India: National policy on e-governance required

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Sun Apr 22 11:27:30 UTC 2007

National policy on e-governance required

i-flex CEO India Operations and chairman of NASSCOM Product Forum thumps
his support for a comprehensive policy on e-governance

Saturday, April 21, 2007

MUMBAI: India, by many, has been described as a graveyard of e-governance
pilots. While we keep hearing about new and grander pilot launches each
year by a whole hosts of states in India, not much is known about the
success of these projects. One of the chief reason behind it has been,
there has been no comprehensive policy on e-governance. Every state
government so as to speak keeps re-inventing the wheel, starting from
scratch and going all the way up. Now, Deepak Ghaisas, CEO India
Operations and CFO, i-flex Solutions (also the chairman of NASSCOM Product
Forum) is mooting the creation of a national policy on e-governance.
Recently, I was having a word with Sam Pitroda (chairman, Knowledge
Commission) and we discussed the feasibility of a national policy on
e-governance projects. I am a strong votary of the same and feel that we
should be really working on it, he says.

Talking about the duplication that takes place in innumerable pilot
projects, Ghaisas said, Literally, every state government is re-inventing
the wheel. Imagine if we could freeze on certain standards, it would save
a whole lot of time and effort and not to mention money. It would also
improve speed and transparency in the way the projects are implemented. It
would also boost a lot of innovations, once things have been standardized
and key learnings between different states exchanged, e-governance would
really go to the next level. Take for instance, the local language
interface; in India there are so many languages and dialects, in fact more
than that of the whole of European Union. Thus it is very important that
we share knowledge on different e-governance projects, he added.

But, it is not only because of transparency and speed that Ghaisas is
mooting such a policy, according to him the use of technology by different
state governments would give an immense boost to the domestic IT industry.
According to estimates, 23 per cent of government spending goes on
defense, while 46 per cent of it on governance. Now, even if a small
fraction is spent on technology, namely to streamline the processes. It
will really boost the domestic tech industry. For that to happen we need
to have a vision and a robust policy on how to go about things,Ghaisas


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