State governments in India have been silently working on e-governance portals that allow citizens to be able to pay taxes, obtain various forms and access other government services via a single portal.
Ponnala Lakshmaiah, IT Minister for Andhra Pradesh at an event mentioned that Israel, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Poland have shown interest in their e-governance services. The project is known as eSeva and allows citizens access to services like:
- Paying utilities bills
- Applying for certificates like registering births or deaths
- Apply or renew trade permits and driving licenses
- Reservations for state transport services.
The state of Andhra Pradesh has 51 eSeva centers. Pushing for international investments, the minister laid out plans of organizing a 2-day IT Summit in March and said, “The aim of the event is to make Andhra Pradesh the most preferred IT destination in the country. The state has been proactive in attracting investments in IT/ITES sectors with its investor-centric policies.”
The fact that other countries have noticed these endeavors is something the state government of Andhra Pradesh should be proud of. While the website designs of these services are definitely not Web 2.0, they serve their purpose. With launch of 3G and focus on broadband connectivity, these e-governance portals should see better adoption and reduce the common man’s difficulties in these processes.
IT vendors have been helping both the Information Technology department of India’s central and state governments on these projects.