eGovernnce and Digital Citizens – The GameChanger for India Going Slow

July 2, 2013 · Author: · Category: technology 

Digitizing India has the potential to reduce bureaucratic hurdles in starting and running businesses in India. Making interfaces more customer friendly [eTax Filing and eCash disbursement], introducing and publicizing penal action and consolidating data across platforms will make governing India easier and possibly a lot cheaper. More important, the data that is generated needs to be made public in a format that can be understood by humans and machines: High-quality data coupled with in-depth analysis can lead to significantly improved outcomes.

Getting the hardware, software and bandwidth in place
An important element of the digital revolution will be the ability of the common man to access it. (1) Hardware availability, (2) bandwidth constraints and (3) user charges remain prominent constraints even as the Government has begun to address some of these issues. India plans to install a broadband optic fiber network to connect 250,000 Gram Panchayats as part of the National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) scheme. Funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund, the scheme will leverage cables already laid by BSNL, RailTel and Power Grid.

Customer is the king – Govt must Realize
The Government has shown its intent by bringing various legislations on speed and digitization of services that we discussed earlier. The consumer himself needs to get more active in demanding services and more important, information that is generated in providing the service.

It is important to note that it is not only for “paid services” (like a train ticket) that digitization and data availability should be made mandatory. In many cases, the Government spends large sums of money in collecting data or simply providing services. For example, weather data collected from all reporting stations or the base data generated in all NSSO surveys can be made available.

Using the processing power of the citizenry and sundry analysts, the cost of converting data into information can be widely spread. The upshot of giving up on “privacy” is that there will be significant data that can be used to see trends and patterns that can be used in many applications.

e-governance can help private entrepreneurs and businesses to develop new products and services. We have already seen how the GPS and weather data spawned new businesses. More available data can help in designing newer business models. Simply knowing when the farmer has come to sell his produce at a mandi (at say MSP to FCI), for instance, can offer business intelligence to agri-processors.

The Government must come out of the Corrupt Mindset as is evident from the Largest Scams[2G Spectrum, CWG, Coal, etc] in Global History and focus on delivering services to citizens at a faster pace creating more vibrant environment for business and living.

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