Oct 2007 | Comments Off on e-Governance

A K Jain

Decision-making has to become more transparent and accountable. Geo-Information technology can play an effective role

It is not just having computers in offices or creating websites, but it involves the creation of systems; integrating technology with administrative processes; human resources and dispensing information and services faster to the citizens. e-Governance offers a number of advantages for the government as well as the public. It shifts the centre of power from human agencies to technology, which is easier to deal with. For example, if a citizen wants some information on building codes, he/she has to go to the office of the local authority to get it, often shuttling from one table to another. If such information is made available on websites, it makes things easier for the citizens as well as the authorities.

The objectives of e-governance are:

For the public:
1) Faster, better services
2) Easy access to information (rules, regulations, etc.)
3) Reduces hassles and need to travel
4) Diminishes the chances of corruption and bureaucratic delays
5) Saves time and money
For the government:
1) Cuts down the cost
2) Limits the requirement of humaninresources in administration
3) Reduces inefficiencies
4) Increases productivity
5) Places responsibility on officials inresources in administration
6) Reduces inefficiencies
7) Increases productivity
8) Places responsibility on officials
With emerging technologies aiding transparency, governments can not remain insulated for long from the public. Decision-making has to become more transparent and accountable. Unfortunately, the use of information technology in government has meant a mere shift from a manual system to a computerised one. Without existing procedures being overhauled so that they can deliver superior service to citizens, such a change is pointless.

Significant areas of change

In future, the prosperity of cities will most likely be measured in terms of PCs per household and bandwidth per capita. India needs to develop its telecommunications infrastructure rapidly, so that it can provide connectivity at affordable rates to large sections of its people. Fortunately, it is easier, and cheaper, to extend telecommunication networks to rural areas than it is to build road communications.

IT revolution is witnessing several radical changes in the way we live, work and communicate. With light speed communications and opening up of the floodgates of information, the modes of education, commercial transactions, production and industry are fast changing. The borders of urban-rural, nation-states are vanishing. This is the time planners think over the consequential and desirable changes in the city planning process and seize the opportunity to make the cities more prosperous, livable, efficient, participatory, healthy and intelligent. The effect of IT on Indian cities is not confined to development of IT parks or Hi-tech zones, but on all the aspects of planning process. Taking a comprehensive view, the emergence of IT sector would make the following changes in the planning system inevitable:
i) Spatial Pattern
1) The globalization of cities
2) Vanishing concepts of urban-rural divide
3) Tech-citta layer on physical structures
4) Cyberspace
ii) City Economy & Employment
1) Tertiary sector as the economic frontier
2) Changing patterns of production, business and work
3) Information production
4) From local to global markets
5) Development of IT Parks / SEZ etc.
iii) Infrastructure Services
1) Dynamic networks
2) IT infrastructure
3) Intelligent cities, services, transport and buildings
4) Self-sufficient, self-contained settlements
iv) Land Information & Management
1) GIS, geo-computing and geo-positioning system of land management information, records, registration, transfer, litigation, land use, services, development etc.
2) Assets management
v) Land Use
1) Flexible zoning and development controls
2) Land Use – Services – Transport Synthesis
3) Implementation, Enforcement, Monitoring
vi) Transport & Communications
1) Light speed communications, new automation systems, telecommunity, superhighways etc..
2) IT enabled Transport Services
3) Dynamic networks and Floating nodes


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