E-Governance has the potential to simplify many different points at which citizens interact with the state. It can ensure speedy delivery, productivity and efficiency of services making them citizen centric and ensuring that the right people get the benefits.
Some of the benefits of e-Governance include:
After a series of discussions and reviews of various e-governance efforts at the Centre and State levels, the National Knowledge Commission formed a special group to study e-governance. The report of this group was discussed at the Planning Commission and presented to the Minister for communications and information technology and the Minister's staff. Thereafter, several discussions were held with other stakeholders including the Administrative Reform Commission. Based on these discussions the Commission submitted its recommendations on E-Governance to the Prime Minister in January 2006 and made them public in May 2006.
- Reducing the cost and improving the reach and quality of public services.
- Reducing transaction costs and transaction times.
- Empowering citizens and increasing transparency
- Re-engineering of processes for greater efficiency and productivity.
The Commission's report reiterates that e-Governance is more about an opportunity for administrative reforms than merely about electronics and information technology and infrastructure. The recommendations on e-Governance broadly relate to Processes & Standards, Infrastructure and Organization. They highlight the need to:
For national e-Governance to succeed it is critical to create an appropriate central organization with structures that can operate in mission mode, with full autonomy and accountability. Organizational issues related to reengineering government processes with strong committed leadership, autonomy, flexibility, clarity of purpose, predefined deliverables, measurable milestones and periodic monitoring, need to be addressed, in order to implement national e-governance programme within 3 to 5 years.
- Re-engineer government processes first, to change our basic governance pattern for simplicity, transparency, productivity and efficiency.
- Select 10 to 20 important services that make a critical difference, simplify them and offer them as web-based services.
- Develop common standards and deploy common platform/infrastructure for e-governance.
- Begin all new national programmes (like Bharat Nirman, Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, etc.) with well-engineered e-governance implementation and web interface.