4. How are e-governance initiatives changing the face of PRIs in India? Discuss.
ई–गवर्नेंस की पहल भारत में पीआरआई का चेहरा कैसे बदल रही है? चर्चा करें।
E-Governance is the use of IT to improve the ability of the government to address the needs of society. It includes the publishing of policy and program-related information to transact with citizens. It extends beyond the provision of online services and covers the use of IT for strategic planning and reaching the development goals of the government.
Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) is a system of rural local self-government in India. Local Self Government is the management of local affairs by such local bodies who have been elected by the local people.
E-governance initiatives changing the face of PRIs in India
E-Governances play a major role in supporting the culture of democracy, democratic processes and civic values that uphold a democratic system. The aim is to: provide for citizens access to information and knowledge about political process, services and available choices, and facilitate transformation of passive information access to active citizen participation by informing, representing, encouraging to vote, consulting and involving citizens..
- E-Panchayat – This is a Mission Mode Projects which intends to improve quality of governance in PRIs which includes 0.235 million Gram Panchayats, 6094 Block Panchayats and 633 Zila Panchayats. Further, it also enhances the coordination between Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India and PRIs. The central objective of this project is to ensure local area development and strengthen local self-governance by providing variety of services to its stakeholders.
- PFMS, e-FMS & Geotagging – has been stated for bringing transparency & accountability in management of finances available to Panchayat under Fourteenth Finance Commission award.
- Digital Inclusiveness in Auditing A Success Story – Good governance practices of e-initiative in the field of audit has revealed effectively the responsiveness and accountability to public money and its usage issues. This has aired the spirit of transparency and inclusiveness with the financial governance agenda. There has been success in e-auditing application by the state of Madhya Pradesh in MGNREGS fund monitoring.
- KHETI – The Knowledge Help Extension Technology Initiative – an Information Communication and Technology (ICT) design solution, has been developed under Rural e-Services Project in India (ReSPI). It was an action research project to bridge socio-economic divide digitally with uses of participatory interactive designing methodologies that resulted in a customised solution for so called ‘less privileged groups’ such as poor farmers.
- Sevana is a major software solution developed by Information Kerala Mission (IKM). The Sevana civil registration is utilized to register deaths and births in Panchayats and municipalities. Through these kiosks, deaths and births are registered instantly. Citizen can download birth/death certificates within 24 hours of registration at the kiosk.
- Sulekha software was developed to monitor the annual plans of local government institutions in the State3. Annual plans are prepared, evaluated and approved in a time bound manner through this software. Sulekha is installed in all local government institutions in the state. In the year 2009-10 Sulekha won the Gold Medal in National Awards for e-Governance by Government of India under the Category “Excellence in Government Process ReEngineering”.
- Bellandur is a small Gram Panchayat of over 10000 inhabitants just outside Bangalore and four surrounding villages. The project exists in an organized way since 1999 and has speeded up processes, reduced the workload, and has set off other developments. Following the computerization of tax collection, the Panchayat has recovered huge outstanding by limiting corruption.
The real test of decentralization lies in its contribution towards people’s empowerment by way of providing them a significant role in decision-making and in the entire process of governance. Therefore, effective application of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) has become the need of the time in Indian democracy.