India falls by five places in UN e-gov survey 2012

Even Maldives and Sri Lanka rank above India on the list

samirsachdeva

Samir Sachdeva | March 13, 2012



India has fallen by five places in the UN e-government survey 2012 from 119 in 2010 to 124 in 2012. The survey which was released on March 6, 2012 places the Republic of Korea at the top position followed by the Netherlands.

United Kingdom (UK), Denmark and the United States of America (USA) follow in ranking in that order. USA has slipped by three positions and is placed at fifth position as compared to the second position two years ago.

Reacting on the India’s low ranking Ashis Sanyal, former senior director (e-governance), department of information technology, government of India said, “India is low on e-government ranking as we are lagging in the crucial area of web-services. There are as many as 5,000 websites of various government agencies supported by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and there are as many as additional 1,000 websites independently developed by government agencies. However, a majority of these websites are not dynamic. Even the vital information is not updated on a regular basis. The last updated counter which is generally provided at the bottom of websites  shows a gap of few months. So the lack of dynamic features on the website coupled with their non-updation is a key reason why India is low on the e-government ranking. Also, despite India being a multi-lingual country, a majority of its websites are in English and there exists a huge gap in local language. This is another reason why India remains low on global ranking.”

However, Sanyal added, “India ranks high globally as far as legal framework and policy is concerned. Even the IT infrastructure is not bad and the participation of top leadership including that of the prime minister in the national e-governance plan indicates India’s commitment towards e-governance. We are in a right direction however some short-term goals need to be fulfilled.

Nilay Verma, partner, Accenture, said, “India had been falling on the UN e-government ranking year after year. Most of the countries who are gaining on these ranking have a focused approach as far as such global competitive analysis is concerned. Like UAE has a dedicated programme which looks into the UN parameters for e-government survey. We may do little for the parameters like human index or infrastructure index; however, we can gain immediately if we address the web index. In India we don’t have a team dedicated to such global initiatives.”

The e-government index measures online service component, telecommunication infrastructure component and human capital component. India scored 0.5359 on online services; 0.5025 on human capital and 0.1102 on telecommunications infrastructure.

Even though India has a moderate score on web presence and human capital, the index is low with regards to infrastructure. The infrastructure index is a composite weighted average index of six primary indices — PCs/1,000 persons; internet users/1,000 persons; telephone lines/1,000 persons; online population; mobile phones/1,000 persons; and TVs/1,000 persons. India despite having high mobile penetration is still low on parameters like computers, internet, fixed line telephones and TVs. Therefore, infrastructure is one key component that India’s global ranking remains low.

As compared to its neighbours India even lags behind Maldives and Sri Lanka who are placed at 95 and 115 respectively. The survey acknowledges that with a population of 1.2 billion, India has to deal with many challenges associated with this huge population. It highlights that e-services in India are in the formative stage; however, the government of India has made substantial efforts in the last few years to overcome the challenges. The government has announced its plan to connect all 2,50,000 panchayats with broadband and is also extending its flagship programme of common service centres (CSCs) to cover all the villages.


 

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