'E-gov is not just digitising old admn processes'
New Delhi, Jan 30: Cautioning the government against mindlesscomputerisation without modernising the age-old processes ofgovernance, the Knowledge Commission has advised it to see ine-governanace an opportunity for administrative reforms.
In the Commission's view, to begin with, important processes likeissuance of death/birth certificates, proof of residence and ration andID cards which impact citizens most in their daily life should besimplified and then made available as web-based services.
Later on, more services can be taken up for simplification, itsaid in its first annual report submitted to Prime Minister ManmohanSingh recently.
''At present the e-governance efforts are primarily based oncomputerising age-old processes left behind by the British rule andcompounded by a plethora of new layers and silos by IndiaBureaucracy,'' said the commission headed by Sam Pitroda, the architectof the country's telecom revolution.
''Simply digitising the existing government processes merely addsan additional layer of expense, complexity, delay and confusion,'' itsaid.
Redesigning the governance will drastically reduce the numbers andduration of successive steps required to obtain services. It will alsoprovide traceable records, ensure accountability, efficiency andproductivity, as well as transparency of policies and processes, itthinks.
The Commission has also called for standardisation of these administrative processes all over the country.
At present, various state governments were chosing their own waysof selectively computersing their processses which was creatinginconvenience to users.
It says national standards should be designed carefully by teamsof experts drawn from the governement, IT companies, academia, Researchand Design institutions and users and stakeholders, who understandlatest trends and technology.
A great deal of work has already been done in various Centralministries and in state governments. The key is to learn from these anddesign best practices available, the report said.
For redesiging the processes of governanace, the Commission hasalso recommended creation of an appropriate central organisation withstructures that can operate in a mission mode, with full autonomy andaccountablity.
''NKC is convinced that e-governanace is more about an opportunityfor administrative reforms than merely about electronics andinformation technology and infrastructure,'' it said winding up itsrecommendations.
The Knowledge Commision is a high-level advisory body to the PrimeMinister. It has been mandated to guide policy and direct reforms,focusing on certain key areas such as education, science andtechnology, agriculture, industry, e-governance among others.
Easy access to knowledge, creation and preservation of knowledgesystems, dissemination of knowledge and better knowledge services arecore concerns of the Commission.
The Commission was constituted on June 30, 2005 with a time-frame of three years.