Monday, February 2, 2015

e- Estonia, a success story of e-Governance

e- Estonia, a success story of e-Governance
"Internet Access is a Social Right in Estonia"
"Official address given by the government is equal to your physical address".

"Reduce administrative burden of bureaucracy over people".

Freed from Russia in 1991 and with a budget size of 0.5 b $, Estonia has taken Tiger Leap in placing it on Global Rank 26 (2011-12) in e-Governance in a shorter time.

The detailed ranking is very interesting. Readiness: Govt (4), Business (39), Individual (47); Environment: Infrastructure Env (25), Political & Regulations Env (24), Market Env (28); Usage: Individuals (12), Business (28), Govt (12).

A small country with 1.35 million population at present has started its journey with a pride of making "ICT for Identity".

They started with 3 major principles:

1. Privatised Telecom
2. Improved Internet Frequency (free wifi services in 1990s)
3. Government, not to regulate (allowed more private initiatives)

They created Information Council with Department officials, private partners and academicians for information exchange platform in 1997. 2 years ICT planning used to be reviewed by the Cabinet every year.

Computerised schools in 1997, organised Computer Internet usage courses for 100,000 citizens (touch and learn computers) in 2002 and Come Along Computer Usage Courses for 100,000 citizens in 2009 (email, read newspaper, how to use govt services, etc) to make ICT popular. Banking services turned online faster and became more popular as it cut administrative cost of banks as well as citizens were getting services at home.

Its achievements:
1. Internet Penetration 78% (broad band connections)
2. 98% of under 35's frequent internet users
3. 97% bank transfers electronically
4. Fully functional infrastructure
5. 96% personal Income Tax declaration submitted online
6. i Voting in all elections since 2005
7. Pass through First ever Cyber Riots
8. Cardle and Skype
9. 100% school
10. 97% business
11. 4G 95%
12. Speed 100 mbps. For individuals, as per plan of payment

Name e, and you will find M-parking, e-bank, e-energy, e-school, e-parliament, e-factory, x-roads, e-health, e-prescription, e-cabinet, e-Police, e-identity, i-Voting, e-receipt, data embassy, e-school, etc. More than 3000 services.

Most transactions are done through mobile with mobile ID, that enables secure authentication and digital signature via mobile phone. No need of smart phone.

Free wifi at all Public places, buses, trains, hotels, coffee shops, every where.  It is an advantage to increase business with more customer satisfaction.

They became successful because:
1. Commitment of Political elite
2. Right mix of private & public partnership
3. Active Role of Government
4. Project based development
5. Little baggage of previous practice.
They implemented with 4 interventions:
1. Access
2. Digitised Information
3. Formalised exchange of information
4. Electronic Identity (digital identity integrated in alk ID), and only ONE digital identity for each citizen for IT access.

Now people don't carry driving licence as Police has access to their data base.
It was done by a leadership of 32 years Prime Minister and with the pride and will of the people of Estonia.
If Estonia can do it, can't we the people of India do it. If follow the success road map of Estonia many of our cities, towns and villages get easy e-Services by 2020. Looking to the figures one-Taal regarding billions of e-transactions in India, it is doable.  Our ICT is more in number but less in percentage as to compare 1.24 billion population with 1.35 million.

But we have to make paperless administration to reduce burden of bureaucracy over the people of India.

26 August 2014


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