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PRESS INFORMATION BUREAU

10-January -2024

1. Regional Conference on the theme “e-Governance” begins in Guwahati today.

Topic: GS3 – Governance – E-governance
This topic is crucial for UPSC as it addresses regional development, governance reforms, and technology application in governance
Context:
  • The two-day Regional Conference on “e-Governance” in Guwahati, inaugurated by Assam Governor Shri Gulab Chand Kataria and Union MoS Dr. Jitendra Singh.
  • The conference highlighted government’s governance reforms that have successfully mainstreamed the Northeast, making it a model of development.
Prospects:
  • Improved service delivery:Faster, more efficient access to government services like tax filing, licenses, permits,
  • Enhanced transparency and accountability:Increased access to information and participation in decision-making processes.
  • Reduced corruption:Lower risk of bribery and misuse of power through online transactions.
  • Bridging the digital divide:Increased digital literacy and access to technology can empower rural and marginalized communities.
  • Boosting the economy:Growth of digital enterprises and creation of new employment opportunities.
Challenges:
  • Digital divide:Unequal access to internet and technology infrastructure, especially in rural areas.
  • Cybersecurity threats:The risk of data breaches and hacking needs to be addressed.
  • Lack of awareness and skills:Citizens need training and support to use e-governance services effectively.
  • Interoperability issues:Different systems and databases need to be integrated for seamless service delivery.
  • Language barriers:Government websites and services need to be available in multiple languages.
Way Forward:
  • Focus on inclusion:Invest in infrastructure and digital literacy programs to bridge the digital divide.
  • Strengthen cybersecurity:Implement robust security measures to protect data and critical infrastructure.
  • User-centric design:Develop user-friendly and accessible interfaces for e-governance platforms.
  • Promote Open Government Data:Increase transparency by making government data readily available.
  • Invest in innovation:Encourage collaboration with startups and tech companies to develop new e-governance solutions.
Steps Taken by the Government:
  • National e-Governance Plan (NeGP):Launched in 2006, this ambitious plan aims to transform government services through ICT.
  • Digital India Programme:Launched in 2015, this flagship initiative focuses on digital infrastructure, digital literacy, and online service delivery.
  • Aadhaar:Unique identification number scheme facilitating access to various government services and subsidies.
  • Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT):Transferring subsidies and benefits directly to bank accounts for greater transparency and efficiency.
  • Common Service Centres (CSCs):Delivering government services in rural areas through a network of village-level entrepreneurs.
What is the E-governance?
E-governance is using technology like the internet and computers to deliver government services, enhance transparency, and improve communication with citizens. Think online forms, public data portals, and even voting systems – all aimed at a more efficient and accessible government.
PYQ: e-governance, as a critical tool of governance, has ushered in effectiveness, transparency and accountability in governments. What inadequacies hamper the enhancement of these features? (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2023) (150 words/10 m)
Practice Question: Critically examine the statement: “E-governance in India holds the key to unlocking transformative governance, but only if digital equity is addressed. (150 words/10 m)
   

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