TCS White Paper unveils nationwide e-governance plan

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New Delhi, Jun 9 (UNI) Calling for a greater collaborative effort between IT companies and the government, a White Paper released here today by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) highlights the huge potential of e-governance benefitting citizens and maximising the returns on public investments.

The Paper spells out as to how taking recourse to e-governance could improve governance, a key weakness affecting the efficiency of government programmes and schemes.

The Paper was released by TCS CEO and MD S Ramadorai, with a presentation being made by its Vice-President (Global Government Industry Solutions Unit) Tanmoy Chakrabarty.

The Report is to be presented informally to various ministries at the Centre and the State governments.

It speaks about the impediments in the way of promoting e-governance, the main one being a silo-based approach, and calls for a holistic vision to leverage technology and boost efficiency in the government.

The company highlighted the successes of its projects in the government sector, primarily improving the delivery of National Rural Employment Gaurantee (NREG) Scheme in Andhra Pradesh, implementation of Value Added Tax (VAT) in five states in the north east and e-choupal in some other States.

The Report suggests a five-point plan for building an e-governance framework in India: --A nationwide mandate to allocate a fixed percentage (three per cent) of the annual budget for e-governance projects; --The need to adopt an integrated and holistic approach focused on services; --National level oversight of any e-governance programme and thereby move from individualised e-governance to institutionalised e-governance; --A Fixed Tenure concept where key government executives are appointed for the entire term of any e-governance initiative; --Setting up an official Standing Committee to oversee national e-governance programmes.

Mr Ramadorai said the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has lauded the NREG Scheme as was being implemented in Andra Pradesh and has been critical for the leakages in some other States.

A significant benefit of the Andhra Pradesh scheme is the direct transfer of wages and salaries of the labourers to their post office accounts without the involvement of any intermediaries.

The report says globally India has been known to be a leader in the IT arena but the government itself has had a very fragmented approach, a very 'siloed' kind of view, where every Department did its projects separately. This approach has not allowed government, employees, citizens and business reap optimum benefits from a majority of e-governance initiatives taken so far.

It argues for an integrated approach which will encompass all ministries and Departments minimising the agony of citizen in moving from pillar to post dealing separately with all of them.

UNI MP GS SR UCS1909

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