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A virtual dream

The government of India has come up with National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) taking a holistic view of e-Governance initiative across the country integrating them into a collective vision and shared goal with the ultimate objective of bringing public services closer and in a more convenient manner to the public. E-Governance in India has evolved over a period of time and various state governments and ministries of central government are at different stages of implementation. What began as computerization of government department subsequently led to streamlining of processes through computer networking. Of late the Government Process Re-engineering and Change Management have acquired Citizen Centricity and Service orientation. The previous e-Governance initiatives played a very important role in shaping the e-Governance strategy of India. E-Governance helps in enhancing governmental relationships and facilitates fair and efficient delivery of service but it has to be based on open and democratizing principles. In the Indian context e-governance is being introduced to improve delivery systems and reduce bureaucratization. It has been effectively employed in service delivery apparatus in certain domains yet its contribution in many areas of public systems management is not significant and calls for a more interventionist approach. People are still not accepting it. Apart from the technical difficulties and the intricacies involved in implementing such mammoth venture, it needs to be mentioned that a more intensive and holistic effort needs to be made. The present situation in the state regarding the implementation of the novel initiative is far from satisfactory, and the public is still in the dark about the utilities and services it aims to provide them. Dissemination of information on the workings and functions of such initiatives to the general public is of paramount importance. A lackadaisical and non-committal attitude adopted by those responsible for the implementation and maintenance that has crept in almost every public initiative is arguably the most prominent roadblock in ensuring the success of such ventures. Initiatives and policies can deliver results only when backed by sincere efforts and proper involvement of implementing agencies. Further, creating a conducive culture through attitudinal reorientation is also required or else the initiatives are not properly accepted as is the case in many states in India. Nevertheless, it is interesting to note that comparatively backward states like Jharkhand are also effectively using e-governance initiatives to improve delivery systems in certain domains. It is keeping in view these aspects of e-governance that the Government of India has taken up the challenge of implementing e-governance in the most backward of the states. Yet the success or otherwise of such efforts will largely depend on the human factor. Technology, in whatever form or manner, needs human intervention and monitoring. The Government should make earnest efforts to ensure that the people assigned to such vitally important public initiatives be made responsible for the outcome, along with the authority to implement them. Till then, such efforts to virtualise governance will remain a virtual dream.

William Gurumayum

William Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since 2013. An avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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