National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) was formulated in 2006 by the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG), Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (ME&IT), and Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions.
It is an important topic for IAS preparation. The e-Governance is functional to make all government services easily accessible to the common man while also ensuring efficiency, reliability, and transparency. All these are made available at a cost affordable for the common man to meet their basic needs. NeGP helped in the Digital India initiative. UMANG‘s project (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) made the NeGP possible.
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What is e-Governance?
Electronic Governance or e-Governance is now a popular concept worldwide. In a demanding economy like India, which is also growing fast, e-governance is essential. It is defined as the government’s use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) so that various services are provided to businesses and citizens, and information is exchanged, etc. Communication and bringing together various individual service systems are also within the functionalities of e-governance.
What are the objectives of the National e-Governance Plan?
- Improvement in service delivery to citizens
- Ease in providing information
- Increase efficiency in working between states or between centre and state
- Improve interaction with businesses and different industries
- Bringing transparency and accountability in government matters
How can e-Governance transform India?
E-Governance has the biggest advantage of emphasising inclusiveness. This facilitates the social transformation of the country. National e-Governance Plan UPSC questions commonly ask about the following:
- MyGov – aims at establishing a link between Government and Citizens. Introducing UMANG mobile application
- DigiLocker– a platform where citizens can securely exchange documents with service providers and store them
- e-Hospital Online Registration Framework (ORF) – initiative for patients to avail online OPD appointments with government hospitals
- Reviving agricultural sector- digitisation of land records
- Digital payment- implementing digital payment tools like BHIM-UPI, Bharat QR Code, National Electronic Toll Collections
- Aadhar Enabled Payment System (AEPS)- for banking services and digital payment
- DARPAN– online tool to keep an eye on critical and high profile projects implemented state wise
- PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation) – a system that aims at establishing e-accountability and implementing e-transparency
- Mobile Seva – services to people on their mobile phones and tablets
- National Scholarships Portal (NSP)– a centralised platform to apply and receive scholarships for students
- National Centre of Geo-informatics (NCoG)– a platform that uses Geographic Information System(GIS) platform
- National e-Governance Plan (NeGP)- integrate e-Governance across the country.
- Common Services Centres 2.0 (CSC 2.0)– information technology so that citizens receive social, government, and private services at the doorstep.
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How does e-Kranti promote the National e Government Plan?
e-Kranti framework means electronic service delivery through a Mission Mode Projects(MMP) portfolio that covers some departments under the government. It works to accelerate the spread and efficiency of e-Governance across India. Major focuses of e-Kranti in the Digital India initiative are:
- e-Education or use of Technology for Education mainly involves connecting schools to broadband providing free WiFi. Introducing a programme on Digital Literacy on the national level.
- e-Healthcare or Technology for Health covers the online supply of medicine, online medical records, online consultancy, etc.
- Technology for Farmers enables farmers to order necessary items online, avail relief payments through mobile banking services, enjoy an online loan facility and get real-time price information.
- Technology for Security – This provides disaster-related services to citizens to minimise the loss of lives and properties.
- Technology for Financial Inclusion includes mobile banking, post offices, micro-ATM services, etc.
- Technology for Justice includes applications like e- Jails, e-Courts, e-prosecution, and e-Police.
- Technology for Planning refers to the National GIS Mission Mode Project for better project designing, planning, and development.
- Technology for Cyber Security- This is about setting up the National Cyber Security Coordination Centre for safe and secure cyberspace.
What are the challenges e-Governance faces?
- Lack of Infrastructure facilities as basic as electricity, internet, etc.
- E-governance is a costly measure and would require huge amounts of public money.
- Security standards and safeguarding data is a major concern.
- The huge disparity between users and non-users of government services
- Unequal distribution and use of services due to diverse population
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