E Governance, Decentralization and Development: An Experience of Gyandoot
In India rural people look up to urban areas for its economic opportunities. Most rural population decides to move to urban areas in search for employment, better opportunities and higher living standards. As rural areas tend to lack in basic facilities and infrastructure so development and mobility in every aspect whether social, economic or political is hindered. To reach the vast rural population Indian government has relied on the use of ICTs for development. Many E-government efforts in India strive to improve efficiency, transparency, accountability and effectiveness of the government (Bhatnagar 2004). There has been a continuous effort in improve government processes, provisioning right ambience through deployment of ICT infrastructure at all levels of administrative structure. National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) provides a holistic approach with lay out of a road map at national level. Moreover, it is widely accepted that decentralization is a development panacea across the political spectrum (Bardhan 1996, Manor 1999). So, it becomes imperative to understand how ICT-enabled e-governance can contribute to decentralization of power or rather facilitate a more decentralized form of governance. This paper presents the success factors for rural ICT projects in India. Gyandoot project, one of the successful projects of the government, is taken as an example to understand decentralization of power and development through ICT-enabled e-governance in the rural areas. The study tries to raise some issues which act as roadblocks in the ICT projects taken up in rural India.