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Survey on E -Governance Standards and E -Governance Solutions

Amita Shukla ,Department of Computer Science Engg.,MCSCET Lucknow


ABSTRACT There has been a significant growth of e-governance systems in general and online voting systems in particular. Various models have been proposed to conceptualise and develop these systems. Attention is currently on developing adaptive interfaces that respond intelligently to changes in user profiles. These models differ in many aspects, but no formal classification or comparative study is available as yet which may be used as a reference for researchers engaged in this area. This paper surveys the plethora of existing approaches and models for e-governance INTRODUCTION Governments all over the world are trying to utilize IT for various purposes. The initial motivation usually comes from the need to improve efficiency of processes in the government. This may be concurred or followed by the second step comprising re-engineering of the processes. Another set of motivation may come from the need to provide various social services to citizens for improving the quality of life of the citizens. A third set of motivation may be to strengthen the democratic foundations of governance (opinion polls, voting etc.). These social services and democratic enablements correspond to the new activities that become economically viable due to the altered cost structure due to use of information technology. The overwhelming success and the rapid growth of the Internet change our lives; the way we interact, learn and work. Then the concept of e-governance comes into picture. Several dimension and factors influence the definition of e-Governance. The word electronic in the term e-Governance implies technology driven governance. Electronic governance is a growing phenomenon within public sector institutions around the world. It provides an easy, fast, economical and transparent way of disbursing government services to public, government employees and businesses alike. It is the mandate of Governments-online to deliver their services and programs efficiently, provide governmental information and interact with citizens, all electronically [1,2]. Some of the successful applications of e-governance are rural banking for loans disbursement [3], grass-roots level online education, e-democracy [4,5,6], disaster management for distribution of medical and financial aid [8,9] and transport system for ticketing and crew management [10]. LITRETURE REVIEW E-Governance is the application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for delivering government services, exchange of information communication transactions, integration of various stand-alone systems and services between Government-to-Citizens (G2C), Government-to-Business (G2B), Government-to-Government ( G2G) as well as back office processes and interactions within the entire government frame work. Through the e-Governance, the government services will be made available to the citizens in a convenient, efficient and transparent manner. The three main target groups that can be distinguished in governance

concepts are Government, citizens and businesses/interest groups. In eGovernance there are no distinct boundaries [7]. E-Governance delivery systems [11,12,13] adopted by different countries can be classified broadly as below: Intra Governmental systems (G2G): These systems allow different governmental departments to interact with each other seamlessly. It improves efficiency as well as transparency of operations. Government and Business (G2B and B2G): These solutions enable the government to deal effectively with a gamut of commercial transactions and e-commerce such as tendering, licensing, and infrastructure project management etc. Governmental services to citizen (G2C & C2G): These delivery systems are based on the premise that the government-citizen relationship is a business-customer relationship. It implements various Customer-RelationsManagement (CRM) processes. Services such as filing tax returns, issue of passports, registration of property, birth, marriage and death and providing driving licenses have been rendered smooth and transparent due to their online implementation. . Government and foreign affairs (G2X): Various functions related to foreign trade, tourism and cultural/academic exchange programs are executed online, thus boosting international cooperation. These include repatriation of foreign earnings, foreign investments, work permits, hotel bookings and organizing international events.

Such complex requirements of electronic governance pose big challenges to the field of computer science. The first challenge is of managing the development of the solutions on a continual basis and then managing the large number of applications that need to interact with each other while maintaining security and privacy of the data. This needs to be accomplished in such a manner that change requirement in a single application should not trigger changes in other applications The second challenge is of scalability, arising primarily from a need to maintain large number of records that may be created in geographically distributed data repositories. Egovernance will spew petabytes of data, with trillions of records. The amount of information being handled by government is expected to grow up exponentially once e-governance is introduced. This is because the ease of transactions introduced by e-governance would encourage citizens and businesses to have more transactions with the government. In order to manage this enormous amount of data such that system performance does not get degraded, and such that the system is scalable, there is a need to automate the record management functions.

CURRENT SOLUTION TRENDS Various governments, involved in the task of building an e-governance solution are grappling with the problems of developing such a largesystem. One of the key problems is how to select and entrust a solution provider to deliver a particular component of e-governance. Given the

numerous solution providers in the market with none having any experience in building a system as humongous as e-governance, this is a tough decision. However, a middleware that allows solutions of multiple vendors to be plugged in with ease,would solve this problem to an extent.Another problem faced by governments is to contain costs by developing a portable/ replicable solution. The rationale behind such a solution is that, just as inbusinesses, around 85% of the processes are same across firms, within the same industry, it is expected that 85% of the processes should be similar across different governments. Thus, it should be possible to reuse the solutions developed for one government, for another government. Reusing the e-governance asset across different governments can substantially bring down the cost of developing egovernance solutions.One option for tackling the above problems that is being considered by some governments, like the Government of Maharashtra, is to introduce a programming modelconsisting of a network, Total Solution Providers (TSP)and a middleware that can impose standardizations and extract the commonalties between different e-government applications. The network would consist of the physical connectivity to the administrative units, the data-centers and provide gateways for access through the Internet. Total Solution Providers or TSPs are solution providers who have domain expertise in some specific processes or departments of the government. Given their repeated exposure to the same processes,TSPs are expected to become efficient developers of applications for that particular domain and will maintain the applications, adapting them to changes in technologyThe middleware provides the glue between the network and the solutions developed by the TSPs. Thus the middleware imposes the standards that allow the government to choose multiple solution providers for its various departments/ processes. This feature facilitates the solution to the problem of selecting multiple vendors. It also facilitates creation of an integrable solution.

APPLICATION Countries all over the world have adopted e-governance policies[15,16] to great advantage. Some success stories are listed below: Online voting was first allowed in the small Baltic republic of Estonia in their 2005 committee elections[16]. Since then, Estonia carried out online voting in further parliamentary elections and European parliament elections . Norway and Switzerland will run online e-voting pilots in September 2011 and October 2011 respectively. It is expected that many countries will follow in the same direction. Launching of Citizen Facilitation Centres (CFCs) [17] has increased revenue collection from Rs 38.63 crore in 2003 to Rs 54 crore in 2005. The pilot project offered a corruption online reporting facility in six towns and two remote locations in Kenya.

In India, the government provides IT-enabled services to citizens in several areas such as agriculture, education, banking, democratic processes, health services and tax payment. We review some sample applications below.

Karnataka: The Karnataka governments Bhoomi project has led to computerisation of centuries-old system of handwritten rural land records, thus systematising the revenue departments land records of Right, Tenancy and Cultivation (RTC) [18]. Gujarat: Gujarat has launched websites for all major departments where citizens log on and get access to data and issues related to the concerned government department as land water and taxes [19]. Andhra Pradesh: The e-Seva portal of Andhra Pradesh facilitates citizens to pay water, electricity, telephone bills and municipal taxes online . It also provides the facility of online birth and death registration, passport applications, permits, licences, transport department services and reservation. Madhya Pradesh: The District Council of Dhar in the state of Madhya Pradesh put up an intranet under a project named Gyandoot to help farmers and villagers transact their services online with the government of the province and district councils [20,21].

STANDARDS The key components of the technology standard that has been identified during interactions with various Indian state governments (Govt. of Maharashtra, Govt. of West Bengal, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Govt. of Uttaranchal) are (a) databases, (b) operating systems, (c) schema and nomenclature standards, (d) middleware standards and (e) security standards. The technology standards help in building a solution within a framework. This framework is the architecture framework for the complete integrated solution across the state departments. Architecture Standards The solutions options for architecture standards are 2-tier, 3-tier or n-tier. In late nineties three or n tier architecture came to be used along with object orientation. The advent of platform independent languages like Java and browser based Internet technology further strengthened this approach. These architectures separated the applications into presentation, business and data tiers for better flexibility, maintainability, performance and scalability. The presentation layer without business logic becomes thin and uses browser/Java technology to become platform independent. The business and data layers are generally hosted on separate servers. The business logic is typically hosted on system software called Application Servers providing common services e.g. security, locking etc. Because of the advantages of 3-tier architecture in a complex development environment, this architecture appears to be the preferred architecture standard. Hence any egovernance solution needs to be based on a 3-tier architecture (where individual tiers need not be physically separate tiers) with deployment of distributed components, which can communicate across tiers.One of the important requirements is that the architecture must be open and should allow interoperation with various standard products in the market. Hence, the solution needs to be based on open standards supporting HTML, XML, WML, HTTP, TCP/IP, SSL, SET, PKI, X.509v3, LDAP, Java, Servlets, JSP, EJB, Enterprise Java APIs (JDBC, JMS, JTS, JNDI etc.), CORBA, IIOP, IMAP4, POP3, CWMI, SOAP, UDDI etc.

Technology Standards Based on interactions with various Indian state governments, certain key parameters have evolved for determining the technology standards to be adopted. These parameters are (a) applicability of the technology, (b)scalability, (c) robustness, (d) availability of relevant skilled manpower, (e) vendor commitment and availability of vendor support and (f) cost of ownership. Database Standards Given the complexity of the solution requirement, any database chosen for the solution, needs to support full parallelism without any restrictions on Update /Insert/Delete, specially on LOBs. The database would also need to directly support Recursive SQL (and not through programming), in order to maintain the efficiency of the database. The database should also be devoid of any resource bottlenecks for efficiency reasons. The database also needs to have a robust Cost Based Optimizer for the same reason (GarciaMolina and Ullman 2000). Because of the distributed nature of the solution, the database needs to be based on the Shared Nothing Concept such that one lock manager serves one database node only. Since it is expected that e-governance solutions will have long running transactions, hence the database needs to have a log file architecture without the need for rollback segments so that the rollback segments do not get full forcing the work to be rolled back (Garcia-Molina and Ullman 2000). Also, since one cannot stop the long running transactions, it is imperative that the database supports efficient online backup and restore. It would also need to support optimal data buffering through unlimited number of bufferpools. The database also needs to support real data growth onto parallel servers for workload distribution. Operating Systems The choice of the operating system (OS) is critical for the success of any e-governance solution. The OS needs to be stable, secure, scalable, open and cost-effective. The essential features of OS are security (secure from hacking and viruses), vendor independence (so that no one vendor can hold the government to ransom), application portability, skills availability, future survivability of the OS and support to the OS from the IT community. Schema standards and nomenclature standards The need for such a standard arises because of the involvement of multiple developers. Standardizing schemas and nomenclatures brings down the cost of development and subsequent updgradation and maintenance. Detailed study of few of e-governance solution requirements needs to be done before this set of standards can be prescribed. Since multiple solution providers are typically involved in an e-governance solution, hence these standards can be arrived at only after discussions with the application developers. Middleware Standards Middleware needs to provide services such as identification, authentication, authorization, directories, and security to all applications. By promoting standardization and interoperability,

middleware will make advanced network applications much easier to use. The key middleware components are (a) Web Application Server, (b) Inter-application communication and messaging, (c) Mailing and Collaboration software, (d)Language and data interchange standards. Security Standards Security is critical for the running of any e-governance solution. Security is enforced through multiple components such as firewall, authentication &authorization mechanism, and audit control mechanisms(Schneier and Kelsey 1999). It needs to provide a secure, automated and role-based, policy-based user management(Bonatti et al. 2000; Sandhu and Samarati 1996; Batra et al.2002). It should be able to centrally define and managesecurity policy for a broad range of e-governance andother applications. It would also need to have role-based administration model for delegation of administrative privileges and group users according to business needs.Security would also need to have a workflow to accommodate multilevel approval hierarchies and it should be configurable to the local government/departmental environment, planning system, or other workflow products to collect and process information from the various touch points throughout the government. Security also includes PKI enablement for existing Web-based application. It would need to support authentication and access control for web-browser user through Used IDs and passwords, client-side certificates, or RSA secured ID tokens(Tidswell and Jaeger 2000). REFERENCES [1] Shailendra C. Jain Palvia and sushil S. Sharma;EGovernment and E-Governance: Definition /Domain Framework and status around the world; 2007 [2] Mary Maureen Brown, Jack Robin(ed); Electronic Government,Enclyclopedia of public Administration and public policy, Dekker, 2003.pp:427-432 [3] Dr. Amrit patel ; Rural banking policy, India Timely & Effective use of technology and FI & FIT funds needed IEEE2008.http://www.afminetwork.org/fichiers/ressources/rual20banking-20policy-20in-20india.pdf [4]StevenClift;Democracyisonline,March/April1998;http://www.publicus.net/articles/democr cyisonline.html [5]Janetcaldow;eDemocracyputtingdownglobalroots,January2004;http://www01.ibm.com/indu stryes/government/ieg/pdf/edemocracy%20putting%20down%20roots.pdf [6]Jakob Linaa Janson; Minnesota e-Democracy survey http://www.edemocracy.org/ research/edemsurvey2002-jakobjensen.pdf [7] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-Governance report2002;

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