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E-GOVERNANCE

S.No. TOPIC Page No.

1 Introduction 3
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• The Need of E-Governance 3
• Objective of e-Governance
4
• Concept and definition of E-Governance
• e-Government and e-Governance 4
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1 Components of E-Governance 5
.
• Political Component. 5
• Technological Component.
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• Social Component.
• Cultural Component. 6
• Psychological Component.
• Service Component. 6

Interactions among Various Components 6


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1 Stages of E-Governance 7
.
• Presence 7
• Interaction
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• Transaction
• Transformation 7
a) Cataloguing
b) Transaction 7
c) Vertical integration 7
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d) Horizontal integration 8
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1 Benefits of e-Governance 9
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2 E -governance, Continuity Forces and Change Forces 11
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3 Case Specific Analysis 11
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• KISSAN Kerala 11
• K-AgriNet 12
1 Conclusion 12
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2 References 13
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"Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you have seen, and
ask yourself, if the steps you contemplate are going to be of any use to him.
Will he gain anything by it? Will it restore to him control over his own life and
destiny?"
... Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation, India.
INTRODUCTION
E-Governance is a broader topic that deals with the whole spectrum of the relationship and networks
within government regarding the usage and application of ICTs. e-Government is a narrower
discipline dealing with the development of online services to the citizen, more the ‘e’ on any particular
government service – such as e-agriculture, e-passport, e-tax, e-transportation or e-health. Critical
Success Factors Overall Vision and National e-Strategy, Political Will, Full ownership and support of
Chief Executive Officer and senior staff, Effective and Appropriate Project Management, ICT
Infrastructure (telephones, broadband connectivity, computers and ELETRICITY), Access (within
reach distance as well economic), Education of Clients, Participation of Clients, Culture, Cooperation
and Collaboration with Private Sector, Technology, Human Resources, Finances and appropriate
Legal Framework are some of the critical success factors for e-Governance to succeed.

The need of E-governance arose by the government for perfect information service delivery system,
which would NOT require him to:
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• Fill up same data in multiple forms at multiple places
• Visit Government departments, multiple times for information requirements
• Go to multiple places to seek desired information at times convenient to Government
functionary
• Stand in “Q” and wait for his turn
• Prove that information obtained by him /her is accurate and up to date
• Struggle to get contact details of right officials to address his queries
• To grumble that his voice was not heard while framing Govt. policies for providing services
to him.

The Need for E-Governance


An e-Governance Project of the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation to facilitate Indian
agriculture -on-line with the following:
• To strengthen and create ICT infrastructure for efficient management and exchange of
information
• To empower human resources through IT training for increased productivity
• To provide online information to the Field Units for effective collaboration in decision-
making
• To bring transparency in the operations of the Directorates
• To develop INTRANET for sharing of resources and information across the Department of
Agriculture and Cooperation, Directorates and Field Units
• To develop applications to improve processing and delivery of information to Government
Organisations, farming community, other stakeholders and common citizen
• To develop Portal for providing single point access to information pertaining to Indian
Agriculture
• To provide Email and Internet access for fast communication and exchange of information at
global level.
• To facilitate building Decision Support Systems using Data Warehousing and Data.
• Mining for effective utilization of information and efficient decision-making.
• To simplify business process.
• To eliminate time delay in processing
• To disseminate information through the Internet to Government and citizens.

Objectives of e-Governance
• To support and simplify governance for government, citizens and businesses. The use of
ICTs can connect these three segments and support processes and activities.
• To make government administration more transparent, speedy and accountable, while
addressing the society’s needs and expectations through efficient public services and
effective interaction between the people, businesses and government.

Concept and Definition of e-Governance


E-governance refers to the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), particularly
web based applications, to provide access to and deliver information / service to the public, business,
other agencies and governmental entities faster, cheaper, easier and more efficiently. This in turn
enhances relationships, enlarges the overall customer base and improves core business operations

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through reexamination of internal processes. e-Governance is defined by M. Backus, as the
“application of electronic means in
(a) Interaction between government and citizen and between government and businesses, and
(b) In internal government operations to simplify and improve democratic, government and business
aspects of governance”.
• The term ‘electronic means’ above stands for Internet and other ICT applications;
• The term ‘interaction stands’ for delivery of government products and services, exchange of
information, communication, transactions, and system integration.
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e-Governance and e-Government
e-Governance and e-Government are two very distinct terms. Whereas e-Governance is a broader
topic that deals with the whole spectrum of the relationship and networks within government
regarding the usage and application of ICTs, e-Government is a narrower discipline dealing with
the development of online services to the citizen, i.e. government services – such as e-agriculture, e-
passport, e-tax, e-transportation, e-health, etc. E-Governance is a wider concept that defines and
assesses the impact that technologies are having on the practice and administration of governments
and the relationships between public servants and the civil society, and dealings with the elected
bodies or outside groups, such as not-for-profit organizations, NGOs or private sector corporate
entities. E-Governance encompasses a series of necessary steps for government agencies to develop
and administer, in order to ensure successful implementation of e-government services to the public
at large.
E-Government or Electronic Government is the delivery of more convenient, customer-oriented and
cost effective public services and sharing of information through electronic media. Specifically, e-
Government harnesses information and communication technologies (such as Wide Area Networks,
the Internet, and mobile computing) to transform relations with citizens, businesses, and other arms
of government. E-government is an administration where citizens can avail of government services
such as land records, filing of tax, etc, E-Government is also defined as the use of Information and
Communication Technologies to provide better government services. It refers to more efficient,
more transparent and potentially two-way information flow between the government and citizens. E-
Governance is socially inclusive governance with the promise of good governance and effective
participation and inclusion of citizens.

E-Governance is the development, deployment and enforcement of the policies, laws and
regulations, necessary to support the functioning of a Knowledge Society as well as of e-
Government. E-Governance brings about ‘anytime anywhere access’ to the citizen. E-governance is
about transforming the relationship between governments and their citizens through the use of
information technologies, and that E-government is about delivering government services using
information technologies.

COMPONENTS OF E-GOVERNANCE
The following components of e-governance have been identified:
1. Political Component with Enactment dimension.
2. Technological Component with Electronic dimension.
3. Social Component with Egalitarian dimension.
4. Cultural Component with Ethical dimension.

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5. Psychological Component with Extensional dimension.
6. Service Component with Empowerment dimension.

1. Political Component with Enactment dimension.

The political system is essential aspect of governance. It holds responsibility of rationalizing various
operative frameworks by enacting laws. This helps to maintain & sustain the cohesive force that is
required by society to integrate its people and abide them to follow a uniform policy to fulfill their
targets. This refers to the importance of “e” of enactment of laws to stop society from disintegration.

2. Technological Component with Electronic dimension.

This relates to educate people who are in the bureaucratic structure or outside its periphery regarding
use of electronic means to develop better connectivity within and with the system. It requires use of
computers
• in developing the data-base,
• in networking to facilitate the communication and
• in creating e-knowledge workers so as to increase their potentiality.
This focuses on “e” of electronic knowledge and its proper utilization.

1. Social Component with Egalitarian dimension.


The fundamental duty of any government is to educate a society which is based on the principles of
equality and justice. A society which is classless with no distinction between haves and haves-not,
where nobody is marginalized from the main stream, and is committed to provide a respectful essence
of life to its people without any discrimination of cast or race must be set up. This is possible when
people are aware of their rights & duties on the one hand, and know about the governmental policies
made for them on related issues on the other, hence a vigilant society can be evolved where they can
raise their voices by questioning the governmental decisions. This would help in attaining the “e” of
egalitarian society with thrust on equality

2. Cultural Component with Ethical dimension.


With the advent of the era of knowledge explosion there is a need to reorient some of the value
patterns without eroding the fundamental normative structure of any social system. The need to create
value patterns conducive for e-governance to operate focusing on work ethos therefore cannot be
denied. Thus to work out the ethical framework is the key to move further by discarding obsolete set
of values that come in the way of potential utilization. Thus “e” of ethical framework has to be the
focal point in constructing a morality-based system.

3. Psychological Component with Extensional dimension.


Developing required psyche so as to facilitate formation and inculcation of right type of attitudes in
the people is prerequisite for efficiency. Apart form this; readiness to connect to people, to listen to
their queries, to look for solutions, to improve communicative skills etc. will be necessary elements for
behavioral modifications. Hence personality adjustments must be carried out to cater to the needs of
common man. This specifically relates to “e” of extension of self so as to have constructive
collaborative social relationships.

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4. Service Component with Empowerment dimension.
The ultimate function of any welfare government is to serve. As a provider of good services to its
people it has to assimilate the basic needs and also expectations of common man in to the
documentation of policy, which then has to be implemented in the right spirit. This develops a
constant pressure on the government to respond to public demands as this leads to the realization of
power they can exercise on government to maintain impartiality, integrity and transparency in its
functioning. This explains “e” of empowerment of people in any system.

Interactions among Various Components


The above components are not only interdependent but are also interrelated with each other in the way
that output of one component becomes input of the other component. Thus a relationship of all
purpose type emerges which gets substantiated by assimilating the impact of external forces. A
schematic representation is self explanatory in this regard. The definitive interrelationships between
the various components reciprocate e-Governance in such a way that resultant impact would be the
transformation of society in to one that has right knowledge, right morality, and right way of
perpetuating practicing ethos.

Figure 1: Ecology of E-Governance

STAGES OF E-GOVERNANCE
Stages of E-Governance refer to the degree of progress made by a Government towards the ultimate
e governance goal. There are a number of models on maturity stages of government service delivery
and available methodologies to measure it. The e-Government matures in four stages namely
a) Presence
b) Interaction
c) Transaction
d) Transformation

a) Presence
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Web site that lists cursory information about an agency, such as hours of operation, mailing address,
and/or phone numbers, but has no interactive capabilities.

b) Interaction
Provides simple interactions and generally revolve around information provision, designed to help the
customer avoid a trip to an office or make a phone call by making commonly requested information
and forms available round the clock.

c) Transaction
Provides citizens the facility for self-service operations by allowing to complete electronically entire
tasks such as license renewals, paying taxes and fees, and submitting bids for procurement contracts.
The activities still involve primarily a one-way flow of information.

d) Transformation
The highest order of evolution for e-government initiatives which facilitates seamless flow of
information and collaborative decision making between all levels of government and private partners
by removing organizational barriers. The most comprehensive and widely used model is the one
suggested by Layne and Lee (2001). According to Layne and Lee model e-government is an
evolutionary phenomenon and it evolves in four stages of growth. The four stages outline the
structural transformation of e-Governance services and interactions as they progress towards fully
integrated and amalgamated with the traditional public administration. These stages are:
1. Cataloguing
2. Transaction
3. Vertical integration
4. Horizontal integration

1. Cataloguing
The first stage is called ‘cataloguing,’ because efforts are focused on cataloguing government
information and presenting it on the web. The initial efforts of governments are focused on
establishing an on-line presence for the government. Many state governments’ efforts on web
development and forms-on-line initiatives belong to this stage. Examples of functionalities at this
stage are mostly limited to on-line presentations of government information. Towards the end of this
stage, mostly pushed by citizens’ demands, governments begin to establish index pages or a localized
portal site in which scattered electronic documents are organized so that citizens can search for and
view detailed government related information and download necessary forms.

2. Transaction
While the cataloguing stage helps citizens’ fact-finding process, this transaction stage e-government
presents government on the other side of the Internet as an active respondent. It is now a two-way
communication. As government websites evolve, officials as well as citizens come to realize the value
of the Internet as another service channel for citizens and want to exploit it. Citizens demand to fulfill
government requirements on-line instead of having to go to a specific location to complete paperwork.
Electronic transactions offer a better hope for improved efficiency for both the customer and the
agency than simply “cataloguing information.” providing the opportunity for a broader democratic
process by holding interactive conversations with constituents who are reluctant or unable to attend
public hearings. This stage empowers citizens to deal with their governments on-line anytime, saving
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hours of paperwork, the inconvenience of traveling to a government office and time spent waiting in
line. At this stage, citizens can be served on-line by ‘e-government.’

3. Vertical integration
This stage may be integrated as a central database or a connected web of databases communicating
with each other. The focus now moves toward transformation of government services, rather than
automating and digitizing existing processes. After on-line transaction services become prevalent and
mature, citizens’ expectations will increase. Most transaction stage systems are localized and
fragmented. A natural progression will be the integration of scattered systems at different levels
(vertical) and different functions (horizontal) of government services. Agencies often maintain
separate databases that are not connected to other governmental agencies at the same level or with
similar agencies at the state and national level. For example, a state input-dealer license database is
often separate from a local (district level) business license database. Further, that state license system
is probably not connected to the state vendor database. It is expected that vertical integration within
the similar functional walls but across different levels of government will happen first, because the gap
between levels of government is much less than the difference between different functions/ ministries.
Many state government departments interact more closely with their central government and district
counterparts than other departments at the same level of government. Consequently, at stage three
central, state and local counterpart systems are expected to connect or, at least, communicate to each
other. If a citizen conducts a transaction with a state agency, the transaction information will be
propagated to district and central government counterparts. These various levels of systems are
connected and talk to each other so that results of transactions from one system can be interchanged
with another system.

4. Horizontal integration
Horizontal integration refers to system integration across different functions in that a transaction in
one agency can lead to automatic checks against data in other functional agencies. The limitations of
the functional nature of both the public and private sector will become clearer as more public
administrators begin to see the vision opened by the Internet. Citizens requiring assistance from
governments need more than one service. Those requiring housing also need governmental assistance
for education, food, medical attention, etc. To overcome this problem, some state governments provide
one stop service centers where, for example, the homeless can come and obtain information about
jobs, etc. Governments continually fight the battle of getting services to the people who need them the
most. The horizontal integration of the stage four will considerably improve those efforts. Databases
across different functional areas will communicate with each other and ideally share information, so
that information obtained by one agency will propagate throughout all government functions. In
addition, citizens could conduct business across a wide variety of requirements. As an example, when
a citizen applies for a driver’s license after moving to another state, the basic residence record could be
propagated to different functional service branches of government such as the health and the district
level election department so that the citizen does not have to fill out a personal record form for each
governmental agency.

BENEFITS OF E-GOVERNANCE

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E-Governance was initiated worldwide to improve speed, transparency, efficiency and reliability of
the Government services. The basic premise to undertake e-Governance initiatives was to harness the
advantages of ever-enlarging network and reach of Internet for improving reach, timeliness, credibility
and consistency of Government services. E-governance offers the potential to bring citizens closer to
their governments. Regardless of the type of political system that a country has, the public benefits
from interactive features that facilitate communication between citizens and government. The scope as
well as potential benefits of e-Governance are increasing with enrichment of e-services by various
departments/agencies. The following are direct benefits of e-Governance:

• Faster, easier, more convenient service


• Convenience, Near to Home, more services at one place
• Faster processing, shorter wait, shorter queues at Government offices
• Less number of trips to government offices
• Better interaction environment; No harassment
• Reduced transport cost
• Avoids wage loss for daily-wage earners
• Better quality service
• More accurate and legible documents, easy recovery from errors,
• Lesser corruption, increased transparency
• Improved access to offices (nearer home, 24x7 or at least 12X6, in place of limited number
of working hours or only on working days) and functionaries no intermediaries

The derived benefits of e-Governance services, as the back-end procedures and databases are also
linked to services include:
• Improved complaint handling, complaint tracking
• Introduces transparency in data, decisions/actions, rules, procedures and performance of
Govt. agencies
• Automates processes to take away discretion
• Reduces arbitrariness in decision making
• Entry point for simplification of rules and reengineering processes
• Makes decisions traceable- tracks actions
• Builds accountability- greater access to information through web publishing-role of civil
society
• Provides documentation to citizens for follow up
• Tracks procedural/ human delays
• Easier to fix responsibility/ accountability
• Modularizes Tasks Making Outsourcing Possible
• Introduces competition amongst delivery channels and departments
• Standardized documentation of comments/ objections leads to effective supervision- through
comparative indicators
• Centralizes data for better audit and analysis Integration of data across applications-provides
improved intelligence

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• Enables unbiased sampling for audit purposes

Further, there are social benefits of e-Governance projects and services as it induces increased skill
and knowledge among the young and curious citizenry. E-Governance creates more job
opportunities at grass-root level. Just like the PCO (Public Call Offices) revolution in
telecommunications created over a million jobs in 90s, the Community Services Centres (CSCs) are
potential creator of over two million jobs in next five years, if the 1,00,000 CSCs are made
operational by Ministry of Information Technology, as planned.

E-GOVERNANCE, CONTINUITY FORCES AND CHANGE FORCES

Figure 2: E-governance in Agriculture and Continuity Forces

Figure 3: E-governance in Agriculture and Change Forces

CASE SPECIFIC ANALYSIS


a) KISSAN Kerala
b) K-AgriNet

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a) KISSAN Kerala – is an integrated, multi-modal delivery of agricultural information system,
which provides several dynamic and useful information and advisory services for the farming
community across Kerala. It is one of the leading citizen centric e-governance projects of the
Department of Agriculture, Govt. of Kerala. The basic requirement of this project is to
provide "Right Information to the Right Person(s) at the Right Time in the Right Place(s)
and in the Right Context" dynamically using a combination of advanced technology portal,
Television based mass media programs, telephone based call centre, Mobile SMS based
advisory and broadcast service, dedicated online agri video channel provides video on demand
service etc, which, involves effective collaboration of experts from key organizations for
effective information delivery and knowledge empowerment on demand seamlessly to all
farmers in Kerala.

The project is unique in many ways. The major achievements are:


• KISSAN Kerala portal (a multi lingual portal with dynamic advisory service) with rich content
and having more than 2.5 lakhs visitors (www.kissankerala.net)
• KISSAN krishideepam : An agricultural based weekly television program has completed the
production and telecast of 292 unbroken weekly episodes during the last 5.5 years with more
than 35 lakh regular viewers
• KISSAN Tele-advisory services : A dedicated call centre services, which provides
personalized advisory to any farmer
• KISSAN Online Video channel : A dedicated online video channel for agriculture (
• KISSAN SMS based advisory service : A fastest and cheapest medium of providing agri
advisory services through mobile. The project offers SMS based query management services,
location specific alert services etc for the farmers.

a) K-AgriNet : K-AgriNet is “an e-government funded program supported by the Commission


of Information and Communications Technology (CICT) aim(s) at developing and modernizing
the country’s agricultural sector.” K-AgriNet, seeks to address demands for “more advanced
and proactive approach” to modernize the country’s agricultural sector through the use of
ICTs3. Its website lists the objectives of the program as:
• To contribute in creating a modernized and socially-equitable agriculture and fisheries sector
by improving access to information and modern and indigenous technology through the use of
information and communications technology (ICT);
• To improve the status and raise the quality of life of rural farmers/fisher folk and the lives of
their families in the context of a well-informed, information driven, and digitally connected
• agriculture and fisheries sector ushering a shift from a traditional to a knowledge –intensive
farm management;
• To link policymakers, researcher, service providers, markets, business organizations, and farm
communities in an open environment.
K-AgriNet’s accomplishments are in the aspects of interconnectivity, systems development, capacity-
building, social mobilization, and program management.

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CONCLUSION
Governments all over the world are trying to implement e-Governance for strengthening interfaces
with citizens. The complexities involved in the implementation of e-Governance projects and low
success rates of such projects suggest that e-Governance is more of a managerial issue than the
technological one. The continuity forces operating in the agriculture sector are identified as agrarian
base, resource poor farmers, federal constitution, culture, institutional framework, centralized planning
and investment in technology. The change forces are identified as growing emphasis on decentralized
planning, liberalization, globalization, agricultural reforms and ICT induced opportunities. Principles
of flowing stream strategy have been used to illustrate how the momentum of continuity in agriculture
sector can be steered using levers of change forces for the benefit of farming community while
implementing e-Governance.
E-governance refers to the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), particularly web
based applications, to provide access to and deliver information / service to the public, business, other
agencies and governmental entities faster, cheaper, easier and more efficient. E-Government can
advance the agenda on Governance reform, transparency, anti- corruption, and empowerment.
Potential of e-Governance is recognized but implementation is difficult and has many dimensions.
Gains are real but risks need to be understood. Challenge is to promote wide spread use in areas where
benefits outweigh risks. ‘Stages’ of e-governance refer to the degree of progress made by a
Government towards the ultimate e-governance goal.

The National Agriculture Policy as well as National e-Governance Plan have laid emphasis on use of
ICT for rapid growth of agriculture and generating value at the grassroots. Considering government as
a large enterprise, it is observed that there are high continuity and change forces operating in the
agriculture sector. The e-Governance strategy for the agriculture sector should, therefore, be capable
of exhibiting strategic flexibility to simultaneously integrate the opposing forces. It is required to
leverage the momentum generated by continuity forces and opportunities created by change forces to
meet the challenge of implementing effective and efficient e-Governance in the agriculture sector as
illustrated through examples based on the principles of flowing stream strategy.

REFERENCES
1. Ajith K. R., eAgriculture India 2009 Award for the ICT Enabled Agricultural Initiative of the
Year, Kissan Kerala project
2. Backus, M., (2001): “E-Governance and Developing Countries : Introduction and Examples”,
Research Report Number 3, April 2001, (http://www.ftpiicd.org/
files/research/reports/report3.pdf).
3. Chaba Aruna, “E-Governance: Opportunities & Challenges”, Training Division, National
Informatics Centre, New Delhi.
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Internet: e-Government in the United States, Britain and the European Union”, Governance: An
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Communication: A Model for Evaluating K-Agrinet, University of the Philippines at Diliman,

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8. Mitra A , (2005): “Direction of electronic governance initiative within two worlds: case for a
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