Sunday, May 18, 2008

Why TamilNadu e-governance STAR has reduced, but not eliminated corruption

In my previous article, I had written categorically that e-governance project in TamilNadu has reduced the corruption, but not eliminated.

Supporting this view, I found a paper in MIT Journal online.

The author Radha Vasudevan clearly states that it is beyond doubt that the efficiency of Land Registration and Revenue Department has increased, but it has failed to reform its style of functioning. She says that all such services were made system centric rather than user centric.

In such a scenario, the real problem is despite such initiatives, the first time one goes to get documents registered, there are high chances that one has to bribe the official so that it is done and no delay is caused. But, once it is put into system, it becomes easy to get it next time whenever needed. It is here that it has reduced.

However, I feel eliminating corruption is something to do with how people -both citizens and officials look at themselves. For the first time when one goes to register documents, how can automation deliver results. Manual intervention is still required before ascertaining documents are valid. Because of such mechanisms, we can never get rid of corruption. That is far too much to expect unless people change their mindsets.

Let us at least feel happy that we have reduced the number of stages and frequency of dependency on corrupt government officials.

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