Sunday, January 30, 2011

What should Maharashtra's e-governance Policy accomplish?

The Maharashtra government is revising its e-governance policy. Lots of people have emailed and telephoned asking me what my recommendations are. So here are some points I suggest.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this policy should be to further good governance by enabling transparency and participation of all stakeholders in governance.
In order to accomplish its purpose, the policy should also set common goals and standards in place for the e-Governance rollout in the state.

Common Goals

Within one year all government agencies in Maharashtra should:
  1. Upload data they hold onto
  2. Upload maps they hold onto
  3. Upload project information onto
  4. Upload budget information onto
  5. Upload staff directories onto
  6. Implement wiki-based file systems for decision making on
  7. Accept all government payments through a single payment gateway at
  8. List all government schemes and beneficiaries through a single site
  9. Accept all service requests and grievances on


In order to enable the government agencies to accomplish the common goals the IT department should develop, common standards for the Maharashtra government for the following:
  1. Sharing and displaying data on the
  2. Sharing and displaying maps on
  3. Sharing and displaying project information onto
  4. Sharing and displaying budget information onto
  5. Sharing and displaying staff directories onto
  6. Sharing and displaying wiki-based file systems for decision making on
  7. Accepting government payments through a single payment gateway at
  8. Listing all government schemes and beneficiaries through a single site
  9. Accepting all service requests and grievances on
  10. Privacy, security, certification, storage and archival of data with the agencies that fall under the scope of this policy.
  11. Identifying, sharing and protecting individual and business data.
  12. Multilingual access to data and websites.
  13. Mobile access to all information and transactions on
These standards should be enforced by the IT department through applications on the specified urls that will allow registered users from various government agencies to access and update the information on each of them. All stakeholders should be able to access at will the meta-information (the date of update, by whom, from where etc.) on update associated with each of the records on the websites. The applications should be developed on a high-priority basis and its beta versions be rolled out within 8 months of the release of this policy.

Capacity Building

Starting as soon as the draft version of the common standards are ready, YASHADA and other NGO's should provide capacity building workshops to all government agencies to implement and monitor the common goals. YASHADA should also create an audit and compliance cell that will audit every government agency for its adaptation of the government standards, implementation and continued use of the applications mandated in the egovernance policy.

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