eGovernance in India

A flurry of articles on eGovernance in today’s Financial Express:

eSeva: From a mere 4,800 transactions a month in August 2001 to a whopping 7.5 lakh transactions a month in February 2003: e-Seva, the Andhra Pradesh government’s pet Government to Citizen (G2C) utilities service project has come of age….A project, which started with less than 10 services in 2001, now e-Seva offers nearly 43 services, ranging from payment of utility bills to issuing of certificates, permits to licenses, reservation of buses to B2C services. e-Seva, which has been serving citizens in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, is set to spread its wings to all the 23 districts before the end of this year.

Saukaryam: “Saukaryam in Vishakapatnam is among the very few projects using the Net effectively to connect citizens to civic administration in real time. People can settle their bills online, check the status of building and water supply plans, receive information on births and deaths, track garbage clearance, even scan tender notices….The idea behind the project is to track every service that is offered by the corporation online, from taxation to public works to city sanitation. Citizens can check on their property dues, or the status of garbage collection and access birth and death records, while a builder can track the status of his building application. Among other features, the site contains information on infrastructural work being taken up by the corporation, tender notices for contractors, and information on the city weather, news, places to visit, bus and train timings, etc. Also, it offers a discussion forum for people.”

Maharashtra: “In the face of stiff competition from Karnataka and AP, Maharashtra government is all geared up for a municipal administration network, covering a record 20 municipal corporations and 220 municipalities. The municipal administration network (MAN), which is all about making the civic administration people-friendly, would be a collaborative effort by the state government and civic bodies. It would be implemented in the 60:40 revenue sharing basis.”

eGovernance: “Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has proposed the idea of setting up a `special technical committee’ to undertake replication of successful IT solutions initiated by some states in a bid to achieve good governance in the country…With the Central government agreeing to allocate Rs 12,000 crore funds for taking up e-governance projects to all the state governments, the Union ICT ministry should better evaluate through a technical committee before duplicating the same, Mr Naidu urged…Awards were presented for the Best Citizen-centric project award to Maharashtra’s Project SETU and Gujarat’s Mahila Shakti; Best Revenue System award to Maharashtra Project Sarita; Best Website award to Maharashtra PWD and Best Office Efficiency Project award to Mumbai Naval Dockyard.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.