III Three Phases of E-government in India 1947-2007
(i) 1947-1984 Informatics-based E-government
(ii) 1984-1995 Personal Computer (PC)-based E-government
(iii) 1995-2007 World Wide Web (WWW)-based E-government
IV Phase I : 1947-1984 Informatics-based E-government
1. Use of computer in Indian planning (1954)
(a) What is informatics ?
(b) Computer and Indian Planning
(c) Data for Planning and Decision-Making- Population Census (1891), National Sample Surveys (1950), Annual Survey of Industries (1953), Agricultural Census (1971-72) and Input Surveys , Statutory and Non-Statutory Provisions
2. Setting up of the Department of Electronics (DOE) (1970), and
3. Setting up of the National Informatics Centre (NIC) (1977)
► In Victorian period (1837-1901), even the World War II (1939-45) era,
► Computer was an occupation and computer a human being
(a person employed to make calculations)!
► The first attempt to organize information processing on a large scale using human computers was for the production of mathematical tables, such as logarithmic and trigonometric tables (Campbell-Kelly and Aspray 1996).
► Then came mechanical machines like typewriters and calculators
► Followed by a number of electronic computers, mainframe computers, minicomputers, and supercomputers.
► It has also been suggested that computers could be like humans in every respect (Jeffrey 1999).
► As recently as 1967, a state-of-the-art IBM costing $167,500 could hold a mere thirteen pages of text (Cairncross 1997).
► The release of personal computer (PC) (with MS-DOS operating system) by IBM in 1981 brought the computer within the reach of individuals.
► Ever alive to the needs of computing, India joined the select club of U.S., Japan, Israel and China when it launched Param Padma series of supercomputers on January 1, 2003, indigenously developed by its Pune-based Centre for Advanced Computing (C-DAC).
► C-DAC incidentally is also developing important regional language e-governance applications.
Internet2 , an improved version of Internet, was launched in Chicago on October 1, 1996.
It is a consortium of more than 200 U.S. universities, 70 corporations, 45 government agencies, laboratories and other institutions of higher learning as well as over 50 international partner organizations.
Additionally, an Inter-Planetary Network (IPN) is under design.
II A Hundred Year Background (1880-1980) for E-government in India
Subramanian (2005/2006) views development of e-governance in India from a historical perspective of 100 years from 1880 to 1980.
It includes the concept of nationhood , technological self-reliance and information technology (IT)-supported systems for policy formulation and development.
From his analysis three main streams emerge whose convergence contributed to the development of e-governance in this 100-year (1880-1980) period (Figure 1).
The current surge in the software development and e-governance in India, notes Subramanian, is not just a “spurt” phenomena but a gradual evolution guided and engineered by the government, with the help of scientists, technologists, academics and entrepreneurs over the century spanning 1880 and 1980 [ibid.].
3. National E-governance Plan (NEGP) (2003-2007)
National E-governance Plan (NEGP) (2003-2007) approved on November 6,2003.
It has 25 Mission Mode Projects (MMPs):
(a) Central Government : 1. Income Tax, 2. Passport Visa & Immigration Project, 3. DCA21, 4. Insurance, 5. National Citizen Database, 6. Central Excise, 7. Pensions, 8. Banking
State Government (tentative, to be finalized in consultation with the States): 1. Land Records, 2. Road Transport, 3. Property Registration, 4. Agriculture, 5. Treasuries, 6. Municipalities, 7. Gram Panchayats, 8. Commercial Taxes 9. Police (UTs initially) 10. Employment Exchange*
Integrated Services: 1. EDI (E-Commerce ), 2. E-Biz 3. Common Service Centres 4. India Portal 5. EG Gateway 6. E-Courts* 7. E-Procurement* (*Addition proposed)
Indian success in software industry has raised worldwide interest.
India’s software revenues, for example, grew at over 30 percent per annum over the last decade, and the industry went from being practically non-existent in the 1980s to accounting for 3 percent of India’s GDP, a fifth of its exports, and employing about 230,000 Indians by 2003 (Arora and Gambardella 2006).
Economists have even started to ask the question whether the success of software industry in 3Is (India, Israel and Ireland) and China, Brazil and South Korea could be a new model for economic development (ibid.).
Why has e-governance in India not succeeded to the extent of the success of its software industry? A comparison of the two against half a dozen parameters brings out the sharp contrast between e-governance and software industry in India during the last decade (1997-2007) (Table ).
In essence the comparison highlights the static nature of e-governance and the dynamic nature of software industry.
A separate approach for performance improvement in e-governance is required starting from its redefinition (Misra 2007b).