Tuesday, December 20, 2011

E-Delivery Of Public Services Development Policy Loan (DPL) Project Of India

Electronic delivery of services is an effective method to introduce transparency in governmental dealings and to reduce corruption therein. Similarly, e-delivery of services can also bring efficiency that can reduce costs and unnecessary time taking by government departments.

For instance, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is planning to use electronic initial public offer (E-IPO) in India. With this investors would be able to bid for shares electronically and without the need for signing any papers physically. This could also be used as a mean to provide an exit to companies which are listed exclusively on defunct exchanges.

Similarly, Indian judiciary is exploring the possibility of using an electronic bail communication system in India. This system would ensure sending of bail order in real time so that unreasonable detention in jail can be avoided.

Further, with the passing of the proposed Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Second Amendment Bill 2011 of India, digital television services would be offered to consumers at affordable prices and with superior quality.

Even on the front of social networking, Indian government is considering enacting a framework and guidelines for use of social media for government organisations. This would ensure an interaction between government departments and general public on crucial issues and public grievances. A good social media policy of India can be really helpful in this regard.

Even private outsourcing models have been developed where citizen to government LPO and KPO services in India would be extended in future. This would be an extension of e-delivery of services from private sector to the government in India as pioneered by Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB).

Recently the World Bank and Indian government signed a loan agreement of $150 million for the e-delivery of public services in India. In order to get the benefits of such loan, electronic services delivery in India has been proposed in the past. E-delivery of public services in India would still take few years as we have no legal framework for mandatory e-governance in India.

With the proposed draft Electronic Delivery of Services Bill 2011 (EDS Bill 2011) Indian government has for the first time shown its willingness to provide e-governance services in India. However, the proposed Draft Electronic Services Delivery Bill 2011 “failed” to provide mandatory e-governance services in India. The real problem with Indian e-governance initiatives in general and proposed ESD Bill 2011 in particular is that legal framework for mandatory electronic services delivery in India is still missing from it.

Legal framework for mandatory e-governance services in India is long due. Till mandatory e-governance services in India are ensured, e-delivery services in India cannot succeed.

An electronic services delivery policy of India must be formulated as soon as possible that must mandate a compulsory e-delivery of services in India. Such e-delivery of services must be provided in a time bound manner to be successful. Till now there are no hints of these pre requisites and the e-delivery of public services DPL project of India cannot succeed in these circumstances.