E-governance may not be heard of by many Indians. But they are definitely reaping its benefits. So today even the men and women staying in the remotest part of the country are able to apply for passport online. They are able to track the processing of their passport on the computer that too sitting in their home or villages. Every village panchayat these days has a computer and an internet connection. This was something unheard of.
Ours is an agrarian country. Majority of the population comprises of farmers or those involved in allied occupations. They require revenue extracts of their lands for various purposes the main being applying for loans. The village officer would harass the poor farmers and they would not get the document unless they had greased his palms. However now with the new web portal that the government has come up with the farmers can get the requisite information at the click of a mouse.
These are just instances. There are many day to day transactions which have been transformed by the e governance. So now we can apply for PAN card online. We can furnish online income tax returns. We can apply for various examinations conducted by the government online. Ask your grandfather as to how troublesome it was to get a ration card done. Now you can do it in a jiffy. Train bookings, public sector banking, d-mat holding, paying utility bills, lodging complaints against the erring officials, tracking your complaint, provident fund holdings has become very easy because of the web portals. The list is simply endless. The most important change which this e-governance has brought is that it had reduced the human intervention to the bare minimum. As a result all these procedures and transactions have become transparent. The touts and agents are eliminated from the circle to a large extent. You do not need to bribe anyone. You are not required to spare your day and thereby forego your daily wages to wait indefinitely at the government office located at the district place. Your time energy and even money is saved. You can apply at your convenience from your place of residence.
E-governance has tremendous potential to change the life of all of us. It will take us towards the real Ramrajya. But it can not be forgotten that it is still in its nascent stage. Though we the chick urban class may be flaunting our latest mobiles and tablets, the fact remains that still many of the Indian households are unable to procure two square meals. There are power cuts. Unless we have solid infrastructure and the basic needs of our country men are fulfilled we will not be able to tap the full potential of the e-governance.
But this is not to belittle e-governance. E-governance along with the right to information has brought about not just ray but a huge beam of light into the lives of citizens.