In 1970s and 1980s, when information technology and its applications were not widely known, government entities employed computation infrastructures in in-house experimentation and automation of internal government centric functions. That time citizen centric automation was not the primary goal. Some major initiatives of 1980s and 1990s where government started implementing e-governance were launch of NICNET, followed by DISNIC aimed at computerizing the district offices in India. Some of southern states in India had already taken the lead in e-governance mainly in providing web based information to citizens. However, these initiatives were running in silos and were inadequate to go beyond informational objective due to lack of adequate integrated infrastructure, lack of backend computerization and lack of adequate capacity at all level of governments.
“Considering the multiplicity of agencies involved and the need for overall aggregation and integration at the national level, NeGP is implemented as a programme, with well-defined roles and responsibilities of each agency involved. “
The Nation e-Governance Plan (NeGP) conceptualized in 2006 was aimed at bridging the gap in holistic e-governance. To take government services to common man in easy and affordable manner remains the key component of NeGP vision. It lays emphasis to bring about smart governance by establishing institution framework, core IT infrastructure and implementing Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) at state and center level in an integrated manner.
The initial approved NeGP comprised of 27 MMPs and 8 components. In the year 2011, 4 projects – Health, Education, PDS and Posts were also added taking the number of MMPs from 27 to 31. The 31 MMPs comprised of 11 central, 7 integrated and 13 state projects.
The 11 central MMPs
- Banking: Banking industry led initiative aimed at integrating the core banking infrastructure across various banks in the country.
- Insurance: Insurance industry led initiative that focusses on services provided by public sector insurance companies.
- MCA21: The project is aimed at IT based administration of Company Act, LLP Act, and providing various services to make it easier for businesses and citizens to comply and stay informed.
- Income Tax: The project is aimed at providing all income tax related services to citizens.
- Central Excise: It provides excise and custom related services such as online filing of service tax and excise returns, e-payment of custom duties etc.
- UID: Aadhar project is National ID project of India. It is aimed at providing National ID to citizens of India and allied authentication services to help organizations verify individuals.
- Passports: The project offers all passport related services to citizens.
- Immigration and Visa: The project is aimed at providing immigration and visa related services under various service categories at the Indian Missions abroad.
- Pensions: It offers pension related services to pensioners.
- E-Office: It aims at automating all internal file management processes within government departments.
- Posts: This MMP focusses on providing all postal services in the country including savings account and postal insurances.
The 13 state MMPs
- National Land Records Modernization Programme (NLRMP): The objective of the project is computerization of land records, integration of registration and mutation process, automatic update of land records etc.
- Commercial Taxes: The project provides services for online filing of returns, taxes, automatic refunds etc.
- Transport: Services such as vehicle registration, driving licenses etc. are covered in this project.
- E-District: Various tehsil/ block level G2C services such as various certificates, welfare services are covered in this project.
- Treasuries: All payment related services come under ambit of this project.
- Crime and Criminal Tracking and Networking System (CCTNS): The project aims at comprehensive automation of police and criminal administration system in the country.
- Agriculture: The project is aimed at providing agricultural services such as market prices, crop diseases and management, best practice in agriculture, horticulture, sericulture etc.
- Gram Panchayats: The project is aimed at providing services such as house taxes, trade licenses, certificates etc.
- Employment Exchange: The project aims at providing services such as registration of job seekers, publish vacancies online, bringing employers to common platform, guidance to job seekers etc.
- Municipalities: Aimed at providing municipal level G2B and G2C services such as birth and death certificates, payment of fees, licenses etc.
- Health, Education and PDS: These 3 MMPs are late entrants and aimed at providing services in their respective sectors.
The 7 integrated MMPs
- India Portal: It aims at providing single window access to all government services under various departments at both central and state levels.
- National Service Delivery Gateway (NSDG): It is messaging middleware aimed at exchange of information to and from backend of various departments.
- Common Service Centers: This is network of front end kiosk services aimed at delivering various G2C and G2B services to citizens in rural areas.
- E-Courts: The project aims at automating court related services such as e-filing of cases, online availability of judgements etc.
- Electronic Data Interchange for Trade: The services that are covered in this project include online filing and clearance of import and export documents, online payment of charges and fees, and exchange of document among different departments and agencies.
- E-Biz: The project is aimed at providing single window services to business and investors related to approval and permissions, payment of various fees through one lumpsum payment etc.
- E-procurement: The project aims at providing all procurement related services to various government departments and agencies.
NeGP has also undertaken various policy initiatives and projects to develop the core infrastructure components. These are:
1. State Data Centers (SDC)
2. State Wide Area Networks (SWAN)
3. Common Service Centers (CSCs)
4. Middleware Gateways – National e-Governance Service Delivery Gateway (NSDG), State e-Governance Service Delivery Gateway (SSDG), Mobile e-Governance Service Delivery Gateway (MSDG).
The important support components in implementation of NeGP are policies and guidelines on Security, Social Media, Standards, Interoperability etc.
While implementation of NeGP and envisaged infrastructure/ services were a big step in ushering digital age of governance in India, there were many learnings from NeGP project implementations. Government did a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat) analysis and revealed several issues mainly in terms of Government Process Re-engineering in Government Schemes/ projects/ databases/ applications, lack of integration and interoperability amongst Government applications and databases. Gaps in adopting emerging technologies – Cloud, Mobility etc. and lack of key human welfare projects such as Women and Child Development MMP, Social Justice & Empowerment MMPs were notable miss in NeGP.