E Government In India: Opportunities And Challenges

4714 words - 19 pages

Monga, A. (2008). E-government in India: Opportunities and challenges, JOAAG, Vol. 3. No. 2

E-government in India: Opportunities and challenges
Anil Monga1

Abstract Public administration, governed by bureaucratic structures built on rationale principles, that dominated the twentieth century, has failed to respond to the changing requirements of the present times. E-governance, which is a paradigm shift over the traditional approaches in public administration, means rendering of government services and information to the public using electronic means. This new paradigm has brought about a revolution in the quality of service delivered to the citizens. It has ushered in transparency in ...view middle of the document...

With the rising awareness amongst the citizens and their better experiences with the private sector – the demand for better services on the part of government departments became more pronounced. The infusion of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has played a prominent role in strengthening such a demand. The metamorphosis in the quality of delivery of services to the citizens by the government has been more pronounced in recent years with the advent of e-governance. E-governance, which is a paradigm shift over the traditional approaches in Public Administration, means rendering of government services and information to the public using electronic means. This new paradigm has brought about a revolution in the quality of service delivered to the citizens. It has ushered in transparency in the governing process; saving of time due to provision of services through single window; simplification of procedures; better office and record management; reduction in corruption; and improved attitude, behavior and job handling capacity of the dealing personnel. The present study substantiates these theoretical assumptions about e-governance by analyzing some experiences at the Union as well as State Government Level in India. Public Administration, governed by bureaucratic structures built on rationale principles, that dominated the twentieth century, has failed to respond to the changing requirements of the present times. It is so because it tended to be rigid, laid too much emphasis on red-tapism; sap creativity; thwarted initiative; wore out dynamism and denied justice as of resultant delays. In addition the focus was more on following procedures and keeping records. Consequently the government moved at snails pace, that too, after guzzling scarce public resources. This criticism seems to be harsh and overstated, but it brings the sordid and murky picture of the system to light. The clarion call is revamp the government and the archaic governance system. Most of the advanced countries including United Kingdom (UK), Australia, Canada, Newzeland, and United States of America (USA) have adopted series of measures under a new model based on market principles. This new model has several names such as: ‘managerialism’, ‘new public management’; ‘market based public administration’; ‘the post bureaucratic paradigm’; or ‘entrepreneurial government’ (Huges, 1998). Though these appear to be different terms yet they convey the same message i.e. replace the traditional bureaucratic model with a new model. Have faith in market principles: cut costs; reduce budgets; improve public managements, simplify rules and procedures; check corruption; inject transparency; and strengthen market forces by minimizing the role of the state. To make the new system more effective and ensure efficacy, the use of information technology in the governance process is emphasized. No doubt, India has introduced these global trends/ measures in 1990, but no sincere exercise has been...

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