E-governance to curtail corruption: experts

Tuesday, 23 December 2003, 08:00 Hrs   |    1 Comments
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NEW DELHI: Faster implementation of e-governance in all administrative departments at the central and state levels would curtail rampant corruption and bring in transparency, experts said Friday.

Efforts must be made to bring in "people-centric administration" all across the country through the use of latest technologies and Internet, experts said, at an e-governance conference organised by the Indian Institute of Technology here.

"Many state governments in India are now attempting to use technology to deliver services to people in rural as well as urban areas," said Karnataka Chief Minister S.M. Krishna.

"But governance is still not a very popular word in India because of the corruption and lack of transparency associated with it.

"We can popularise the concept of governance by faster implementation of e-governance projects," he said.

Karnataka, home to marquee Indian tech firms such as Infosys and Wipro, is one of the few Indian states that have computerised many government departments and rolled-out innovative e-governance projects for faster deliver of services.

"If you ask me if these attempts have resulted in eliminating corruption and make governance citizen friendly, the answer is an emphatic yes," the chief minister told the conference.

Krishna said his government had tied up with private sector companies to help them set up Internet kiosks in rural areas and provide e-governance related services to village folks at an affordable cost.

"Public private partnership assume great significance in successful implementation of e-governance projects. Good e-governance projects should be replicated all across the country.

"Governments should not be averse to use of novel mechanisms that can help in offering good governance. We can bridge the digital divide through e-governance projects," he added.

Kiran Karnik, president of the National Association of Software and Service Companies, said India, with its vast pool of skilled software professionals, must use IT as a means to expedite delivery of services like health and education.

"The most important thing for all governments to understand is that governance should be citizen centric and not employee centric. Through e-governance, you can introduce a system that is equitable and not exploitative," he said.

Shekhar Dasgupta, managing director of Oracle India, said some Indian state governments were waking up to the advantages of e-governance.

"Many state governments have realised that there is tremendous amount of efficiency to be gained through e-governance. It is as important a method as any other to drive economic progress," said Dasgupta.

"Good citizen services through the use of technology can also help in terms of winning elections and reduce poverty level in a major way."

Source: IANS
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