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Some delays in e-Governance in India



NASSCOM, the apex industry association of software and service companies in India, sharing findings of its e-Governance study, said that the e-Governance market in India is gaining traction but there are challenges which are stalling its progress. According to NASSCOM, the e-Governance market is witnessing year-on-year growth and is estimated to be Rs. 1400 crores in size in 2001-02. The e-Governance market grew by 18% last year and is the highest growing vertical in the domestic IT market.

NASSCOM's analysis of e-Governance implementation undertaken in 10 key States revealed that the southern States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu are leading in terms of implementing projects at different citizen - Government interface points. Others like Kerela, Gujarat, Maharashtra, MP, West Bengal and Rajasthan, are catching up fast.

But, despite the islands of excellence, e-Governance has not been able to make rapid progress due to several operational, economic, personnel, planning & implementation issues. E-Governance in India has also focused heavily towards investing in hardware and very little on developing software and services, which could maximize hardware investments.

Hurdles in E-Governance

Operational hurdles

  • No clear revenue stream for the private sector
  • Lack of coherent government policies
  • Inappropriate processes for tendering,
  • RFPs and bid assessment

Economic

  • Governments unwilling to commit funding
  • No above-the-line treatment of IT spend
  • Viability of Public Private Partnership uncertain

Planning & Implementation

  • No clear roadmap with measurable milestones
  • Focus on computerization and hardware spend
  • Low emphasis on process re-engineering

Personnel

  • No champion identified for e-Governance
  • Lack of ownership of projects and frequency of personnel transfers high

The NASSCOM study has stressed that the government should first focus on bringing efficiency in governance through better use of technology. The study also suggests the government to clearly define an e-Governance strategy and a roadmap with measurable timelines which are currently not present.

NASSCOM Recommendations

Phase I: By the end of 2003

IT training should be mandatory for all Class I govt. personnel
Tendering and bid evaluation procedures should be rewritten
Fully operational NISG
NIC role should be clearly defined
Clear tenures for IT champions in Central and State levels

Phase II: By the end of 2004

Build state wide area networks
Ratio of PC: personnel to be 1:4 in all departments
Identify core national projects that need to be automated
Rollout national citizen ID cards
Computerization of land records in all states
State funding from Centre to be linked to e-gov spending

Phase III: By the end of 2005

Citizen services offered online in all states
50 percent of all government procurement should be online
Focus on developing applications for primary health, disaster mgt and education
Accelerate Public Private Partnership when core infrastructure and procedures in place
Secure multilateral funding to accelerate e-gov spending



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