India recently celebrated its 66th independence day. A look back reveals that it has come a long way from being a largely agro based society and economy to the globalized and liberated India of 2013.The economic reforms in the 1990s coupled with growth in technology put India on the world map as one of the fastest growing economies. However, the recent global financial and economic crisis did have an impact on India’s economic growth momentum.
The widespread penetration of mobile and Internet spells the dawn of a new era. Who would have thought that politicians will have digital campaigning agendas? The use of information technologies for social and economic development is not new. By itself, the internet alone has accounted for 21% of the GDP growth in mature economies over the past five years. And, in developing markets, a 10% expansion in mobile penetration has been found to boost productivity by at least4.2 percentage points (GSMA and Deloitte, 2012).It is clear that investing in and developing modern models of IT-based governance and administration is the right thing to do. These will be a combination of home-grown innovation and international benchmarks to come up with applicable best practices that can have substantial impact on the lives and livelihoods of its citizens.
Transformational technologies are enabling the government to reach out to more citizens in an efficient manner. The three key technologies—cloud computing, mobility and analytics—hold the potential to create the far reaching reform that India demands.
We believe that technology-enabled transformational governance will break down the traditional ‘top down’ model of governance and put in place a new, smart ‘bottom up’ model that will put the citizen first! A comprehensive and innovative use of computer- and wireless mobile-based IT can:
1. Enable radical improvement of public services delivery – for example, bring in more transparency and accountability in the public services department thereby having a positive impact on overall development
2. Improve intra-government administration – for example, centralized cloud- based data access point can improve productivity and efficiency
3. Ensure public safety and security- Initiatives like the Aadhar card will help maintaining public records efficiently thereby ensuring public safety and security
In a citizen first world, citizens today are no longer passive and patient. They are vocal, proactive and want to be heard. India has given in to its aspirations of being a modern, developed nation as well as the increasing demands of its 1.2 billion citizens who want an efficient administration with timely and effective delivery of public services. It is time that India executes the “new age governance” transforming bureaucrats to technocrats. What do you think of India’s growth story? Do write in with your views.