of e-government initiatives. But human factors appear to play the biggest role in the success, or failure,
of e-government initiatives [10]. Human factors refer
to the human and individual characteristics which influence their behaviour at work [23]. In the reference to
the present paper, it can be described as the interaction
of the individuals with e-Governance initiatives.
The revolution in Information and Communications
Technology (ICT) has brought a whole new agenda
for governance into the realm of possibility. E-Ggovernance comprises decisional processes and the
use of ICT for wider participation of citizens in public affairs. Citizens are participants in e-Governance.
The purpose of implementing e-Governance is to improve governance processes and outcomes with a view
to improve the delivery of public services to citizens (Eleventh report of Second Administrative Reform Commission, 2008).
Implementation of e-government has changed the
way of working of public sector enterprises in many
countries. However, in India the implementation of egovernment is little difficult because of its developing
status. The government agencies find lot of difficulties
in the smooth implementation of e-government in India
because of low literacy, low per capita income, insufficient infrastructure and limited financial resource [6].
Indias central and state governments have tended to
follow a silo approach to e Governance - some implementation has taken place but has tended to be piecemeal and disjointed and, consequently, having little im-

pact. This has prevented the absolute necessity for the


benefits of IT to percolate to the grass root level and
has left the disjointed silos ineffective and (relatively)
unused [3].
Thus it shows that although there are many advantages of implementing an electronic government which
certainly improves the efficiency of the system by saving money and time and facilitates better communication between government and businesses but implementation of e-governance has its own share of problems as it may bring the fear of losing the person to person interaction which is valued by a lot of people. In a
country like India, the implementation of e-governance
has certain constraints also. As in India there are number of users who are illiterate and are not use to working on computer which may play as a hindrance to the
implantation of e-governance. Thereby this study particularly focuses on identifying the role of human factors in the implementation of e-governance in India.

4. Review of literature
Many studies have been conducted to assess the parameters leading to good governance and hindrances
coming in the way of e-governance. A brief review of
some of these studies along with research gaps is given
below:
According to Bhatt and Agrawal [1] ICTs do mobilize citizens for participation and are often influential in leader identification. The enablers of ICTs
to mobilize the voters include i) electoral system
support, ii) perceived social goodness concern of
the ICT initiatives and iii) design and regional language presence while hindrances of ICTs are lack
of support from the political party and the ruling
partys intervention over the ICTs initiatives.
Sharma et al. [18] discussed the challenges of eGovernance implementation in India and tried to identify strategies to make it effective in their research
paper. On the basis of secondary data from different
Indian government websites, and through reviews of
many related researches, the authors identified some
human factors like computer literacy level, qualitative
human resources, language and political issues as the
challenges of e-governance implementations. The key
strategy to make e-governance effective is the formation of right institution and agencies and identifying
the right human resources for the same. It is recommended that adequate management and governmental

U. Mishra and M. Sharma / Human factors affecting the adaptability of e-governance the indian public sector

experts are required for implementation rather technical. If we will compare language barriers with other
countries it is so easy in the part of those countries
that are having there single language like: America,
United States, Japan, all these countries having single
language to communicate which make it easy to implement. Government has to also consider this barrier to
reduce this challenge.
Gilbert et al. [9], investigated the factors related to
decision making when people consider and evaluate
the usage of an online e-government delivery mechanism. Trust, financial security, information quality
(all adoption barriers), time and money (both adoption
benefits) were identified to predict potential usage. The
willingness to use the online delivery option can be enhanced if the organizations develop trust relationships
with individuals, assure them that their financial details are secure, provide information that is relevant,
accurate and up-to-date, and save individuals time and
money.
Demopoulos [5] described that the lack of knowledge, the digital illiteracy, the development of ICT
skills, the culture, the attitudes, the beliefs are the factors which influence the adoption behavior of the person, he also mentioned that the nationality, whether
some citizens belong to a minority, the experience, the
age, the physical and mental state play an important
role.
Hamner [10] described various human factors as the
most occurring hindrances. According to them a veritable plethora of human factors affect the success, or
failure, of technology initiatives like E-Government.
These human factors include everything from simple
resistance to change and peer pressure to more complex factors brought about by the value pluralism that
exists in todays increasingly global society and its impact on technology acceptance.
Hwang et al. [11] have demonstrated the challenges
and obstacles in e-Government considered from four
aspects in their study: technical, political, cultural and
legal aspects. Lack of users confidence, threat of
users secret data and the right of privacy were some
identified factors as challenges and obstacles in eGovernment. Furthermore they suggested that the important principle easy-to-use has a great influence on
the success of e-Government. This principle could advertise and promote e-Government.
Signore et al. [20] explained that a critical obstacle
in implementing e-government is the citizens concern
on privacy of their life and confidentiality of the personal data they are providing as part of obtaining gov-

139

ernment services. The guarantee by government will


not suffice unless accompanied by technical solutions,
transparency of procedures and possibly independent
auditing. Privacy and confidentiality has to be highly
valued in establishing and maintaining web sites. Further they suggested in their research paper that the successful implementation of e-government requires a reconceptualization of government. As e-government becomes a reality, the public sector organizational structure will change accordingly both internally and externally. The focus of the change will be on the system efficiency and the citizens. The relevant issues will be to
have all the citizens well aware of the facilities offered
by the e-government infrastructure, and have them to
trust in it. This task may require appropriate marketing
actions and education of less skilled people.
Concluding the research on e-governance services
Choraria, Sapna [4] stated that the implementation of
e-governance projects at several locations in India has
already proved the effective, efficient and responsible
potentiality to serve the nation. With an ease of access, availability, transparency and speed, the system
has benefited both the parties viz. users and providers.
In-spite of providing numerous benefits, there are some
issues associated with its implementation resulting in
slow diffusion across the nation.
Moon [14] also concluded that to enhance the effectiveness of e-government practices, public sector organizations would need to move towards a higher level of
e-government development, which will require more
and highly trained technical staff. Moreover, without
fully developing staff capabilities, agencies stand to
miss out on the potential customer service benefits
presented by technology, so employees must have the
training and tools they need to do their jobs.
Ebrahim and Erani [8] found in their research survey that there are a number of barriers experienced in
public sector organizations that prevent the realization
of anticipated benefits and degrade successful adoption
of e-government projects. Lack of knowledge for security risks and consequences, lack of IT training programs in governmental organizations, shortage of well
trained IT staff, and other organization factors like lack
of coordination and cooperation between departments,
lack of effective leadership support and commitment
amongst senior public officials are some of the factors are some of the barriers which affect the adoption of e-governance initiatives. The authors also suggested that the technology itself would not guarantee
success with e-government but, it is necessary that any
e-government initiative must ensure that it has suffi-

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U. Mishra and M. Sharma / Human factors affecting the adaptability of e-governance the indian public sector
Table 1
Factors Drawn from Review of Literature

S. No.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.

Human factors
Lower Computer literacy
Qualitative Human Resources
Language Barrier
Political Issues
Distrust on Technology
Lack of Personal Interaction
Lack of Control on staff members
Lack of Personalisation
Lack of coordination and cooperation between departments
Lack of confidentiality and Safety
Lack of Knowledge about e-Governance initiatives
Cultural Issues
Unwillingness of citizens to use e-governance services

cient resources, adequate infrastructure, management


support, capable IT staff, and effective IT training and
support.
On the basis of the available literature, it can be said
that despite the potential benefits for the adoption of
e-government infrastructure in public sector organisations, such as efficiency improvements in processing
tasks and public administration operations, cost saving
on data collection and transmission, and improve business processes and services, there are a number of barriers restricting the implementation of e-government
infrastructure, which prevent the realization of benefits. The paper identifies and analyze significant barriers to the adoption of e-government.

5. Research methodology
The data for the study is obtained from the working people of various Public Sectors of the NCR (National Capital Region), India. A sample of 35 respondents was selected by the random sampling method.
An effort was made to include the respondent with different age group, educational status and the duration of
the experience in the field. These elements were taken
as the demographic characteristics of the respondent.
The factors impacting on the individuals intention
to use the technology self-service option have been
drawn from available research literature. On the basis the following identified factors by the various researchers, the questionnaire was developed. In which
two sections were designed; first was containing the
information related to demographic characteristics as
age, education and years of experience and in the second section, respondents were asked to rate the identified factors five point Likert Scale was used. These
identified factors are listed in Table 1.

Reference
Sharma et al. 2011, Ebrahim and Erani 2005, Delopoulos 2011
Sharma et al. 2011
Sharma et al. 2011
Sharma et al. 2011, Ebrahim and Erani 2005
Delopoulos 2011
Gilbert and Balestrinin 2005
Gilbert and Balestrinin 2005
Gilbert and Balestrinin 2005
Ebrahim and Erani 2005
Gilbert and Balestrinin 2005, Ebrahim and Erani 2005, Delopoulos 2011
Delopoulos 2011
Ebrahim and Erani 2005
Delopoulos 2011
Table 2
The Variance Contribution and Contribution Rate of Dominant Component Factor
Components
1
2
3
4

Variance
Contribution
Accumulated
contribution
rate (%)
contribution rate (%)
5.026
33.276
33.276
3.527
25.436
58.712
2.092
16.090
74.801
1.314
10.108
84.910

6. Factor analysis
To find out the underline factors of the analysis, factor analysis had been conducted. Before applying the
analysis, KMO and Barletts test of subcity has been
run to see the suitability of Factor Analysis. KMO
measures of sampling adequacy is 0.745 which shows
that Factor Analysis is significant for this data.
Table 2 that 13 leading questions of the questionnaire can be divided into four components called as
factors because the Eigen values of these four factors
are greater than 1. Rest of the factors have been ignored because their Eigen values are less than 1. The
total variance explained by these four factors is 85%
which meets the requirements for the number of factors and their contribution rate as the criterion for variance analysis is that the total contribution rate should
reach at least 80% [2].
Table 3 represents the rotated factor matrix which
explains the correlation between the attributes and the
related factor. The attributes have been divided into
four factors based on their correlation values and hence
the factor 1 consists of those attributes having correlation more than 0.65 [22]. Same is the criteria for factor 2. Factor 1 consists of lack of confidentiality and
safety, lack of personal interaction, an unwillingness to
use e-governance services and Language barriers. Factor 2 comprises lack of coordination and cooperation

U. Mishra and M. Sharma / Human factors affecting the adaptability of e-governance the indian public sector

141

Table 3
Rotated Component Matrix

1. lower computer literacy


2. Qualitative human resources
3. Language Barrier
4. political issues
5. Distrust on Technology
6. Lack of personal interaction
7. Control over other staff members
8. lack of personalisation
9. lack of coordination and cooperation between departments
10. Lack of confidentiality and safety
11. Lack of information about e-Governance initiatives taken by the organisations
12. Some cultural issues
13. An unwillingness to use e-governance services.

between departments, political issues, some cultural issues and lack of personalization. In Factor 3, lower
computer literacy and Distrust on Technology are included while factor 4 includes only qualitative human
resources.
These four factors also show the hierarchal presentation of the components according to their importance.
Lack of the confidentiality and safety, is found the most
important component and lack of personal interaction,
an unwillingness to use e-governance services and language barriers are respectively while qualitative human
resources is the less important component. These four
factors are renamed as Security and language obstruction, In-cooperation, Skepticism and Qualitative Human Resources.
Security and language obstruction factor was found
to be the most important factor which affects the adoption of technologies which includes lack of confidentiality and safety, lack of personal interaction and language barriers which creates an unwillingness of using these technologies. While in-cooperation between
the departments or organizations was found as the second leading hindrance factor which also includes personal and social conflicts, political issues, some cultural issues and lack of personalization in using the egovernance initiatives. Skepticism was the third most
important factor in which lack of knowledge for security risks and consequences and lower computer literacy creates a kind of distrust on technology. Qualitative human resource was also found to be the important
factor which includes shortage of well trained IT staff.

7. Conclusion and research implications


In order to reform the public sector, large number
of e-governance initiatives and projects are being im-

1
0.045
0.025
0.703
0.296
0.274
0.787
0.688
0.709
0.098
0.780
0.652
0.367
0.759

Component
2
3
0.037
0.910
0.065
0.114
0.300
0.411
0.742 0.034
0.420
0.757
0.017
0.116
0.398
0.288
0.509 0.070
0.814
0.251
0.156 0.009
0.335
0.453
0.649
0.232
0.258
0.289

4
0.141
0.947
0.116
0.104
0.125
0.234
0.162
0.480
0.106
0.087
0.067
0.072
0.131

plemented to establish the good governance to achieve


all the developmental targets of these enterprises. But
to ensure the success of these initiatives, it is important that employees working on these projects put in
their best efforts which have not been the case so far
in public sector organizations in India. Hence with the
help of this study, an attempt has been made to identify
the factors which obstruct the employees to work towards the successful implementation of e-governance.
These identified four factors; security and language obstruction, lack of cooperation, Skepticism and Qualitative human resource are very important human factors
which affect the adoption level of e-governance initiatives. In India, people have low education level, very
less knowledge about the computers and the English
language, because of that, instead of doing their work
on their own, individuals have to rely highly on the resource persons that could be a reason of feeling insecurity and lack of confidentiality that takes them back
to the old manual system of working. Most of the time
many political, personal or social issues among the departments generate an in-cooperative behavior which
causes the less use of e-governance initiatives or make
the misuse of these technologies. Both of these reasons together could also lead to the distrust on technology and a kind of skepticism over these initiatives.
In India the lack of well trained IT persons who are
not that much skilled and cooperative in nature is also
found as a big problem in the present study. Organizations are having scarcity of knowledgeable human resources who will properly manage their online website
and other e-governance initiatives and update it time to
time.
The contribution of this paper is to construct an integrated framework of the strategy for e-government implementation and preparing appropriate training pro-

142

U. Mishra and M. Sharma / Human factors affecting the adaptability of e-governance the indian public sector

grams for the employees of public sector of India. The awareness of these barriers is important for
any e-government project since they will alert the egovernment project team with any problems or challenges might be existed during the implementation process so they will be ready to overcome them. On the basis of the findings it can be concluded that the Government should consider these factors while implementing
e-governance initiatives, so that the potential benefits
may be achieved from these initiatives. On the basis of
these factors, the strategy may be outlined. The principal of easy to use and to provide these services in
local language can be very helpful in raising the adoption level of these initiatives. It is also necessary that
any e-government initiative must ensure that it has sufficient resources, adequate infrastructure, management
support, capable IT staff, and effective IT training and
support to ensure the success of such initiatives.

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Group of WHO Patient Safety, April 2009 Retrieved form
http://www.who.int/patientsafety/research/methods_measures
/human_factors/en/index.html Accessed on October 7, 2012.

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