Definition and Types of E-governance


A new paradigm shift has been developed in the field of governance by the application of ICT in the processes of governing called Electronic-Governance or E-Governance.

E-governance raises the transparency, accountability, efficiency, and effectiveness and inclusiveness in the governing process in terms of reliable access to the information within government, between government, national, state, municipal, and local level governments, citizens, and businesses and empowers business through access and use of information

E-governance is not just about government websites or e-mail or financial transactions. “It will change how citizens relate to government as much as it changes how citizens relate to each other”. It also refers to the utilization of IT in the country’s democratic processes itself such as the election.

Objectives of E Governance


The objectives of e governance are as follows-

  • One of the basic objectives of e-governance is to make every information of the government available to all in the public interest.
  • One of its goals is to create a cooperative structure between the government and the people and to seek help and advice from the people, to make the government aware of the problems of the people.
  • To increase and encourage people’s participation in the governance process.
  • e-Governance improves the country’s information and communication technology and electronic media, with the aim of strengthening the country’s economy by keeping governments, people and businesses in tune with the modern world.
  • One of its main objectives is to establish transparency and accountability in the governance process.
  • To reduce government spending on information and services.

Features of E Governance:


It has been proven from the concept of e-governance that it is a powerful means of public service in the present era. Some of its features can be found by observing the functioning of e-governance.

  • De bureaucratization: Due to e-governance, the gap between the people and the government in all the services of the government is narrowing and the dependence of the people on the bureaucracy is also greatly reduced.
  • E-Services: Its main feature is the provision of services through the Internet. As a result, we get G2C, G2B, G2E, etc. services. This is already discussed in the section of ‘types of governance’.
  • International Services: through e-governance, all the essential services can be delivered to the citizens who are living outside of their country for job purposes or any other reasons.
  • It enhances the right to express to the citizens. Using the means of e-governance anyone can share their views with the government on any bill or act or decision taken by the government.
  • Economic Development: With the introduction of e-governance, various information like import-export, registration of companies, investment situations, etc. are available through the internet. As a result, time is saved, procrastination decreases, and economic dynamism increases.
  • Reduce inequality: using e-governance tools everyone can gather information and empower themselves. In this globalized world, knowledge is power, and means of e-governance empower us by providing relevant information at minimal cost, effort, and time.

Potential of e-governance in India:


  • Increased effectiveness and efficiency: Improved government services in terms of accomplishing the government purpose and functioning
  • Better services: E-government can provide quick and timely services to stakeholders
  • Transparency by dissemination and publication of information on the web: This provides easy access to information and subsequently makes the system publicly accountable. Also as the web enables the free flow of information, it can be easily accessed by all without any discrimination.
  • Accessible anytime and anywhere: As e-government services are provided through web-enabled technology they can be accessed anytime and anywhere
  • User-centred ICT enabled services: The services are primarily intended for the use of citizens, businesses, and the government itself
  • Reduced cost and time: As the services are provided through internet they are effective in terms of time and cost
  • Economic Development: The deployment of ICTs reduces the transaction costs, which makes services cheaper. For example, rural areas suffer on account of lack of information regarding markets, products, agriculture, health, education, weather, etc. and if all this could be accessed online would lead to better and more opportunities and thereby prosperity in these areas.
  • Social Development: The access to information empowers the citizens. The informed citizenry can participate and voice their concerns, which can be accommodated in the programme/ project formulation, implementation, monitoring and service delivery. Web-enabled participation will counter the discriminatory factors affecting our societal behaviour.
  • Reduced bureaucracy: E-government minimizes hierarchy of authority for availing any government services
  • Automation of Administrative Processes: A truly e-governed system would require minimal human intervention and would rather be system driven.
  • Enhanced communication and coordination between government organizations: An automated services can be accessed by different organizations coordination and further communication became relative
  • Paper Work Reduction: An immediate impact of automation would be on the paperwork. Paperwork is reduced to a greater extent with communication being enabled via electronic route and storage and retrieval of information in the electronic form. All this has led to the emergence of less paper office’.
  • Quality of Services: ICT helps governments to deliver services to citizens with greater accountability responsiveness and sensitivity. Quality of services improves, as now the people are able to, get services efficiently and instantaneously.
  • Elimination of Hierarchy: ICT has reduced procedural delays caused by hierarchical processes in the organisation. Through Intranet and LAN, it has become possible to send information and data across various levels in the organisation at the same time.
  • Change in Administrative Culture: Bureaucratic structures have been plagued by characteristics aptly described by Victor Thompson as ‘bureau-pathology’. From the day s of New Public Administration, efforts have been made to find ways to deal with the pathological or dysfunctional aspects of art.
  • Strategic Information System: Changing organisational environment and increasing competitiveness have put pressures on the performance of the functionaries. Information regarding all aspects needs to be made available to the management at every point to make routine as well as strategic decisions.

Evolution of E-Governance in India


  • Department of Electronics: The establishment of the Department of Electronics in 1970 was the first major step towards e-governance in India as it brought ‘information’ and its communication to focus.
  • National Informatics Centre (NIC): established in 1977, launched the District Information System program to computerize all district offices in the country
  • NICNET – National Informatics Centre: The main thrust for e-governance was provided by the launching of NICNET in 1987 – the national satellite-based computer network.


The Indian experience demonstrates that the onset of e-Governance proceeded through the following phases:

  • Computerisation: In the first phase, with the availability of personal computers, a large number of Government offices got equipped with computers. The use of computers began with word processing, quickly followed by data processing.
  • Networking: In this phase, some units of a few government organizations got connected through a hub leading to sharing of information and flow of data between different government entities.
  • On-line presence: With increasing internet connectivity, a need was felt for maintaining a presence on the web. This resulted in maintenance of websites by government departments and other entities. Generally, these web-pages/web-sites contained information about the organizational structure, contact details, reports and publications, objectives and vision statements of the respective government entities.
  • On-line interactivity: A natural consequence of on-line presence was opening up of communication channels between government entities and the citizens, civil society organizations etc. The main aim at this stage was to minimize the scope of personal interface with government entities by providing downloadable Forms, Instructions, Acts, and Rules etc. In some cases, this has already led to on-line submission of Forms. Most citizen-government transactions have the potential of being put on e-Governance mode.


E-Governance related policies in India








National e-Governance Plan (NeGP)




·         The National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), takes a holistic view of e-Governance initiatives across the country, integrating them into a collective vision, a shared cause.

·         National e-Governance Plan has been launched with the aim of improving delivery of Government services to citizens and businesses,

·         “Make all Public Services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets and ensure efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs to realize the basic needs of the common man.”









e-Kranti – Electronic delivery of services




·         e-Kranti is an essential pillar of the Digital India initiative.

·         The mission of e – Kranti is to ensure a government wide transformation by delivering all Government services electronically to the citizens through integrated and interoperable systems via multiple modes while ensuring efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs.


Objectives of e-Kranti

The objectives of ‘e-Kranti’ are as follows:

  • To redefine NeGP with transformational and outcome-oriented e-Governance initiatives
  • To enhance the portfolio of citizen centric services
  • To ensure optimum usage of core Information & Communication Technology (ICT)
  • To promote rapid replication and integration of e-Governance applications
  • To leverage emerging technologies
  • To make use of more agile implementation models



E-governance related applications in Indian governance











Government to Citizen (G2C) Initiatives




·         Bhoomi Project: Bhoomi is a flagship project of the Karnataka State Government. It was launched to digitize all land records in the state to prevent corruption and manipulation of data.

·         Gyandoot: A project launched by the Madhya Pradesh government.It is a Mission Mode Project in which 2,50,000 Panchayati Raj Institutions were identified to deliver e-Governance services to rural populations.

·         Lokvani Project: Public-private partnership project at Sitapur District in Uttar Pradesh, to provide a single window, self-sustainable e-Governance solution with regard to handling of grievances, land record maintenance and providing a mixture of essential services.

·         Project FRIENDS in Kerala: FRIENDS (Fast, Reliable, Instant, Efficient Network for the Disbursement of Services) is a Single Window Facility providing citizens the means to pay taxes and other financial dues to the State Government.

·         e-Mitra Project in Rajasthan: Committed to quick and convenient delivery of citizen services, Government of Rajasthan 






Government to Business (G2B) Initiatives



·         e-Procurement Project in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat:
To reduce the time and cost of doing business for both vendors and government.

·         MCA 21: By the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The project aims at providing easy and secure online access to all registry related services provided by the Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs to corporates and other stakeholders at any time and in a manner that best suits them.




Government to Government (G2G) Initiatives




·         Khajane Project in Karnataka: It is a comprehensive online treasury computerization project of the Government of Karnataka.

·         SmartGov (Andhra Pradesh): SmartGov has been developed to streamline operations, enhance efficiency through workflow automation and knowledge management for implementation in the Andhra Pradesh Secretariat.




G2E (Government to Employee)


  • e-learning methods; 
  • Consolidating the employee and 
  • Share of knowledge among the employees. 


Challenges to E-Governance


  • Different Language: India is a country where people with different cultures and different religions live. The diversity of people in context of language is a huge challenge for implementing e-Governance projects as e-Governance applications are written in English language
  • Low Literacy: Literacy level of India is very low which is a huge obstacle in implementation of e-Governance projects. Illiterate people are not able to access the e-Governance applications; hence the projects do not get much success
  • User friendliness of government websites: Users of e-Governance applications are often non-expert users who may not be able to use the applications in a right manner.
  • Services are not accessible easily: Even if the users of Internet are growing but still there is a major part of Indian population which is not able to access e-Governance activities for variety of reasons
  • Population: Population of India is probably the biggest challenge in implementing eGovernance projects.
  • Lack of integrated services: Most of the egovernance services which are offered by the state or central government are not integrated
  • Cost: In developing countries like India, cost is one of the most important obstacles in the path of implementation of e-Governance where major part of the population is living below poverty line
  • Privacy and Security: A critical obstacle in implementing e-Governance is the privacy and security of an individual’s personal data that he/she provides to obtain government services.

Recommendations of 2nd ARC on e-Governance:







Building a Congenial Environment


Building a congenial environment is a sine qua non for successful implementation of e-Governance initiatives. This should be achieved by
  • Creating and displaying a will to change within the government
  • Providing political support at the highest level
  • Incentivizing e-Governance and overcoming the resistance to change within government
  • Creating awareness in the public with a view to generating a demand for change.







Identification of e-Governance Projects and Prioritisation



The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has defined four stages of e-government Projects, each one more demanding than the next. These are:

  • Information: Putting information on web-sites
  • Interaction: Allowing citizens to enquire about services, procedures etc. and filling up forms and submitting them online
  • Transaction: Allowing payments online
  • Transformation: A mix of all the above and allowing the citizen to participate in governance through ICT.








Business Process Re-engineering (BPR)




The basic idea behind such re-engineering is to avail of the opportunity provided by ICT in transforming governmental processes and not just in modifying them.

  • For every function a government organisation performs and every service or information it is required to provide, there should be a step-by-step analysis of each process to ensure its rationality and simplicity.
  • Such analysis should incorporate the viewpoints of all stakeholders, while maintaining the citizen-centricity of the exercise.






Capacity Building and Creating Awareness




The success of an e-Governance project would depend on building human capacities in terms of necessary knowledge and skills to conceptualize, initiate, implement and sustain e-Governance initiatives across government as also on the ultimate use by citizens of the facilities created.

  • Capacity building efforts must attend to both the organizational capacity building as also the professional and skills upgradation of individuals associated with the implementation of e-Governance projects.
  • Each government organization must conduct a capacity assessment which should form the basis for training their personnel.
  • A network of training institutions needs to be created in the States with the Administrative Training Institutes at the apex.








·         Breaking up entire e-Governance projects into components/ activities

·         Planning each activity in detail

·         Allocating resources, both human and financial

·         Commencement of activities as per the plan and continuous tracking

·         Need-based mid-course correction






Monitoring and Evaluation



·         Monitoring of e-Governance projects should be done by the implementing organization during implementation in the manner in which project monitoring is done for large infrastructure projects. E

·         Evaluation of success or failure of e-Governance projects may be done by independent agencies on the basis of parameters fixed beforehand.





Protecting Critical Information Infrastructure Assets



  • There is need to develop a critical information infrastructure assets protection strategy.
  • This should be supplemented with improved analysis and warning capabilities as well as improved information sharing on threats and vulnerabilities.




Thus, e-Governance has led to better access to information and quality services for citizens; Simplicity, efficiency and accountability in the government and expanded reach of governance. In the light of wide range of e-Governance initiatives that have been carried out in India with varying degrees of success as well as the diversity of conditions in the country, the report recognizes that e-Governance projects have to be designed for specific contexts and environments

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India, has visualized e-Governance in the Indian context to mean: “A transparent, smart e-Governance with seamless access, secure and authentic flow of information crossing the interdepartmental barrier and providing a fair and unbiased service to the citizen.”


Practice Question:

    1. Analyse the potential of e-governance in India. (250 words)
    2.  Implementation of e-governance in local governments will not only improve service delivery at the local level but also takes us a step closer towards achieving broader socio-economic goals. Elaborate. (250 words)