E-governance is the use of information and communication technology (ICT) for providing government services, disseminating information, communication transactions, integration of stand-alone systems and services between government-to-citizen (G2C), government-to-government (G2G), government-to-business (G2B), government-to-employees (G2E) and also back-office processes and interactions within the entire government framework.
E-governance is an important topic for the IAS exam. Questions related to it can be asked in both the prelims and the mains exams. There are various kinds of interactions which are facilitated or mandated by e-governance. These are described below.
Types of e-governance
The various interactions in the case of e-governance are briefly explained below:
G2G (Government to Government)
This type of interaction can be further divided into
- Vertical interaction – interaction between the central and state governments, and other local level governments; and also between the various levels of a government.
- Horizontal interaction – interaction between different government agencies, and between different departments or functional areas within an organisation/government.
The basic goals of G2G interaction is:
- Restructure the government processes to increase efficiency and transparency.
- Improve the overall output or productivity.
- Enhance the flow of information and services between various entities.
G2C (Government to Citizens)
The chief goal of this interaction is to make the government more citizen-friendly. This creates an interface between the citizens and the government, wherein citizens can avail the large number of services that the government offers. This serves the twin purposes of making the services more accessible to citizens and also improving the quality of the services. Here, citizens have the choice of when to interact (24X7), where to interact (service centres, unmanned kiosks, one’s own home/office), and how to interact (internet, telephone, fax, email, face-to-face) with the government.
G2B (Government to Business)
This type of interaction is to help the business community to seamlessly interact with the government. The objectives of this are to:
- Cut red tape
- Save time (in business, time is money)
- Decrease operational costs
- Improve transparency
- Reduce corruption
- Promote a congenial business environment
- Attract foreign investment
G2B interaction can be transactional, i.e., involving permits, licensing, procurement, etc. It can also be promotional, such as in tourism, trade and investment.
G2E (Government to Employees)
The government is a huge employer and like in any other organisation, ICT tools can be used effectively to enhance the employees’ job satisfaction by making interaction easier, transparent, efficient, faster and user-friendly.