This unit has been covered under the following segments-
Description of the above segments has been laid down below.
The emergence of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has provided means for faster and better communication, efficient storage, retrieval and processing of data and exchange and utilization of information to its users, be they individuals, groups, businesses, organizations or governments. What had begun as a faster, more accurate and simpler means of word processing quickly lent itself to being used as a tool for processing and tabulating data as an aid in decision making. With growing computerization and increasing internet connectivity, this process has presently reached a stage where more and more users are motivated to modifying their ways of doing things in order to leverage the advantages provided by ICT. In other words, this has led to ‘business process re-engineering’. So far as governments are concerned, the coming together of computerization and internet connectivity/web-enablement in association with process re-engineering, promises faster and better processing of information leading to speedier and qualitatively better decision making, greater reach and accountability, better utilization of resources and overall good governance. In the case of citizens, it holds the promise of enhanced access to information and government agencies, efficient service delivery and transparency in dealings and interactions with government. With the increasing awareness among citizens about their rights and the resultant increase in expectations from the government to perform and deliver, the whole paradigm of governance has changed. Government, today, is expected to be transparent in its dealings, accountable for its activities and faster in its responses. This has made the use of ICT imperative in any agenda drawn towards achieving good governance. It has also led to the realization that such technologies could be used to achieve a wide range of objectives and lead to faster and more equitable development with a wider reach. The tools of modern technology such as Information and Communications Technology (ICT) should be used to transform the relationship of the government with its constituents, citizens and businesses, and also between its own agencies. e-Governance is the logical next step in the use of ICT in systems of governance in order to ensure wider participation and deeper involvement of citizens, institutions, civil society groups and the private sector in the decision making process of governance. e-Governance or ‘electronic governance’ is basically the application of Information and Communications Technology to the processes of Government functioning in order to bring about ‘Simple, Moral, Accountable, Responsive and Transparent’ (SMART) governance. This would generally involve the use of ICTs by government agencies for any or all of the following reasons: (a) Exchange of information with citizens, businesses or other government departments (b) Speedier and more efficient delivery of public services (c) Improving internal efficiency (d) Reducing costs / increasing revenue (e) Re-structuring of administrative processes and (f) Improving quality of services.