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


A K Jain

vii) Environment
1) Pollution Information, Monitoring and Control
2) Eco-technology and Bio-architecture and Circulate Metabolism
3) Intelligent Services & Transport
4) Non-conventional sources & Energy Efficiency / audit
viii) Governance & Urban Management
1) Managing Time-Space relationship
2) Knowledge Platform and Distant Learning
3) Participatory mode of local planning through Virtual townhall meetings, video-conferences, MIS, interactive web site etc.
4) Capacity Building, Empowerment of the Civil Society The concept of urban planning needs to be reviewed. Planning at District/Taluk and regional level becomes more pertinent than at the settlement level. The phenomenon of high quality development of smaller towns (like NOIDA, Gurgaon etc.) catering to multinationals and hi-tech sector is already discernible. The planners have to explore the potential of growth of smaller towns, linked with high standards of transport and communication networks. The definition of urban-rural needs to be reviewed and the concepts like polynodal, polycentric pattern need t o be reassessed. The planners have to be hi-tech with deeper perceptions of cyber city and space.

e-Governance has been successfully implemented in certain States and is in the process of implementation in other states.

SARITA in Maharashtra

The Government of Maharashtra has computerized its property registration system, speeding up the registration process and making it easier and reliable for the public. SARITA (Stamps & Registration Department IT Application) is the stamp and registration software used by the registration department of Maharashtra for the registration of 67 types of documents, property registration as well as those of other deed mandated by the government. The documents are registered and delivered in less than 30 minutes. SARITA is an error-free registration with online monitoring and document encryption with the photographs and thumb impressions of sellers, buyers and consenters.

Bhoomi Project in Karnataka

The Bhoomi Project of Karnataka is one of the success stories of e-governance. Under the Bhoomi Project, 17 million land records have been computerized. Bhoomi kiosks have been set up in various areas in Karnataka and farmers can get printouts of their land records and revenue survey maps for Rs. 15 per copy at these kiosks. The government has recovered most of the cost of this project by selling these records.

Bhoomi is a project of computerizing land information, which was started in the year 1999, with data entry of backlog information. The project covered all taluks by 2002 and manual system of issuing Record of Rights was stopped, benefiting 70 lakh farmers. Approximately 200 lakh documents were computerized under this project. The records are updated 3 times a year. An extension of Bhoomi project called ‘NEMMADI’ was introduced in 2006, with Telecentres at sub-taluka level. 230 such centres are already working. These telecentres provide 30 services alongwith Land Records like Death and Birth certificate, Domicile certificate, Renewal of licenses, Collection of taxes etc. This project is totally outsourced.

The Computerisation of Department of Stamps and Registration – KAVERI (Karnataka Valuation and E-registration) project, started in 2003, covers all the activities of Registration department. The Registration process is completely automated which includes taking digital photos of Seller, Buyer & witnesses and also thumb impressions at the time of Registration & storing in electronic media. At present it is working in all 203 Sub-Registrar’s offices in Karnataka. The Kaveri and Bhoomi integration is achieved by electronically connected system. The sub-registrar’s office generates XML file and sends it to Taluk Bhoomi centre. By using Internet the ‘J’ slip information is electronically generated which is sent to State Data Centre first and from there through dedicated Satellite lines. The taluk office processes Registration transactions through automated process. All the 203 Sub-Registrar’s offices and 203 Bhoomi centres are interlinked through State Data Centres for online data transmission.

e-Governance in Andhra Pradesh

e-Governance in Andhra Pradesh is an excellent example how the cities can incorporate information technology in the day-to-day functioning of the government, and re-engineer the manner in which services are provided to common citizens. Under its ‘one-stop non-stop’ approach, a pilot project called TWINS (Cities Integrated Network Services) integrated 18 services of six departments over one counter. It provides fast and easy access to government services, makes the government appear much simpler, and also cuts down on corruption.

The government is able to keep database of citizens, which helps in better targeting of welfare programmes and minimise misuse of funds; Virtual town hall meetings allow citizens to watch the proceedings of municipal meetings, and also enable them to participate in decision-making, which otherwise is not subject to public debate. This participation in the form of interactive sessions, panels and discussion groups, planning consultations, chat lines, and electronic online voting is becoming commonplace. Expanding cable television networks have made it possible to deliver the electronic information into the homes of the people.

The Government of Andhra Pradesh has come up with citizen utility centres called e-Sewa Centres, which are one-stop shops for various services such as payment of electricity, water and phone bills, property tax, sales tax and getting birth and death certificates. More than 20 centres are operating in Hyderabad. These centres are being opened in other parts of the State.


A K Jain

S.No. Activities Status (2007)
1. Villages where DDA has acquired land or acquisition under process 238 villages
(227 + 11)
2. a) Data entry of land records of acquired/under acquisition village 238 villages
(227 + 11)
b) Preparation of land inventory of Nazul Villages 3
c) Cross checking of inventory prepared 227
3. Scanning of maps (massive / sajras) of acquired or under acquisition villages:
Bad / tattered
Not available
4. Digitisation of maps  
a) Villages in which acquisition took Place 187
b) Villages under acquisition process 8
5. Validation of maps 176
6. Integration of land records with digitized maps 161

HARIS in Haryana

The HARIS (Haryana Registration Information System) provides a facilitates the registration of property documents. It functions very much like the SARITA of Maharashtra. The experience shows that e-Governance has improved public service, which has huge potential of its applications.

Land Management Information System of the DDA

The LMIS project was started in 2001 to computerize the village wise land inventory of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). The objective of this project is to have accurate and readily available information in respect of DDA lands and its utilisation. The information used for this project is based on the records of DDA and the records of L&B Deptt., and Divisional Commissioners, GNCTD

The experience of the LMIS project indicates the following major problems:
1) Incomplete Land Record Registers.
2) Non-availability of old records such as Notifications under Section-4 and 6, Awards, Possession proceedings etc..
3) A number of shazra land maps / records (massive) are either in tattered condition or not available.
In such cases, the digitization of villages is done on the basis of field books and sajras available with the revenue authorities. The LMIS attempts to depict a coordinated and layered set of land information relating to status of acquisition / ownership, land use, compensation paid / due, utilisation, transfer, court cases, its development / services, encroachments, and other relevant information. This will provide a clear picture of all lands on the computers.

The way forward

A lot needs to be done to offer better governance. The adoption of e-governance by local authorities can simplify things and improve government. Local bodies need to dispense unclassified information, which is useful to the public, through their websites. This will not only save the time and resources of the local bodies, but also make the task easier for the public.

1) Information on building codes and development plans can be put on web-sites. Such information is already available to the public some cities in India and abroad.
2) New projects and layout plans etc. approved by local bodies can be put into a website, so that people can access the information and avoid buying properties in certain unapproved projects.
3) Information like a cut in water supply and power can be announced on the sites itself.
4) All the applications / forms for services offered by local authorities can be made available online.
5) Committee reports and enquiry reports, which are not confidential, should also be placed on websites for public view.
Payment of property tax and other bills needs to be made online to make it easier for the public.
6) Customer service cells can be created at the local level. These can look after the complaints and suggestions registered online as well as cover the phone. There should be a strong backup system to take action against these complaints and send the feedback to the person who has filed the complaint.


A K Jain

Commissioner (Planning), Delhi Development Authority
EGOVERNANCE means governance using electronic
tools whereby the government offers services and
information to the public.
My coordinates
Mark your calendar
May 09 TO DECEMBER 2009

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