Friday, April 15, 2011

Draft Electronic Service Delivery Bill, 2011 Of India

The proposals to ensure mandatory e-governance services in India have been mooted for long. However, by and large they remained mere proposal alone with no actual implementation. This has happened because mere wish without any mandatory legal framework never works in India.

Realising this truth, Indian government has proposed the Draft Electronic Delivery of Services Bill 2011 (EDS Bill 2011). The draft Bill was the first in the series to be considered by Indian Parliament. It was for the first time that the proposed Bill tried to confer a right upon Indian citizens to insist upon mandatory e-governance services.

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 Services Delivery in India is missing, says Praveen Dalal, Supreme Court lawyers and Managing Partner of India’s exclusive techno legal law firm Perry4Law.

The Bill has now been revised and an updated version of the Bill has been released for public inputs. The updated version of the Bill is a useless law that would not make any difference. The mandatory delivery of e-governance services in India would still remain an unfulfilled dream for another decade or more.

Further, there are also chances that the mandatory electronic delivery of services would not be implemented at all. The proposed electronic services delivery bill 2011 has no purpose to serve and it would only amount to wastage of hard earned public money.

E-governance in India has failed to a greater extent and the proposed ESD Bill 2011 would be another chapter added to this failure. The national e-governance plan (NEGP) of India has failed to bring the desired results despite crores of public money wasted upon it.

Accountability and fairness are still missing in the e-governance initiatives of India and the proposed ESD Bill 2011 would further add to the woes of Indian e-governance initiatives.

In short, e-governance success in India is still a far dream. There is a complete lack of understanding about the legal enablement of ICT system in India and e-governance implementation. The proposed Bill proves this point. In all probability the Cabinet would reject the ESD Bill 2011 in its current form.