A Research on Various Perspective and Theoretical Concepts of E-governance in India: Opportunities and Challenges | Original Article
Public administration, governed by bureaucratic structures built on rationale principles, that dominated the twentieth century, has failed to respond to the changing requirements of the present times. E-governance, which is a paradigm shift over the traditional approaches in public administration, means rendering of government services and information to the public using electronic means. This new paradigm has brought about a revolution in the quality of service delivered to the citizens. It has ushered in transparency in the governing process; saving of time due to provision of services through single window; simplification of procedures; better office and record management; reduction in corruption; and improved attitude, behavior and job handling capacity of the dealing personnel. The present study substantiates these theoretical assumptions about e-governance by analyzing some experiences at the local, state and federal levels of government in India. In this paper, we have discussed the application of ICT in improving internal efficiency of government and transforming the relationship between government and its stakeholders. The theoretical underpinnings of e-governance, as discussed in this paper, come from the New Public Management (NPM). In an NPM framework, e-governance puts the citizen at the centrestage by enabling citizen participation in governance and makes government more responsive and accountable to citizens. This paper discusses the hope, hype and opportunities of e-governance initiatives by the Union government, State governments, and private/ voluntary sectors in India. While making a realistic assessment of ICT applications in governance, this paper brings out the challenges faced in scaling up and sustaining e-governance initiatives. The central argument of this paper is that ICT has immense potential to transform governance and empower citizens, and success of e-governance is contingent on creation of basic infrastructure, reengineering of processes around citizens' needs, provision of value-added services, and adoption of viable business models.