India Shining: A Technology Update – Part 3 The Government

This is a continuation of my previous two posts about India Shining on Republic Day 2010.

Part 1 : The Military / Part 2 : Space Technologies

In part 3, the spotlight is on the government. I can already see some of us rolling eyes at the screen when we talk about the Indian Government and Technology. To be honest I would have done the same if I had not gone looking for information regarding the use of technology in the Indian Government. Although at a crawling pace, our government has managed to take up certain firm and good initiatives in introducing technology into the government services. However, with increased technology comes increased transparency which I am sure the red tape and bureaucracy within the government can be highlighted. And that is something our government does not want to pitch for.

If you visit the India portal of the government of India we can confirm that, we clearly missed the train with regards to e-Governance and to make up for the failed attempt, the Government IT department which is essentially the National Information Center launched a series of websites over the years. There are specialized websites for all government sectors or at least links that can be found, starting from the personal website of the Honorable President of India, to Centralized Banks. All these links can be found here, In fact you can dig through the services to find out more departments and regional offices as well. As listed here, there are more than 3000 websites dedicated to the Indian Government Departments and organizations. Check them out here as well.

Having said that there are some noteworthy web sites and services that are definitely to be mentioned,

  • ISRO vs. Google Earth : As discussed in the last post, ‘Bhuvan’ the mapping service from ISRO stands out as a jewel in the crown.
  • The work of NIC to spread the improve the Indian web presence worldwide took a huge appreciation last year.
  • The Indian tourism website and the slogan Incredible India are now present worldwide thanks to the effort of the Tourism Department of India, However as a country we are not yet ready to accept mass influx of tourists.

I have visited many state run websites lately and have rarely found one that is well designed and well maintained. It’s worrying when you consider the claim (usually from NASSCOM), that India is a Software Giant. It is said that India is called a Sleeping tiger because India’s progress is not because of government but despite of it. Still, after so many years of impressive growth in software business, if better technology has not reached the Indian governments and the public, something is surely missing.

Having said this I am going to bring about the amazing Indian software sector that undeniably is vastly ahead of its government counterpart, and posts like this might give the required encouragement to software firms to approach government  to upgrade their services, websites etc. to be in a position that we can get in par with the name ‘Software Giant’.

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