e-Governance: The key to empower citizens6 min read . Updated: 04 Feb 2020, 05:52 PM IST
Through its Social Innovation Business, Hitachi has been engaged in transforming governance, businesses and societies with its strength in Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT).
Transforming the citizen lifecycle digitally
The last few years have seen a massive explosion in information technology the world over. The confluence of electronics and telecommunications has opened new vistas of transmission, storage and retrieval of information as never before. These are being increasingly used for decision-making, not only in the corporate world but even in public administration. The increasing population, its massive burden on civic amenities and the socio-economic infrastructure are unimaginable. With this transformation, e-Governance becomes not only a necessity but an integral part of every nation. e-Governance initiatives in India have traditionally being confronted with the dual challenges of automating government departments and taking online services to the common man.
According to a recent report by McKinsey, an average Indian mobile data user currently consumes more than 8 GB of data per month, which exceeds the average in more digitally advanced countries such as China and South Korea. It is expected that India will witness an increase in the number of internet users to 800 million* by 2023 driven by the increasing availability and decreasing cost of high-speed connectivity and smartphones. The Government’s Digital India initiative is bringing broadband internet access to 250,000-gram panchayats, or self-governing village councils, to make it easier for millions to connect online. With a strong foundation of digital infrastructure and expanded digital access through Digital India Programme of the Government, India is now poised for the next phase of growth creation of tremendous economic value and empowerment for citizens as new digital applications permeate sector after sector. India can create up to $1 trillion of economic value from the digital economy in 2025, up from around $200 billion** currently. Improving the trust between governments and citizens is fundamental to good governance and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is progressively becoming an essential tool for promoting accountability, convenience and transparent governance. Governments around the nation are pushing hard to deploy information and technology in their operations. From utilising ICT for elections, census, computerising all the government offices, to digital lockers e-Transportation, e-Health, e-Education and e-Taxation, the new India has paved its way in the realm of e-Governance.
The government is working with stakeholders, to build India on this digital dynamism to deepen, widen, and scale up its digital economy in the coming years, creating huge economic value and empowering millions of people across all walks of life. Numerous schemes introduced by the government like Jan Dhan Yojana to provide financial inclusion to unbanked people has enabled banking, pension (PMSBY and PMJJBY) and insurance (Atal Pension Yojana) services to common citizens, thereby digitally empowering the citizens. The impressive number of more than 1.21 billion*** Indians already enrolled for the government’s biometric digital identity programme. Aadhaar, is one of the examples of the digital amplification bringing massive number of users onto a common digital platform. The data generated through Aadhaar-based identification is also helping the government maintain health records under its ambitious healthcare programme, Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Scheme, making it accessible to all citizens.
Driven through technology, e-Governance is transforming citizen services by providing access to information, integrating various systems and services between government and citizens, thereby empowering and enhancing citizen’s social, environmental and economic values.
The government has been spearheading radical digitalisation to induce economic inclusiveness and social transformation, through initiatives like ‘Digital India’, ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’. India as a result, is gearing up for an era of increased digitalisation, heralding the advent of Industry 4.0, powered by new age technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics. Policymakers have been formulating innovative ways to usher in progress on paper. With private players collaborating with the government in fostering a digitally empowered India, it is likely to see efficient and safer modes of functioning at different levels. Alongside these already digitised sectors and activities, India stands to create more value if it succeeds in nurturing new and emerging digital ecosystems in sectors such as agriculture, education, energy, financial services and healthcare.
Globally and in India, Hitachi through its Social Innovation Business has been engaged in transforming governance, businesses and societies with its strength in Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT). It has its ethos embedded in its businesses that are aimed at touching the lives of millions.
Over the years, numerous initiatives have been undertaken by various State Governments and Central Ministries to promote e-Governance in a holistic manner and improve the dissemination of public services to the citizens. This encapsulates, an evolving countrywide infrastructure reaching down to the remotest of villages and large-scale digitisation of records to enable easy, reliable access over the internet.
The system centralises management of items such as real time security and traffic camera footage, ambulances’ GPS information, temperature, humidity, water levels, smart infrastructure and agriculture sensors, and air pollution data in each locality around the state, and then visualises the data, which is then used in risk analysis. For example, when a cyclone hits, the water levels of river can be assessed and immediate instructions to evacuate can be issued to those at risk using the predictive function. In addition, as the history builds up, it offers feedback for the next time when the analysis is conducted. Disaster response accuracy, which conventionally relied solely upon human experience, has improved dramatically.
The system can also be used to increase agricultural productivity by installing and centrally managing water level sensors in irrigation canals to grasp drought or flood damage and to prevent damage to crops. In addition, soil, weather, and irrigation conditions can be applied to the algorithm, making it possible to determine the optimum crop for each plot of land and increase the harvest.
With the help of Real Time Governance, the Andhra Pradesh Government can now swiftly resolve citizen grievances and monitor infrastructure projects, incidents, weather and climatic events across the state in real time, leveraging technology services. Big data sets gathered from various sources with the assistance of Hitachi are leading to insightful decisions to vibrantly transform citizen services.
Hitachi is enabling a seamless digital transformation for its customers through e-Governance initiatives and collaborating with multiple stakeholders including the government. To strengthen the foundations of e-Governance, Hitachi has undertaken projects including digitalisation of land records; the single-window handling of grievances and maintenance of essential services; easing tax payments and government dues; along with internet-based citizen delivery of services.
The impressive outcomes of e-Governance are not limiting to public service delivery systems.
With both private and public-sector action promoting digital usage, financial technology innovation has grown rapidly. India’s universal banks have also driven significant digital innovation across the spectrum of financial services, and their regulator, the Reserve Bank of India, outlining possible steps for the adoption of blockchain technologies in the financial sector. Hitachi Systems Micro Clinic Pvt. Ltd., is helping financial institutions with deep rural presence to safeguard the banks and their customers against the growing cyber threats and breaches. To monitor the threats and security incidents vigorously, the company integrated Identity Access Management (IDAM) and SIEM (Security Incident and Event Management Solution) into the system. As a result, it is contributing digitally to protect the critical banking information in the growing digital network scenario, assuring millions of citizens in remote locations across India, access to extremely safe and reliable digital banking facilities and provide a robust channel for real-time banking transactions.
What’s noteworthy is that Hitachi’s multi-disciplinary and collaborative approach has been in perfect sync with the government’s own initiatives to stay open to multiple possibilities and a macro-perspective. The outcome is a new level of e-Governance, focused towards increasing economic growth and improving the lives of the citizens.
*Source: https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll internet-users-in-india-to-rise-by-40-smartphones-to-double-by-2023-mckinsey/1522484