Sunday, June 8, 2014

Mandatory E-Governance Services In India Are Urgently Needed

This is the updated article of my previous post about the need to have a mandatory e-governance legal framework in India. There are many reasons why e-governance in India has miserably failed. According to legal experts, the “hands off model” regarding e-governance in India has proved to be a big failure. They believe that a mandatory e-governance legal framework alone can bring successful e-governance services in India in the absence of a transparent and accountable government system.

Legal framework for mandatory e-governance services in India is long due. If we make e-governance service optional or discretionary, the whole purpose would be defeated. This is the reason why we need time bound and accountable e-governance based public services in India. Keeping this objective in mind, the central government formulated the draft electronic delivery of services bill 2011 (EDS Bill 2011). The EDS Bill 2011 intends to provide delivery of government services to all citizens by electronic means by phasing out of manual delivery of services delivered by the government including matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The Bill if made a law would require complete overhaul of the present e-governance infrastructure and services delivery mechanism of Indian government. However, the real problem with Indian e-governance initiative is that legal framework for mandatory electronic delivery of services in India is missing, says Praveen Dalal, Supreme Court lawyers and Managing Partner of India’s exclusive techno legal law firm Perry4Law.

Till now there was no provision under which citizens could ask for mandatory electronic delivery of services by the government. After the Bill becomes an enforceable law, the Indian Government may be under an obligation to mandatorily provide electronic services to its citizens, opines Dalal.

It is obvious that Indian e-governance services cannot be successful till there is a mandatory compliance requirement attached to them. Alternatively, the administrative system of Indian government must be streamlined so that they voluntarily adopt and implement e-governance projects that have been avoided so far.