Implementation of information and Communication Technology (ICT) based Projects / Programmes usually suffers in terms of certain vital factors. Identify these factors, and suggest measures for their effective implementation.

The information and Communication Technology (ICT) is widely adopted in governance to enhance its accessibility by bridging the gaps in governance. But it is suffering from the following challenges:

Infrastructure

The lack of necessary infrastructure to support the ICT based projects has made governance elusive rather than making them inclusive. Often faced with issues such as poor connectivity it has resulted in people struggling in accessing the modes of governance.

Digital Divide

The lack of digital literacy has resulted in an increase in the number of intermediaries who lure the people for financial gains in the name of assisting them in government services. As a result, ICT based projects rather than reforming governance has added another intermediary for the common man.

Language Barrier

The ICT based platforms are often driven by English. Due to efforts of central government Hindi has started to make some inroads in ICT. But other regional languages are still out of the ambit of ICT platforms. Even where they are present they are full of technical jargons which are incomprehensive. This has made governance more alien.

Cost of Accessing

Government banking of JAM (Jan-Dhan, Aadhaar, Mobile) is promoting governance through mobiles. But the cost of data in relative terms is high in India. This financial burden has made people shying away from using the ICT platforms.

Measures for Effective Implementation

Universal Obligation Fund

The government must explore providing free internet packages to enable people to access ICT platforms. The government must develop model like basic Facebook wherein people would be able to access the government portals without internet charges. The government could offset the costs through Universal Service Obligation Funds.

Popularising Local Languages

The government must integrate local languages into ICT platforms to ensure the ease of use by population across the country.

Bridging Digital Divide

The initiatives like PMDISHA must be undertaken more aggressively to inculcate the digital literacy.

Children as vehicles of change

Due to the alienness of the ICT system, people are apprehensive of it and find it more comfortable in the old school methods. By educating the children to access these platforms, they can serve as agents of change to adopt ICT platforms.

3A

The ICT programmes must not become ends in themselves rather they must be the tools of good governance. This can be ensured only if these platforms address the needs and challenges of the common people. Hence due consideration must be given to address the issues of Availability, Affordability and Accessibility while developing the ICT governance platforms.

Published: October 4, 2019 | Modified:December 1, 2019

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