eGovernance in India

Improving eGovernance in INDIA

Knowledge panel unveils blueprint for e-governance

Posted by egovindia on May 28, 2006

Knowledge panel unveils blueprint for e-governance

By Indo Asian News Service

Bangalore, May 8 (IANS) The National Knowledge Commission (NKC), set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year, Monday came out with a slew of recommendations to usher in e-governance for improving delivery of public services and providing efficient and transparent administration.

'The game plan is to leave behind the legacy of the British raj, which has been perfected by the Indian bureaucracy, with a plethora of new layers and silos, each working within departmental boundaries and pet-priorities,' said NKC chairman Sam Pitroda.

Releasing the recommendations after a three-day brain-storming sessions here on e-governance efforts at the central and state levels, Pitroda told reporters here that a special group, under the chairmanship of Nandan Nilekani, a member of the panel and Infosys CEO, was formed to study e-governance.

'The recommendations have been given to the prime minister for implementation. The prime minister has responded positively. We have also advised the government to set up a high-level committee or inter-ministerial group to monitor their implementation in a time-bound manner,' Pitroda said.

The eight-member panel, consisting of Pushpa Bhargava, Deepak Nayyar, Ashok Ganguly, Jayati Gosh, Andre Beteille, Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Nilekani, prepared a detailed report with inputs from the planning commission, the ministry of communication and information technology (IT) and the administrative reforms commission.

'The NKC recognises e-governance is more an opportunity for administrative reforms than merely about electronics, IT and infrastructure. The recommendations pertain to processes and standards, infrastructure and organisation,' Pitroda pointed out.

Highlighting some of the recommendations, he said the panel envisaged an upfront investment of 50-70 billion ($1.1-1.5 billion) in introducing e-governance across the country.

Though a couple of state governments have already launched e-governance projects, while others are in the process of implementing their own projects, the panel favoured aligning them with the national e-governance programme recommended by it for seamless integration and inter-operability.

'The objectives of e-governance are: to reduce transaction costs and time, improve reach and quality of public services, increase transparency of government functioning and empower citizens, re-engineer processes to increase efficiency and productivity, and ensure the right people get the benefits,' the NKC report stressed.

Advocating a central organization with structures to operate in mission mode, with full autonomy and accountability, the panel said organizational issues related to re-engineering government processes with strong committed leadership, pre-defined deliverables, measurable milestones and periodic monitoring needed to be addressed in order to implement national e-governance programme within the next three-five years.

On evolving common standards, Nilekani said it was crtitical to develop and enforce citizen/business entitlement standards uniformly across all states and central ministries and functions, spanning voting, taxes, certificates, financial products, law-enforcement and welfare for individuals, properties of land, institutions, businesses, etc.

For implementing the national e-governance programme, the NKC has recommended a nationwide secure broadband infrastructure and associated hardware, software and hosting facilities, with easy access at all levels.

The panel also favoured use of open source for software implementation and standards, wherever possible, keeping in view its advantages such as cost-effective solutions, greater scalability and reduce delays caused by repeat tendering.

Copyright Indo-Asian News Service

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One Response to “Knowledge panel unveils blueprint for e-governance”

  1. […] Knowledge panel unveils blueprint for e-governance […]

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