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e-governance- Empowering Indian villages

The heart of India lies in its villages. This has been realized and emphasized by the great Indian Philosophers like Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Dr. B.R Ambedkar, Swami Vivekananda and many more due to its diversity. Since independence village development has been the major focus through various policies and programs and schemes by the government of the country. NSSO reports that more than 65% population of the country resides in the villages. The population cannot be ignored in the process of making India prosperous and dignified.The development the country needs inclusion of the rural as well as the urban. For this, the people are selected/elected represent the masses for their betterment. These representatives of the government /company/ organization, who formulate policies, are collectively known as government/management. They are the decision makers while the act of governing or the process of execution is called as governance.
E-Governance or the electronic governance defines the use of information communication technology for better service delivery to its beneficiaries. Following the constitution government is formed for five years but the governance has always been the question mark in India. The reason could be various which have promoted corruption in the society, lack of credibility and transparency towards government made by the people themselves; Which ultimately questioning “the democracy” of India, for the people by the people and of the people’.
Importance of e- governance
The dominance of caste and class is still rigid in India, which restricts correct flow of information to the marginalized classes and is enjoyed only by the handful of people, which fails to include the bottom of the pyramid. Thus, here the differences start and the gap of inequality widen in the society. The gap can only be shorten or removed by using single window system of creating single platform for all with less human interactions; where e-governance plays the vital role. It will provide equal opportunity to all section of the society.
Electronic platform will help to have easy access and effective governance. The inclusive way of governance will build credibility and create transparency among the masses. It will help to decentralize the power to common man.
Need of e- governance
The population of India is more than 1.3 billion and passing through the third phase of population transition. One of India’s competitive advantages is its demographic dividend, which is presently in the early part of it. The young population is playing a vital role in making India one of the fastest growing countries in the world. In this hectic era, people use to complain of running time due to their busy schedule. This is high time to use electronic governance platform to enhance productivity of that population, who are more innovative and attracted towards electronic goods too. Otherwise, the heavy population will continue to dominate over the traditional governance, if the governance is not created and managed.
E -governance and social inclusion
With the development, the social evils like corruption, scandals, bribe etc have been introduced to the society and are rampant. Each scheme of government brings such issues due to multilayered governance system, which allows many physical interactions in the process to get final output. The traditional governance never allows the marginal class to participate in the development process due to the dominance of caste, class and power. Most of the time, bottom of the pyramid are excluded and sometimes they exclude themselves too.
The platform of e-governance will help them to bring services to their doorstep. They can control, monitor and manage their concern by their own with confident and without any fear. The “e” platform will demolish inequality prevalence in the society due to equal opportunity for the services will come into the action. This will create the culture of “human first” rather “caste and class first” in the society. The effective e-governance can drastically reduce the presence social evils in society.Such transparency of governance will start to build trust toward the government. Negative attitude and behavior, building wrong habits and malfunctions will be guided by technology. The robotic way of functioning system will be helping in creating discipline in the society, will allow self introspection and will guide human behavior by breaking the vicious circle of malfunctions in the society. Likewise, e-governance will allow equal participation to everyone in the process of development.
Demonstrated model of e-governance at Punsari village, Gujarat
The global village Punsari is about 80 km from Gandhinagar, which falls under Sabarkantha District of Gujarat. The village comprises of 23 different communities and 95% villagers are engaged in agriculture and cattle rearing for milk production. The village witnesses the concept of PURA (Provision of urban Amenities in Rural Area) given by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Punsari fully demonstrates the Rurban concept with urbanized environment with basic rural feel. The e- governance implementation has allowed everyone to participate in village development. The innovative ex sarpanch Himanshu Bhai Patel has created such an environment in the village that everyone feels proud being the villagers of Punsari. Following technology has been implemented in the village:
  1. Public address system (PAS): More than 50 loudspeakers are installed in different points connected with office, which covers the entire population of the village. PAS helps to send right information at right time to the last household of the village. Villagers start their day with Bhajan and end with the same. It is used to convey various messages to the villagers from birthday wishes to information dissemination related to government programs. PAS is operated from the office and is only used by Sarpanch. It is set in such a way that Sarpanch can talk with the villagers from any part of the world at anytime. PAS has been used as a best community mobilization tool by the Sarpanch. It has created awareness and alertness among the villagers of getting information from . Using of PAS has not only created transparency, but effective communication saved time labour of the village while [providing all the information to their door, thus enhances productivity.
  2. E- kiosk:
Punsari is using single window system for any bill payment. All the land records and other government services can be accessed from office. All the online works are done here. is first and last stop for the villagers in search of services rather rushing here and there.
  1. CCTV camera: CCTV cameras are installed in the schools. Apart from schools CCTV are also installed in strategic points of the village. It has helped to guide human behavior to a great extent. Villagers have started to understand their responsibility for the village. The fear of CCTV camera restricts villagers and others as well, from any bad acts.
  2. Biometric system: It is installed in office for officials to assure there attendances and work time.
  3. Internet connectivity: Punsari village is covered with different wi-fi points. charges only Rs50 and give password to users to have unlimited access of internet for a month.
The more interesting thing one can found that the use of technology for performing ritual in the temple every day. The drums of the temple are connected to electronic device and time is set. Like alarm drums automatically starts to play at given time.
All the above services are controlled and monitored from office. Interestingly, these technologies are installed by an electronic engineer of the village Punsari itself. Besides all these services, provides facilities like Pucca road, bus services, RO water in low cost, 100% LED light, 24*7 electricity, mobile library, mobile toilet, conference hall, banking services, ATM services, health care, milk collection unit for co-operative, dustbin at different parts of the village, tractor for collection of waste in the morning, toilet cleaner, road cleaner and drainage system. All these services are made available to villagers through government program and schemes only. The village has become a tourist place and it is also attracting migrants of this village to settle down here again. The effective use of e-governance has given Punsari a space in Google and more than that it has enhanced self esteem and pride of the villager.
Challenges and opportunities
It is said that there is exclusion in inclusion. While thinking of electronic governance, perhaps we exclude the population who has not even experienced electricity. We also miss the population, who has not been to school so far, the population is geographically out casted due to poor infrastructure development as well as the segments who are not familiar with electronic devices even mobile phone.Different types of backwardness are the major challenges against the implementation of e-governance. The Frothing coming challenges would the cyber crime, which is most challenging part to deal with and must to be prepared with.
With all the above bottlenecks, India has a great opportunity to exploit as population dividend, the population as energetic, smarter, eager to learn new things, technology friendly and see world in different way. If this opportunity is not exploited now, it will get too late after a decade one or two. The population explosion must be converted into opportunity. We must remember Roger’s diffusion of innovations theory, which classifies five categories of the people in the society: Innovators (2.5%), Early adopters (13.5%), Early majority (34%), Late majority (34%) and Laggards (16%). With this positive note, E-governance weapon must be diffused as the forthcoming results are far better than older one.
Conclusion
The concept of e-governance is little new for India. But, it is known to half of the population through various means of communication. People from major cities are dealing with e-governance in their daily life. India is one of the leading populated countries in the world. Since independence, India has progressed a lot, but governance has been less effective and promoted evils like corruption and poor service delivery to its beneficiaries. Now, India is fast growing country of the world with early population dividend phase including geographical-demographic challenges. The implementation of effective e-governance not only provides easy, transparent and corruption less governance, but it will also create discipline and responsible society.
Written by :
Parth Sarthi

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