By Kapil Kant Kamal, Joint Director, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC)
India is leading the way in the digital revolution. Digital governance is a crucial component of the government’s ambition to transform India into a society that is digitally enabled. It alludes to the empowerment of citizens through a strong digital infrastructure and digital service delivery. It includes both e-Governance and m-Governance through electronic and wireless delivery mediums. The use of technology in governance is essential for advancing the needs of the populace and improving their quality of life.
The Government of India launched the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), comprising 27 Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) in 2006. In 2009, Aadhaar was launched to provide 12 digits individual identification numbers to citizens. In the year 2011, four projects – Health, Education, Public Distribution System (PDS), and Posts were introduced to increase the list from 27 to 31 MMPs. It also launched a mobile governance initiative to provide public services to citizens through mobile phones and handheld devices.
As our economic and social lives have rapidly migrated online – the digital and physical worlds have become more intertwined than ever. The nation is moving from a silo strategy to a platform approach to better digital governance. Digitalisation is fostering innovation and delivering significant productivity and efficiency advantages in the public and private sectors. Aadhaar for digital identity, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for online payments, Government e-Marketplace (GeM) for public procurement, Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), and other national public digital platforms developed by the government have fundamentally changed the way government agencies provide services.
C-DAC is also actively involved in developing impact-making e-Governance solutions and services at national and state levels. Several developed solutions built are unique and have played a significant role in changing the e-Governance scenario in India.
e–Pramaan: A National e-Authentication framework to authenticate user’s safety and security for accessing services through desktop as well as mobile platforms. e-Pramaan provides multiple factors of authentication such as password (Text, image), OTP (SMS, email, smart app), Digital signatures (provided by Indian Certificate Authority), and Biometric (Finger, Iris) authentication. Biometric authentication is carried out using Aadhaar. The solution not only provides authentication but also ensures security for which it has many fraud management techniques implemented. Moreover, it has identity verification using Aadhaar, PAN, Driving Licence, etc. which helps in mapping the virtual identity to physical identity, especially for e-Governance services.
MeriPehchaan: e-Pramaan also provides Single Sign On (SSO) to various e-Gov services and is a part of Nation SSO – “MeriPehchaan” which was launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in Digital India Week, on 4th July 2022.
National mSeva AppStore: mSeva AppStore is India’s own indigenously developed AppStore under Atmanirbhar Bharat for securely hosting mobile apps developed for Android. The platform is developed to provide secure apps for citizens and economical hosting for the developers. Focused on building the trust and authenticity of the apps, mSeva AppStore also provides an opportunity for the developers to ensure the security level of their apps through free security testing. The mSeva AppStore offers downloads for over 9 crore applications.
e-Sushrut: Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) is a major step towards adapting technology to improve healthcare. HMIS incorporates an integrated computerised clinical information system for improved hospital administration and patient health care. It also provides an accurate, electronically stored medical record of the patient.
mGovernance: Mobile Seva provides a platform to deliver government services to citizens over mobile devices using SMS, USSD, Voice, Location Based Services, and mobile applications. Over 5000 crore transactions have been performed on the Mobile Seva platform.
Online Labs: OLabs offers high-quality online labs for Science, Maths, and English. The labs designed for classes 9 to 12 are aligned with the NCERT/ CBSE and SCERT. The experiments can be accessed anytime and anywhere, overcoming the constraints on time felt when having access to the physical lab for only a short period. Each lab includes a simulation, animation, theory, procedure, and viva voice. An offline version is also available for use.
eSanjeevani: A web-based comprehensive telemedicine solution that has served more than 9 crore patients to date. It extends the reach of specialised healthcare services to masses in both rural areas and isolated communities. It is used to provide medical education to interns, people across various Common Service Centers (CSCs), etc.
These platforms have enabled the government to make all citizen and business-centric services fully online, and businesses to digitalise their operations and to make the development of new applications easier and faster.
The next phase of the digitalisation of services must focus on digital infrastructure, electronics manufacturing, and modern digital legislation with an emphasis on digital privacy, cyber security, and capacity and skill building. The solutions must harness the capabilities of upcoming technologies of Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and Big Data to realise this vision of digital governance.