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Short essay on e-Governance and Transparency

The second most important development with regard to increasing transparency in governance has been the emergence of eGovernance. eGovernance involves using the internet and information technology in the process of governance.

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One of the earliest uses of this has been putting up information regarding the functioning of various departments, its rules and regulations and major announcements on the website for everyone to see. This seemingly simple step has increased transparency by a wide margin, because it has removed the necessity of local officials in providing this basic information to the public. So those in need of such information need not grease the palms of petty officials. And since even officials know that the information is publicly available, they are less likely to play the cat-and-mouse game with information-seekers.

In the next step involving eGovernance, a number of Government departments have begun to put up important decisions regarding award of tenders and contracts, etc. on their websites. Every step of the tendering process is widely publicized, so that the chances of a small group of people colluding with officials to bag tenders have considerably reduced. Some Government departments have automated the application process for several purposes. For example, one can now apply online for a passport.eGovernance enhances transparency because it creates a record of every transaction, officials cannot deny any action that they have taken, nor can they say that they cannot trace a particular document. For example, if one fills up a passport form online, a unique application number is generated, and the record is available for any officer to view and process. This is the right time for the Government to understand the necessity of e-Governance and Transparency.

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