A Mixed Year in Hindsight

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As the year 2014 bids adieu, it leaves mixed feelings about the year that was. On one hand, there were some very positive developments. For the first time, an Indian and a Pakistani won Nobel together, ironically for peace. India successfully probed Mars, Sensex peaked out in unchartered territory and a new government came to power. But on the other hand, there were heart rending images that would not leave our minds for long. The images of children killed in Peshawar, violence in the Middle
East, Ebola killing thousands of people in Africa and only recently, Air Asia crashing in Java Sea reminded us of worst that humanity has to offer. They also taught us what not to do in the coming year.

After the 67 year of independence, India has witnessed the busiest Christmas holiday. The government came out with the plan that from this year, December 25th would be observed as the ‘Good Governance Day’. Ministers and bureaucrats observed the Christmas day as Good Governance Day. The Minister of Communication and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad launched many projects at function. Some of the key projects launched at the Good Governance Day were Time Stamping of Digital Signature, Integrated Indian Languages Virtual Keyboard for Android, PARAM Shavak (Super computer in box solution), .bharat domain in Gujarati and Bangla, e-launch of Support International Patent Protection in Electronics & IT scheme (SIP-EIT), Disbursements under Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme(M-SIPS), Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC) disbursement, Gyansetu – an internet based real time ICT system to provide e-Services to the rural population of India, MTNL Apps for Android smart phones and e-Governance Competency Framework (e-GCF).

Not to be left behind, other ministries also launched many programs on the day. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan expanded the 5kg LPG cylinders initiative, Coal Minister Piyush Goel launched a portal for e-auction of coal mines, Health Minister JP Nadda launched Mission Indradhanush for vaccination and Science & Technology Minister Harshvardhan launched SMS based weather information.

These are all great initiatives and Governance Today welcomes the Good Governance Day, but we also believe that there should be some initiatives taken to mark some other day to assess the success of these announced initiatives. How about marking Labor Day as the day on which we can access and measure the success of good governance and update the same to the citizens of the country.

The Good Governance Day was also connected with the birthday of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who has been honored with the prestigious Bharat Ratna. Also, the government of India finally decided to confer the award on founder of Banaras Hindu University, Madan Mohan Malviya as well. We extend our heartiest congratulations to the winners and their families.

Governance was a big issue this year as the new government tried to launch various e-governance initiatives to streamline the governance system and make government more accountable. These are noble initiatives indeed. There is hardly an area of governance which does not need radical improvement today, and as such, there is interest in what would be the shape of things post implementation of various e-governance projects. In our present issue, we take a critical look at various aspects of e-governance in India. We would await your response on what you feel about the subject. Wishing all of you and your families a happy and prosperous year ahead.