Is the money spent on e-governance a waste?

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Samir Sachdeva | April 15, 2010



India’s telecom czar, national knowledge commission’s chairman and advisor to prime minister on innovation, Sam Pitroda while addressing the participants of TechED 2010 Wednesday has said that, “All the money spent by different states on e—governance projects is waste as these are not scalable.” He had added there should be standards at the central level for states to follow which would also eliminate duplication.

Re-invention of wheel and duplication of efforts by state governments in IT and e-governance project has been highlighted by various experts at various forums. The concern that India has been doing a lot of pilots and not scaling up these projects at national level has also been pointed out.  The different technologies and standards followed by various state governments have created many silos of success. These success stories are individual driven and have not been institutionalized.

Last month Governance Now in an exclusive story on e-office had highlighted how Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DAR&PG) is duplicating the e-office project when TCS’s Smartgov, NIC’s INTRAgov and DARPG’s own e-Disha project already exist.

Department of Information Technology through NIC has already notified various e-governance standards, like the metadata standards, information security standards but it is rarely followed and adhered by the state governments as they exists only as guidelines.

Majority of states may be duplicating efforts and spending money many times in achieving a similar e-governance goal. However the projects like the computerization of ticket issuance system in railways, MCA21 in ministry of corporate affairs and state level projects like e-seva, e-procurement have lead to considerable benefit to citizens.

So isthe PM's advisor right? Is all moneyspent on e-governance a waste?

 

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