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The application of information technology and communication for the purpose of governance is commonly known as e-governance. Through e-governance, information can be distributed to the public in a transparent manner.
Electronic governance or e-governance is adopted by countries across the world. In a fast-growing and demanding economy like India, e-governance has become essential. The rapid growth of digitalisation has led to many governments across the globe to introduce and incorporate technology into governmental processes. Electronic governance or e-governance can be defined as the usage of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) by the government to provide and facilitate government services, exchange of information, communication transactions and integration of various standalone systems and services.
In other words, it is the use of technology to perform government activities and achieve the objectives of governance. Through e-governance, government services are made available to citizens and businesses in a convenient, efficient and transparent manner. Examples of e-governance include Digital India initiative, National Portal of India, Prime Minister of India portal, Aadhaar, filing and payment of taxes online, digital land management systems, Common Entrance Test etc.
e-Governance can take place in four major types of interactions, apart from the processes and interactions in the back-office, within the government framework:
Information is exchanged within the government i.e., either, between the central government, state government and local governments or between different branches of the same government.
The citizens have a platform through which they can interact with the government and get access to the variety of public services offered by the Government.
The businesses are able to interact with the government seamlessly with respect to the services of the government offered to businesses
The interaction between the government and its employees occurs in an efficient and speedy manner.
The objectives of e-governance can be listed down as given below:
While e-governance provides the advantages of convenience, efficiency and transparency, it also has problems associated with it. They are as follows:
e-Governance in India is a recently developed concept. The launch of National Satellite-Based Computer Network (NICENET) in 1987 and subsequent launch of the District Information System of the National Informatics Centre (DISNIC) programme to computerise all district offices in the country for which free hardware and software was offered to the State Governments provided the requisite impetus for e-governance.
e-Governance thereafter developed with the growth of technology. Today, there are a large number of e-Governance initiatives, both at the Union and State levels. In 2006, the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) was formulated by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology and Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances that aims at making all government services accessible to the common man, ensure efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs to realise the basic needs of the common man.
The NeGP has enabled many e-governance initiatives like:
In addition to the above, State level e-governance initiatives include:
The Indian e-governance portal is https://nceg.gov.in. On this portal, one can get comprehensive information regarding the National Conference on e-Governance and reports on earlier conferences.
Additionally, the portal provides links to the following important pages: