A new survey on e-governance in India, to be released in the early 2007, estimates spending on it to cross Rs 4000 crores this year. This is 30 per cent more than last year's Rs 3014 crore. By 2009 the figure will hit Rs 10,000 crore.
Driving the growth will be projects like the Common Services Centres (CSC) of the Department of Information Technology, said Sameer Kochar, CEO of Skoch Consultancy Services, which conducted the survey.
The CSCs are an attempt to reach government services into the deep interior of the country.
"The survey will give direction to the future course of action," said Kochar. "We can avoid expensive mistakes if we map and document the spread of e-governance and the benefits or otherwise that it is providing."
The survey covers e-governance projects in all the states , gives data on applications being used in each state and in central government departments in terms of transactions handled or hits. This will be clubbed with the e-governance report card that assesses some of these projects on various qualitative parameters like ease of use, reduction in corruption, affordability of service and efficiency of staff.
Kochar pointed that India spends close to Rs 100,000 crore per annum on the social sector. E-governance can help in better targeting these projects and plugging the leakages. Computerisation of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) is one such example. It could also be applied to Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) that proposes to spend Rs 3,750 crore every year for the next five years through local bodies of some of the most backward districts in the country.
While the state-owned system integrator National Informatics Centre (NIC) is the main implementer of e-governance projects, private players like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) have carved out nearly 12 per cent market shares in government projects too. There are other small players as well.
"While the findings have been very encouraging so far, it is reiterated that more large projects like NREGA can give desired results provided IT is made an integral part of implementation of every project of national importance," said Kochhar.