It was a prudent move for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revive the e-governance scheme with renewed vigour. As Gujarat chief minister, he has used IT as a tool to improve governance not just at the top level but also at the grassroots levels. It is the success in Gujarat that emboldened him to implement the e-governance scheme at the national level.
The debate over technology choices is not new. We have been talking about this for at least 15-20 years. Innovations have far surpassed this debate. Innovations are happening so fast that it has made the technology choice debate redundant. What technology to be used would be best determined by the markets and the users. It cannot and should not be done by regulation or regulators.
"We should not make technology choices nor specify technology, rather specify services. It does not matter which technology powers up the services," said Ram Sewak Sharma, Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY). He said this while stressing that the ambitious Rs 113,000 crore Digital India plan will require a lot to be done and undone when it comes to making technology choices, its procurement and implementation across the government system. This emanates from an increasing realisation in the government that the time has come to focus on delivery of services and leave the choice of technology to the market forces.