E-governance is the using of Information and Communication tools, especially Internet and such Internet-enabled technology in the functions of the government, in communication, and in the public utility services provided to the citizens. In foreign countries, e-governance has made life simpler, faster and services most effective. In India, e-governance is yet to catch up in a big way. While most central and state departments do have computerized systems, the manual approach has not been altogether given up. The case of Haryana, however, is slightly different. Our state is one of the first to have implemented a number of e-governance measures. Following them up successfully for proper implementation, however, still remains a great challenge.
Back in 2010, the UPA government came up with a project to initiate e-governance across the country. In Haryana, however, this Common Service Centre (BNCSC) dream came up against major roadblocks. The Common Service Centres (CSC) were to provide the citizens a variety of services through rural internet-enabled kiosks. The CSC were to empower over104 urban regions and 1159 rural panchayats identified across the state. The Village Level Entrepreneurs (the farmers, artisans and other producers) were to be the ultimate beneficiary. The scheme, however, came to a complete halt when the licenses of two Service Centre Agencies, responsible for servicing these kiosks were cancelled. While the establishment of kiosks was achieved in rural areas, only about 62% of the urban CSC were established. The greatest challenge is the measurement of the effectiveness of these CSC. No study has yet been undertaken by the state to ensure that the utilities promised by e-Disha and e-Seva plans such as issuance of birth, death, caste and income certificates through the CSC are being utilized effectively by the masses.
One of the greatest challenges faced in the implementation of e-governance throughout the state is the disparity between availability of key resources such as electricity, technology, internet access etc. in urban and rural belts. Haryana ranks very low on the 2011 Census Literacy Index with about 75.55% literates (only about 56.9% women in the state are literate). For e-governance to be completely effective the state has to ensure that the basics of mass participation (such as literacy and the awareness of technology) are in place.
Naya Haryana is best poised for a complete roll-out of e-governance systems. A number of other vital projects such as the AgRIS (Agriculture Resource Information System) and the HaPPIS (Haryana Pensions Processing & Information System) are not yet completely available to all citizens of the state. Haryana is one of the largest exporters of IT and ITES services in India. In such a scenario, it is only expected that the state itself benefits from the immense skills of its citizens through easy, efficient, and effective e-governance.