Rural E-Governance (Kurukshetra December 2020)

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Rural E-Governance

Digital India and E-Governance

  • Providing and managing government services electronically.
  • Citizen empowerment through easy access to information.
  • Expected to help in ensuring a SMART (Simple, Moral, Accountable, Responsible and Transparent) government.
  • World Bank defines e-Governance: Government process re-engineering which is indicative of Union Government՚s resolve to not just use electronic delivery systems but carry out some fundamental changes in the way government services and processes work.

Guiding Principles for Reforming Government through Technology

Form Simplification and Field Reduction
  • Forms should be made simple and user friendly.
  • Only minimum and necessary information should be collected.
Online Applications and Tracking

Online applications and tracking of their status should be provided.

Online Repositories
  • Use of online repositories.
  • For e. g. , for certificates, educational degrees, identity documents, etc. should be mandated.
Integration of Services and Platforms
  • E. g. , Aadhaar platform of Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) , Payment gateway, Mobile Sewa Platform, Sharing of data through open Application Programming Interfaces.
  • Middleware such as National and State Service Delivery Gateways should be mandated.
  • To facilitate integrated and interoperable service delivery to citizens and businesses.
Information in Electronic Forms
  • All databases and information should be in electronic form and not manual.
  • The workflow inside the government departments and agencies should be automated.
  • To enable efficient government processes and to allow visibility of these processes to citizens.
  • IT should be used to automate, respond, and analyze data.

National E-Governance Plan

  • Articulates a comprehensive, nationwide vision.
  • Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEIT) and Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DAR&PG) came together.
  • Large scale digitization of records is taking place to enable easy, reliable access over the internet.
  • Plan was introduced in 2006 with 27 mission mode projects (MMPs) along with 8 components. In 2011 it increased to 31.

Four new mission mode projects were added to the plan in 2011:

  • Health
  • Education
  • Public Distribution System and Posts
  • Rural citizens were the priority target for NeGP and State Wide Area Network (SWAN) and CSCs were set up to meet the objective.

Some E-Governance Projects


  • A Mission Mode Project.
  • 2,50, 000 Panchayati Raj Institutions were identified to deliver e-Governance services to rural populations.
  • Project is developed by NIC.
  • Provides a host of services as part of its 30 modules and 150 sub-modules.
  • Include information on topics such as agriculture, irrigation, fisheries, loans, seeds, fertilizers, etc.
  • Provides services like various taxes, death and birth certificates, pensions, and approvals for building constructions.


  • Digitization of land records.
  • 6.7 million farmers dealing with 20 million records in the state have been computerized.
  • This project was rolled out by the Revenue Department of Karnataka govt. and National Informatics Centre (NIC) being funded by the Central and State governments.
  • Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh have also implemented similar systems.


  • A private sector project launched by ITC limited.
  • Address various requirements of farmers, selling their produce directly to the buyers, ruling out the role of middlemen in the process.
  • Internet kiosks have been set up in the villages.
  • 61,000 e-Choupals in operation in 35,000 villages in 10 states that include Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu benefitting around 4 million farmers.


  • Launched by Madhya Pradesh government.
  • Works through soochnalayas (self-sustaining) set up in Dhar district of the state.
  • Local youths running soochnalayas are not given any salaries. However, they get paid for the services provided to the citizens.

Limitations of Rural India

  • Related with infrastructure; especially telecom/broadband infrastructure and power supply related infrastructure.
  • Limited number of people understands English in rural areas.
  • The number of smartphones is still far from covering the entire population.

Varying literacy levels in rural and urban areas:

  • Rural population (67.67 %) .
    • Male literacy rate (77.15 %) .
    • Female literacy rate (57.93 %) .
  • Urban literacy rates.
    • Male literacy rate stands at 88.76 % .
    • Female literacy rate at 79.11 % .

Common Service Centers

  • A strategic cornerstone of the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) .
  • People can approach them to get their documents downloaded, fill out govt. forms or access other govt. services conveniently.
  • Provide high quality and cost-effective video, voice and data content and services in the areas of e-Governance, Education, Health, Telemedicine, Entertainment as well as other private services.

Wide Variety of Contents and Services

  • Agriculture Services (Agriculture, Horticulture, Sericulture, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Veterinary)
  • Education and Training Services (School, College, Vocational Education, Employment, etc.)
  • Health Services (Telemedicine, Health Checkups, Medicines) .
  • Rural Banking and Insurance Services (Micro-credit, Loans, Insurance) .
  • Entertainment Services (Movies, Television) .
  • Utility Services (Bill Payments, Online Bookings) .
  • Commercial Services (DTP, Printing, Internet Browsing, Village level BPO) .

Effectiveness of ICTs

  • ICT mechanism helps governments to reach out to the remotest parts of the country.
  • Main pre-requisite is the basic internet/telecom infrastructure.
  • Use of National Fiber Optic Network (NFON) .

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