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E-governance and General Elections

By Anshu Rawal

Apr 21, 2014 by

Governance refers to the exercise of political, economic and administrative authority in the management of a country’s affairs, including citizen’s articulation of their interests and exercise of their legal rights and obligations. E- Governance may be understood as the performance of this Governance via the electronic medium in order to facilitate an efficient, speedy and transparent process of disseminating information to the public, and other agencies, and for performing government administration activities. The government needs to run its affairs in a transparent and efficient way to reach and be reachable to its citizens. E- Governance has the ability to lend the required efficiency and transparency. The right blend of political will and technology is what it takes to make e- Governance a success.

We live in a democratic country where there is a multiparty system. A common man would definitely like to have the knowledge of each and every party, each and every politician, the roles and activities performed by them. Government has given every citizen the right to elect a representative who works for the country as a whole and this vote values a lot as every vote contributes in the foundation of the government. This sense of responsibility of voting would come only when people have the correct and valid sources to check out and acquire the knowledge of the roles or tantrums played by them.

Association for Democratic Reforms took a step forward and made a face-book page to advertise about ‘Know Your Neta’; the screenshot is given as under:-

From the above discussion the question arises how e-Governance is contributing in politics or how a common man is benefitted to view politics as a combination of e-Governance. It would definitely be interesting to start with the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. Until recently, the campaign strategies of political parties centered on public rallies, and print, television and radio advertising. But the proliferation of Internet, computers and smart phones in the past few years has prompted politicians to look at the potential of the online medium. Daily we are used to of hearing the news of a politician campaigning in one or the other state. Earlier we used to get this information either from newspapers or from television. But what if a person who wants to see these campaigns online? So, nowadays there are many websites that have been made for the people where they can have a quick review of the updates regarding campaigning positions. In a Business Today survey, conducted in 12 cities by market research firm MDRA in October, nearly 95 per cent respondents said they were following the digital campaigns of political parties. The survey also showed that over 46 per cent of the 1,010 respondents, who will be eligible to vote for the first time in 2014, take opinions expressed online seriously. Earlier we were accustomed of hearing about media everywhere that how it unveils the personalities of the politicians. But now information technology has also registered its name in the race of being efficient in supplying information behind the scenes at our doorsteps.

Below given screenshot shows the Step-by-Step flow of ‘How to Register’ for a Voter Card

But its growing use has caught the attention of the Election Commission which is itself contributing in the promotion of e-Governance by giving all the updates regarding the elections, ratio of citizens who voted and who not, in which state maximum voting was done etc. like updates. On October 25, the commission said political parties and candidates will have to keep account of their expenses on social media websites, just as they do with traditional campaigning. Candidates must also declare their social media accounts and political parties will have to certify advertisements before posting on these websites, the commission said. So it helps people to distinguish between the right and the wrong. It displays the activities of each and every politician, what they are on and off screens so that people are able to make a right decision and elect a responsible representative for the country who is more than just a face.

Before 1996, the system was of voting on a piece of paper which often resulted in the replication of the votes. But now machines have come up due to which this replication is eliminated and we have an accurate scenario for polling. Every single vote is counted and the results are also obtained within a short period of time. So E-governance has taken over the mindsets of every citizen in the sense of transparency. We know about a corrupt person and a trustworthy person.

In today’s date e-Governance has made the access to knowledge very quick. E-governance is a factor which has always attempted to eradicate corruption, minimize the discretion in the citizen-government interface. Good governance is expected to be ensured through e-Governance by means of better access to services and democratic processes and it will always maintain its existence.