Songs and stories prove that pigeons were used as a means of communication. The way we communicate has drastically evolved from sending smoke signals, carrier pigeons, telegraphs to the digital age emails and multimedia messages.
Today, Whatsapp messages, Facebook posts and Snapchat stories are part and parcel of our lives. With over 1 billion Indians, connecting virtually through smart phones, the Indian government realized the need to ‘Reform Governance’.
The launch of MyGov portal is a step towards citizen centric governance. This citizen engagement platform allows citizens to present their views on the government initiatives and bridges the gap between the government and citizens.
For any democracy to grow, it’s the people who play the lead role. It’s vital that citizens actively participate in governance and make their voices heard.
Digitally Empowered. Are we?
India ranks 2nd in the world for the maximum number of internet users and over 195 million Indians use Facebook. To add, in 2016 the number of Twitter users in India were projected to reach 23.2 million. These numbers present a strong case to state that citizens of the largest democracy are digitally empowered.
Also, the Indian democracy has come a long way from introducing electronic voting in 1998 to leveraging social media for election campaigns. However, does digitally empowered citizens and government imply that the democracy governing them is equally empowered?
Fly High with e-Democracy
With the Digital India initiative, the government at State and Central level are putting in humongous amount of efforts to become truly digital and offer citizen-centric governance. The challenge lies in creating a collaborative environment where citizens are equally empowered to actively participate in bill discussions, education policies, present their views on budget and other important matters.
In the current state, digital empowerment of citizens is limited to social media websites where they share their individual opinions through blogs, posts, comments and tweets. Social media does play a role in connecting people with the officials but to be digital, it demands more.
e-democracy or digital democracy allows citizens to equally participate in proposing, developing and creating laws. With digital democracy in place, it bridges the gap between citizens and government, allowing for transparent and accountable governance. Not only it breaks the information silos but makes citizen’s vote count by providing them a platform to work in tandem with their elected leader by raising their voice and sharing opinions.
To connect various legislative members of each Vidhan Sabha with their citizens, it demands a robust-scalable platform that can leverage the existing IT capabilities and meet the future needs. An e-Vidhan solution based on an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Business Process Management (BPM) platform with strong integration capabilities, flexible workflows and easy-to-use features will form the backbone of a Digital Democracy.