E-gov projects to reduce corruption and improve entrepreneurship

At a slow but steady pace, departments within the Government of India are introducing e-governance portals.

In a country where corruption is an accepted norm, e-governance projects are a hope that can change how things operate. One such attempt is by the Passport department of the government of India. Early this year, the Chief Passport Officer Muktesh Kumar Pardeshi talked about an enforcing online payments for Passports. The initiative will slowly reduce the the number of a people paying "agents" hoping that it will get them a passport due to the agents' relationship within the Passport offices.

The project in partnership with TCS, was started back in 2012 and some very promising results. In addition to reducing corruption within the system, passport applications are being processsed at a surprising rate. In India's capital, according to TCS, out of the 306,496 applications received since the project started, 295,077 have been processed. Part of this success was achieved due to improvements in the police network within the area. A dedicated network was established between the 11 police zones allowing swift application verification.

To recap, that's transparency in the passport application process and passport verification process.

Through another project launched in January of 2013, the government wants to empower businesses with the necessary legal obligations they need to fulfil. The eBiz portal will be a one-stop-portal for businesses to understand licenses and permits that will be needed. Part of the Government to Business services, the portal will allow entrepreuners to submit forms, get approvals, permits and licenses. The portal is being piloted in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The initiative was started back in 2009 with Infosys winning the bid to develop the portal.

A more recently launched initiative is the web-based Electronic Project Proposal System (e-PPS). Introduced by Kapil Sibal, the project aims to improve the R&D project proposal & funding process. The new system will replace a manual exercise requiring a hard-copy of R&D proposals. The new system will offer a single dashboard to submit proposals for funds as well as monitor and manage the funded projects. 

As Indians continue getting logged into the nation's massive citizen-database Aadhar, and several get their hands on the government's $50 tablet computer Aakash, these additional projects are promising.