e-Governance necessary for citizens’ digital empowerment

NEW DELHI: “There is need to focus on strengthening of e-Governance, which is an important pillar of the Government’s ‘Digital India’ campaign - to digitally empower the administrative and Governance process for providing Citizen Centric Services,” said Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances secretary Devendra Chaudhury.


Inaugurating a workshop on ‘UN e-Government Development Index,’ Chaudhury highlighted the importance of process change, which can be effectively enabled by IT tools and consequential changes in approach to e-Governance as a business model similar to e-Commerce. 


Commending the government’s plans to transform governance, UN resident coordinator and resident representative of the United Nations Development Programme Yuri Afanasiev said, “e-Governance is like building a house. Build a strong foundation and everything works.”


In his view, the key challenge for the country was to deliver services to the last mile population, removing the digital divide, towards improving the quality of their lives. 


Acknowledging India’s progress, Inter-Regional Adviser on e-Government with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Richard Kerby said, “e-Government has to be a part of the national development strategy and sustainable development. While open data is a key to empowering people, it should support a bottom-up approach, with citizens contributing to the data collection process equally with governments.”


Electronics and IT additional secretary Tapan Ray stressed on the need to “integrate efforts across government to achieve the vision of a digitally empowered India.” 


A key focus of the workshop was to understand the United Nations e-Government Survey, which assesses e-Government development across all 193 member states of the UN launched in 2003. The global Survey has three components – Telecom Infrastructure Index, Human Capital Index and an Online Services Index. The Workshop threw up a number of innovative and transformative ideas of which the States have undertaken to serve the Citizens. 


The workshop featured presentations by four States, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh on innovative e-Governance initiatives launched by them to improve service delivery to citizens.

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