The Need for Automation of G2C Front-end Services
August 27, 2018 In E-GOVERNANCEAn Assessment of the G2C Service Delivery Scenario: E-governance initiatives in India, have generally been confronted with a dual challenge – the first being the automating of government departments and the second being taking the online services to the common man. The western models of e-Governance, are not feasible for emulation for us, as statistically speaking out of our 1.2 billion population almost 70% reside in rural areas where the tele-density percentage is 33%. However, since we cannot do away with e-governance implementations or neglect the rural population, innovative solutions that are tailor-made for the Indian scenario is what is truly needed. The existing service disbursal system, unfortunately, is almost synonymous with delays and inefficiency. This can be attributed, largely to manual processes that require long approval workflows and also the capturing of redundant data via innumerable forms. The absence of a centralized database, has in the past meant minimal data sharing between government agencies, which has only exacerbated the difficulty for citizens looking to avail multiple government services. Recent initiatives by the government of setting Mission-Mode projects (MMPs) under the National e-Governance Plans (NGeP), are promising and have accordingly delivered a mixed outcome. In order for any G2C initiative to reach its objective, the following outputs need to be taken into consideration: ● Design and development of the integrated web portal ● Improving the capacity of relevant service-providers/citizens to implement/utilize e-Governance ● Development of outreach material for advocacy/awareness programs One of the core challenges thus, faced by the Citizen-Service initiatives, lies in the integration/automation of front-end (website/web services) and back-end. However, projects like eDistrict in Himachal Pradesh, eSeva in Andhra Pradesh, which acts as a one-stop shop for over various G2C and B2C initiatives in the state, with scores of centers across various towns, are successful examples of how automation of front-end services is possible without the digitization/automation of back-end. Thus, a logical solution which could help get many e-Governance initiatives get kick-started without further delay would be the breaking down of e-Governance projects, into various formative components and their digitization/automation could then be phased in, in accordance with the ease of implementation. The e-Governance scenario in India has come a long way since the launch of NICNET and with Digital India, the focus has now shifted to trying to extend the reach and impact of governance, on citizens at large. G2C initiatives are an important tool for enhancing the quality of government services to the citizens, bringing in more transparency, reduction in corruption/subjectivity, being cost-efficient, all the while making the government more accessible. Hence, the automation of front-end G2C services in the country is the need of the hour, to ensure good governance and maximize citizen benefits.