India makes massive leap in UN E-Government Survey, secures 96th position

Chennai: The UN E-Government Survey 2018 has ranked India at 96 position for its performance in development and execution of information technologies, up from 107 in 2016 and 118 in 2014, in what can be termed as a massive leap over the years.

The survey, published every two years, ranks 193 UN member states on basis of their performance on mainly three dimensions or e-governance development index (EGDI): online service index (OSI), telecommunication infrastructure index (TII), and human capital index (HCI).

UN carried out this year’s survey with the theme ‘gearing e-government to support transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies’.

The survey is aimed at serving as a development tool for countries to identify areas of strength and challenges in e-government and shape their policies and strategies.

For the purpose of the survey, UN ranked countries scoring greater than 0.75 as ‘Very High’ EGDI, between 0.50 to 0.75 in ‘High’ EGDI, between 0.25 to 0.50 for ‘Middle’ EGDI, and less than 0.25 as ‘Low’ EGDI.

In the EGDI e-Participation Index (EPI), India emerged in the Very High-EGDI group in UN’s E-Government Survey 2018. The country scored 0.9514 in OSI, 0.2009 in TII, and 0.5484 in HCI. Overall, India’s scored 0.5669 in United Nation E-Government Survey 2018 which ranked India at 96 position.

Highlights of the survey

The report noted that 176 countries provide online services in education via email alerts to citizens compared to 88 countries in 2016, and 152 countries provided such services in the health sector this year compared to 75 in 2016.

India’s Aadhaar program is providing digital identity to the entire population and is serving as the basis for interacting with the Government at various levels. Most Indian States have now enrolled more than 80 per cent of their residents.

“This (Aadhaar program) provides a unique opportunity for governments to increase digital identity registrations and improve socio-economic outcomes,” it added.

In India, the government created the National Optical Fiber Network in 2011 to connect all 2.5 lakh villages (Gram Panchayats) with fixed-line broadband.

According to the report, in Kerala, fishermen are using their mobile phones to get price information on what different markets would pay for their catch. Fishermen’s profits improved by eight per cent.

The survey also noted how India-based non-governmental organisation Janaagraha supplanted the role of government in rooting out corruption with its anti-corruption initiative, ‘I Paid a Bribe’. It reports on its website about the nature, number, pattern, types, location, frequency and monetary value of actual corrupt acts in specific locations.