Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design, implementation and Information Communication Technology (ICT)

Meaning of Public Policy

  • Are goal oriented
  • Are outcome of the government’s collective actions
  • It is what the government actually decided or chooses to do
  • Is positive in the sense that it depicts the concern of the government and involves its action to a particular problem on which the policy is made
  • Distinction between policy and goals; policy and decisions

Characteristics of public policy making

  • Is a very complex process
  • Dynamic process
  • Comprises of various componenet
  • Policy structure makes different contributions
  • Decision making
  • Lays down major guidelines
  • Results in action
  • Directed at the future
  • Mainly formulated by governmental organs
  • Aims at achieving what is in the public interest
  • Use of best policy means
  • Involvement of various bodies/agencies

Components of public policy

  • PP is purposive and deliberately formulated. It must have a purpose or a goal
  • Is well thought out and is not a series of discrete decisions
  • PP is what is actually done and not what is intended or desired
  • PP also delineates a time frame in which its goals have to be achieved
  • Follows a defined course of action: formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation

Types of public policy

  • Substantive: concerned with the general welfare and development of the society
  • Regulatory: Concerned with regulation of trade, business, safety measures, public utilities etc
  • Distributive: meant for specific segments of the society
  • Redistributive
  • Capitalisation: financial subsidies given by the Union govt to the state and local govt

In a parliamentary democracy, the legislature or Parliament is the most appropriate site for policy making as well as the site for evaluation and monitoring for its implementation. Parliament of India exercise control over executive through its Committees. The most important Standing Committees of Parliament are those that exercise control over the finances: the Public Accounts Committee, the Committee on Estimate and the Committee on Public Undertaking.

Policy implementation is of critical importance to the success of Government. No policy can succeed if the implementation does not bear relationship to the intentions of policy adopters. Policy implementation is the process of putting policy into action. Implementation is the phase between a decision and operation. It seeks to determine whether an organization is able to carry out and achieve its stated objectives.

Communication is an essential ingredient for effective implementation of public policy. Through communication, orders to implement policies are expected to be transmitted to the appropriate personnel in a clear manner while such orders must be accurate and consistent. Inadequate information can lead to a misunderstanding on the part of the implementors who may be confused as to what exactly are required of them. In effect, implementation instructions that are not transmitted, that are distorted in transmission, that are vague, or that are inconsistent may cause serious obstacles to policy implementation.

The Indian judiciary is also regarded as an important agency in policy making process. Armed with the power to strike down executive, quasi-judicial and legislative actions as unconstitutional, the judiciary has, as the ultimate interpreter of Constitutional provisions , expounded the basic features of the Constitution of which the power of judicial review has been recognized as forming an integral part.

The judiciary can intervene in the administrative acts under the following circumstances:

• Lack of jurisdiction,

• Error of law,

• Error in fact finding,

• Abuse of authority,

• Error of procedure.

E-learning- IT& Rural applications

A learning system based on formalised teaching but with the help of electronic resources is known as E-learning. While teaching can be based in or out of the classrooms, the use of computers and the Internet forms the major component of E-learning. E-learning can also be termed as a network enabled transfer of skills and knowledge, and the delivery of education is made to a large number of recipients at the same or different times. Earlier, it was not accepted wholeheartedly as it was assumed that this system lacked the human element required in learning.

However, with the rapid progress in technology and the advancement in learning systems, it is now embraced by the masses. The introduction of computers was the basis of this revolution and with the passage of time, as we get hooked to smartphones, tablets, etc, these devices now have an importance place in the classrooms for learning. Books are gradually getting replaced by electronic educational materials like optical discs or pen drives. Knowledge can also be shared via the Internet, which is accessible 24/7, anywhere, anytime.

E-learning has proved to be the best means in the corporate sector, especially when training programs are conducted by MNCs for professionals across the globe and employees are able to acquire important skills while sitting in a board room, or by having seminars, which are conducted for employees of the same or the different organizations under one roof. The schools which use E-learning technologies are a step ahead of those which still have the traditional approach towards learning.

No doubt, it is equally important to take forward the concept of non-electronic teaching with the help of books and lectures, but the importance and effectiveness of technology-based learning cannot be taken lightly or ignored completely. It is believed that the human brain can easily remember and relate to what is seen and heard via moving pictures or videos. It has also been found that visuals, apart from holding the attention of the student, are also retained by the brain for longer periods. Various sectors, including agriculture, medicine, education, services, business, and government setups are adapting to the concept of E-learning which helps in the progress of a nation.

IT and rural applications

India is a country of villages and about 50% of the villages have very poor socio-economic conditions. Since the dawn of independence constant efforts have been made to emancipate the living standard of rural masses. The five-year plans of the central government also largely aim at Rural Development. The Ministry of Rural Development in India is the apex body for formulating policies, regulations and acts pertaining to the development of the rural sector. Agriculture, handicrafts, fisheries, poultry, and diary are the primary contributors to the rural business and economy.

Recent developments in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have introduced a plethora of opportunities for development in every conceivable area. ICT as an enabler has broken all bounds of cost, distance and time. The fusion of computing and communications, especially through the internet has reduced the world indeed into global village creating new actors and new environments.

One of the major components and driving force of rural development is communication. Conventionally, communication includes electronic media, human communication & now information technology (IT). All forms of communications have dominated the development scene in which its persuasive role has been most dominant within the democratic political frame work of the country. Persuasive communication for rural development has been given highest priority for bringing about desirable social and behavioral change among the most vulnerable rural poor and women. Initially, the approach lacked gender sensitivity and empathy of the communicators and development agents who came from urban elite homes. Added to these constraints is political will that still influences the pace and progress of rural development. Technological changes further compounded the direction of rural development as information and communication technology (ICT) has been thought by communication and development workers as a panacea for other ills that obstructs the development process. It has lead to indiscriminate applications and use of ICT in every aspect of information dissemination, management & governance of development. While there are few shining examples of achievements of ICT in development, there are a large number of failures and unauthenticated claims.

The closing decade of twentieth century was the opening of historic information and communication technology interventions for development. This period has witnessed enormous and unprecedented changes in every aspect of communications technologies policies, infrastructure development and services. The ICT boom in India has already started changing the lives of Indian masses. The role of ICT in Rural Development must be viewed in this changing scenario.

ICT and e-Governance for Rural Development Several

states have initiated the creation of State Wide Area Networks (SWAN) to facilitate electronic access of the state and district administration services to the citizens in villages. The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are being increasingly used by the governments to deliver its services at the locations convenient to the citizens. The rural ICT applications attempt to offer the services of central agencies (like district administration, cooperative union, and state and central government departments) to the citizens at their village door steps. These applications utilize the ICT in offering improved and affordable connectivity and processing solutions.

Computerization of land records have been a great success in application of ICT in rural development. Land records are great importance to contemporary socio economic imperatives and their revision and updation are necessary for capturing the changes in rural social dynamics. Land records are an important part of rural development. The govt. of India started the centrally sponsored scheme of Computerization of Land Records (CoLR) in 1988-89 with main objectives of:

  • Creating database of basic records
  • Facilitating the issues of copies of records
  • Reducing work load by elimination of drudgery of paper work
  • Minimizing the possibilities manipulation of land records, and
  • Creating a land management information system

 

The “e” in e-Governance stands for ‘electronic’. Thus, e-Governance is basically associated with carrying out the functions and achieving the results of governance through the utilization of ICT (Information and Communications Technology), So it is the application of information and communication technology (ICT) for delivering government services, exchange of information, communication transactions, integration of various stand-alone systems and services between government-to-customer (G2C), government-to-business (G2B), government-to-government (G2G) as well as back office processes and interactions within the entire government framework.[1] Through e-governance, government services will be made available to citizens in a convenient, efficient and transparent manner. The three main target groups that can be distinguished in governance concepts are government, citizens and businesses/interest groups.

 

Types of Government Interaction in e-governance.

  • G2G: Government to Government 
  • G2C:Government to Citizen 
  • G2BGovernment to Business 
  • G2E:Government to Employee

 

  1. G2G (Government to Government): When the exchange of information and services is within the periphery of the government, is termed as G2G interaction. This can be both horizontal, i.e. among various government entities and vertical, i.e. between national, state and local government entities and within different levels of the entity.

 

  1. G2C (Government to Citizen): The interaction amidst the government and general public is G2C interaction. Here an interface is set up between government and citizens, which enables citizens to get access to wide variety of public services. The citizens has the freedom to share their views and grievances on government policies anytime, anywhere.

 

  1. G2B (Government to Business): In this case, the e-governance helps the business class to interact with the government seamlessly. It aims at eliminating red-tapism, saving time, cost and establish transparency in the business environment, while interacting with government.

 

  1. G2E (Government to Employees): The government of any country is the biggest employer and so it also deals with employees on a regular basis, as other employers do. ICT helps in making the interaction between government and employees fast and efficient, along with raising their level of satisfaction by providing perquisites and add-on benefits.

E-governance can only be possible if the government is ready for it. It is not a one day task, and so the government has to make plans and implement them before switching to it. Some of the measures include Investment in telecommunication infrastructure, budget resources, ensure security, monitor assessment, internet connectivity speed, promote awareness among public regarding the importance, support from all government departments and so forth.

Benefits of E-governance

  • Reduced corruption
  • High transparency
  • Increased convenience
  • Growth in GDP
  • Direct participation of constituents
  • Reduction in overall cost.
  • Expanded reach of government

Through e-governance, the government plans to raise the coverage and quality of information and services provided to the general public, by the use of ICT in an easy, economical and effective manner. The process is extremely complicated which requires, the proper arrangement of hardware, software, networking and indeed re-engineering of all the processes to facilitate better delivery of services.

E Governance in India

e-Governance in India has transformed to promote inclusive growth that covers electronic services, products, devices and job opportunities. An initiative driving this growth is the Digital India. The Digital India programme is a flagship programme of the Government of India with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.

National E-governance Plan
The National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) has been formulated by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY) and Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) in 2006.
The NeGP aims at improving delivery of Government services to citizens and businesses with the following vision: “Make all Government services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets and ensure efficiency, transparency & reliability of such services at affordable costs to realise the basic needs of the common man.”

 

Recent initiatives and Mission mode Projects

§  UID

The unique identification project was conceived as an initiative that would provide identification for each resident across the country and would be used primarily as the basis for efficient delivery of welfare services. It would also act as a tool for effective monitoring of various programs and schemes of the government.

 

  • e-Governance in Municipalities

It is a unique initiative of the Government of India conceptualized under the umbrella of the overall National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) and the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (Jnnurm) aimed at improving operational efficiencies within Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).

 

§  Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems

Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) MMP aims at creating a comprehensive and integrated system for enhancing the efficiency and effective policing at all levels and especially at the Police Station level through adoption of principles of e-Governance, and creation of a nationwide networked infrastructure for evolution of IT-enabled state-of-the-art tracking system.

 

§  Public Distribution System

Computerization of the PDS is envisaged as an end-to-end project covering key functional areas such as supply chain management including allocation and utilization reporting, storage and movement of food grains, grievance redressal and transparency portal, digitization of beneficiary database, Fair Price Shop automation, etc.

 

§  Health

ICT for programme management has been undertaken by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in the Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS) programme and the Ministry envisages a more comprehensive use of ICT including for Hospital Information Systems, supply chain management for drugs and vaccines, providing ICT tools to ASHA and ANM workers.

 

§  e-procurement

Ministry of Commerce & Industry (Department of Commerce) has been nominated as the Nodal Ministry for implementation of e-Government Procurement (e-GP) Mission Mode Projects (MMP).

 

§  e-Courts

The e-Court Mission Mode Project was conceptualized with a vision to transform the Indian judiciary by making use of technology. The project had been developed, following the report submitted by the e-Committee under Supreme Court on national policy & action plan on implementation of information communication tools in Indian judiciary.

 

§  e-Biz

The e-Biz Mission Mode Project, being executed by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, was conceptualized with the vision

 

  • Direct Cash transfer 

To facilitate disbursements of Government entitlements like NREGA, Social Security pension, Handicapped Old Age Pension etc. of any Central or State Government bodies, using Aadhaar and authentication thereof as supported by UIDAI.

 

  • M Governance

M-Governance is not a replacement for e-Governance, rather it complements e- Governance. M-Governance, is the use of mobile or wireless to improve Governance service and information “anytime, anywhere”.

  • Mobile Seva 

It aims to provide government services to the people through mobile phones and tablets. It has been developed as the core infrastructure for enabling the availability of public services through mobile devices.

 

 

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